New Model News

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is a plug-in hybrid that enhances the JL's off-road prowess​

The Jeep Wrangler is getting an available plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

We all know how capable the Jeep Wrangler is. We know what mountains it can climb and what rivers it can ford. We also know that the fuel efficiency is terrible. Since the JL has debuted, Jeep added a slightly more efficient available EcoDiesel powertrain. Now there's an even more fuel-efficient choice.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is a plug-in hybrid that is capable of driving up to 25 miles on electricity alone. It's a next-generation system from Jeep and provides the added benefit of improving off-road performance.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xePhoto courtesy of FCA US LLC

The gasoline engine attached to the Wrangler 4xe is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder. It has two electric motors providing torque on-demand, and power is sent to all four-wheels via Jeep's tried-and-true eight-speed automatic. Jeep is estimating 50 MPGe.

Total system power output is 375 horsepower - significantly more than the 260 to 285 horsepower the JL has in its other power plant options. Combined system torque, however, is where it gets really fun. It's a beefy 470 pound-feet. That means it makes more than the EcoDiesel's 442 pound-feet, which should make ambitious rock crawling even more fun.

There's a 400-volt, 17-kilowatt hour, 96-cell lithium-ion nickel manganese cobalt battery pack on board for hybrid duty. On a Level 2 charger, expect a full charge in around two hours from empty. While those figures make the Wrangler 4xe's setup sound a lot like what's in the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, this is a newer system. It's also larger and more powerful than the hybrid system in the Jeep Compass and Renegade 4xe.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

There are separate controls to regulate the hybrid system. Standard operating procedure is in hybrid drive mode. There's an EV-only mode, which makes the Wrangler run on electricity on demand. An eSave mode will hold the electricity in the battery for use later and use the gas engine to fill it up. In Europe and Asia, some cities charge extra or prevent gasoline vehicles from entering their city center. Being able to hold the electricity until the driver needs it is crucial in those regions.

The battery pack sits under the rear seats. By default, this means that the 4xe only comes in the 4-door Unlimited body style.

In top-spec Rubicon trim, the Wrangler 4xe maintains all the capability of the non-hybrid Rubicon. That includes a water fording capability of 30-inches. All electric operating modes remain available when the Wrangler is in 4Lo.

The two other trims available for 4XE are the base model and the Sahara. All models get Dana 44 axles and have a two-speed transfer case. All Wranglers have Selec-Speed Control with both ascending and descending hill controls. That means the driver can select the speed they want to Jeep to go, and it controls the throttle and the brake to maintain that speed while clearing an obstacle.

Jeep's selectable Max Regen feature allows for more assertive regenerative braking while a driver is coasting. This is similar to one-pedal driving and it can slow the Wrangler 4xe faster than standard regenerative braking and generate more electricity for the battery pack.

Visually you'll be able to tell a 4xe model from the rest of the lineup because the Wrangler 4xe has blue accents on the badges and hood. The tow hooks on the Rubicon are also blue instead of red. Inside, the Wrangler 4xe Rubicon includes unique Electric Blue stitching on the seats and trim.

Beyond the electrification, the Wrangler is still a Jeep. They went to great efforts to ensure that selecting this powertrain option doesn't hinder the performance of the Wrangler off road, but actually improve it.

Pricing is unknown at this point, but getting the JL as a PHEV likely won't be the cheap option. Expect the Wrangler 4xe to be in showrooms in early 2021.

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Updated EV

2023 Nissan Leaf pricing announced

The Leaf got a mild facelift for 2023.

Nissan

Nissan is nearing the release of the Ariya, its first new EV in several years. Even so, the brand hasn't forgotten about its first mass-market EV, the Leaf. It was an early entrant in the space, and has been an efficient, affordable, commuter car for over a decade. The car got a mild facelift for 2023, with updated wheels and exterior styling accents. Today, Nissan announced pricing for the Leaf, which starts at just under $29,000.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf feels lively, despite middling power numbers.Nissan

The base Leaf comes with a 40-kWh battery capable of delivering a 149-mile range. Its 110-kW electric motor produces 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The Leaf SV Plus features a 60-kWh battery for a range of 212 miles. It comes with a 160-kW motor that makes 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Nissan backs all Leaf models with an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty.

ProPilot Assist comes standard for the Leaf SV Plus, and brings a full suite of advanced driver aids that include adaptive cruise control, driver alertness features, and a surround-view monitor. All Leaf models get Nissan Safety Shield 360, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic high beams, and rear automatic braking.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf SV Plus offers up to 212 miles of range.Nissan

The new Leaf starts at $28,895, which includes a $1,095 destination charge. The Leaf SV Plus starts at $36,895. The 2023 Nissan Leaf is on sale now, and may be eligible for federal tax credits of up to $7,500. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to receive a state tax credit or other incentives.

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The 2023 Crosstrek starts at $23,645.

Subaru

Subaru is one of the best at listening to its customers' needs, and the Crosstrek is a great example of that mindset. It's a useful vehicle with plenty of interior space and enough ground clearance to take its passengers well of the beaten path. Today, Subaru announced pricing for the 2023 Crosstrek and Crosstrek Hybrid. The duo will go on sale this summer.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek's cabin is adventure-ready and packed with great tech. Subaru

The standard Crosstrek starts at $23,645 before destination and the Crosstrek Hybrid starts at $36,845. Five trims are available for the standard model, including Base, Premium, a new Special Edition, Sport, and Limited. The Hybrid comes in a single trim level. All Crosstrek variants get all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring and 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

The Base, Premium, and Special Edition trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower. The Sport and Limited trims get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 182 horsepower. Most models come with a continuously variable transmission, but the Base and Premium trims come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. The Crosstrek Hybrid comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with two electric motors. The plug-in system can deliver 17 miles of electric range.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek delivers 8.7 inches of ground clearance.Subaru

True to Subaru form, the Crosstrek comes with a full suite of advanced driver aids, including automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure alerts, adaptive cruise, and more. These features are only available for CVT-equipped models. The Limited trim and the Crosstrek Hybrid add automatic high beams, reverse automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

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