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Anthony Sophinos
Automotive Editor - January 14, 2019

Expert Rating

2.6 (Fair)
17 City / 25 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

2019 Jeep Wrangler OVERVIEW

It's the vehicle that needs no introduction. Its silhouette is instantly recognizable. Upon the back of its rough-riding frame a war was won and a legend was born. It's envied by all the competition yet remains as inimitable as ever. There's no doubt about it – the Jeep Wrangler is about as iconic as it gets.

What's New for 2019

After being all-new for 2018, the Wrangler sees only minor changes for the new year. Expect a new exterior color (Bikini), as well as an expanded Advanced Safety Group that now includes adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning.

Jeep Wrangler

Choosing Your Jeep Wrangler

Choice abounds with the Wrangler, but a bold line of demarcation can be drawn between the number of available doors. Two-door models, though less popular than years past, remain as the less practical but more romantic option. Four-door versions, dubbed Unlimited, are pricier but offer increased space and comfort. This article focuses on the two-door models; Jeep Wrangler Unlimited models are covered separately.

Perhaps as a result of its waning popularity, Jeep offers the two-door in only three trim levels: the base Sport, the slightly-less-base Sport S, and the trail-focused Rubicon. All three trims come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 that's hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission. If this combo sounds familiar, it is – it's been doing duty in the Wrangler since 2012. Output is rated at 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Per the EPA, fuel economy comes in at 17 miles per gallon city, 25 mpg highway, and 20 combined. The optional eight-speed automatic costs $2,000, and it helps the V6 return 18/23/20 mpg (city/highway/combined).

The optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder returns better mileage with hardly any sacrifice in power. The 270-horse engine manages 23/25/24 mpg, though it quaffs the premium stuff. Unlike the V6, this engine is paired exclusively with the eight-speed automatic.

Also unlike the V6, Jeep engineers have fitted the four-cylinder with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. The 22-hp electrical motor lets the gas engine sit out during highway cruises and will also provide a boost of torque when starting off from a standstill. This bit of technological prowess – one of the only major leaps forward in the notoriously and endearingly retro Wrangler – sets interested parties back $3,000.

Two different roof options are available for the two-door Wrangler. The standard, no-charge top is a canvas piece that zips and snaps into place. When the moment strikes to fold it away, it tucks neatly behind the second row of seats like any fabric-topped roadster.

The optional top is a $1,195 three-piece aluminium hardtop labeled "Freedom Top" by the Jeep marketing team. This roof offers better security and noise suppression than the soft top, and the lightweight aluminium construction allows it to be handled by one person without much difficultly. Either the entire top or just the panels over the front passengers can be removed.

The rock-bashing, mud-mashing feats that the Wrangler accomplishes so effortlessly can be accredited to the hardware hiding underneath the frame. Dana front and rear axles, a two-speed part-time transfer case, and skid plates come standard even on the base Sport. Breakover, approach, and departure angles for the base model are 25, 41.4, and 35.9 degrees, respectively. The 9.7 inches of ground clearance allows the Wrangler to clear rocks and other trail detritus without issue.


The cheapest Wrangler is a Sport, which stickers for $29,540 (all prices include the $1,495 destination charge). Standard features are few and far between – expect cloth seats, manual locks, crank windows, and no air conditioning. Audio needs are managed via a five-inch touchscreen with aux, USB port, and Bluetooth; eight speakers pipe the sound into the cabin. The driver's seat offers six-way manual adjustment, and drivers look out onto a cluster housing a 3.5-inch TFT information screen. Safety features include hill descent control, trailer sway assist, and electronic roll mitigation.

The Sport offers little in optional features. Leather seats are $1,750, air conditioning is $1,295, and a cigarette lighter costs all of $30. The only package available is the Trailer Tow Group. For $795, it includes a 240-amp alternator, 700-amp battery, both four- and seven-pin wiring harnesses, auxiliary switches, and a class II hitch.

Sport S

The $32,740 Sport S slots in above the Sport, and the extra S denotes an extra heaping of standard features as well as optional extras. When compared to the Sport, the extra luxuries of the S include heated and power-adjustable mirrors, 17-inch painted wheels, power locks and power windows, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio controls, and automatic headlights.

Four comfort and convenience packages are available with the S. The $395 Convenience Group includes a universal garage-door opener as well as remote start (the latter only available on automatic models). The $695 Cold Weather Group includes heated seats and steering wheel as well as remote start (again, only automatics get the remote start). For only $995 each, the Technology and Active Safety Groups are relative bargains. The tech package comes with a seven-inch touchscreen, automatic climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM radio, and Uconnect4 infotainment software. The Active Safety Group bundles LED taillights, blind-spot monitoring, rear parking assist, and cross-path detection. A nine-speaker Alpine audio system is $1,295. The leather and the Trailer Tow Group are again available.


This is the Jeep for those who want to exploit the full suspension articulation and rock-grappling qualities of the Wrangler. Priced at $39,540, the Rubicon is ready for the trail with 33-inch off-road tires, Dana 44 wide-track axles, true-Lock front and rear locking differentials, a 4:1 low range transfer case, electronic front sway-bar disconnect, steel rock rails, winch-ready steel bumpers, and high-clearance fender flares ready for a lift kit. If this sounds more like a Christmas wish list than complete gibberish, then this is the Wrangler for you. Also standard on the Rubicon is the entirety of the Technology Group, automatic climate control, the seven-inch touchscreen, and ambient LED lighting.

The Cold Weather, Trailer Tow, and Active Safety Groups are again available. An LED Lighting Group costs $995. Navigation, an 8.4-inch touchscreen, and the Alpine audio system are bundled under the $1,595 Electronic Infotainment System Group. Adaptive cruise and forward collision warning together cost $795.

CarsDirect Tip

If you're looking to go ditch the pavement and triumph over nature on your way home from dealer, buy the 2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon – its list of included goodies is enough to make any off-roader salivate with want. If you plan to use your Jeep in a more casual manner, look toward the Sport S, which offers more on-road comfort than the Rubicon but more standard and optional features than the truly old-school Sport.

Get your price on a Jeep Wrangler »

Best Jeep Deals & Lease Offers In May

May brings a few changes to Jeep's incentives. Promotional financing offers are a bit less attractive this month as 0% APR has been decreased to a 72-month term. However,... View All Jeep Lease Deals


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