2024 Jeep Wrangler 4xe – Future-proofed


There is only one brand that comes to mind when it comes to off-roading. Whether you like it or not, Jeep has been the go-to choice for off-road enthusiasts since World War II. With the arrival of the biggest rival, Ford Bronco, things will never be the same for the brand. The biggest problem with modern Jeeps is that it is just not a well-rounded SUV for the masses and the latest update addresses that issue. It is a much more modern SUV that can still do “Jeep” things, but now with more safety and tech features.

The Looks – Exterior & Interior

The Wrangler has always had the most iconic and timeless front fascias in the world, and it is still the case with minimal updates. Of course, it has come a long way from its military roots and offers modern features aside from more modern looks, such as LED signals, headlights and customizable options to make it more unique. The 2024 Wrangler comes with a new seven-slot front grille and a windshield-integrated stealth antenna, it not only gives the Wrangler a cleaner look but also helps when you are on narrow off-road trails, so you don’t have to worry about breaking it.

Even though the Wrangler has the most recognizable looks, it is not easy to see the differences between the trims, unless you are a Jeep enthusiast. The Willys trim offers more off-road capable Wrangler, including higher ground clearance and more road presence. It comes with off-road-oriented features, therefore it will not have luxury features like painted fenders or a roof. Of course, you can remove all doors, roof and even drop the windshield to have military vehicle experience, that’s what makes the Wrangler special.

Just like the front end, the Wrangler still carries the boxy profile, but it is still a mild update so the differences are minimal. Even though our tester the plug-in-hybrid version, there aren’t many indicators except the charging port, blue tow hooks, “Trail-rated” logos with a blue background, and 4xe logo at the back. Our tester had the hard top, which is the right choice if you are driving on the highway as it offers lower noise, vibration and harshness levels.

Unlike the exterior, there are more significant updates inside. The biggest difference is the updated 12.3-inch infotainment display that’s standard across the board, which replaces the older, smaller and uglier 5.0 and 7.0-inch screens from last year’s Wranglers. The dashboard is also updated, even though it looks similar, it comes with a better diversity of materials and a little more upscale feeling in general.

The good things we liked in the outgoing model year are still here, mainly the physical buttons and controls. Even though the new infotainment system comes with the latest Stellantis software system and offers tons of features and info, all essential features have dedicated physical controls throughout the dashboard. The Jeep still doesn’t come with a fully digital gauge cluster though, even though the optional bigger digital screen located in between two analog gauges looks very nice, you cannot opt for the fully digital cluster.

In typical Jeep fashion, getting in and out is very easy, and you have a decent amount of interior space. It is significantly smaller than its biggest rival, but the biggest difference is the overall width, therefore you feel a lot closer to the passenger. New to 2024, all Wranglers come with side curtain airbags. It feels like Jeep had to catch up with Ford, as Bronco comes with side curtain airbags standard. Either way, it’s great to see the 2024 Wrangler is much safer than the outgoing model.

Even though our tester only had the manual seats for everyone, the 2024 Wrangler can be optioned with power-adjusted front seats for the first time in the model’s decades-long history. The Willys trim comes with cloth seats, which is the right choice for colder climates. The seats are relatively comfortable, the driving position is upright and it comes with excellent visibility, thanks to its boxy profile. The front seat occupants are very close to the windshield which offers a commanding driving experience that helps a lot when you are off-roading.

The 4-door Wranglers have been available in a 5-seater configuration, whereas if you want the 2-door Wrangler, you can only get it with a 4-seater configuration, meaning that there is no middle row in the rear seat. The rear seats offer a decent amount of interior space. The rear seat passengers get nice creature comforts like air vents and USB chargers, something I wasn’t expecting to see in a hardcore off-roader.

All Wranglers still come with a 2-piece swinging trunk door and a spare tire attached to it. It allows you to have more flexibility especially if you have both soft-top and hardtop roofs, but the swinging door can be a little pain especially if you are driving it in the city, opening the trunk door can be a little challenging in tight spots. The Wrangler Unlimited comes with 12.9 cubic feet (369 litres) of cargo space behind the rear seats, which can be increased to 31.7 cubic feet (897 litres) when you fold the rear seats down.

The Drive

There are several different combinations when it comes to the drivetrain. The 3.6 litre V6 engine still comes standard, but you can also choose the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine. For maximum performance, Jeep offers the 6.4 litre V8 HEMI engine option only available with the Rubicon 392 trim. The plug-in hybrid 4xe version only comes with the smaller 2.0-litre engine, which offers a combined output of 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque.

You can still opt for the manual transmission, but only available with gas-only versions and with the 3.6 litre V6 engine. Our tester had the 8-speed torque converted automatic transmission and two-speed transfer case. Even though it can run on fully electric, that doesn’t mean it is worse when it comes to off-roading. The electric motor is located in the transmission which can send power to all four wheels, even when the internal combustion engine is completely off.

This year, Willys trim gets a huge bump in terms of off-road capabilities, with better suspension components, tires, and standard rear locking differential. You have to switch to low gearing mode to use the locking differential, but it is still a great asset for off-roaders. It also comes with 10.1-inch ground clearance, 42.2 degrees angle of approach, and 35.2 degrees angle of departure, and the Wrangler 4xe can tow up to 3500 lbs.

The plug-in hybrid is new for this segment, but it is not new for Jeep. The same drivetrain is also available in a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It sounds a little bit controversial to have an electric platform in an off-road vehicle, but the electric motor offers a lot of torque that helps you go over rough terrain. The 14.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located underneath the car, and it can be charged in less than 3 hours with a level 2 charger. Unlike the Pacifica Hybrid, the Wrangler allows you to choose Hybrid, E-Save or EV mode manually. The EV range is around 20 miles (32 kilometres) in winter, which is still good for running errands.

One of the biggest advantages of the electric platform is the lower noise, vibration and harshness levels. Jeep Wrangler is not meant to be a luxury car, but running on electric makes the Wrangler feel more upscale behind the steering wheel. As expected, there is excessive road noise at higher speeds, mainly due to the 33-inch all-terrain tires.

The Wrangler Willys is not the choice for long trips or highways, but it is manageable especially if you option it with the right features. The ride quality and steering rack have been improved, but keeping the Wrangler in line is still a challenge on the highway, and it still feels like a commercial truck due to the solid axle in the front. For extreme off-roading, having a solid axle in the front is a great asset, as it is less fragile and offers more articulation compared to independent suspension.

The Verdict

The Jeep Wrangler still offers the golden formula you expect to find in an off-road-oriented vehicle. 2024 updates add more tech, and more safety features on top of that. The 4xe version isn’t really meant for fuel efficiency, but a unique drivetrain option that can be appealing for people short-tripping on a regular basis.

The Wrangler is not meant to be a great daily driver, and plug-in hybrid drivetrain may not be the right choice for the majority of off-roaders. However, it offers a memorable experience that makes the Wrangler special. Of course, it is not as good when it comes to highway driving, or not as comfortable for long trips, but the Jeep Wrangler still gives you that military vehicle vibe that you would not find in a Ford Bronco.

Engine2.0 liter turbocharged inline-4 & electric motor
Transmission & Drivetrain8-speed automatic & four-wheel-drive
Max power (combined)375 hp
Max torque (combined)470 lb-ft
0-100 km/h6.9 sec
Curb Weight5473 lbs – 2482 kg
Fuel Economy (observed)20 MPG – 11.5 L/100 km
Price (starting)$59,978 CAD

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