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Introduction:

To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2022 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited High Altitude 4XE

Vehicle Type: SUV/Minivan Hybrid
58
 overall score
Category Ranking: 38

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $47,995
Price as Tested: $59,860

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Electricity/regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 17.2
120V Charge Time: 1.8 miles per hour
240V Charge Time: 9.2 miles per hour
EPA City mpg20
EPA Highway mpg20
EPA Combined mpg: 20
EPA Combined MPGe: 49
EPA-Est. Electric Range (mi): 22

Advanced Safety Features

  • Blind-Spot Warning [O]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

Classic Jeeps have always been designed to go anywhere, and the Wrangler 4xe is no exception - but with slightly less impact on the environment. The guts of the 4xe is a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor, a combo that provides strong acceleration, improved fuel efficiency, and up to 21 miles of all-electric driving. Rugged body-on-frame construction and 4-wheel drive are standard, as is a low-range gearbox for when off-road going gets rough. The High Altitude model we tested had 4 doors and a removable soft top with a slick, power-operated sunroof. Naturally, this setup makes for a noisy cabin. On the road, the Wrangler’s steering and handling felt sloppy and imprecise, and getting in and out was difficult. Our test vehicle had LED headlights but lacked any advanced safety features, which are either optional or unavailable on many Jeep models. The Jeep Wrangler 4xe is an intriguing choice for those who want both serious off-road capability and eco-bragging rights, but its lack of creature comforts and rough, noisy on-pavement demeanor means it’s definitely not for everyone.
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Responsive acceleration
  • Genuine off-road capability
  • Available powerretractablesoft top
  • Plug-in hybrid capabilitywith increased mpg

Weak Points

  • Excessive road, wind, andengine noise
  • Poor value because oflimited safety features
  • Long EV charging times
  • Difficult to get in andout of

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 5200.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 188.4 / 73.8 / 73.5
Wheelbase (in): 118.4
Number of air bags: 4
Warranty (months/miles): 36/36,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza
Front and rear tire size: 275/55 R20
Max towing capacity (lbs): 3500
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Hybrid drive
Drivetrain type: Four wheel
Engine/motor: 2.0L 4-Cyl. turbo
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 270 @ 5299
Electric motor horsepower: 134
Combined system horsepower: 375

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:

2.60

Fuel Efficiency:

4.95

EPA Emissions Score:

5.00

Acceleration:

6.19

Braking:

2.82

Handling:

5.81

Ride Quality:

6.46

Interior Size:

4.81

Easy of Entry and Exit:

6.17

Visibility:

7.08

Interior Noise:

4.31

Cargo Capacity:

2.45
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