2020 Wrangler New Car Test Drive
The Jeep Wrangler is a throwback to simpler times. It's strictly old-school in looks, and more than any other Jeep model-or any competitor-the 2019 Wrangler qualifies as the real thing.
New for the 2019 model year, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine makes 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. An Advanced Safety Group package, optional for selected models, now includes adaptive cruise control and forward-collision warnings. Automatic emergency braking is a $795 option for the Wrangler Sahara and Rubicon.
Iconic styling over body-on-frame construction makes the rugged-looking Wrangler appear ready to unleash an unforeseen adventure. Not only does Wrangler look the part of a stalwart, fearless explorer of forest, desert, and mountain peak, its elemental underpinnings make each task readily surmountable.
Wranglers come in five trim levels. Sport, Sport S, and Rubicon versions come in two- or four-door configuration. Sahara and Moab (named for a challenging Utah off-road environment) are four-door only. Four-doors are the sensible choice for families. Rubicons rival some luxury SUVs in price ? but are far more capable off-road.
The standard engine for all Wranglers is a 3.6-liter V-6 that develops 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission and four-wheel drive are standard, but the 8-speed automatic is a popular alternative. For greater efficiency, the new turbo-4 is worth considering.
Wrangler Sport and Sahara are equipped with a two-speed, part-time four-wheel drive system. Skid plates are standard, and a limited-slip differential is optional. Wranglers offer a variety of off-roading choices for axle ratios, differentials, and transfer cases.
Crash-testing of the 2019 Wrangler is far from complete. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the early 2018 four-door Wrangler a three-star frontal-impact rating. Other tests were not performed. Wranglers also got a three-star score for rollover prevention (a calculated figure, not based upon testing).
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn't crash-tested the Wrangler since 2017.
In addition to available blind-spot monitors and parking sensors, forward-collision warnings and adaptive cruise control became optional for 2019..
Prices do not include $1,495 destination charge.
All Wranglers have four-wheel drive and the 3.6-liter V-6. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard. The 8-speed automatic and a turbo-4 engine are optional.
Sport (two-door $28,045, four-door $31,545) comes with plenty of off-road promise including skid plates, tow hooks. 17-inch steel wheels, and Command-Trac two-speed transfer case. But it lacks such amenities as power windows and air conditioning. Cloth seats, a soft top, and pushbutton start are standard.
Sport S (two-door $28,045, four-door $34,745) is equipped with air conditioning, power door locks/windows, remote entry, alloy wheels, and heated power mirrors.
Rubicon (two-door, $38,045, four-door $41,545) gets heavy-duty off-road gear including wide-track front/rear axles, knobby 33-inch tires, high-clearance two-piece fender flares, front/rear locking differentials, front sway-bar disconnect, off-road rock rails, and a Rock-Trac 4×4 system.
Moab four-door ($51,300) includes 17-inch black alloy wheels, Multi-Terrain T/A tires, rock rails, leather-trimmed seats, and body-color fender flares.
Sahara four-door ($38,395) gets 18-inch wheels, tubular side steps, 7.0-inch touchscreen, and dual-zone automatic climate control..