When the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe made its official debut, there was a certain expectation that the SUV would be the most efficient model in the range. With a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a 17 kilowatt-hour battery and an electric motor under the skin, things certainly looked promising. Now that the official range and fuel economy testing the hybrid SUV has concluded however, it appears the EPA may have short-changed the original estimates regarding the pure-electric driving range of the new Jeep.
According to the EPA, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is capable of driving just 21 miles on battery power alone. This rating falls short of the initial 25 mile range that Jeep had touted in the lead up to these tests. That difference may not seem like a lot, but it is a range reduction of almost 20 percent. Customers likely won’t be too irritated by this, but they may care a bit more about the gas engine’s fuel economy rating. That is because this hybrid SUV is actually thirstier than the non-hybrid four-pot and V6 offerings. The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe will return an estimated 20 MPG combined, whereas the standard 2.0L and 3.6L V6 models return 22 MPG and 21 MPG combined, respectively. The hybrid off-roader does have to contend with the added weight of the battery and electric motor, which could be the fuel-sucking culprit.
The new Jeep isn’t the first electrified vehicle in recent memory to see unexpected results from the EPA. The Ford Mustang Mach-E was served a similar fate. And before that, it was the Porsche Taycan.
Of course Jeep is hoping that most customers will drive this new PHEV in its hybrid configuration, where mileage is quite a bit better. In hybrid mode, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe will crank out 49 MPGe, which is the best figure on offer from a Wrangler of any variety. That said, it’s not an entirely impressive figure from a hybrid powertrain. Take Stellantis‘ own Chrysler Pacifica for example, which returns 89 MPGe in hybrid form. Furthermore, the minivan is powered by the 3.6L V6 and is assisted by a smaller 16-kWh battery pack than the 4xe. The van doesn’t have to contend with a 4×4 system and all of the off-roading tech crammed into the Wrangler 4xe, however.
This isn’t the first time that the EPA has found that an electric-powered machine isn’t able to live up to its range targets. That said, we’re sure that most customers aren’t going to be too concerned with four fewer miles of range. That is especially true when you consider the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is one of the most potent offerings in the range, producing 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. The only Wrangler with more oomph is the oh-so-special 392, but that 4×4 only returns 14 MPG combined. So while this 4xe isn’t as efficient as we might have hoped, it does provide an enticing balance of performance and efficiency.