Jeep Wrangler 4Xe worthy of full admiration

This bright (emphasis on bright) green exterior has bright blue highlights that may seem to clash, but the bright blue indicates the hybrid 4Xe nature of this Wrangler. Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
This bright (emphasis on bright) green exterior has bright blue highlights that may seem to clash, but the bright blue indicates the hybrid 4Xe nature of this Wrangler. Contributed

Plug-in hybrid has ruggedness affiliated with Jeep.

I wanted to get ducked. No this is not some weird autocorrect fail, (which happens a lot to me). My tester this week comes with a fun, frivolous tradition amongst the die-hard Jeep community. If you drive a Wrangler, other Jeepers will place a rubber duck somewhere on your Jeep. Yes it’s silly. No I don’t know the origin, but since I was driving the 2022 Jeep Wrangler 4Xe I wanted the duck.

But sadly I didn’t get ducked. I was wondering if the fact I was driving the 4Xe version, which made its debut in 2021, was a factor as to why I was left duckless. The plug-in hybrid is sort of an electric vehicle, with 21 miles of gas-free driving available, is a new thing for Jeep. But yet the Wrangler 4Xe looks the part and has all the ruggedness affiliated with Jeep, except you can plug it in for a little extra juice and a little less gas usage.

Surely this one factor wouldn’t keep the Wrangler 4Xe from the ducking fun? The look of my tester was as bold as you can get. Jeep is never one to shy away from bold colors and my tester was in the limited edition Gecko Clear Coat Exterior. This bright (emphasis on bright) green exterior has bright blue highlights that may seem to clash, but the bright blue indicates the hybrid 4Xe nature of this Wrangler. The lowercase e in 4Xe is a matching shade of blue all around the exterior and so are the tow hooks on the front and back. The Sunrider soft top is such a plus for the Wrangler, adding both to the looks, but also the practicality turning the Wrangler into a one-button open air vehicle.

The Sunrider would be the only way to go for me, if I were to ever own a Jeep. No need for clunky top removals or the two-person job of the soft top removal. Others may disagree, and maybe that’s why I didn’t get a duck.

The Wrangler is a versatile vehicle full of modifications and options. The powertrain options alone for the Wrangler showcase this. There are no less than five engine iterations with my tester being the aforementioned 4Xe which means it has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine plus two electric motor assists. All combined, the horsepower of the 4Xe is 375 with 470 pound-feet of torque. These are very impressive numbers for a Wrangler. My tester came with the eight-speed automatic and was fitted with four-wheel drive.

Don’t think that because it’s a plug-in hybrid that the Wrangler 4Xe can’t get wet and can’t go off the road. It can do 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 the gauntlet from base boned to luxurious. My tester was the Unlimited Rubicon and, as such, it had leather-trimmed bucket seats. The Rubicon emblem on the seats was color-coded to match the 4Xe blue from the outside. This was a sharp and distinctive touch.

An 8.4-inch color touchscreen showcases the outstanding infotainment system. Stellantis (Jeep’s mother company) has one of the best, most intuitive infotainment system in the industry and even in something as rugged as the Wrangler it’s on full display with smart phone integration and easy-to-use technology.

The Sky One-Touch Power Top is a major plus. It does come at a $4,145 premium but features removable rear quarter windows, rear window defroster, rear window washer and power top quarter window storage bag. You pay for the convenience this brings to get the Jeep open air flowing.

A full-size spare is mounted on the back gate.

My tester came with the Advanced Safety Group, which brought with it sensor-based features like advanced cruise control, automatic high-beam control (very underrated), and advanced brake assist.

For those who want the Jeep experience but want a few extra creature comforts, this is the way to option the Wrangler. And the quieter vibe of the 4Xe means this Wrangler is just a little quieter than other Wranglers, which often allow for road noise to permeate the interior. It’s just slightly quieter and slightly more refined (unless you’ve got the panels off and the top open). And let’s be honest, if you have a Wrangler, that’s the way you should be driving around with it anyway. Who cares about road noise with the open road and open air vibe of the Wrangler?

The EPA rates the Wrangler 4Xe as 49 MPGe, when the full charge of the plug-in is utilized. The overall fuel economy for the Wrangler 4Xe is a combined 20 mpg, but I averaged more than 24 mpg in a mixed week of driving and I didn’t plug it in except one time.

The starting price of the Wrangler 4Xe was a lofty $55,225. And that shows that the Wrangler can have a wide range of pricing and with the 4Xe that’s no exception.

Who’s to say why I didn’t get ducked. It was disappointing. I did experience the Jeep wave a couple of times and that helped make up for it. But without a doubt the 2022 Jeep Wrangler 4Xe is very much a Jeep and worthy of the ducking. Next time you see one out, give them their ducking respect.

Jimmy Dinsmore is a freelance automotive journalist. Email him at jimmydinsmore73@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @driversside

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4Xe

Price/As tested price................................................ $55,225/$69,645

Mileage.......................................... 20 mpg/city; 24 mpg/hwy

Engine............................................. 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder

Horsepower................................. 375 hp/470 lbs./ft.

Transmission................................. 8-speed automatic

Drive Wheels................ All-wheel drive

Final Assembly Point................ Toledo, OH

About the Author