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2020 Jeep Wrangler: Staying on Top

A white 2020 Jeep Wrangler is driving on a rural road at dusk.

If you know anything about the off-road vehicle market, you know there has been one undisputed king of this category for a long time now, and that would be the Jeep Wrangler. You can get into semantics and talk about different vehicle classes, like cars vs trucks vs SUVs, but overall the Wrangler will still be the best of the bunch when it comes to tackling tough terrain. Today’s 2020 Jeep Wrangler continues on with the spirit of its war-forged predecessors from decades ago, granting its passengers a unique look and uncompromisingly competitive capabilities. You can expect excellent ground clearance, heavy-duty equipment, and even some modern-day technological advancements. So what’s it missing? For an off-road adventure, just about nothing.

Past to Present

A 1940s Jeep is parked next to a red early 2000s Wrangler in front of a sand pile.

The Jeep Wrangler is actually not that old of a vehicle, especially when you think back to the history of Jeep and their involvement in WWII. No, the Wrangler only got its start in 1987. Now, that’s more than 30 years ago, but it’s still a relatively short amount of time when you think about how long the automotive industry has been around. Just look at all of the American companies that started near the beginning of the 1900s. Throughout its history, the Wrangler has been very popular, although the 2010s have seen its best numbers in terms of sheer sales. In recent years, the Wrangler has been a standout performer for Jeep, and it’s predicted that this performance will continue in much the same way for many years to come.

For many years, the Wrangler only came available as a 2-door model, but in 2007 the Wrangler Unlimited was released for the first time, which is a 4-door variant of the same vehicle. Now, the Wrangler Unlimited models have become the more popular version of the Wrangler, most likely because they offer a lot more space without sacrificing much in terms of capabilities. Of course, the 2-door version will be a bit more agile on the trail, but the 4-door Unlimited can still tackle the most rugged terrain there is.

Trim Levels and Pricing

In total, including both 2-door and 4-door models, there are 12 different trim levels to choose from and 20 different vehicle options. It can be slightly confusing to differentiate between the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited models as they share a lot of trims, the only difference being one will be a 2-door and the other a 4-door. So really, you have eight options for Wrangler models and 12 options for Wrangler Unlimited models.

The 2-door 2020 Jeep Wrangler trim levels and starting MSRPs are, Sport ($28,295), Willys Sport ($29,995), Sport S ($31,690), Black and Tan ($33,190), Willys ($33,990), Freedom ($34,190), Rubicon ($38,625) and Rubicon Recon ($43,380). The 4-door Wrangler Unlimited trims and starting MSRPs are, Sport ($31,795), Willys Sport ($33,495), Sport S ($34,995), Black and Tan ($36,690), Sport Altitude ($36,690), Willys ($37,490), Freedom ($37,690), Sahara ($38,645), Rubicon ($42,320), Sahara Altitude ($41,940), North Edition ($44,465), and Rubicon Recon ($46,880). Based on the close pricing between 2-door and 4-door on some of the trims like Willys and Black Tan, it is clear that the only major difference between the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited versions is the number of doors. Offering so many versions of the Wrangle vehicles is Jeep’s way of making sure each consumer can find the best customization to fit their needs.

Engines, Performance, and Capability

A red 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is parked on a river bank in the wilderness.

Wranglers have three different engine options to choose from if you do not include the addition of the eTorque Mild Hybrid System that is available on the two gas engine choices. Your most common engine will be the popular 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine with up to 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. This is the same engine you’ll find in the all-new Jeep Gladiator. There is also the 2.0L Turbo engine with up to 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque for a slightly different customization and improved fuel economy in the city. The third option is a 3.0L EcoDiesel engine with up to 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. Since this is a diesel engine, you’ll experience much better fuel economy numbers (22 city/29 highway) compared to the other engine options, and the low-end performance will be amazing.

With these engine options, your 4-door 2020 Wrangler models will all have a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 lbs. The 2-door Wrangler models will max out at 2,000 lbs.

All 2020 Jeep Wrangler models come with the Trail Rated badge attached, which means they’ve passed the rigorous off-road tests that Jeep puts all of their vehicles through. Typically, only specific models will be able to pass these tests, but the Wrangler is Jeep’s foremost off-road champion in its lineup. Testing involves five different categories, including traction, water fording, maneuverability, articulation, and ground clearance. The Wrangler is equipped with specific features and equipment that allowed it to pass these tests, with the first being the availability of three different 4×4 systems. You have Selec-Trac, Command-Trac, and Rock-Trac. The Selec-Trac 4×4 system will automatically switch between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive depending on what kind of terrain you’re driving on, from clear roads to snow and ice, rain, or mud. The Command-Trac 4×4 system is available to deliver torque to all four wheels when you need it and also has a very low range that’s suitable for when you want to go rock crawling. The Rock-Trac 4×4 system, as its name implies, is ultimately meant for the off-road. It has a 4:1 low gear ratio, an electronic front sway bar disconnect, and electronic locking front and rear differentials.

As if all of those features weren’t enough, you can also find 33-inch all-terrain tires on the Rubicon, heavy-duty front and rear tow hooks, high air intake, underbody skid plates, and much more. It’s obvious to see that there’s really not a lot that Jeep hasn’t thought of with their new 2020 Wrangler when it comes to going on an off-road adventure.

So is it the Best?

In an industry as competitive as car manufacturing and selling, it’s challenging to call any singular vehicle the best for anything. There are just so many carmakers and vehicles out there that it’s becoming increasingly hard to rise above the rest. Yet, the Wrangler does it year after year, and the 2020 Jeep Wrangler is no different. Jeep and off-road enthusiasts have come to expect only the best from Wranglers, and that’s exactly what they’re getting. There is no other vehicle out there that can compete with the wide range of features and options that every Wrangler comes equipped with. By this point, it’s become easy to rank the Wrangler as number one without even really checking it out. So if you’re looking for a vehicle that can handle just about any terrain on the planet, let alone a simple weekend camping trip, then look no further than the 2020 Jeep Wrangler. It’s more than comfortable enough to ride around in as a standard vehicle, but it’s also always going to be ready for an adventure should you decide to take it off the pavement.

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