2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe wears plug-in hybrid off-road crown

The Jeep Wrangler is an uncompromising off-road machine that aims to drive around, over or through whatever lies ahead, regardless of terrain. The plug-in hybrid variant? Same deal.

With EPA ratings of 22 miles of electric range and 20 mpg combined on gas after you’ve run through one charge, the 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe makes it worth plugging in.

I’ve driven off-road with the 4xe’s powertrain Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe, but what’s it like living everyday in the real cobbled world in the Wrangler in winter? A snowy week in Minnesota with the plug-in off-roader proved that the 4xe’s efficiency technology doesn’t come at the expense of performance.

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe

Electric mode not available

The four-door plug-in Jeep pulled into my driveway with a fully charged 17.3-kilowatt-hour battery pack. The instrument cluster indicated an electric range of 24 miles and the powertrain was in e-Save mode, which preserves the battery’s charge for electric driving when the Jeep later comes exclusively with the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4 270 hp and 295 hp will run on lb-ft of torque alone.

It was a blizzard with white out conditions. Of course, I pulled the burly four-wheel drive selector to 4Hi (there’s also 4Lo with a 4.0:1 creep ratio) and hit the electric mode button to try driving the Jeep on electric power alone. An error popped up on the driver information screen that basically said, “I can’t do that, Dave.”

Even with the battery fully charged, the Jeep knew it couldn’t drive in the current conditions in all-electric mode without jeopardizing one of the vehicle’s systems.

The 25-degree white-out conditions required the air conditioning to work hard, with front defroster on, rear defroster on, climate controls set at 70 to keep the rest of the glass warm, and both the heated steering wheel – and seat warmers to keep me warm after standing outside taking photos. The battery pack just didn’t have enough power for all ancillaries plus drive given the situation, so the error presented to me.

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe

When the blizzard subsided we were down to about 7 inches of white fluffy stuff on the ground, and the plug-in Jeep really came into its own with its 33-inch BFGoodrich K02 All-Terrain tires. It seemed unstoppable.

With the vehicle’s systems not set to full blast, the 4xe had no trouble cruising around town on its own, even in all-wheel drive. I went through a full charge several times during my winter week with the Wrangler, just in my daily commute shuffling kids to activities and running errands. The box on wheels appeared to run an average of about 20 miles before the power died out and the gas engine fired, despite ambient temperatures that hovered in the single digits and teens at night and low to mid-20s during the day.

Over the course of 310 miles of mixed driving, the Wrangler’s plug-in powertrain used the petrol engine for 218 miles, with real-world mileage if the 4xe was driven anywhere south of 20mpg as a hybrid only.

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe

Electric with moderately light foot

When the accelerator is floored, as with the Grand Cherokee 4xe, the 134 hp and 198 lb-ft of torque electric motor wedged into the 8-speed automatic transmission is hastily joined by the petrol engine even when the 4xe is in pure electric mode. Total system output is 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque.

The week with the Wrangler Rubicon 4xe was our first experience with Jeep’s plug-in powertrain in cold weather. The transitions from electric to hybrid mode are noticeably rougher and more pronounced in the cold than in warmer temperatures previously experienced in the Wrangler 4xe. Running on electric power, delivery is smooth and easy to modulate, and in hybrid mode the systems mesh well, save for the occasional lumpy 1-2 or 2-3 upshift in the cold. But it’s the power delivery, when the petrol engine fires up from sleep, that always seems particularly gruff in the cool weather.

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe

protection of the connector

Most PHEVs place the charging port on the front lower fender next to the wheel arch or on either side of the rear quarter panels that mimic a fuel filler flap. The Wrangler goes its own way with a charging port at the base of the driver’s side A-pillar. The port is hidden and far from anything that could damage it off-road.

On 240 volt AC as supplied by the Jeep is planning solar-powered chargers To build new off-road tracks, a full charge takes 2 to 3 hours. On a 120 volt socket it takes about 12 to 13 hours. These estimates matched my real-world experience.

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe

Jeep has tucked the 17.3kWh battery pack under the rear seats, meaning the Wrangler’s packaging is essentially the same as a gas-powered model. For real change, we’ll have to wait for Jeep to put an electric Wrangler based on that into production Magneto concept (Hey Jeep, give us a call, we’d love to drive that thing).

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe

Good but not perfect

The weaknesses of the Wrangler’s trademark are here, despite the plug-in powertrain. Its steering is still vague and sloppy, its ride can be choppy on broken pavement, and it’s noisy. The final part is what happens when a vehicle is in the shape of a brick and both the roof and doors can fall off.

What started as $49,490 offer has become even more expensive in the last year. A 2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is now $56,530, including a ridiculous $1,795 destination fee that was $200 less just a few months ago. My Rubicon tester cost $69,385 but is now listed for $71,975. It’s expensive, but performance doesn’t come cheap.

For reference, a comparably equipped 4-door Rubicon was $63,535 on gas only, which is $8,440 less than a comparably equipped 4xe. That’s a lot of gas, even though the Wrangler 4xe currently qualifies for the $7,500 tax credit. The price difference is certainly no coincidence.

A larger battery delivers 50 miles of electric driving and a more powerful electric motor would cement the Jeep Wrangler 4xe’s place as the efficiency king of the doorless adventure world. But since there’s no plug-in Ford Bronco, the Wrangler is your plug-in hybrid off-road king for now.


Hey, I am Sakib Hossain Sojib, an entrepreneur known as an SEO Specialist, Digital Marketer, Blogger, and Content Creator. I have a team of researchers who guide and review products for our audience to help them by providing valuable information to help our audience makes the best decisions for their needs. I love to take care of my cars. So, I like and enjoy car maintenance and automotive research. The provided content is based on my learning, research, and understanding of the topic and its concept. Our extensive experience in the industry allows us to offer unique insights and perspectives on the latest trends and products. We aim to educate and empower our readers by providing them with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their needs.

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