The Jeep Wrangler is a true O.G. This body-on-frame SUV has defied modernization trends and offered up proper rugged utility for years, although its latest generation truly improved the driving experience while adding a great deal of modern tech.
The JL generation of Jeep Wrangler started production in late 2017 as a 2018 model. Even though it’s still quite new, Jeep saw fit to introduce some new powertrains and trims to keep things interesting.
Read next: Our latest Jeep Wrangler review.
Powertrain and specs
The notable powertrain update for the 2020 Jeep Wrangler is the introduction of a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6, which puts out 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. Auto stop-start is standard, as is an eight-speed automatic transmission built to handle the diesel’s extra torque. It’ll be available on Rubicon, Sahara and Sport trims, which covers just about the entirety of the 2020 Wrangler lineup. However, it’s a “late availability” powertrain, so it should show up toward the tail end of the 2020 model year.
The Wrangler’s base engine is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which makes 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. It can be mated to either an eight-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. Those looking for a little more low-end grunt might want to pick up the optional 2.0-liter I4, which makes 270 hp and 295 lb-ft, although it’s only available with the eight-speed automatic. Both engines can be coupled to the buyer’s choice of engine stop-start or a 48-volt mild hybrid system.
As with every other Wrangler through history, the powertrain hooks up to a drivetrain that’s ready for the rough stuff. All trims wear new Dana solid axles front and rear. The Sahara and Sport variants utilize a two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low range, while the Rubicon has a bulkier setup with a 4.0:1 low range ratio. Sahara and Sport Wranglers can option a limited-slip rear differential, while the Rubicon version has electronically locking front and rear differentials, in addition to a disconnecting front sway bar.
Combine that with an approach angle of 44 degree, a breakover angle of 27.8 degrees, a departure angle of 37 degrees and a ground clearance of 10.9 inches, and you’ve got one seriously capable machine.
On the fuel economy front, the most efficient 2020 Wrangler is the two-door variant combined with the 2.0-liter engine, which puts out 22 miles per gallon city and 24 mpg highway. The least efficient is the four-door Wrangler Unlimited with the 3.6-liter V6 and a manual, which produces 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. The remaining variants all slide between those two extremes. The EPA has not yet released its figures for the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6.
The 2020 update also adds two new variants. The Wrangler Black & Tan offers a tan soft top and a two-tone interior that features tan seats. It comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, side steps, a black instrument panel and the 7-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system. The Wrangler Willys returns, too, bringing with it a limited-slip rear differential, Rubicon shocks and rock rails, beefier brakes, 32-inch mud tires and 17-inch black aluminum wheels.
The 2020 Jeep Wrangler has an interior that seats four people in the two-door variant, expanding seating to five in the four-door Unlimited variant. Cloth seating is standard for most trims, but leather is available on higher models. It’s a wash-out interior, so you’re able to hose parts down and let the water flow out via a one-way drain valve. The carpet is removable, too, to make sure every nook and cranny is reached.
The flat dashboard is largely the same as before, including the iconic window-switch placement just ahead of the shifter. There’s space for both a shift lever and a transfer case lever on the center console, and the switchgear above it has been modernized. There’s also space for a much larger screen than before between the air vents.
Two-door variants don’t have much cargo capacity — 12.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up, and 46.9 when folded down. Wrangler Unlimited models, on the other hand, are pretty capacious, offering 31.7 cubic feet of space behind the second row, expanding to 72.4 cubic feet when the second row is folded down.
All variants of the 2020 Jeep Wrangler wield Fiat Chrysler’s excellent Uconnect infotainment system. Lower models make do with a 5-inch touchscreen flanked by physical buttons and knobs, while uprated models get a 7-inch display that ditches the buttons on either side. An 8.4-inch touchscreen is also available, which includes embedded navigation. The smallest screen lacks smartphone mirroring, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come on the larger setups.
The Jeep Wrangler is a bit of an old-school car, and thus, it’s not surprising that there aren’t many safety features standard on it. There are some available safety systems, though, including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams and blind spot monitoring, in addition to rear parking sensors.
Options and pricing
The two-door 2020 Jeep Wrangler is offered in five different variants. The base Sport starts at $29,790 before destination. The Sport S asks $32,990, while the Sport Black & Tan brings that up to $34,685. The Willys is just a bit more expensive at $35,485, and the two-door range tops out with the $39,790 Rubicon.
The Wrangler Unlimited offers a bit more variety, but it’s also a bit more expensive, starting at $33,290 for a base Wrangler Unlimited Sport. The Sport S rises to $36,490, and the Sport Black & Tan costs $38,185, the same price as the Sport Altitude variant. The Willys will set you back $38,985, while the Sahara breaks the 40-grand mark at $40,140. The top two trims are mighty expensive, with the Rubicon asking $43,290 and the Sahara Altitude commanding $43,345. All of the above prices include Jeep’s awfully lofty $1,495 destination charge.
The 2020 Jeep Wrangler is now on sale at dealers nationwide.