Is a Jeep Hybrid Worth It?

Jeep currently only makes one plug-in hybrid, the Wrangler 4xe. A plug-in hybrid Grand Cherokee will launch later in 2022.
Written by Julian de Sevilla
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Jeep
doesn’t currently offer any traditional hybrid vehicles, but they do offer a plug-in hybrid version of the Wrangler. A plug-in hybrid Grand Cherokee will be available later in 2022.
The
Jeep Wrangler
and
Grand Cherokee
SUVs are instantly recognizable by their rugged styling and design. The brand conjures images of off-roading in the mountains or piling friends in the car for a trip to the beach with the doors off and the top down. Jeeps are not, on the other hand, known for fuel efficiency. 
Though hybrid cars have existed for over 20 years, Jeep is fairly new to the game with just one plug-in hybrid vehicle available and one more on the way. Here's everything you need to know about Jeep hybrids.

2022 Jeep hybrid models guide

As it stands, Jeep’s hybrid offerings are slim. Understandably, they’re easing into the market with a plug-in hybrid version of the Wrangler, their most iconic SUV. A plug-in hybrid Grand Cherokee, a sleeker, but no less powerful SUV, is set to release this spring
according to their website
.
Here’s a breakdown of pricing and fuel economy estimates for both models:
Model
Vehicle type
Starting price
Fuel economy (base trim)
Jeep Wrangler 4xe
SUV
$53,795
49MPGe/370 miles with a full tank and charged battery
Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
SUV
$58,095
56MPGe/470 miles with a full tank and charged battery
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A note on MPGe: At any given time, a plug-in hybrid is running on a gas engine, electric power, or a combination of both, which makes estimating mileage more complicated. The Environmental Protection Agency started using MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) in 2010 as an easy way to compare energy consumption between electric and gas-powered vehicles. That’s why you often won’t see a distinction between city and highway mileage in reference to electric vehicles.

Hybrid vs plug-in hybrid: what’s the difference?

There are significant differences between hybrids and plug-in hybrids, known as PHEVs. We know the names and terms can get confusing, so we’ve broken them down here. 
Hybrids are powered by gas engines and electric batteries working together. Often, the electric battery powers the car at lower speeds, then the gas engine takes over once the car gets going. You don’t have to worry about charging a hybrid’s electric battery. The battery is charged by the energy created from braking or decelerating in a process called regenerative braking. 
Plug-in hybridsthe only kind Jeep currently offers—use a gas engine and a more powerful electric battery that must be plugged into an external power source to charge. PHEVs can run solely on electric power for short distances when their battery is charged, creating no emissions. This means if you mainly drive short distances around town (hardly what Jeeps are made for) and charge your battery regularly, you could avoid using gas for weeks at a time. 
Both Jeep 4xe PHEVs have three different driving modes:
  • Electric mode uses mainly the battery, creating “nearly zero emissions” according to their website. The Wrangler 4xe can go about 21 miles using strictly electric power, while the forthcoming Grand Cherokee 4xe can go about 25.  
  • ESave mode saves the battery by prioritizing the engine. 
  • The default Hybrid mode combines the two, allowing for maximum acceleration and horsepower. 

The best Jeep hybrids

As of right now, there’s only one Jeep hybrid available: the plug-in hybrid Wrangler 4xe. If you want the most fuel-efficient Jeep you can get your hands on, this is it until the 4xe Grand Cherokee is available later in 2022. 
The Wrangler 4xe launched in 2021, so there aren’t a ton of used ones out there. They do exist if you prefer to go that route, but they won’t be significantly cheaper than new ones, since they’re pretty new themselves. 
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Are Jeep Hybrids worth it?

The fact is, people generally don’t consider Jeeps when they’re looking for a fuel-efficient car. 
If you’re looking for a hybrid Wrangler, there’s a chance you’re more concerned with the “Wrangler” aspect than the “hybrid” aspect. In this instance, it’s important to consider that the gas-powered Wrangler’s starting price is over $20,000 less than that of the hybrid.
However, now that the brand has dipped its toe into the world of PHEVs, they’re a viable option for someone who always wanted a Jeep, but couldn’t stomach the fuel consumption. Like it or not, buying a Jeep means buying into the Jeep brand and all that comes with it—there’s hardly a more recognizable vehicle silhouette on the road than that of the Wrangler. 
Are they worth it? Here’s how Jeep hybrids stack up in a few key categories:

Performance

The Wrangler 4xe’s performance offering is a contradiction: power and peak efficiency. It achieves this with some success. Its off-road and towing capabilities are excellent, as we’ve come to expect from Jeeps. 
The plug-in hybrid is just about as fast as its gas-powered cousin, but that isn’t necessarily relevant in daily traffic. Reviews note a sometimes jarring transition between electric and gas power. Driving in electric mode is fine, but you shouldn’t expect the punchy torque and acceleration of smaller EVs from the Wrangler 4xe, which weighs over 5,000 pounds.
Once the battery is depleted, however, the Wrangler PHEV’s gas mileage is similar to or worse than that of a gas-powered Wrangler because of the 800 pounds the hybrid battery adds.  

Reliability

There hasn’t been much time to assess the reliability of Jeep’s plug-in hybrids, since the first model arrived just last year. This is important to consider—the cars are new, so you might be among the first to discover an unfortunate or expensive defect somewhere down the line. 
For what it’s worth, the gas-powered Wrangler has an average RepairPal reliability score of 3.5/5. 

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FAQs

Tax credits of up to $7,500
are available for those who buy new hybrid or electric vehicles.
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe is just about the best plug-in hybrid vehicle for off-roading. It’s much like a gas-powered Wrangler in this sense, with large tires, impressive ground clearance, four-wheel drive, and many customization options.
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