How to turn on and use your Jeep Wrangler 4xes unique 4X4 drive system features

The Jeep Wrangler 4xe may well have the widest list of powertrain modes and powertrain modes of any vehicle in the world. Even for veteran vehicle testers, using them all requires a lot of preparation and training. We can help. In this story, we will tell you what the driving modes do and how you can enable them and then use them.

Before we go too far, click open this Tik Tok video we made pointing out how the parts work.

Image of Wrangler 4xe charging by John Goreham

Wrangler 4xe – What does the “e” stand for?
The Jeep Wrangler is no longer an all-brawn no-brain, bare-bones, old-school “four-by-four.” Rather, it is one of America’s most popular electrified vehicles. The small “e” in the name stands for electric. The technical term is plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or PHEV. Jeep uses an electric drive system to augment and support the powerful and efficient turbocharged gasoline engine. There are many advantages to this. Increased energy economy, lower energy costs, higher torque and regenerative braking are all things that PHEVs offer to all vehicles. For many Jeep owners, the 470 lb-ft of torque may be the most attractive. If you’re a Jeep lover, you probably already know that the 4xe has as much torque as the Hemi V8-equipped Wrangler 392.

Pictures of Wrangler 4xe by John Goreham

Max Regen
Electrified vehicles benefit greatly from regenerative braking. In a nutshell, the regen allows the electric motor to act as a generator when you slow down. That energy is then stored in your battery and is there when you want to use it to move forward. Magic. The cool looking blue button on the middle dash is the button you press to make the reg at its most powerful. Some people call it “one-pedal driving” because you can mostly ignore the brake and slow down by simply lifting off the power pedal. In the Wrangler 4xe, it’s not quite as dramatic, but you’ll love the feeling.

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A Primer on the Wrangler’s 4X4 System and How to Use It
Jeep has a real 4×4 system in its Wrangler 4xe. You can have the rear wheels do all the work (2H) when the road is dry, or let the Jeep use the front wheels to assist (4A), or switch to 4H which lets the front wheels be part of the fun all the time, or go totally crazy and use the transfer case to activate 4L, as in four flames. Each additional level of 4X4 ​​increases the Jeep Wrangler’s off-road and snow capabilities.

To activate the crawl control and back descent control functions, you need to know how to activate the 4L. So here are the steps and we have attached a video to help you as well:

Start in 4H. While moving, but with the engine unloaded (off the power pedal), pull the left shift lever down. You are now in four-wheel drive auto, 4A. Then move the lever to the right to engage 4H. We suggest you get stopped and in Neutral. So use the right stick to shift the car’s transmission to N. With us so far?. Now that you are in 4H, pull the left stick hard and down. Move the vehicle a bit and you will feel the 4L engage. Be aware that the Wrangler is a bit difficult to move in and out of the 4L when it’s super cold outside and the vehicle is also drenched in cold. Better to let the engine and drivetrain be warm when doing these moves. Now that you are in 4L you can drive around with maximum torque and at relatively low speeds. Your shifts will be a little abrupt. Don’t be put off by that. OK, now that you are in 4L you can use the hill control and creep control feature.

Pictures of Wrangler 4xe by John Goreham

Crawl Control and Hill Descent Control
Crawl control helps you in the most extreme conditions. The Jeep Wrangler 4xes version is called Selec-Speed ​​Control with Hill-ascent and Hill-descent Control. When enabled, . The system can do things you can’t. Like braking individual wheels many times per second. This is super handy in extreme conditions when traction is at its lowest possible point. Downhill is where the real magic happens.

Imagine an icy slope you want to descend. There is a point where you can’t do it safely. Beyond that point, the Wrangler 4xe can with Hill-descent Control. It will go down the hill under control better than any human can. Remember you are already in 4L. It’s not about letting the powertrain slow down a hill with engine braking. It’s all about traction at its extreme limits and the HDC system is amazing when you use it.

The system works uphill, downhill, downhill and at speeds up to 6 MPH. You control the speeds with the manual mode of the right lever. See the video link above.

Pictures of Wrangler 4xe by John Goreham

Hybrid – eSave – Electric modes
Your PHEV powertrain can operate in multiple modes and they are independent of your 4X4 choices. Yes, you can drive in full electric mode in the 4L. Here are the three different modes and what they do:
-Hybrid: The drivetrain’s standard mode allows for torque from the 2.0-liter engine and also the electric motor. In this mode, the drivetrain will use battery power first, then add propulsion from the 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 when the battery reaches its lowest state of charge. Note that you are never completely out of battery. It is always there for launches.
-Electric: The drivetrain operates with zero-emission electric power only until the battery reaches minimum charge or the driver requests maximum torque (like wide-open throttle), which engages the 2.0-liter engine. This mode works as advertised. The Wrangler 4xe is an electric car when driven in this mode.
-eSave: Imagine you’re heading to a fun off-road or backroads area from home and want to use your electric drive range when you get there, rather than when you’re cruising down the highway. Enable Save. This mode enables propulsion from the 2.0-liter engine, and it saves the battery charge for later use. Want to add more charge while driving? You can do this using the Hybrid Electric Pages in the Uconnect monitor menu.

The Wrangler 4xe can lock its rear differential with the push of a button when in 4L. It can also lock the front differential. This is no different than in any other conventionally powered Wrangler with this feature.

Torque News has been lucky enough to test the amazing Jeep Wrangler several times over a period of many weeks. This is unusual for media borrowers, but justified by the Wrangler 4xes interesting powertrain and powertrain. It takes some experimentation and practice to become familiar with all the different ways this vehicle’s engine and powertrain can be used. We will not claim to have discovered every aspect of how it can be used. It is up to you. We hope this comprehensive powertrain and powertrain overview is helpful if you’re shopping for a Wrangler 4xe.

Pictures of Wrangler 4xe by John Goreham. Wrangler 4xe graphics courtesy of Jeep.

John Goreham is a longtime member of the New England Motor Press Association and a recovering engineer. John’s interest in electric cars dates back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an electric car battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotechnology. In addition to Torque News, John’s work has appeared in print in dozens of U.S. news outlets and he provides reviews for many automotive shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, at Twitterand see his references on Linkedin

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