Jeep Wrangler 4xe Review – Best Off-Road Vehicles 2022

It’s not most women’s idea of ​​a vacation, but my teammate Emily Winslow and I competed in a painstaking affair, ordering a 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe plug-in hybrid for 2022’s extremely demanding, 1,600-mile Rebelle Rally. This setup couldn’t have been more appropriate for measuring 4xes chops. First announced in 2003, the Wrangler Rubicon is the most capable off-roader the automaker has ever produced. What began as a dream of a core group of Jeep engineers and off-road enthusiasts who called themselves the “crazy edge,” became the 4×4 mainstay.

Fast forward to 2021 and Jeep released the Wrangler Rubicon 4xe PHEV. We took the latest iteration for this “test drive” in the rally. Ours was bone stock, with only a set of Maxtrax vehicle recovery boards mounted on its full-size spare tire carrier. Jeep’s electrified 4xe is no stranger to unforgiving conditions, and it was up to us to see how it would perform during the grueling eight-day event. In short, pretty good.


→ Instant electrified power, packing 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque
→ Off-road capable, with solid front and rear axles, 10.8 inches of ground clearance, front and rear electronic lockers, and a push-button swing-out disconnect
→ Twenty-two miles of all-electric range, offers passengers a unique and quiet off-road experience

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2023 jeep wrangler rubicon 4xe at the rebel rally

Mercedes Lilienthal


  • Basic price: $54,595 ($69,185 actual rally vehicles)
  • Drivetrain: Petrol/electric PHEV hybrid
  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder PHEV
  • Engine: 1 engine mounted engine, 1 transmission mounted engine
  • Horsepower: 375 hp
  • Torque: 470 lb-ft
  • Battery Size: 17.4 kWh
  • Scope: 49 mpge and 20 mpg (Jeep’s estimate)
  • Wheelbase: 118.4 inches.
  • Towing: 3,500 lbs
  • Payload: 1,280 pounds
  • Empty weight: starts at 5,100 (depending on trim level)
  • Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive

The Rebelle Rally is unique in the racing landscape, with only women allowed to compete – showcasing their respective driving and navigational talents. We, along with our 4xe, were one of 54 teams of two women dropped into the middle of nowhere with only a compass, roadbook, maps and street smarts to get around. Smartphones and GPS-enabled navigation equipment were removed, and center stack displays were covered with cardboard and security tape.

What you should know

The 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe PHEV has the same great off-road capability as its gasoline-powered siblings, but it offers a unique perspective – all-electric silence. While the traditionally powered Rubicon only offers combustion engines, the 4xe variant allows petrol-assisted hybrid and e-save modes, as well as an all-electric option.

Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as engine and transmission-mounted motors and a 17.4 kWh battery pack, the Rubicon 4xe allows for either fully automatic or manual options, giving the driver more control over the vehicle. Tip: 4x throttle is sensitive and takes smooth transitions for smooth, controlled driving.

The 4xe has instant power over Jeep’s standard gasoline or diesel offerings, jumping into action whenever we needed it. Its turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, along with its electric motors, creates an impressive 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, more than its gasoline- and diesel-equipped counterparts. It also matches the burly Jeep 392 V8 in torque but falls short in the power department.

The four-door Rubicon 4xe is rated at 49 mpg on gas and electric power, with its total gas rating weighing in at 20 mpg combined. However, these figures dropped when driving off-road, especially when shifting manually.

The 4x’s 17.2-gallon fuel tank is the smallest vessel in the Rubicon lineup (the others hold 21.5 gallons while the 3.0-liter diesel tops out at 18.3 gallons). But the 4xe makes up for it with an impressive total range of 370 miles – including 22 miles of all-electric fun. We were never worried about our overall range, something other rally drivers were worried about.

How the Jeep 4xe drives off-road

Piloting the Wrangler Rubicon 4xe was a tough experience. It’s not a luxury SUV that offers the many bells and whistles that other four-wheelers do. But that’s not the point. The 4xe combines exceptional off-road capability with just enough EV range to impress your friends with near-silent adventures.

During our 1,600-mile off-road test drive, we quickly realized key components that helped us in certain situations. Driving the 4xe in e-save mode with manual transmission used more fuel than driving it in fully automatic and hybrid mode. To save gas, we left it in auto and hybrid mode unless we needed a boost in electric power in the dunes, with e-save mode before we got there. We also used the 4x’s all-electric capability when navigating tricky terrain where low range was needed.

2023 jeep wrangler rubicon 4xe at the rebel rally

Mercedes Lilienthal

Our High Velocity-tinted tester was steadfast in its factory-supplied BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tires that managed to claw its way to base camp after each day of racing. The 4xe is driver-friendly, in that it allowed adequate visibility out of all areas, except for the rear window and factory-equipped back-up camera, which the reset boards covered up.

It was also easy to use, with driver controls easily within reach. Our confidence increased immediately after the first day of competition; our tester drove smaller than its size, its steering surprisingly light and evenly weighted. Fast desert blasts gave way to safe miles with a composed and smooth ride. Crawling on rocks and off-camber terrain gave us no problems either, as the 4x carried us confidently.

Note: Our 4xe had some fuses that were rattling, causing dash warning lights to appear. I quickly inspected the fuse box and pushed each fuse back into place. I then checked for fault codes with an OBD-II reader and cycled the 4x on and off several times. This reset the vehicle and resolved the issue with no future problems.

Tough but beautiful terrain

Although I come from the world of small two-door 4x4s, our four-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe tester didn’t feel clunky or heavy. It wound effortlessly through narrow sage-lined paths and rutted cliff-side ridges; its 10.8 inches of ground clearance made quick work of higher trail hazards. This included small boulders and tough vegetation growing up in the middle of nowhere with the recent rains.

Teams navigated through 1,600 miles of tough desert terrain, tenting camps along the way. Soft sand dunes, jagged rocks, mud and whipping dirt sloshed against our tires, trying to keep us from finding 158 hidden checkpoints scattered from the north end of Lake Tahoe before reaching the finish line near the Mexican border. This competition is not for the faint of heart.

We navigated through new areas, which included Monitor Valley and Belmont, Nevada, a ghost town along former State Route 82 in Nye County. We traversed through demanding, rough trails in the Monte Cristo Range and recent washouts near Fish Lake, Nevada. The 4xe PHEV never flinched at the deteriorating conditions.

Cactus Flats offered thick mud, challenging courses and natural beauty, with drenching rain. Low range and its all-electric mode were used to climb steep, Joshua tree-lined areas, the Jeep methodically making its way up and over loosely packed areas.

The Alabama Hills—a rounded boulder-strewn valley near the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Owens Valley, California—filled the windshield with rolling peach-colored boulders the size of houses. The picturesque home of western movies and car commercials, this area is accentuated by Mount Whitney and the snow-capped mountain range. Movie Flat Road offered packed dirt, although the tracks leading into remote campgrounds can be difficult, with high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicles recommended.

Furnishing equipment

The 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xes cockpit was comfortable and intuitive, without the center-mounted window controls. Even after a week of competition, we found ourselves reaching for the door to lower the glass. While there wasn’t a huge amount of storage up front (just the half-sized glove box), heavy-duty netting attached to each door held a surprisingly large number of essentials.

The driver’s seat adjustments allowed for a wide range of positions. Even though I have a short torso, I was able to crank the seat high enough to comfortably see over the hood. But after days of getting in and out of the Jeep in search of 158 checkpoints, the skin resting on the rough cloth upholstery of the seat became irritated. A t-shirt laid flat on top of the seat base easily fixed this. That’s not a problem for everyday drivers, though, unless you’re using your Jeep’s seat for quick practice sessions.

Although the 4xe rear seat doesn’t fold flat, we left it upright and found adequate cargo tie-down points to fully secure gear within its 67.4 cubic feet of interior cargo space.

The verdict

Our Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe ran like a top. It was one of seven electrified vehicles at the event, five finishing in the top 20 4×4 positions, including us and the other two Jeep 4xe teams, with Barlow and Petereit winning their second rally in one. Winslow found the 4xe less stressful than driving one crossover, never once worry about the vehicle’s ground clearance or its ability to climb over challenging terrain.

Winslow and I are now the first duo to successfully complete the rally circuit with three different powerplants: internal combustion engines, an all-electric powertrain and now a plug-in hybrid. We are also one of the few duos that have combined both 4×4 and crossover classes.

Other than the few fuses that rattled loose and the aftermarket rally computer problem, our 4xe tester was rock solid. It had no mechanical hiccups and easily handled all the challenges we threw at it. It is a safe 4×4.


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