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.
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.
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.