Jeep Wrangler fans take note, for it will not often happen other than measuring off-road capability. But in this instance, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe is rated for better MPGe fuel economy than the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid.
Jeep Wrangler 4xe vs. Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid fuel economy
At first glance, it seems impossible that a Jeep Wrangler could ever be in the same fuel economy league as a Porsche Cayenne. The only thing they really have in common is that they are both classified as SUVs, albeit at seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum.
The Wrangler’s boxy exterior, wide stance, pronounced ground clearance, and knobby off-road tires appear aerodynamically inefficient juxtaposed against the Cayenne’s sleek body style and sweeping lines. Obviously, there is more to efficiency than aerodynamics alone as the Wrangler 4xe’s 49 MPGe does, in fact, top the Cayenne E-Hybrid’s 46 MPGe rating according to MotorTrend.
Why is the Jeep Wrangler 4xe more fuel-efficient than the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid?
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe’s more efficient – though less powerful – powertrain is likely the biggest reason it beats the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid’s fuel economy rating. The gasoline-burning base of the Wrangler 4xe is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder paired with two electric motors and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
This setup produces 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque delivered to the ground at all four wheels via a two-speed transfer case that allows for high or low-range operation.
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe’s electric drive system is built around a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, offering up to 21 miles of all-electric driving. Charging the battery pack at home or work with the included 120-volt Level I charger takes up to 12 hours, but with the available 240-volt Level II charger charging time is reduced to about 2 hours depending on the state of discharge.
Charging the battery while driving is accomplished through regenerative braking, which uses the electric motors to slow the vehicle and act as electric generators simultaneously. The Wrangler 4xe has user-selected drive modes, including all-electric, hybrid, and gasoline only.
What does the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid do well?
Just as the Jeep Wrangler is designed for off-road capability, the Porsche Cayenne is designed for performance. What the Cayenne E-Hybrid gives up in fuel economy is given back in horsepower. Powered by a turbocharged V6 and an electric motor, the Cayenne E-Hybrid delivers 450 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
Electric power is delivered by a 17.9 kWh lithium-ion battery pack capable of up to 17 miles of all-electric driving on a full charge. Battery charging is accomplished using the supplied 240-volt or 120-volt charging cables, standard onboard 3.6 kW charger, or an optional 7.2 kW onboard charging system.
The Cayenne E-Hybrid is a sports car disguised as an SUV that is also surprisingly capable off-road as well according to MotorTrend. While it will likely never compete with the Jeep Wrangler 4xe off-road, the Cayenne E-Hybrid is clearly superior in terms of on-pavement performance, comfort, and deducting money from your bank account.
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe has a starting MSRP of $47,995 compared to the $81,800 MSRP advertised for the 2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid. That puts the Cayenne E-Hybrid nearly $34,000 more than the Wrangler 4xe. While that is a substantial price difference, the decision to purchase one or the other probably will not hinge on a few MPGe. The real decision is likely based on what you expect to do with your vehicle.