2020 Jeep Wrangler Review
  • Car Review

2020 Jeep Wrangler Review

By Autolist Editorial | September 17, 2020

Quick Facts:

Pros:

  • Bold, rugged styling.
  • Terrific offroad potential.
  • Versatile infotainment system.

Cons:

  • Cabin noise is irritating.
  • High price tag.
  • Mediocre safety ratings.

Vehicle Type: A two- or four-door SUV that seats four or five people.

Price Range: From $29,790 MSRP, including $1,495 destination, for the base two-door Sport, to $49,245 for the four-door High Altitude, before options.

Powertrain: The base offering is a 3.6-liter V6 with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque paired with a six-speed manual transmission.

A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque is optional.

Also available is a 3.0-liter V6 diesel that makes 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque.

All Wranglers come standard with a 4x4 system.

An eight-speed automatic transmission is optional on nearly all models, unless it's standard equipment.

More Photos

See more 2020 Jeep Wrangler photos here.


Overview:

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The newest installment in the fourth generation of Jeep's series of compact and midsize SUVs, the 2020 Jeep Wrangler comes in both two-door and four-door versions, each of which has a convertible option.

Boasting a boxy, retro body style typical among Wranglers, this new Jeep is available in nearly a dozen trim levels.

The Wrangler is built with offroading in mind, and the Rubicon trim is perfect for offroad enthusiasts in particular, with its mud tires, lockable differentials, skid plates, and other perks.

Three engines are on offer for this new Jeep: a 3.6-liter V6, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, and a 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel.

All Wranglers come with four-wheel-drive.


Exterior

TLDR: With its rugged, retro look, the new Wrangler stands out from the pack.

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The 2020 Jeep Wrangler is 73.6 inches high and 73.8 inches wide, and it has a wheelbase of 96.8 inches. The four-door version is 188.4 inches long, while the two-door version is 166.8 inches long. The vehicle's curb weight is 3,919 to 4,478 pounds, depending on the trim level. Boasting a boxy, aggressive style reminiscent of American wartime Jeeps, the 2020 Wrangler comes in 11 colors, including Firecracker Red, Granite Crystal, and Ocean Blue.

This vehicle comes with a soft-top or hard-top roof, depending on your preference, and both roof types are available in a range of colors. Soft-top roofs are removable, as are all the doors. Although 17-inch steel wheels come standard, you can buy wheels ranging up to 32 inches in size for offroading. LED headlights are optional, but fog lights and side-steps come with all trim levels. Many reviewers feel that the 2020 Wrangler has the sharpest look in the series' lifetime, praising its cohesive, condensed, retro styling.


Interior Quality and Comfort

TLDR: Despite cramped space in the back, the 2020 Wrangler's interior is a cozy place.

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Fabric upholstery comes standard in the 2020 Jeep Wrangler, but you can upgrade to leather if cloth seats aren't for you. The Jeep has seating for four on two-door models or five on four-door vehicles. Stitching lends the interior extra visual appeal, and the glove compartment, gauge cluster, dashboard, and red accent panels all feature stitching. In the center of the dash sits the UConnect touchscreen infotainment system, which ranges from 5 to 8.4 inches in size and which reviewers praise for its user-friendliness. The vehicle interior has numerous plastics, including a red plastic ring surrounding the differential-lock switch and gear-lever.

Although the Wrangler can seat five passengers, four is ideal. Front headroom and legroom are 42.6 and 41.2 cubic inches, respectively, while rear headroom and legroom are 41.7 and 35.7 cubic inches. Reviewers feel that the front seats are comfortable, but they note that getting in and out of the rear seats is awkward. Thin window pillars ensure that the driver can clearly see the road. Although door pockets are nonexistent, the doors have shallow nets for storing small objects. The center armrest features a bin and two cupholders.


Utility and Practicality

TLDR: The 2020 Jeep Wrangler has an impressive towing capacity, but you have to make do with limited cargo space.

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The two-door version of this midsize SUV has 12.9 cubic feet of cargo space, enough for several bags of groceries, though if you fold the seats, there is 46.9 cubic feet of space. For a compact SUV, that's not bad, but it's still inconvenient. The four-door Wrangler, meanwhile, has 31.7 cubic feet of space and 72.4 cubic feet when the seats are folded. Each version also features a compartment under the floor for storing extra items.

Six cargo tie-downs ensure your items don't jostle while you drive. Also, two sets of LATCH connectors are in the rear outboard seats. The two-door Wranglers have a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds, but the four-door Wrangler Unlimited can tow 3,500 pounds. All Wrangler models have tow hooks.


Technology and Infotainment

TLDR: A versatile touchscreen is the centerpiece of this SUV's technology suite, but other conveniences abound.

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This Wrangler features a wide range of technological amenities, including remote start, keyless entry, and a 5- to 8.4-inch UConnect touchscreen infotainment system, depending on your trim level. The Rubicon has the upgraded UConnect 4C, with HD radio, 4G LTE, smartphone connectivity, a 12-month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, a 12-month subscription to the SiriusXM Guardian safety system, a five-year subscription to the SiriusXM Traffic Plus traffic alert system, and a five-year subscription to the SiriusXM Travel Link navigation system. Reviewers praise the UConnect touchscreen as intuitive and responsive.

This Jeep also comes standard with a USB port, though higher trims have up to four USB ports. The 2020 Jeep Wrangler also offers a 110-volt outlet, automatic climate control, four auxiliary switches, air vents, air conditioning, an auto-dimming mirror, and an eight-speaker sound system. You can upgrade to a nine-speaker Alpine sound system if desired, and the Rubicon trim level boasts two 12-volt and one 115-volt outlet. Other technological perks for the 2020 Jeep Wrangler include a user-friendly navigation system, heated front seat, heated steering wheel, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth connectivity.


Safety and Driving Assistance

TLDR: Mediocre safety ratings plague the new Wrangler, even though it has a bunch of modern safety and driver assistance features.

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In its safety ratings, the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2020 Jeep Wrangler four stars out of five for the driver's side seat, passenger's side seat, and overall front, and it gave three stars out of five for the overall rollover rating. By comparison, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave Good crashworthiness ratings for the Wrangler's side, roof strength, moderate overlap front, and head restraints and seats. The IIHS gave a Marginal crashworthiness rating for the driver-side small overlap front. Also, the headlights received a Poor rating, while vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention received a Superior rating. During a 2020 audit test of the Wrangler, the vehicle tipped onto its side during both driver-side small overlap front tests, suggesting severe safety risks. Other SUVs on the market score much higher.

The Wrangler's safety features include a rearview camera, available blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and hill-start assist. This vehicle also comes with electronic roll mitigation, rear parking sensors, LED taillamps, and brake assist. The Advanced Safety Group package, which costs an extra $795, includes adaptive cruise control, advanced brake assist, and forward-collision warning.


Driving Experience

TDLR: Boasting a powerful engine, this midsize SUV drives like a dream offroad.

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Sitting in the 2020 Jeep Wrangler is a 3.6-liter V6 turbo diesel engine capable of 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. However, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque is also available. You can also buy a 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel engine, sporting 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque.

The available engines are satisfying, offering smooth acceleration, easy hill ascent, and pain-free highway passing. The vehicle can reach 60 mph between 6.1 and 6.8 seconds, depending on the model. The 3.6-liter V6 engine only comes with a six-speed manual transmission, while both the 3.0-liter V6 and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines are compatible with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The mild-hybrid eTorque powertrain, which is only available for the Sahara V6 and turbo four-cylinder models, boosts the Wrangler's power delivery at low speeds. Four-wheel drive comes with all models.

An offroader designed for navigating tough terrain, the 2020 Wrangler has a ladder frame and solid-axle suspension. The especially offroad-friendly Wrangler Rubicon trim level includes skid plates, lockable differentials, rock rails, disconnecting sway bars, an electronically disconnecting front stabilizer bar, 32-inch mud tires, and shorter axle gearing. A limited-slip rear differential is also available.

Cabin noise in this vehicle can be distracting, especially with the soft top, but wind noise at 75 mph typically overwhelms other sounds. Also, reviewers feel the vehicle's ride is smooth over uneven terrain but bumpy on smooth roads. They also note that braking distances can vary noticeably from vehicle to vehicle.


Fuel Efficiency

TLDR: This vehicle has average fuel economy for its class, especially the two-door version.

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Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hasn't tested the Wrangler's fuel economy yet, reviewers claim the two-door version of the vehicle has an mpg of 17 on city roads, 25 on highways, and 20 combined, while the heavier four-door version has a mpg of 17 on city roads, 23 on highways, and 19 combined. Jeep claims that the Wrangler's 18.5-gallon fuel tank offers a driving range of about 500 miles. For its class, this Wrangler has an impressive fuel economy, beating out competitors such as the Toyota 4Runner and Chevy Colorado ZR2.


Trim Levels and Pricing

TLDR: Numerous trim levels ranging in price from $28,300 to $45,460 offer something for everyone.

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The 2020 Wrangler comes in many trim levels: the base Sport model, Sport S, Sahara, Rubicon, Black and Tan, Willys, Sport Altitude, Freedom, Sahara Altitude, North Edition, and Rubicon Recon.

The two-door Wrangler Sport has a starting MSRP of $28,300, while the four-door Sport starts at $31,800. Wrangler Sports come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, four-wheel drive, V6 engine, and soft top. Other features available at this trim level include fog lights, all-season tires, 17-inch steel wheels, a UConnect 3 touchscreen infotainment system, and an eight-speaker audio system, among many other perks.

The 2020 Jeep Wrangler Sport S, which costs $31,500 for the two-door models and $35,000 for the four-door models, comes with all the amenities available for the Wrangler Sport plus power windows and locks, a leather steering wheel, heated side mirrors, air conditioning, remote entry, and a few other conveniences. Only available as a four-door model, the Wrangler Sahara trim level starts at $38,700 and boasts three USB ports, larger brakes, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The 2002 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, starting at $39,790 for the two-door model and $43,290 for the four-door model, sports an impressive suite of offroading amenities, including rock rails, all-terrain tires, and heavy-duty Dana 44 front and rear axles.

Special trim levels of the Wrangler include the $34,685-$38,185 Black and Tan, boasting tan seats and a tan soft-top roof, among other features; the $34,000-$37,5000 Willys edition, bearing a unique hood decal and glossy black grille; and the $36,700 Sport Altitude, which has a body-colored hard-top and 18-inch black wheels. Starting at $34,190, the Freedom Edition Wrangler has flag graphics and red, white, and blue styling. Meanwhile, the $41,940 Sahara Altitude adds glossy black accents to the Sahara trim level, while the $45,460 North Edition has heated steering wheels and a tow strap kit.

Finally, the Rubicon Recon, which starts at $43,450, is an even more offroad-friendly Rubicon, featuring superior rock rails, end forgings, tubes, and front and rear differential covers. Many feature packages are available for this midsize SUV, including the $695 Cold Weather package featuring heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. You can also buy the $795 Advanced Safety package, $995 Active Safety Package, and $995 Technology Package. All purchases come with a $1,495 destination fee.


Value

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With its quiet ride, great visibility, and modern conveniences, the Wrangler is a fun vehicle to drive. A high towing capacity, powerful engine, and sturdy build add to the vehicle's utility. The Wrangler is even more fun offroad, when you can put its sturdy tires and offroad accessories to use. Reviewers feel that the Wrangler's coolness factor puts it ahead of the competition, though you might worry about its safety ratings if you plan to use it as a family hauler. In addition, the two-door Wrangler isn't ideal for transporting families or cargo.

Compared to other midsize SUVs in its class, such as the Jeep Gladiator or Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 2020 Wrangler is overall above average for its high price. The Gladiator boasts an open bed and a far higher towing capacity, but it's also $5,000 more expensive than the Wrangler. Similarly, the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee have a higher towing capacity and more powerful engines than the Wrangler, but the Wrangler has a superior offroad capacity.


More Photos

See more 2020 Jeep Wrangler photos here.