2021 Wrangler 4xe vs Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Battle of the Wranglers: 4xe vs Unlimited
The Wrangler 4xe is the company's first foray into the hybrid market for this most iconic of Jeep models. The new release is based largely on the existing Jeep Wrangler Unlimited trim, but with some key differences. Here's how the two Wranglers compare.
The new hybrid powertrain is the most impressive addition to the 4xe specifications. Pairing a 2.0L turbo gas engine with dual electric motors, the hybrid Jeep puts out an extremely healthy 375 horsepower backed by 470lb-ft of torque. The output is passed to all-wheel drive via an eight-speed automatic transmission, with the hybrid tech giving the 4xe an electric-only range of around 40km.
In contrast, the Unlimited is equipped with a 3.6L V6 gas mill making 285 horsepower and 260lb-ft. While this is still an impressively powerful output for an off-roader of this size and weight, it doesn't come near the 4xe's figures. However, driving purists will greatly appreciate the six-speed manual transmission that comes as standard, although an eight-speed automatic option is also available.
As you'd expect, the hybrid 4xe has a strong advantage when it comes to fuel economy, boasting an equivalent city figure of just 4.7L / 100km. The Unlimited's figure of 13.8L / 100km reflects the fuel-hungry V6 lurking under the hood, although the highway rating of 10.2L / 100km is much more impressive.
Both vehicles feature the same towing capacity of 1,588kg, which is perhaps surprising given the 4xe's greater output. Nonetheless, it's a healthy figure that's more than enough to haul all your camping gear into the wilderness or even dirt bikes out onto the trail.
Both vehicles are based around the four-door version of the Wrangler, and share most of the same dimensions. However, the 4xe is noticeably wider than the Unlimited, with front and rear widths of 163.5cm compared to the Unlimited's 159.8cm. What's more, the 4xe ground clearance stands at 25.7cm compared to the Unlimited's 24.6cm.
These two differences add up to give the 4xe a slight edge under tough off-road conditions.
Jeep Wrangler 4xe vs Unlimited: The Verdict
Both of these Wrangler models make excellent choices, blending plenty of power and off-road capability with genuine comfort. However, combine the extra output of the 4xe with its vastly better fuel economy, and most drivers will find the hybrid model a more attractive option, even considering the premium you'll pay upfront for the advanced hybrid powertrain.