What's the risk - first year 4xe

hybrid3.0

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The first year release of any new vehicle can be associated with 'growing pains' as new technology is introduced into the marketplace. In considering a 4xe, here are some of my thoughts on the platform and what's been available for 12 months+ and what's brand new.

Utilized and proven 12+ months or more:
  • JLU platform, suspension, drivetrain including transfer case and dana axles; available since 2018 model year
  • etorque technology available since 2019 on Ram(?)
  • 2.0L turbo with etorque engine available since 2020 on JLU
  • PHEV hybrid gas-electric systems, Uconnect 8.4 'electric pages' ; since 2017 hybrid Pacifica
New tech introduced on 4xe:
  • ZF 8-speed transmission with electric drive - not sure if this is used elsewhere but ZF is top of the transmission game
  • PHEV packaging specific to the JLU (battery pack location, size, capability)
Ultimately, I don't see this as an all-new Jeep but there are aspects of the PHEV specific to the 4xe that are unproven. I am excited to see an electric only vehicle (50 mile range) built on a platform as exciting as the Wrangler JLU. What are your thoughts and what am I missing above that is newly introduced in the 4xe?





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Windshieldfarmer

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Your analysis is spot on. That said I would personally wait until 2022. FCAs reputation for quality is spotty at best...and I would let others serve as beta testers. I may eventually get one of these once the battery only range improves. Denser battery technology will pave the way for better range. I
 

Maverick909

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there is always bugs in the system. i would love to get my girl one of these in about a year and a half. but even if most the bugs are sorted out ill still get the extended warranty on this 4XE. peace of mind would be a must with hybrid anything
 

oldcjguy

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The first year release of any new vehicle can be associated with 'growing pains' as new technology is introduced into the marketplace. In considering a 4xe, here are some of my thoughts on the platform and what's been available for 12 months+ and what's brand new.

Utilized and proven 12+ months or more:
  • JLU platform, suspension, drivetrain including transfer case and dana axles; available since 2018 model year
  • etorque technology available since 2019 on Ram(?)
  • 2.0L turbo with etorque engine available since 2020 on JLU
  • PHEV hybrid gas-electric systems, Uconnect 8.4 'electric pages' ; since 2017 hybrid Pacifica
New tech introduced on 4xe:
  • ZF 8-speed transmission with electric drive - not sure if this is used elsewhere but ZF is top of the transmission game
  • PHEV packaging specific to the JLU (battery pack location, size, capability)
Ultimately, I don't see this as an all-new Jeep but there are aspects of the PHEV specific to the 4xe that are unproven. I am excited to see an electric only vehicle (50 mile range) built on a platform as exciting as the Wrangler JLU. What are your thoughts and what am I missing above that is newly introduced in the 4xe?
2.0L turbo with etorque was available on '19 models as well. We have a JLUR at work that's 2.0T with etorque.
Model year 20 had the 2.0T with or without etorque depending on which model JL you bought. Recon and Sahara High Altitude (not sure about standard sahara) had 2.0T etorque. Other models with 2.0T had no etorque.
Current '21 models with 2.0 are out and have no etorque.

I wondered the same thing. The 4wd system and the gearing and loads that come from bigger tires, lower gears (and 4wd Lo), and off-road use make me wonder how the system will respond. I look forward to one one day but the first year out concerns me a little.
 

The Last Cowboy

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There will likely be growing pains, updates and TSBs, maybe even a recall or two. My biggest concern would be that there aren’t going to be any techs at the dealers who are proficient with working on them yet. A simple problem could mean a long wait for repair. Other than that, nothing is really new or ground breaking tech.
 

Sboden

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There will likely be growing pains, updates and TSBs, maybe even a recall or two. My biggest concern would be that there aren’t going to be any techs at the dealers who are proficient with working on them yet. A simple problem could mean a long wait for repair. Other than that, nothing is really new or ground breaking tech.
Those of us who have bought several first year models know recalls and tsb's are part of the game. The big issue with all first year models is knowledge within the dealership service department. It can be fun at times. It isn't my primary vehicle so first year models are not a huge deal to me. I can certainly understand how it can be for others. I've also had many 2nd year and even 3rd year models with recalls and tsb's as many of these take many miles and customer complaints to get put out. You just get the fix quicker.
 

TDangelo1219

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I was one of the first to take delivery of the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid. I knew there would be a few recalls but I rolled the dice. So, I was right and there were about 4 recalls with the software but they were all minor, quick fixes. Not a big deal to me. Other than that the vehicle has be flawless. Jeep will be using much of what they learned from the Pacifica and improving on it. Because I've had such good success with the van I just ordered my 4Xe. Will there be a few tweaks along the way? Probably, but I don't think it will be anything major.
 
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Demonic

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2.0L turbo with etorque was available on '19 models as well.
Actually my 2018 was a 2.0T. It was one of the last built for the 2018 model year. The "I'll wait" mentality can be taken to any technology. It's not specific to a phev wrangler. I like technology, and for some things I'll accept the early adopter risk. This is one of them.
 

dwosgood

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Well I bought a JT three months after they came out and have had zero problems with it, so I’m gonna chance it on a 4XE as well.
 

CodyDog

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As long as I can remember, "don't buy the first year release" has echoed the auto buyer population.. I believe that FCA has more than enough engineering know how and experience to wade into the PHEV market with great success.
 

JustinWPI11

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Well I bought a JT three months after they came out and have had zero problems with it, so I’m gonna chance it on a 4XE as well.
I've had just a minor issue with the cheap radio in my JT but otherwise it's been pretty solid. Just placed an order yesterday for my wife for a 4Xe.

I've always avoided first year models in the past, hopefully it won't come back to haunt me with these.
 

Windshieldfarmer

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The hybrid drivetrain is not new to FCA but the adaptation to the Wrangler is new. I personally would wait until next year...though the risk is less than if the entire model was new. Adding to the risk is FCA is having trouble sourcing warranty parts when failures occur (transmission parts, turbos).
 

VNT

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The Pacifica is totally different than the 4xe, Pacifica FWD with a CVT type transaxle vs the RWD ZF 8HP70 with the integrated motor and a clutch system instead of the TQ converter, basically you are riding that ZF has done a great job developing that system and also the inverter to power it.

you are still risking the DI at high miles on the 2.0, will they carbon up, still have not scene anyone on this forum who have high miles approaching 100K and maybe nice enough to bore scop some pictures on the valves to confirm no issue. Also you have a high pressure fuel pump on the 2.0, how is that reliability wise along with all the fuel lines and fittings. on the plus side folks who have Catch cans are reporting no oil in the cans, so maybe it wont be an issue.

What you are really up against is being one of the first 200K (less what ever FCA has already sold) to get the 7500$ kick back, because once those are gone these make no sense to purchase, the savings in fuel will not equal the increased cost and risk and extra complexity.
 

flot

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It is wildly optimistic to think that FCA will get this right in the first model year. Let's be honest, we are on year 3 of the JL and we almost have a fix for the terrible steering. Not to mention the myriad of other "it's a jeep things" that we all put up with.

I am very excited about the 4xe and the 392, but my experience with Jeep and Ram has not been great on early model vehicles. Lucky for them I am a slow learner.
 

dudemind

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While it's is a commonly-stated and true argument that "first year cars have more problems", it’s important to understand that there could be other factors at play whenever a model improves after the first few years. There’s a ton of reporting bias in play, along with some very poorly-constructed studies.

One problem with all reliability studies is that they assume buyers are homogenous, which is about as bad of an assumption as you could possibly make. It’s understandable that buyers of different makes/models have different tolerances for issues. A person spending a bunch of money on a high-end luxury vehicle is very likely to have different tolerances towards little issues than somebody buying a more modest one. In fact, the same person can have very different tolerances with different vehicles. For example, I sold a Range Rover to make room for my first JL. With the Range Rover, I dropped that thing off for every single rattle/noise. With the Jeep, it had all these dumb little issues but I shrugged most of them off. I don't subscribe to the "it's a Jeep thing" mentality, but something about it not being a luxury vehicle did make a lot of issues seem more forgivable.

Another problem is that these studies also make the assumption that makes/models are also homogenous, as well as the issues themselves. In other words, they make no adjustment for how many things there are TO break nor the value of each issue. A car with all the bells and whistles has an objectively higher number of potential failure points than one that is relatively simple. I’d rather have a car with a lot of small stupid issues (like various bad software patches) than a single but expensive one (like a failed CVT). A better way to model this would be to describe the failure rate as a percentage of the total number of distinct components on the vehicle. Or even better would be to actually provide a proportional cost of failure relative to overall vehicle value. For example, I'd rather have issues with 100 tiny things worth $5-$10 bucks each rather than one massive failure worth $5000. There are some studies that attempt to model this by looking at the overall cost of ownership, but they still don't cleanly slice out the relative differences of the vehicles in question.

More specific to the “latter years are better” argument is the question of who is doing the buying at different points in a model generation’s lifetime. Manufacturers obviously pay special attention to new model releases, and thus those vehicles are designed and marketed specifically to steal new buyers away from other makes and to entice existing owners to trade up. So the people who purchase “the new one” are very often the ones who have the highest expectations of those cars. Meaning they may also be more likely to demand more of their investments; importantly, they also were likely more comfortable paying higher prices because dealers weren’t willing to discount exciting new vehicles. In contrast, a person who buys a car nine years into a generational run might’ve only done so because of better incentive offers or because they’re simply less picky about things.

Furthermore, as a generation ages, the DIY community will naturally start to figure out cars and post helpful guides for people to do things on their own or at an independent mechanic rather than taking the car to the dealership. This is often not an option early in a new generation’s run. Going back to my Jeep... I factory-ordered my JL before dealers even had them on their lots. My dealer received my vehicle before they even received their showroom inventory. Early on, I had these dumb little rattles/noises, which I took the car in for, simply because I couldn’t find any information online about them. Now, a few years later, there’s a ton of information about these online, and tons of people reporting possible fixes. Things like this will naturally lead to, again, differences in issue reporting frequencies between early owners and later ones.

There are numerous other reasons why manufacturers may seem to improve substantially as a model generation grows up, even if the real degree of improvement may be marginal. I’m NOT doubting that manufacturers figure out some issues as newer vehicles mature, that much is completely obvious. But the real magnitude of that improvement is both overstated and impossible to truly measure.
 

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