What does the Jeep Wrangler have in common with cars like the Chevrolet Corvette, BMW 3 Series, and Toyota Corolla? Other than rolling on four wheels and being powered by internal combustion, not much, however, each of these disparate nameplates is a living legend in the automotive world, an iconic nameplate.

Arguably, the mud-slinging Wrangler is FCA’s most instantly recognizable product, more so than its lineup of Ram trucks, offerings from Maserati, or even the Fiat 500. Staying true to its Jeep roots that reach all the way back to 1941, this off-roader features rugged body-on-frame construction, meaning it’s supported by a solid steel structure. It also brandishes live axles front and rear, which help provide more ground clearance than just about any other production vehicle available at dealerships today along with commensurate off-road capability.

The latest JL model, which debuted for the 2018 model year, retains many famous Wrangler features. You can remove the top to enjoy the sky above. With simple tools, the doors come off and the windshield frame folds down for an even airier feel and likely better forward visibility while trail bashing.

Jeep’s latest Wrangler is the most feature-laden, refined, and premium one they’ve ever built. It offers loads of advanced technology, an astonishingly upscale interior and a more car-like ride than you’d ever expect from something that’s built like a Conestoga wagon.

Adventurous folks can get a standard model, with two doors and a shorter overall body and wheelbase. But for families that want to get out and explore, Jeep continues to offer the Wrangler Unlimited, a version with four doors and more interior space.

As it has been since 1992, the Wrangler is built in Ohio at Jeep’s Toledo Assembly Complex. This facility is also home to the brand-new, and heavily related Gladiator pickup truck.

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Jeep Wrangler Specs

Engine: 3.6-liter V6
Horsepower: 285
Torque: 260 pound-feet
Drivetrain: Standard Command-Trac four-wheel-drive system, optional Rock-Trac four-wheel-drive system on Rubicon models
Transmission: Six-speed manual, eight-speed automatic


Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged mild-hybrid inline-four
Horsepower: 270
Torque: 295 pound-feet
Drivetrain: Standard Command-Trac four-wheel-drive system, optional Rock-Trac four-wheel-drive system on Rubicon models
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic


Engine: 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 (available in 2020)
Horsepower: 260
Torque: 442 pound-feet
Drivetrain: Standard Command-Trac four-wheel-drive system, optional Rock-Trac four-wheel-drive system on Rubicon models
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic


Two-Door Seating Capacity: 4

Four-Door Seating Capacity: 5

Cargo Capacity: 31.7 cubic feet with rear seats up, 72.4 cubic feet with rear seats folded down

Maximum Towing Capacity (four-door): 3,500 pounds

Read More Jeep Wrangler JL Review

Jeep Wrangler Fuel Economy

2019 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon

With two body styles plus two available engines and transmissions, there is, not surprisingly, quite a bit of variation in fuel economy for this vehicle, but here’s how it all breaks down. Starting with the two-door model, if you grab a V6 engine and the six-speed manual gearbox you should get 17 miles per gallon in city driving, 25 on the highway and 20 mpg combined. Opt instead for the automatic transmission and expect, 18, 23 and 20. A two-door Wrangler with the turbocharged mild-hybrid four-cylinder engine and standard eight-speed automatic transmission is rated at a thrifty 23 mpg city, 25 highway and 24 combined.

As for the four-door Wrangler Unlimited, with the V6 and six-speed gearbox, expect 17, 23 and 19, respectively. Going with the automatic boosts those figures to 18 city, 23 highway and 20 combined. In comparison, the hybrid four-banger should return 22, 24 and 22.

Jeep Wrangler Two-Door, V6, manual: 17 city, 25 highway, 20 combined

Jeep Wrangler Two-Door, V6, automatic: 18 city, 23 highway, 20 combined

Jeep Wrangler Two-Door, turbo-four, automatic: 23 city, 25 highway, 24 combined

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, V6, manual: 17 city, 23 highway, 19 combined

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, V6, automatic: 18 city, 23 highway, 20 combined

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, turbo-four, automatic: 22 city, 24 highway, 22 combined

Read More Why the Four-Cylinder Hybrid is the Best Powertrain in the Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler Safety Rating

This latest-generation Jeep Wrangler has not been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). So far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has only evaluated the four-door Unlimited model, and here’s how it fared in their less-rigorous examination. Out of a possible five stars, it earned four, both for driver- and front-passenger safety. It has not been evaluated in any side-impact tests, though it did earn three out of five stars for roll-over resistance.

Read More Nine Things to Know About the Jeep Wrangler – The Short List

Jeep Wrangler Features

Jeep Wrangler Interior

When it comes to features and amenities the latest-generation Wrangler offers plenty, probably a lot more than you’d ever expect for such a rough-and-tumble off-roader. On the electronics front, these Jeeps can be had with advanced driver aids like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, an advanced back-up camera with dynamic gridlines and electronic roll mitigation. For 2019, adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning are now included in the Advanced Safety Group package.

2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Depending on variant, three different infotainment systems are offered in the Wrangler. Entry-level sport models brandish one with a 5-inch screen. Stepping up from there, you can get a Uconnect system with either a 7-inch or 8.4-inch screen. Both upscale offerings support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto if you’d rather use one of these systems.

2019 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon

Letting a little sunshine in, Sahara and Rubicon models can be fitted with a Sky one-touch power top. This fancy folding lid can be operated at speeds up to 60 miles an hour for on-the-go enjoyment.

Helping reduce weight, the Wrangler’s doors, hinges, hood, fenders and windshield frame are all fabricated of aluminum. At the rear, this vehicle’s iconic swing-gate is crafted of magnesium, another lightweight metal, which further slashes unwanted mass.

Jeep Wrangler

Underneath its iconic body, this Jeep rolls on the latest and greatest Dana axles, for ruggedness and proven capability.

Two four-wheel-drive systems are offered in the Wrangler. Most models come with a Command-Trac arrangement, which includes a two-speed transfer case providing a 2.72-to-1 crawl ratio. Highfalutin Rubicon models gain an even more advanced Rock-Trac system with a super-low 4-to-1 crawl ratio. Front and rear locking differentials are included as well, ditto for a disconnecting front sway bar, which greatly enhances suspension articulation on the trail.

2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

All this heavy-duty hardware help give the Wrangler unmatched off-road capability, with maximum approach, departure and breakover angles of 44, 27.8, 37 degrees, respectively. As for ground clearance, it tops out at 10.9 inches, helping this vehicle tackle some of the world’s toughest terrain.

When properly equipped, the Jeep Wrangler can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

When it comes to colors, Jeeps gives customers PLENTY of options. The exterior palette includes no fewer than 11 hues: Bright White, Hella Yella, Granite Crystal, Billet Silver, Black, Firecracker Red, Punk’n Metallic, Mojito!, Sting Gray, Ocean Blue Metallic and Bikini. Inside, things are far more restrained. The Wrangler can only be had with two interior colors: black and another called Heritage Tan.

Read More The Road Travelled: History of the Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler Pricing

Like most good thing in life, the Wrangler isn’t cheap. Base price for an entry-level, two-door Sport model with the V6 engine, manual transmission and zero options is $29,540.

The fanciest two-door Wrangler you can get is a Rubicon variant. Tack on an additional $3,000 for the turbocharged four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission, $995 for the cold-weather package, add in the trailer-tow group, the fancy infotainment system, some active safety features, $2,195 for a body-color hardtop roof, $1,395 for leather interior trimmings plus a few other things and you should have no problem pushing one of these vehicles past $54,000.

If you cannot live without a four-door Wrangler, a base Sport model is offered in just this form. Keep the standard powertrain and sidestep all options and it will cost you $3,500 more than the stripped-down two-door model, or $33,040.

But if you want it all in a Wrangler Unlimited, you’ll need to grab a Moab model. Load one up with every option and you’ll eclipse $60,000, a pretty penny for a pickup-based utility vehicle.

Please note, all the vehicle prices listed in above paragraphs INCLUDE $1,495 in destination charges.

Jeep Wrangler Competitors

Right now, the Jeep Wrangler is pretty much in a segment of one. In America at least, it really doesn’t have any direct rivals. You could argue it competes peripherally with models like the Toyota 4Runner, Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison, Ford F-150 Raptor or Ram Power Wagon, but none of these are quite right. Until Ford launches its upcoming and much-speculated Bronco off-roader it seems Jeep will continue to have this sliver of the new-vehicle market all to itself.

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Read More Ford F-150 Raptor Review

Jeep Wrangler Future Plans

The latest version of the Wrangler was introduced for model-year 2018, meaning it’s still quite fresh right now. At this point, the only major change we see coming is the availability of that diesel engine. FCA representatives have gone on the record saying it will be available in 2020, though they have not been able to confirm if that will be model year or calendar year. In either event, the arrival of that compression-ignition V6 is fast approaching, so if you absolutely must own a diesel-powered Wrangler you won’t have to wait much longer. There is also a plug-in hybrid version of the Wrangler that’s being planned for a 2020 debut.

Jeep Wrangler Review

By Stephen Elmer

Jeep has something special with the Wrangler, and the brand knows it. Every carmaker dreams of having the drove of dedicated, passionate fans that Jeep has. These folks love the Wrangler for its off-road capability, unique style, and breadth of available aftermarket accessories and parts.

So how do you redesign an icon without angering the faithful people who are so invested in the product?

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In the case of the new Jeep Wrangler, the “JL” generation, FCA has made a ton of little changes with an eye toward adding comfort and convenience, but the big things — the things that make a Jeep a Jeep — remain the same. The Wrangler still looks like a Wrangler and it’s still good off-road. The real question is this: Did Jeep manage to make the Wrangler handle better on the pavement? Before we get to that, let’s look at all the new features that Jeep added to modernize its old-school off-roader.

Powertrain Breakdown

Three powertrains will be available under the hood of the Wrangler. The base option is the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 found in the Wrangler today, still making 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, hooked up to either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic. If you would like to row your own gears, the V6 is your only option, as the other two engines will only be hooked to the eight-speed.

The upgraded option for Wrangler buyers is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The most important part of this engine isn’t the higher torque number than the V6, but the fact that all that torque is made at 3000 rpm as compared to 4800 in the naturally aspirated engine.

Also helping with some low-end boost is Jeep’s new eTorque system, a 48-volt mild hybrid setup that regulates the auto stop/start system, electric power assist, extended fuel shut-off, transmission shift management, intelligent battery charging, and regenerative braking. The eTorque system also makes it possible for the Wrangler to shut off both the engine and fuel flow during stops or when coasting or decelerating.

The third and final engine is the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, which can only be had in Wrangler four-door models and will become available starting in 2019. Power from the diesel is rated at 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque.

Fuel Economy and Weight

Opting for the diesel will no doubt be a boon for fuel economy, but Jeep did a lot with the Wrangler all over to help it burn less fuel. First, almost all of the design changes that were made are in the name of fuel economy, such as the sharper rake on the windshield and the slant included at the top of the grille.

Besides increasing how aerodynamic the Wrangler is, Jeep also cut weight by about 200 pounds on most models by using aluminum in the doors, window frame, hood and swing gate.

A basic two-door Wrangler Sport with a manual transmission tips the scales at 3,955 lbs, while the heaviest model, a four-door Wrangler Sahara with the 2.0-liter turbo, weighs in at 4,380 lbs.

Fuel economy has only been rated by the EPA for the 3.6-liter four-door model, which managed 18 mpg city, 23 on the highway, and 20 combined with the automatic.

If improved fuel economy was a priority for the new Wrangler, better on-road driving dynamics were an absolute must for the new Jeep and the brand delivered.

No-Wander Cruising

No longer is driving the Wrangler a fatiguing experience, which is probably the biggest change that has come to the driving experience in the JL. This new generation stays nice and straight in your lane, with almost none of the wandering that the previous Wrangler JK became so known for. The steering is still on the loose side and the Wrangler still has plenty of body roll through corners, but that’s a byproduct of the Wrangler being ready for off-road duty with pliant suspension.

Besides the suspension tuning making the Wrangler much easier to drive, many small design improvements make the JL that much easier to pilot as well. First of all, all of the glass is a little taller, giving you more to look through, while the spare tire has been moved down the tailgate, and the rear windshield motor has been moved down to hide behind the spare tire. A backup camera is now available on the Wrangler for the first time ever, and it offers a crystal clear image of exactly what is out back.

And then there are the powertrains. The V6 feels exactly the same because it is. Power comes on high in the rev range leaving the low-end feeling a little lackluster, but motivating the Wrangler with a nice, smooth linear power delivery that is familiar and predictable.

When fit with the new 2.0-liter turbo, this actually might be the first time ever that someone calls the Wrangler quick. Though it takes a good second or two for the turbo to spool and the transmission to downshift, the wave of turbo power that sweeps up the Wrangler rushes it to highway speeds, feeling downright fast for what is still a box on wheels.

Interior

That easier driving experience is complemented by a raft of new materials available on the inside of the Wrangler, ranging from the cloth seats and roll-up windows on the Sport model up to the leather-wrapped dash and accent stitching of the Sahara model, which now includes heated seats and steering wheel. Push-button start is now standard on the Wrangler, while all of the important functions like the gear shift selector, transfer case, and parking brake sit in the center console, distinguished by metal-plated accents.

All of the touch points that used to be hard plastic have been replaced with a soft rubbery material that Jeep claims helps with grip, a double use that allows passengers to grab all over the interior and find grip.

Infotainment is upgraded to the latest version of FCA’s UConnect system, offered on either a 7- or 8.4-inch display depending on trim level. Base models have a 5-inch screen. UConnect continues to be one of the fastest to respond systems on the market and provides a clear layout.

Along with the new system is the ability to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while two USB ports are found up front while two are in the back along with a 115-volt AC outlet.

Off-Road

If it isn’t clear yet, Jeep spent a lot of time upgrading the creature comforts to keep the mall crawling Wrangler buyer happy. But for those who are looking at a Wrangler for its intended purpose — heading into the mud, dirt and rocks — the abilities are staggering.

ALSO SEE: Off-Roading 101: What Are Approach and Departure Angles?

The Wrangler Rubicon is arguably one of the most off-road-ready vehicles right out of the box. With 10.9 inches of ground clearance, a 44-degree approach angle, 37-degree departure angle, and a set of standard 285/70R17 BFGoodrich T/A K02 tires, the Rubicon is ready to crawl its way out of anything. Dana 44 axles are used in the front and the back, while 4.10 axle ratios help torque get to the ground.

Also helping with pulling power are the front- and rear-locking differentials and the transfer case, which when engaged, employs a crawl ratio of 84.2:1 with the six-speed manual transmission and 77.2:1 with the automatic. Jeep says that more wheel travel and better articulation are part of the JL package as well, and the sway bars are still easily disconnected at the touch of a button.

In the desert outside Tucson, Arizona, we did some serious rock crawling with the new Wrangler, and it did not disappoint, even with fully aired up tires. The K02s have a ton of grip on the rough rock edges and clamber their way up with just light motivation from the throttle. Both the 3.6-liter and 2.0-liter engines provide plenty of pull thanks in great part to the t-case doing its job. Throttle modulation is sensitive with both engines and with each, the driver is able to provide just enough power to mount an obstacle without overdoing it.

A new set of rock rails also comes on the Rubicon, coated in the same bedliner spray that goes in the back of Ram pickup trucks. We tested the rails and the Wrangler had not a scratch on the paint when were done, which means the rock rails did their job.

A high seating position still exists in the Wrangler and with the combination of all the improved visibility factors, it’s also easier than ever to get a great sense for where the Wrangler is around you, made simpler by the fender flares in the front that are visible while driving, letting you know exactly where the wheels are. It also doesn’t hurt that the turning circle is a also little better on the JL.

Picking up speed on a rutted out gravel trail also showed us the Wrangler’s willingness to soak up ruts and divots without punishing the occupants or being a handful to control.

For water crossings, Jeep says the JL will be able to handle up to 30 inches.

Accessories have always been a large part of the Wrangler’s business, and the majority of them are aimed at the off-road crowd. Mopar has already rolled out a massive catalog of parts with some of the headlines being a snorkel, hinge reinforcements for the swing gate for hanging a larger spare back there, tube frame doors, and many more. And probably the crowning achievement of Jeep’s accessories is the two-inch lift kit from Mopar, which when installed, can help the JL accommodate 35-inch tires with no other modifications necessary.

Pricing

If all of this sounds too good to be true, it’s not. It is too good to be cheap, though. The Wrangler is $3,000 more expensive across the board, with a basic two-door Sport model now costing $26,995. Go for a base two-door Rubicon and the price jumps to $36,995, while the base four-door Sport model sells for $30,495.

If you want a four-door Rubicon, before additional extras like an automatic transmission or turbocharged engine, you’ll be paying $40,495.

The Verdict: Jeep Wrangler Review

Jeep did exactly what it needed to with the new Wrangler. It’s now easier to live with every single day for commuting and grocery duty, but in the process, it has been made even better off-road.

So if you’re looking to redesign an icon and keep the fans happy, the Jeep Wrangler JL is a perfect template for doing just that.

Read More 2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Review: Does the 4-Cylinder Suit This 4×4?

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Review

By Sami Haj-Assaad

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Don’t look now, but superheroes have infiltrated our cars. But this Jeep Wrangler doesn’t have the gadgets to be considered Batman or Iron Man, and I’m not sure it could be considered Superman or Thor. Instead, it’s easier to see it as Spider-Man.

Well, maybe that description needs to be clarified a bit. No, the Jeep doesn’t sling webs or have a complicated relationship with Mary Jane. And no, it doesn’t remind you that “with great power comes great responsibility.” Rather, it’s the experience of crawling the Wrangler up and down an intense rock face in the Valley of Fire state park just outside of Las Vegas.

A stock model you can get right from the factory, the Wrangler Rubicon is perfectly matched to such an environment. The rugged SUV has been completely redesigned recently, with a focus on being more modern and comfortable during the everyday commute, but don’t think that meant that the off-road capability has been minimized even one bit. That’s like walking into each Spidey movie reboot thinking they’re going to re-invent the character. It’s just not going to happen.

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It may sound a bit old-fashioned under the hood, but don’t let that fool you. The 3.6-liter V6 engine makes 285 horsepower and a helpful 260 lb-ft of torque. You don’t need much more than that to push this 4,400-pound (2,000-kg) truck up a hill. No, it won’t blast up the rocks, but that’s good because this is reality (and not a comic book) and going up a rock face at full throttle will probably break something in the vehicle and disrupt the landscape (we’re not environmental supervillains after all!). So the engine is plentiful for this application, as rock crawling means you have to go slow, barely touching the gas pedal in some cases.

Instead, letting the first or second gear pull the car along the path works well. That may seem like a waste of the eight-speed automatic, but this is the way rock crawling goes. The Rubicon features a number of features and components that promote this activity of traversing rocky terrain. For example, there’s a specific Rock-Trac two-speed transfer case, which features a 4.0:1 low-range gear ratio, which is integral during this excursion. The front and rear axles can be locked easily with a flip of a switch, and there are also disconnecting front sway bar which leads to more suspension articulation, a necessity when it comes to climbing all over these jagged rocks. This too, is enabled with the push of a button, an unexpected twist when typically, SUVs are regarded as archaic.

Adding to all that are special BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tires that do things normal tires just don’t do. In particular, it manages to find traction on the rocks and allows the Wrangler to really take advantage of its proportions.

Thanks to the tires, disconnecting sway bars, locking diffs and design of the Wrangler Rubicon, we can take advantage of the 44-degree approach angle, the 22.6 degrees of breakover and the 37 degrees of departure angles.

Now, I’ve never experienced this kind of motor activity before. My off-roading comforts are limited to going out in trails and dune bashing, as well as the simple gravel, mud, and snow covered roads. Rocks are incredibly different than those conditions — they’re hard, harsh and can hurt both you and the car.

Fortunately, rock crawling is usually a group activity. There are spotters whose main job is to look at your vehicle and tell you which way to point your tires during every obstacle and tight spot. It’s not quite Spidey-sense, but its close enough. And even though you can improve the visibility by easily removing the Wranglers doors and roof, the extra set of eyes was much appreciated.

ALSO SEE: 10 Best Off-Road Tires and How to Pick the Right Ones

It’s impressive how much your perspective changes when you take the Wrangler off-road. While it’s common to complain about the trucks loose steering and loud tires on pavement, these aren’t even concerns when its time to hit the trail. In fact, the loose steering was a positive, as the rough conditions won’t bully the wheel around. The loud tires also have excellent grip as the tread actually connects and grips to things other than flat pavement.

As we start to take on the first bits of rock, I get worried that the sharp rocks will hit the tires in the wrong place, causing a puncture and ending the adventure before it begins, but my spotters tell me that nothing of the sort will happen.

The crawling is slow, but it’s sure-footed. The Wrangler doesn’t have lower spoilers or anything to damage when it comes to mounting rocks, but it’s important to not pivot the vehicle and cause it to land on anything hard. However, the Rubicon features a bunch of skidplates and protective panels to make sure if any mishaps occur the core components of the truck are safe. That’s more of an Iron Man thing than a Spider-Man deal, but you couldn’t reasonably think I’d make a Spider-Man reference in every paragraph, right?

It’s incredible how the Wrangler crawls up the rock face, and it’s quite impressive how much maneuverability can be found. In places where I wouldn’t be able to find footing myself, the Rubicon sticks in place and can roll confidently up or down. Sometimes I’m looking straight up at the sky, pushing forward with the front and rear lockers engaged, and the Wrangler pulls itself up over a rock. Other times I’m looking straight at the ground, with the seatbelts locked in place so I don’t fall face-first on the dash, and the Wrangler is composed and walks itself down. It’s not slipping or sliding, but actually rolling like it’s on perfectly level ground.

Yes, it can be a bit stiff sometimes, especially since you can’t see all the little craters and divots in the ground, but the fact that the wrangler can get itself in and out of these situations is pretty impressive.

While the Wrangler is a very popular vehicle, and one of the top products in the Jeep lineup, I can’t help but think that buyers love to boast about the vehicle’s capabilities without ever testing them in this way. While all Jeep Wranglers are trail ready, only the Rubicon seems set up to handle extreme terrain we encountered.

The Verdict: 2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Review

Its the combination of special tires, the transfer case, the sway bar disconnect and other elements that make the Rubicon command a $39,540 price tag or a $10,000 premium over the base Sport. That’s just for two-door models. The four-door Wrangler Rubicon costs $43,040.

If you’re going to actually get a vehicle to tackle any conditions and crawl up rock faces like Spider-Man does buildings, then this is the way to do it. But for everyone else, maybe choosing one of the more affordable models will provide enough the street credit.

Read More 2020 Jeep Gladiator Review – Video

Detailed Specs

Engine / 3.6-liter V6 (base engine)
Horsepower / 285
Torque / 260 pound-feet
Transmission / 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic
Drivetrain / Standard AWD
Seating Capacity / 4 or 5
Cargo Capacity / 31.7 / 72.4 cubic feet

Our Final Verdict

The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most unique vehicles available today. Not only is it an iconic model with a rich history, but it’s the most off-road capable SUV you can buy and it’s ready to drive almost anywhere straight from the factory. Even if you’re not off-roading it, the Wrangler is also more refined than ever, so it’s much more easy to live with on a day-to-day basis than it used to be. There are few vehicles available today that offer as much capability and camaraderie as the Jeep Wrangler.

4.8