2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon eTorque review: More torque, more efficiency, almost no compromises

    We’ve taken a have a look at just about each variant of the brand new JL-series Jeep Wrangler. We’ve dug into the chassis’ capabilities and examined the off-road prowess and cabin/security tech. We’ve even tackled the Rubicon Trail in a Wrangler Rubicon. Now, it is time to check out essentially the most fascinating new growth — effectively, moreover the addition of a diesel, anyway. This Wrangler has Jeep’s new 48-volt, mild-hybrid eTorque engine. Yes, an electrified Jeep. Does electrification damage or assist the legendary Wrangler? It all is dependent upon what you are on the lookout for in a Jeep.Extra motorThe eTorque {hardware} is much like the setup that is beneath the hood of the Ram 1500 eTorque, however mated to a smaller four-cylinder engine as an alternative of a V6. We’re speaking a belt-driven, water-cooled, AC-induction motor that provides 130 pound-feet of torque help beneath acceleration. 

    The electrical motor additionally replaces the Wrangler’s 12-volt alternator, performing as a generator throughout gentle cruising and charging the eTorque system’s 0.43-kilowatt-hour battery. The lithium-ion pack is fan-cooled, pulling air from the cabin and exhausting exterior. Sound insulation retains many of the fan noise from the cabin, however I might sort of hear the hum if I actually listened.

    The eTorque system makes use of a standard 12-volt lead-acid battery for the accent and infotainment programs, however it’s charged from the 48-volt system by way of a DC-to-DC converter, since there is not any conventional alternator. Interestingly, there’s a nonetheless a standard, 12-volt starter, which the Wrangler makes use of for chilly begins. However, the eTorque motor handles all subsequent anti-idling begins and stops as soon as the gasoline engine is warmed up.

    Extra torqueThe combustion engine in query is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged I4 mated to the Wrangler’s acquainted four-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed computerized transmission. Along with the electrical elements, the Wrangler eTorque makes a mixed 270 horsepower, which is only a bit lower than the 3.6-liter V6’s 285 ponies. However, with its peak 295 mixed pound-feet of torque, it bests the V6 by 35 lb-ft.The turbo engine and electrical motor work effectively collectively, for responsive and easy around-town efficiency. The eTorque system boosts properly throughout off-the-line acceleration and the turbo engine delivers strong torque from the engine’s midrange and past. The transition is easy — you virtually cannot inform there’s electro-trickery taking place behind the scenes — and the shifts are even smoother with the e-motor filling within the torque gaps between gear adjustments.The eTorque system provides a 48-volt electrical motor to a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine for a complete of 295 pound-feet of torque.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    For my cash, I feel I’d take the eTorque’s easy around-town efficiency and torque benefit — which ought to come in useful for a low-speed crawler such because the Wrangler — over the technically extra highly effective V6. However, I can see how conventional Wrangler homeowners on the lookout for essentially the most rugged powertrain potential may very well be postpone by the extra complexity of the mild-hybrid system. Long-term reliability, after all, continues to be an unknown.It additionally stays to be seen how the two.0-liter turbo eTorque responds to modifications, one thing that I do know Jeep guys and gals like to do. For lovers, rock crawlers and overlanders, maybe the 442-pound-foot, 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 could be the higher, extra strong possibility.Extra effectivityFor now, the first good thing about going eTorque is the stability of fantastic out-of-the-box torque supply with none actual hit to gasoline effectivity. In reality, the electrified Wrangler will get a little bit of an economic system increase.

    Regenerative braking captures vitality whereas stopping, and mixed with a easy stop-start system and robust low-speed electrical help, the Wrangler is far more frugal round city. My four-door Wrangler eTorque Unlimited claims as much as 22 mixed miles per gallon, which breaks out to 22 metropolis and 24 freeway mpg. I’ll prevent a Google search — that is 4 extra miles per gallon within the metropolis and 1 extra on the freeway than a comparably outfitted Wrangler V6.eTorque fashions hold all the Wrangler’s off-road {hardware} intact, from the 4×4 system with lockable differentials to the Trail Rated suspension and chassis.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    Extra grandThe Wrangler’s eTorque system is just about $1,000 greater than the Pentastar V6, so there’s not even a lot of a hybrid tax related to electrifying this Jeep.

    The least expensive eTorque mannequin is the bottom Wrangler Sport 4×4 2-Door, which begins at $28,045 earlier than you add $1,000 for the eTorque motor. You even have so as to add $2,000 for the automated transmission and $1,295 for air con — you may’t get the eTorque with out checking these packing containers — in addition to a $1,495 vacation spot cost. That’s $33,835 out the door.Now, my 2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4×4 eTorque begins at a considerably larger $46,040 due to its longer record of normal gear and different elective facilities. With near a full suite of driver-assistance tech, leather-based seats, the 8.4-inch Uconnect navigation suite and extra, this instance rolled into the storage with a $58,890 as-tested sticker.With solely a minimal hybrid premium, extra torque and effectivity, there are virtually no trade-off for selecting the eTorque improve. At least, not for extra informal homeowners…
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    For extra informal Jeep patrons within the Wrangler for its rugged type, all-weather capabilities and on-road manners, there’s virtually no purpose to not examine that eTorque field. It’s smoother, it is extra environment friendly and, utilizing’s estimated annual gasoline value calculator, the eTorque system ought to pay for itself inside 5 years for drivers who common round 15,000 miles per 12 months. Of course, your mileage will differ.More hardcore off-road lovers or homeowners who’ll need to modify their rides will in all probability need try the aforementioned EcoDiesel with extra torque, confirmed reliability and a extra conventional improve and modification path. On the opposite hand, if the mild-hybrid is not hybrid-y sufficient for you, Jeep’s acquired a Wrangler plug-in hybrid coming subsequent 12 months. We’ll be holding our eyes peeled for that one, and so do you have to.

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