Test Drive 2022 Jeep Wrangler 4Xe: Does Not Avoid Competitors |



I wanted to be ducked. No, this is not a strange auto-correction error (which happens a lot to me). My tester this week comes with a fun, frivolous tradition among the die-hard Jeep community. If you drive a Wrangler, other Jeepers will place a rubber duck somewhere on your Jeep. Yes, that’s stupid. No I do not know the origin, but since I drove the 2022 Jeep Wrangler 4Xe I wanted the duck.



WeekendDrive_Logo_Oval_RGB.png

But unfortunately I was not fooled. I wondered if the fact that I was driving the 4Xe version, which made its debut in 2021, was a factor in why I was left breathless. The plug-in hybrid is a kind of electric vehicle, with 21 miles of gas-free driving available, is a new thing for Jeep. But still, the Wrangler 4Xe looks like a part and has all the robustness that is connected to the Jeep, except that you can connect it for a little extra juice and a little less gas use.

That one factor would not stop the Wrangler 4Xe from ducking pleasure, would it? The look of my tester was as bold as you can get. Jeep is never one that shuns bold colors and my tester was in the limited edition of the Gecko Clear Coat Exterior. This bright (with emphasis on light) green exterior has clear blue highlights that may seem to clash, but the clear blue indicates the hybrid 4Xe character of this Wrangler. The mean ei 4Xe is a matching blue shade around the entire exterior and so are the towbars on the front and back. The Sunrider soft top is such a plus for the Wrangler, and adds both to the look, but also to the practicality that makes the Wrangler an outdoor vehicle with a button.



JeepWrangler4XeFront.JPG

Sunrider would be the only way to go for me if I ever owned a Jeep. No need to remove clumsy tops or the two-man job of removing the soft top. Others may not agree, and maybe that’s why I did not get a duck.

The Wrangler is a versatile vehicle full of modifications and options. Only the Wrangler driveline options show this. There are no less than five engine iterations where my tester is the previously mentioned 4Xe, which means that it has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine plus two electric motor assists. All in all, the horsepower is for the 4Xe 375 with a torque of 470 pounds. These are very impressive numbers for a Wrangler. My tester came with the eight-speed automatic and was equipped with four-wheel drive.



JeepWrangler4XeBack.JPG

Do not think that because it is a plug-in hybrid that the Wrangler 4Xe can not get wet and can not go off the road. It can handle everything a regular Wrangler can, but does so with slightly better fuel economy and impressive power.

Inside, the Wrangler 4Xe was impressive. As expected, Wrangler interiors can run glove from base deboned too luxuriously. My tester was Unlimited Rubicon and as such it had leather trimmed buckets. The Rubicon emblem on the seats was color-coded to match 4Xe blue from the outside. This was a sharp and distinct touch.



JeepWrangler4XeInterior1.JPG

An 8.4-inch color touch screen displays the outstanding infotainment system. Stellantis (Jeep’s parent company) has one of the best, most intuitive infotainment systems in the industry and even in something as robust as the Wrangler, it’s on full screen with smartphone integration and easy-to-use technology.

Sky One-Touch Power Top is a big plus. It costs $ 4,145 in premium but has removable rear window panes, rear window defroster, rear window washer and storage bag for storage bag in the upper window. You pay for the convenience this brings to make the Jeep flow outdoors.

A full size spare is mounted on the back gate.



JeepWrangler4XeModes.JPG

My tester came with Advanced Safety Group which brought with it sensor-based functions such as advanced cruise control, automatic high beam control (much underestimated) and advanced braking assistance.

For those who want the Jeep experience but want a little extra comfort, this is the way to choose the Wrangler. And the quieter atmosphere of the 4Xe means that this Wrangler is only slightly quieter than other Wranglers, which often allow road noise to penetrate the interior. It’s just something quitter and something more refined (unless you’ve got the panels off and the top open). And let’s be honest, if you have a Wrangler, this is the way to go about it anyway. Who cares about road noise with the open road and the outdoor feel of the Wrangler?



JeepWrangler4XeMud.JPG

The EPA rates the Wrangler 4Xe as 49 MPGe when the plug-in is fully charged. The total fuel economy of the Wrangler 4Xe is a combined 20 mpg, but I had on average more than 24 mpg during a mixed week of driving and I did not engage it except once.

The starting price for the Wrangler 4Xe was high $ 55,225. And that shows that the Wrangler can have a wide range of prices and with the 4Xe it is no exception.

Who can say why I was not ducked. It was a disappointment. I experienced the Jeep wave a couple of times and it helped to compensate for that. But without a doubt, the 2022 Jeep Wrangler 4Xe is very much a Jeep and worth ducking. Next time you see one out there, give them their ducking respect.

Jimmy Dinsmore is the Automotive Editor for The Weekend Drive and a freelance car journalist and author of two books, Mustang by Design and Ford Trucks: The History of the Ford F-Series.

.

Leave a Comment