Jeep’s first plug-in hybrid models have been fully revealed and detailed in Europe, where they will go on sale from September this year.

Australian plans for the plug-in pair aren’t yet clear. Jeep Australia says it is “monitoring the take up of electrification in Australia”.

“We will be ready to launch our PHEV strategy as soon as consumer appetite, regulations and infrastructure suggests the time is right,” a spokesperson said.  

The new Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe will be offered with the same pair of plug-in hybrid drivetrains.

Jeep Renegade and Compass 4xe plug-in hybrids detailed

Up front there’s a 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with either 97kW on lower-spec models, or 134kW on higher grades.

Regardless of the power output, the engine makes 270Nm. The petrol engine drives the front axle via a six-speed automatic transmission, and is paired with an electric motor which can also act as a high voltage generator.

At the back there’s an electric motor making 45kW and 250Nm. This motor drives the rear wheels, and is also responsible for regenerative braking.

Jeep Renegade and Compass 4xe plug-in hybrids detailed

There are a number of driver-selectable operating modes, including the self explanatory Hybrid and Electric, and two E-Save modes.

In Battery Save the car runs primarily on its petrol engine and will keep the battery at its current level of charge, while in Battery Charge the vehicle will more aggressively use the internal combustion engine to get the battery up to 80 per cent.

As these models are Jeeps, there’s also a 4WD Low mode and 4WD Lock mode, which keeps the car running in full-time four-wheel drive mode so long as the speed is kept below 15km/h. The car’s “Powerloop” system will keep the batteries topped up so the rear electric motor can always function.

Jeep Renegade and Compass 4xe plug-in hybrids detailed

Located underneath the second row of seats is a 11.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack. According to WLTP standard, the plug-in hybrids can manage 42 kilometres in electric-only mode.

With the company’s 2.3kW home charger the Compass 4xe and Renegade 4xe take about five hours to fully recharge. A 7.4kW wall box is also available, and this reduces charging time to around 100 minutes.

Top speed as a pure EV is 130km/h, while in hybrid mode the cars can max out at 200km/h.

Despite the addition of a decently-sized battery pack, Jeep says boot space is “practically the same” as traditional petrol and diesel versions, with the Renegade rated at 330L and the Compass capable of holding 420L.

Blue-tined badges and filler caps on both sides of the car are the prime distinguishing features for the Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe.

The Renegade is no longer offered in Australia, and it’s not clear if plug-in hybrid drivetrain will be added to the local Compass range.

Jeep is also planning to a launch 4xe plug-in hybrid version of the Wrangler “soon”, although it has yet to release any details about it drivetrain.

Derek Fung

Derek Fung would love to tell you about his multiple degrees, but he's too busy writing up some news right now. In his spare time Derek loves chasing automotive rabbits down the hole. Based in New York, New York, Derek loves to travel and is very much a window not an aisle person.

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