The 2020 Jeep Wrangler is about the Jeep brand — with roots from the first military World War II — and its off-road capability borders on amazing. Although it looks like a first-generation Jeep designed to supply our troops, it has become a single 4-wheel drive vehicle, with technology and luxury that matches its off-road chops. From air conditioning to leather it offers everything. Two mild-hybrid motors are available; there is also a extended, four-door variant called the Wrangler Unlimited. Regardless of what version, you can still remove the doors and the roof, fold the windshield down and drive through the open air.
Motor, Move and Output
The conventional 285-hp 3.6-liter V-6 from of the previous Wrangler generation is placed under the new JL hood and can be combined with a manual 6-speed gearbox or an automated 8-speed smoothing. An optional four-cylinder turbocharged engine with an electric motor provides additional low-end power. Wranglers were born off-road ready, thus a part-time, four-wheel drive is standard throughout the range and controlled by a central console lever.
In our tests, the two-door V-6 and six-speed manual transmission of Wrangler Sport sprinted in 6.1 seconds from zero to 60 mph; the Sahara four-door model with automatic transmission was well-equipped in six.8 seconds. The four-cylinder hybrid powertrain made the four-door Sahara a bit faster at 6.5 seconds to 60 mph. The Rubicon model — which carries extra weight as heavier off-road equipment — is not that fast. The performance on our test track demonstrates that the Wrangler JL is much better than the previous model, but only stays consistent with its competitors in some metrics. While its management has changed, it is still trucky compared to the polished SUVs and pick-ups of today. The four-door ride is appropriate over rough surfaces, but the braking distances between our two test vehicles were inconsistent.
Interior, Comfort and Freight
This isn’t a spacious or accommodating SUV, but the Wrangler JL offers a perfect combination of vintage character and modern jeep. A commanding view of the road — or the trail — is easy to maneuver, but thick roof pillars, roll bars and different grab handles obscure the visible rearward. Do you need a better picture? Only raise the top and push the doors inside. Sitting next to the upright wind shield, the driver and front-seat passenger face a small, squared-off dashboard dotted with round air vents and sumptuous air conditioning system switchgear, power windows (if equipped) and infotainments.
As an advertiser, the Wrangler provides ample room for food and supplies, but be mindful that its rear seats do not drop to the floor. The classic double-door Wrangler versus the larger Unlimited four-door model, as you might expect, offers a significant cargo shipping trade. Only fitting two of our cabinets behind the back seat of the two doors – vs 10 for the four doors – means packing light if you’re having fun with friends.