The 2020 Jeep Wrangler carries the legacy of America’s favorite boxy off-roader, now pushing into its fourth decade on the market. It sees minor changes, the biggest of which are two new aesthetic special editions: Willys and Black and Tan. The only other changes are tweaks to feature availability.
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2020 Jeep Wrangler Overview
Choosing Your Jeep Wrangler
The two-door Jeep Wrangler is available in three trims: Sport, Sport S, and Rubicon. The two special editions, the Black and Tan and Willys, are based on the Sport S. Pricing starts at $29,790 including destination for the Sport and extends to $39,790 for the Rubicon.
The Wrangler is available with two engines. All models start with a 3.6-liter V6, but are also available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Unfortunately, the new Wrangler diesel offering is reserved for four-door models, which are covered separately.
|Engine Type||Horsepower||Torque||Fuel Economy (Combined)|
|3.6L V6||285 hp||260 lb-ft||20 mpg|
|2.0L Turbo 4-Cylinder||270 hp||295 lb-ft||23 mpg|
Both send power to all four wheels. The base engine comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but an eight-speed automatic is a $2,500 option. The turbo four-cylinder engine is only available with the eight-speed automatic, which adds $1,500 to the bottom line.
Oddly, moving to the four-cylinder engine also requires buyers to add air conditioning ($1,295) on Sport models, or the Technology Group ($995) on Sport S models (except the Black and Tan). This means a net price change that's greater than $1,500.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The two-door Jeep Wrangler seats four, although the rear seats aren’t spacious. Neither is the cargo area – there’s just 12.9 cubic feet of space behind the second row. The story isn’t much better with the seats folded, with only 31.7 cubic feet. At least you can pop the roof off if you need to carry something tall.
The Wrangler doesn't come standard with any active safety features. On Sport S models, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, LED taillights, and rear park assist are available through the $995 Safety Group.
With that package selected, buyers can also tick the box for the $795 Advanced Safety Group, which adds automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control.
The Jeep Wrangler comes standard with a simple 5-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth and Satellite Radio. Getting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility means upgrading to at least a Sport S, where a 7-inch screen is available through the $995 Technology Group.
The 7-inch display is standard on the Rubicon, while an 8.4-inch unit is available. The $1,595 8.4-Inch Radio and Premium Audio Group adds that plus navigation, wi-fi hot spot capability, HD radio, and an Alpine audio system.
The Wrangler Sport gets a few nods to modernity, but mostly it’s as basic as they come. Push button start and a rearview camera come standard, but the Sport uses hand-crank windows and manual-adjust seats. Air conditioning is optional, and it costs $1,295.
It’s among the only available options, too. Besides a towing group ($795) and leather seats ($1,750), Jeep leaves little choice left to buyers. An anti-spin rear differential rear axle is available for $595.
The Sport S adds in the features that most buyers probably expect from a $30,000 vehicle. That includes power windows, air conditioning, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and heated exterior mirrors.
Heated seats and a heated steering wheel come in the Cold Weather Group ($695), and a universal garage opener comes with the Convenience Group ($395). Both include remote start, as long as you haven’t selected the manual transmission.
The Black and Tan special edition ($1,695) includes the contents of the Technology Package and a few aesthetic tweaks like tan cloth seats and exclusive matte gray rims. Though it doesn't actually have to be black, it does come with a tan roof (and the black looks good).
The Willys special edition ($2,495) is aimed at functionality away from the pavement. Mud-ready tires join heavy-duty shocks, rock rails, a limited-slip rear differential, and beefed up brakes. The exterior gets LED lights, a blacked-out grille, and Willys badging. The Technology Pack isn’t included.
The Rubicon trim is the pinnacle of the Wrangler lineup in both luxury and off-road performance, and it commands a significant price premium as a result. A low-speed transfer case is standard, as are 33-inch all-terrain tires, an electronically locking differential, a disconnecting front sway bar, heavy-duty axles, and rock rails.
LED headlights, taillights, fog lights, and daytime running lights are available in the LED Lighting Group ($995). Steel front and rear bumpers are also available in the Steel Bumper Group ($1,295).
Off-road aficionados will flock to the Willys special edition and Rubicon, but the Sport S is the best value in the 2020 Jeep Wrangler lineup. With the Technology Group added, it ought to be enough for most buyers.
2020 Jeep Wrangler Review
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.
- Off-road capability
- Old-school charm
- Improved on-road handling
- Unbelievably expensive
- Questionable safety
- Uncomfortable on long drives
The original. While the Jeep Wrangler is now most popularly purchased in four-door Wrangler Unlimited form, the two-door Wrangler thankfully remains for 2020. In this configuration, the Wrangler could be seen as the off-road counterpart to a sports car; they may not overlap in aim or capability, but they both sacrifice function for fun.
That said, the 2020 Jeep Wrangler is easier to live with. Updates to the suspension, aerodynamics, and steering have made it better to drive at highway speeds, but don’t get the idea that the Wrangler is basically a Lexus. Jeep has only made it no longer uncomfortable; it could be a lot better.
Off-road prowess. The Jeep Wrangler has been known as the gold standard for off-roading for decades (in the United States, at least), with the latest model continuing the trend. No other vehicle for sale in the U.S. market can do everything and go anywhere a Wrangler can.
The reason for this unparalleled ability is the equipment included. Unlike almost every other SUV on the market these days, the Wrangler has solid axles and a ladder frame for extra durability, rigidity, and articulation.
Top of the line Rubicon models come with the motherload of off-road kits, including beefy all-terrain tires, a low-speed transfer case, and more to make it unquestionably the most off-road capable vehicle available straight from the factory.
While those characteristics are common to both Wrangler configurations, the two-door Wrangler in particular is even more capable than the four-door. Much of this is due to its shorter wheelbase, which makes it more agile in tight spots and allows it to clear sharper obstacles. In terms of application, the two-door model would be better for rock-crawling, while the four-door would be better at overland adventuring.
Bizarrely expensive. While the latest version of the Wrangler is much improved over the previous generation, there isn’t much that can be considered cutting edge about it. Most of the Wrangler’s features were developed decades ago, including the parts that make it so good at off-roading.
Therefore, it’s a bit of a mystery then as to why the Wrangler is so expensive. The base model’s near-$30,000 starting price is competitive with entry-level luxury cars, yet it doesn’t include basic features like air conditioning or power windows. Based on features alone, the Wrangler would be priced closer to $20,000 in a sane world.
But supply and demand is a funny thing isn’t it? The Wrangler is largely that expensive because people are still plenty willing to buy it, and because it simply doesn’t have any competitors. The rest of the automotive world left the Wrangler behind decades ago, but demand clearly remains for an old-school off-roader with loads of charm.
Comfortable … enough. While improvements have been made, the two-door Wrangler still isn’t a place that we’d want to spend a huge amount of time in. While better for off-roading, the shorter wheelbase of the two-door makes it feel much more skittish on the road than the four-door model, meaning you’ll be putting more effort into keeping it going where you want it to.
Interior space is also reduced with the Wrangler two-door. While it does have a rear seat, it's cramped and difficult to get to, and the total cargo room isn’t something to brag about either. But staying true to the sports car analogy, the two-door Wrangler is more of a toy than a family vehicle, so sacrifices are expected.
Old-school safety. The Wrangler is somewhat disconcerting when it comes to safety. The two-door model doesn't get crash tested, while the four-door only scored four stars in NHTSA frontal crash tests and three stars in rollover tests.
At the same time, the Wrangler comes with no standard driver assistance features at any trim, which is an increasing oddity on the market. However, some features like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring are available, but be prepared to spend a bit extra.
Final thoughts. The 2020 Jeep Wrangler two-door is quite possibly the most old-school vehicle currently available, for better or for worse. While it has had some improvements, it remains the off-road adventure vehicle that so many fell in love with decades ago. The charm is undeniable, but there are some things that give us pause, like the expensive price tag and questionable safety.
Ultimately, the Wrangler two-door is really the last of its kind on the market. Nothing can be seen as a true alternative, but more family-oriented buyers should look at the four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited models.
If you’d like to go off-road a bit but want something more livable, consider a Land Rover Discovery Sport, which offers off-road capabilities and luxury at a price tag comparable to a Wrangler Rubicon.
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