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buying 2020 Jeep Wrangler: What You Need to Know

21:11  09 july  2020
21:11  09 july  2020 Source:   usnews.com

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The 2020 Jeep Wrangler excels off road, but it falls short of its compact SUV rivals when it comes to predicted reliability, ride quality, interior comfort, and fuel economy. The 2020 Wrangler does not have an overall score or ranking because of missing safety data.

a truck that is driving down the road: 2020 Jeep Wrangler © Fiat Chrysler Automobiles 2020 Jeep Wrangler

The 2020 Jeep Wrangler is ranked:

  • #13 in Compact SUVs
  • #35 in SUVs with 2 Rows

Is the Jeep Wrangler a Good SUV?

The 2020 Jeep Wrangler is a great SUV for some shoppers, but it’s a poor choice for others. It all boils down to how you plan to drive it. This is a rugged vehicle that can go places few other SUVs can. It’s offered with a tough, solid-axle suspension, a trio of powerful engine options, and lots of off-road accessories.

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That’s great if you’re looking to hit the trail, but it’s not ideal for everyday driving on paved roads. The Wrangler, unlike most compact SUVs, jitters and jolts over potholes and bumps. Its interior is noisy, especially in models with the standard soft top. This Jeep also earns poor fuel economy estimates, and it rates low for predicted reliability.

Should I Buy the Jeep Wrangler?

You should consider the 2020 Wrangler if you’re an off-roader. Outside of the Toyota 4Runner and Jeep’s own Gladiator pickup truck, the Wrangler has few off-roading rivals, and it impresses with its user-friendly tech features, slick styling, and spacious four-door body style.

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If you don’t plan to venture off road, however, check out classmates like the Subaru Forester, Ford Escape, and Honda CR-V. These SUVs get better fuel economy than the Wrangler and are more comfortable to drive around town and on the highway. They also cost several thousand dollars less than the Jeep.

Should I Buy a New or Used Jeep Wrangler?

Jeep redesigned the Wrangler for the 2018 model year, kicking off the SUV’s JL generation. It has seen few updates since then. The 2019 model was the first with available forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control. For 2020, Jeep adds two special editions, as well as an optional turbodiesel engine that is expected to arrive midyear. You can probably save money by shopping for a 2018 or 2019 Wrangler, and you’ll enjoy similar performance and features as the 2020 model.

You can save even more money by shopping for a previous-generation Wrangler JK, which covers the 2007 to 2018 model years. For 2018, Jeep sold the Wrangler JK and the redesigned Wrangler JL alongside one another. JK models look similar to the JL, and they offer comparable off-road performance. However, the JK’s interior isn’t trimmed as nicely, and it’s not available with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or blind spot monitoring. The JK is also missing the JL’s turbocharged engine option.

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If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 Wrangler, 2018 Wrangler, and 2019 Wrangler reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

We Did the Research for You: 23 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 23 Jeep Wrangler reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and fuel economy estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible. This overview incorporates applicable research for all models in the Jeep Wrangler JL generation, which runs from 2018 to 2020.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Does the Jeep Wrangler Cost?

The 2020 Jeep Wrangler has a base MSRP of $28,295 for the two-door model and $31,795 for the four-door Unlimited model. That’s considerably more expensive than all other vehicles in the compact SUV segment. That said, the Wrangler is a more capable off-roader than its classmates, so the higher price may be warranted if that’s what you’re looking for. Prices climb into the $40,000 range for the uplevel Rubicon and Sahara models.

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Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Jeep dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Jeep deals page.

Jeep Wrangler Versus the Competition

Some of the Wrangler’s closest competition comes from within the Jeep family. That’s why we’ve compared it against other Jeep models like the Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and Gladiator.

Which Is Better: Jeep Wrangler or Jeep Cherokee?

The Jeep Cherokee is a better buy for most shoppers. It has a quiet cabin with more standard features than the Wrangler, and it provides a smoother ride on rough pavement. The Cherokee’s starting price is around $2,500 less than the Wrangler's, and it’s available with more advanced safety features including lane departure warning and parallel park assist. Better still, the Cherokee rates higher for predicted reliability. It may not be able to hang with the Wrangler on the most extreme trails, but its rugged Trailhawk trim is no off-road slouch. Opt for the Cherokee.

Which Is Better: Jeep Wrangler or Jeep Grand Cherokee?

It’s a similar story with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Grand Cherokee is larger than the Wrangler, and it's a superior vehicle for driving around town and on the highway. It has a much nicer interior, a more comfortable ride, more active safety features, higher towing limits, and brawnier engine options, including a couple of V8s. It’s also quite capable in the dirt, thanks to an air suspension that comes standard in Trailhawk models. All in all, give the Grand Cherokee a test drive before settling on the Wrangler.

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Which Is Better: Jeep Wrangler or Jeep Gladiator?

The Jeep Gladiator, a compact pickup truck, and the Wrangler SUV have much in common. Both of these Jeeps have similar styling and features, comparable off-road ability, and the same V6 engine. Both also have removable tops, doors, and fold-down windshields. That said, the Wrangler is the better option if you’re on a tighter budget. Its starting price is around $5,000 less than the entry-level Gladiator. On the other hand, the Gladiator offers the practicality of an open bed, and its tow rating is nearly double that of the Wrangler. Go with the one that’s a closer fit for your lifestyle.

Wrangler Performance

Wrangler Engine: Flexing Muscle

The 2020 Jeep Wrangler is available with two engine options: a 285-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 and a 270-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Both are available with an eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive, but only the V6 is available with a six-speed manual transmission. A turbodiesel engine is expected to arrive in mid-2020.

Both the V6 and turbo-four zip the Wrangler up to speed confidently, and each engine provides sufficient muscle for quick passing maneuvers and climbing steep hills. The turbo-four feels more refined when doing so, and it gets slightly better fuel economy. It’s worth the upgrade.

The Wrangler’s smooth eight-speed automatic transmission is a gem, no matter the engine. Its gear changes are quick and well-timed. The six-speed manual transmission is fine for everyday driving, though the clutch engagement feels a bit bland to some critics.

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Wrangler Gas Mileage: Not So Frugal

The Wrangler gets poor fuel economy estimates by compact SUV standards. Models with the turbo-four engine get an EPA-rated 22 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Wranglers with the V6 manage just 18 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Both ratings dip for the larger Wrangler Unlimited.

Wrangler Ride and Handling: Rough Roads Ahead

The Wrangler isn’t ideal for everyday commuting, and there are surely better compact SUVs for piling on the miles. Its suspension is firm, causing the SUV to jitter and shimmy on uneven pavement. This is especially true for the shorter two-door models. The Wrangler’s boxy physique also tends to catch crosswinds, and this Jeep sways at higher speeds.

That said, the Wrangler does feel stable around turns. Its steering is responsive, and its brakes have good stopping power.

Wrangler Off-Road Performance

The Wrangler’s tough solid-axle suspension is perfect for off-roading. It can take a beating, yet it still articulates nicely over bumps, rocks, and holes. It also provides between 9.7 and 10.8 inches of ground clearance, depending on the model, allowing the Wrangler to crawl safely over most naturally occurring off-road obstacles.

Notably, all models are equipped with a two-speed transfer case, which makes better use of the engine’s torque for low-speed driving. Other standard off-road features include tow hooks and protective skid plates. Limited-slip and locking differentials are available, as is an electronic disconnecting sway bar.

Wrangler Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the two-door Wrangler can tow up to 2,000 pounds, while the four-door Wrangler Unlimited can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Wrangler Interior

How Many People Does the Wrangler Seat?

The 2020 Wrangler is offered in two body styles. The two-door Wrangler can seat four people, and the four-door Wrangler Unlimited can seat up to five. Cloth upholstery is standard. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

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The front seats are comfortable, and they provide a commanding view of the road ahead. There’s a lot of head- and legroom up front, so even tall occupants should find ample space to stretch out. The four-door Wrangler’s back seat is quite spacious. On the other hand, the two-door Wrangler’s rear seats don’t have much legroom, and they’re awkward to access.

Wrangler and Child Car Seats

The Wrangler has two full sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats. Four-door models have an additional tether anchor for the rear middle seat.

Wrangler Interior Quality

The Wrangler’s cabin styling is minimalist and modern. The materials feel sturdy, though there are too many hard plastics. The interior is noisy on the highway, especially in models with a soft-top roof. A hardtop is available. Both roof styles are easy to remove. All models have removable doors and a fold-down windshield.

Wrangler Cargo Space

The four-door Wrangler Unlimited has 32 cubic feet of cargo space with its rear seats upright and 72 cubic feet of space with these seats folded. That’s excellent for a compact SUV. The two-door model is a lot less practical. It offers just 13 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 32 cubic feet with them folded.

Wrangler Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Wrangler’s Uconnect infotainment system is user-friendly, regardless of touch-screen size. The menus are simple to understand, and the touch screen responds quickly to inputs. You don’t have to rely on the touch screen for every function, though. There are also physical buttons and knobs on the dashboard that adjust the main audio and climate controls.

The entry-level Wrangler is outfitted with a 5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, eight speakers, push-button start, and cruise control. Available features include air conditioning, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, 7-inch and 8.4-inch touch screens, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, satellite radio, and a nine-speaker stereo.

Wrangler Reliability

Is the Jeep Wrangler Reliable?

The 2020 Jeep Wrangler has a poor predicted reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power. That's the lowest rating that the organization gives.

Jeep Wrangler Warranty

Jeep covers the Wrangler with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Jeep Wrangler?

The cost of insuring a Jeep Wrangler will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

Wrangler Safety

Wrangler Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Wrangler Unlimited four stars out of five in the frontal crash test and three stars in the rollover evaluation. The Wrangler did not receive an overall safety rating.

At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2020 Jeep Wrangler.

Wrangler Safety Features

The 2020 Wrangler comes standard with a rearview camera. Available safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control.

Wrangler Dimensions and Weight

The two-door Wrangler is 13.9 feet long, while the four-door Wrangler Unlimited is 15.7 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,919 to 4,478 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Built?

Jeep builds the 2020 Wrangler in Ohio.

Which Jeep Wrangler Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 Jeep Wrangler is available in two body styles: the two-door Wrangler and the four-door Wrangler Unlimited. There are also eight trim levels: Sport, Sport S, Black & Tan, Willys, Sport Altitude, Sahara, Rubicon, and Sahara Altitude.

The best option for most shoppers is the Sport S trim. It’s available in both body styles, and it provides convenience features that are missing in the base trim, like power windows and air conditioning, which many of us take for granted nowadays.

If you’re looking for a hardcore off-roader, the Rubicon trim is a better pick. It comes standard with all the gear you need, like rock sliders, locking differentials, and oversized all-terrain tires.

Jeep Wrangler Sport

The base Wrangler Sport starts at around $28,300 for two-door models and $31,800 for four-door models. Standard features include a 285-horsepower V6 engine, a six-speed manual transmission, four-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer case, 17-inch steel wheels, all-season tires, skid plates, tow hooks, fog lights, and a Sunrider folding soft top. Cloth upholstery, manual windows and door locks, push-button start, cruise control, a 5-inch touch screen, a USB port, Bluetooth, eight speakers, and a rearview camera also come standard.

An eight-speed automatic transmission is a $2,500 option. You can also get the 270-horsepower four-cylinder turbocharged engine with the eight-speed transmission for an extra $1,500, though you’ll also need to purchase air conditioning for an additional $1,295. Fiat Chrysler’s EcoDiesel V6 will be available in mid-2020. Pricing for this diesel engine hasn’t been confirmed.

Other options include a hardtop roof ($1,195), a tow package ($795), and a rear limited-slip differential ($595).

Jeep Wrangler Sport S

The Wrangler Sport S has a starting MSRP of around $31,500 for two-door models and $35,000 for four-door models. In addition to the base model’s standard features, the Sport S comes with air conditioning, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, heated side mirrors, tinted rear windows, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The same engines and transmissions are available.

Most options from the Sport trim carry over, and you can add remote start ($395) and a nine-speaker Alpine stereo ($1,295).

The Cold Weather package ($695) has heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The Technology package ($995) includes a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The Jeep Active Safety package ($995) comes with blind spot monitoring and rear parking sensors. The Jeep Advanced Safety package ($795) adds forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control.

Jeep Wrangler Black & Tan

The Wrangler Black & Tan edition starts at around $32,200 for two-door models and $36,700 for four-door models. This special edition shares its core features, options, and engine lineup with the Sport S trim. It comes with a tan soft-top roof, tan cloth seats, all-terrain tires, side steps, and the contents of the Technology package.

Jeep Wrangler Willys

The Wrangler Willys edition also mirrors the Sport S model’s features, options, and engine lineup. It adds a black paint scheme, Willys decals, mud-terrain tires, rock sliders, larger brakes, and a rear limited-slip differential. The Willys edition has a starting MSRP of around $34,000 for two-door models and $37,500 for four-door models.

Jeep Wrangler Sport Altitude

The Wrangler Sport Altitude trim is offered only as a four-door model, and it has a starting price of around $36,700. This trim shares its features, options, and engine lineup with the Sport S. It comes with a hardtop roof and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Jeep Wrangler Sahara

The Wrangler Sahara starts at around $38,700 and is offered only as a four-door model. The Sahara is equipped with larger brakes, 18-inch alloy wheels, three USB ports, plus the contents of the Technology package.

This trim comes standard with the V6 engine and manual transmission. It’s available with Jeep’s mild-hybrid eTorque powertrains, which recharge the SUV’s battery while braking and supply extra torque at low rpm to improve acceleration. Both are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The four-cylinder eTorque engine costs $2,000. The V6 eTorque engine is a $3,000 upgrade.

Most options carry over from the previous trims. You can add leather upholstery ($1,495), a power-folding soft top ($3,995), and an infotainment package ($1,595), which includes an 8.4-inch touch screen, navigation, HD Radio, the Alpine audio system, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

The off-road-ready Wrangler Rubicon starts at around $38,300 for two-door models and $41,800 for four-door models. The Rubicon trims are available with the non-eTorque V6 and four-cylinder engines. This trim adds to the Sahara’s features with rock sliders, locking front and rear differentials, 17-inch alloy wheels, and beefy BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tires. Most options carry over from the previous trims.

Jeep Wrangler Sahara Altitude

The Wrangler Sahara Altitude trim is offered only as a four-door model, and it has a starting MSRP of around $42,000. This trim shares its features, options, and engine lineup with the Sahara trim. It gains a hardtop roof and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Jeep dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Jeep deals page.

The Final Call

The 2020 Jeep Wrangler is arguably the best off-road SUV on sale today. It’s upscale inside and reasonably well-equipped. The catch is that almost all other compact SUVs are more comfortable in day-to-day driving, and they also cost less. If you don’t plan to hit the trails, look elsewhere in this segment.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2020 Jeep Wrangler review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.

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