Battle of The Fuel Frugalists: 2021 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel vs 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe | Jeep Canada

BATTLE OF THE FUEL FRUGALISTS: 2021 JEEP WRANGLER ECODIESEL VS 2021 JEEP WRANGLER 4xe

2021-03-24
While one might say they never thought they’d see the day where you could get a plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler right off the sales floor, that day is coming soon with the Wrangler 4xe.
That being said, you might say that the idea of a diesel-powered factory Jeep is almost just as outlandish, considering we haven’t seen many.
Maybe, but today, a quick search on YouTube will reveal that folks have been busily swapping various diesel engines into their CJ-7 since the early ‘80s and so it goes that Jeep took notice and released a Wrangler EcoDiesel for 2020. The goal? To maintain the Wrangler’s legendary off-road capability, but also adding the benefit of a torque-rich, fuel-saving diesel to the equation.
Of course, with the plug-in hybrid 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe version arriving in 2021, surely if you’re looking to save fuel, that’s the way to go, right?
Two 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon parked on a rocky slope overseeing a lake and mountains

2021 Wrangler 4xe vs 2021 Wrangler EcoDiesel

While the 4xe will be able to drive in all-EV mode for long enough to cover many commutes, the addition of an EV motor also makes for increased abilities off road. With the more direct transfer of power from throttle tip-in to the wheels that’s allowed by an EV motor, rock-climbing and the like will be just as possible with the 4xe as it is with the current full-ICE line-up. All 4xe models will also come with the Dana 44 axles front and rear and enough ground clearance (and battery protection) to ford through 76 cm (30 inches) of water.
A close up of the blue 4xe decal displayed on 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
So in fact, it’s not just about saving fuel and indeed, if time spent in your Jeep involves a lot of highway driving, the EcoDiesel may still be the better way to go if you have fuel savings on the mind as that’s the kind of environment in which diesel engines tend to excel. Further, if you’re planning on going on long overlanding trips where range is paramount, then the fact that you can travel just over 965 km on a full tank in the EcoDiesel is a huge bonus. Not to mention that it’s a lot easier to haul around extra gas than it is to haul around a generator to charge your 4xe and while the 4xe does have the benefit of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder as a backup, you’ll never get the performance form that that you would from a Wrangler EcoDiesel.
Power-wise, the 4xe is good for a combined 375 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, while the EcoDiesel makes 260 hp and 442 lb.-ft. of torque – while that seems a clear win for the 4xe, those are combined figures meaning if the batteries for the EV system are drained, performance will drop as the 2.0L makes just 270 hp and 295 lb.-ft. on its own.
Close-up of the EcoDiesel badge visible on the 2021 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel
At the end of the day, there’s room in the market for both of these. If you’re planning on taking long overlanding holidays, or even if you spend time in places where the 4xe can’t easily be charged, then the EcoDiesel is probably the better choice.
However; if you like to be driving the latest and greatest, and if you’re only going to be doing shorter trips, then the 4xe is absolutely worth a look. Learn more about both available powertrains, unique in their own way but equally impressive.

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