The Wrangler is available in both two- and 4-door models. Two-door versions come in Sport, Sport S and Rubicon spec, while the 4-doors add Sahara and Altitude trim levels between Sport S and Rubicon.
The base model Wrangler comes standard with the popular FCA Pentastar V6 engine making 285 horsepower and 260 lb-feet of torque mated to either a manual 6-speed transmission or 8-speed automatic. A 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine was introduced for all trim levels in 2018 producing 270 horsepower and a whopping 295 ft lbs of torque. The 2.0L is only available in conjunction with the 8-speed automatic. A 3.0L diesel option becomes available in late 2021 for Sport, Sahara, and Rubicon trims.
Jeep's Command Trac Four-wheel drive system is standard across the lineup. Electronic trailer-sway control is standard, and the optional towing package brings a Class II hitch receiver, a 240-amp alternator, a 700-amp battery and auxiliary switches. Maximum tow rating is 2000 pounds for the 2-door and 3500 for the 4-door.
The Wrangler Sport trim includes a 5-inch touch screen, Uconnect with Bluetooth integration, 8-speaker sound system, three USB ports, two 12v power sockets and cruise control. Rubicon models are the most off-road ready, with tubular rock rails, skid plates, hill-start assist and an even more advanced 4-wheel-drive system. Option packages include different hardtop configurations, an 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system and blind-spot sensors.
The Sport S adds power windows, air conditioning and keyless entry and the 4-door's Sahara model adds upgraded trim and allows buyers to select the more advanced Selec-Trac full-time transfer case.
The Jeep Rubicon comes standard with power front windows, selectable tire fill alert, dual-zone climate control, remote keyless entry, leather steering wheel, premium cloth, power heated mirrors, garage door transmitter and fully automatic lights with daytime running lights. The Rubicon infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 7-inch touchscreen, SiriusXM satellite radio, seven USB ports and an AC power outlet.
Safety features include Electronic Roll Mitigation, Electronic Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, Advanced multi-stage airbags and Sentry Key theft deterrent System.
Clawing through the narrow channel, a vehicle-sized trench gouged into the top of a hill, I'm reminded just how capable the Jeep Wrangler is. Like a layer cake of gravel and sand, the surrounding soil's strata are clearly visible, towering above the roof of my high-riding steed and coming within inches of the outside mirrors. Stick a hand out the window and you can practically touch the walls, this pathway is so claustrophobic. But the 2021 Wrangler 4xe (it's pronounced "four-by-E") plug-in hybrid handles this challenge with ease, as other Trail Rated Jeeps certainly could. Unlike its siblings, however, this one can tackle Mother Nature's toughest terrain without making a peep.
This symphony of silence is enabled by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. Theprovides an estimated 21 miles of electric-only range, courtesy of a 17-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery mounted in a weathertight location underneath the backseat. Take it easy, and that pack provides hours of stealthy off-road fun. Of course, if you venture too far down the trail and deplete the 4xe's electron reserves, you still have an internal combustion engine to get you home. In this case, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that's smooth running, free revving and paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Altogether, this drivetrain dream-team provides 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.
The 4xe's powertrain features two electric dynamos, one engine-mounted, liquid-cooled motor-generator that replaces both an alternator and conventional starter, plus another mounted at the front of the transmission, which takes the place of a torque converter and drives through two clutches (a binary clutch connects the engine and motor, a variable clutch manages the engagement of the motor and transmission). All this sounds pretty complicated and it is, but as a driver all you really need to know is that the 4xe's drivetrain works well. Aside from the occasional and barely noticeable judder as it blends electric motivation with internal combustion, the setup is totally transparent, delivering excellent performance, impeccable refinement and stellar fuel economy. This Wrangler stickers at 20 mpg combined when running as a hybrid and 49 mpge when operated solely on electricity. In mixed use (including off-roading) taking full advantage of the all-electric range, I'm averaging 24 mpg, a surprising figure for such a boxy, bulky vehicle.
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