Review: 2020 Jeep Wrangler

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews

There are few cars on the road as purpose built as the Jeep Wrangler. Though it shouldn't be on the tarmac, but rather in the mud, because that's exactly where the Wrangler excels: off road. Let's take it for a rough run!

Initial Impression

Looking at the new Jeep Wrangler – JL in production terms - you'll notice little difference to the JK model that preceded it. But the truth is in the detail, because pretty much everything about the new Wrangler

is updated. Almost necessary one would say, as the previous model was on the market since 2006. This fourth generation is more refined, efficient, and off-road capable, while sporting improved quality, performance and updated technology.

Yet the Wrangler is still undeniably a Wrangler, made for it's purpose to tackle the toughest terrain and get washed out with a hose afterwards.

Driveability

Right off the bat, the first major improvement is the new Jeep Wrangler's on road driving. It's vastly improved over the previous model, which wasn't very comfortable (especially at higher speeds) and handled below standard. The JL however, almost handles as a standard car, yet you still feel the suspension is meant to be used off road. The refined engine, a 3.6L V6 petrol with a nice grunt and plenty of power for such a light vehicle, and the gearbox – now an 8 speed automatic – are both a big step up in regards to performance and fuel efficiency. Towing capacity is 1500kg for the two door, and 2500kg for the four door model, a lot for such a compact vehicle.

The new Wrangler is claimed to weigh 91kg less on average, helping make it 13 per cent more fuel-efficient, bringing the usage to 9.6L/100km with the petrol engine that produces 209kW/347Nm. This is plenty on road, but also off road. It's off road where the Wrangler is completely in its element. It always belonged there and was made for the mud, sand, rocks and forest trails.   With improved off-road specs including more ground clearance and better approach/departure angles, there is really no obstacle the new Wrangler cannot overcome.

Liveability

Because of it's boxy shape the Wrangler feels very spacious. The interior is more modern, yet holds to it's heritage with retro-look plaques and a handle bar in front of the passenger seat. The seats are comfortable with plenty of adjustment options and the rear legroom is plentiful if you opt for the four door Rubicon – in the other two models, its a bit tight. Where you used to have the feeling to sit outside in its predecessor, the isolation is greatly improved in the new Wrangler.

With the upgraded tech available on the touch screen, you right away know its the new Wrangler. The digital dash shows all the information anybody on or off road needs, like angles, tyre pressure and fuel usage.The luggage space is also useful, and you’ll be able to customise it to store your off road recovery gear, fridge, and other road-trip travel items.

Cost

The new Jeep Wrangler starts at almost $50,000 for the Jeep Wrangler Sport S (the soft top), which comes standard with reversing camera, rear parking sensors, keyless start and a 7.0-inch touch screen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. One step up is the Overland (the hard top), which will set you back an addition $10k.  This will get you some nice safety features like forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot and cross path detection and a larger 8.4-inch touch screen with navigation. Add that amount again and at $70,000 you'll get yourself a Rubicon, the top-of-the-range Wrangler. The most important difference is 4 instead of 2 doors, but also a lot of other extras. For this price, you're truly off road ready – yet all Wranglers are – with a more professional 4x4 system, locking differentials, heavy duty axles, rock sliders and 32” off-road tyres.

All new Wranglers come with capped price servicing during the 5-year/100,000km warranty and lifetime roadside assistance, plus Jeep's legendary 'There and Back' guarantee.

Conclusion

It looks the same with it's hallmark seven-slot grille and rugged appearance, but being 95 percent new, the JL Wrangler is definitely a new car. It holds true to its heritage, but stepped into the 21st century with a new engine and gearbox plus improved safety equipment and tech. Jeep didn't change their winning concept, they just improved it. Still ready to take on anything.

Interested in a test drive? Motorama Jeep is the place to be - so make sure you come and see the Motorama Jeep team in Moorooka or Springwood.

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Mopar is the Genuine service, parts, and customer care provider for Jeep vehicles, and for us, servicing is about so much more than maintaining the reliability and performance of your Jeep. As an authorised service outlet, we endeavor to walk alongside our customers as partners in their ownership journey.

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