A white 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is shown from the front on a dirt road at dusk.

Are You Ready for the Jeep Life OR the Jeep Life UNLIMITED?

To anyone who is fascinated with or ready for the Jeep Wrangler Life—there is one ultimate question: go with the classic we all know and love, or the upgraded enhanced Unlimited? If you are looking at a new Wrangler, the between the 2020 Jeep Wrangler or 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited can definitely be tough.

What we know, love, and have come to expect from Jeep is adventure and freedom around every corner. Owners will often say the biggest, and best question with a Jeep is whether or not to go topless for the day, or just go full naked (no doors). But if you don’t yet own a jeep and are trying to decide if the Jeep life is for you (or you know it is, but want to be informed before buying), the biggest question is whether or not to go for just the Jeep Wrangler, or the Jeep Wrangler unlimited.

Under the Hood

The biggest noticeable difference right off the assembly line between a 2020 Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is that the regular Wrangler has two fewer doors. But at a starting MSRP of $28,295, some off-roaders will take it. In exchange for not having to maintain those extra gaskets and door hardware, losing the extra doors and saving some of the cash for fuel and trips can be worth it. But what’s under the hood? Is there a difference in the 2020 Jeep Wrangler vs the Wrangler Unlimited models other than there being two fewer doors?

If you want a diesel engine, you won’t get it from a 2020 Jeep Wrangler unless you go Unlimited. It is one of the things that defines the Unlimited lineup. If you are planning to tow with your Jeep or want a maximized off-roading experience, the Unlimited is the money-saving way to get everything up-front rather than pay for expensive enhancements down the road.

Unlike many other manufacturers, Jeep add-ons can often be more expensive and labor-intensive to self-install or get from the local shop. This isn’t always the case, and it’s not to say that the enhancements in and of themselves are terribly pricey; but when Jeep offers an entertainment, towing, or all-weathering package for only a few hundred more than the standard options? I’ll take paying $400 upfront for my options rather than investing $1,000 in time, labor, and parts down the road any day. It gives the owner more time to sit back and enjoy their Jeep and only worry about taking the iconic doors-off approach into labor consideration when wanting to modify on the fly.

A red 2020 Jeep Wrangler is crossing a river in the woods.

Thirteen Different 2020 Wrangler Models?! What Are They Thinking?

Recreation merges with tech when it comes to Jeep in a way completely unmatched by any other manufacturer. Most safety and tech features are available across all models, if not standard.

Jeep currently has thirteen different models in the Wrangler lineup, each offering their own unique touches, colors, and performance packages; but, one has to ask with so many models, are they really that different? To start with, the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Altitude, Sahara, Sahara Altitude, North Edition, and High Altitude only come in the Unlimited option.

Especially with an MSRP that ranges from $28,295 to over $50k, what are the key components that really make each model stand out? The models really start breaking away and shining in their tech and safety feature differences as soon as you start looking at the Sport S.

The next breakaway or extra step up in advancements comes with the Willys model that offers towing packages. Next would be the Freedom’s truly all-encompassing range of packages. As you go further up the line, the biggest takeaway are the sleeker and more customizable interior and exterior options, more narrow choices in classic colors, and more engine power along with automatic transmissions being standard.

The most recreational difference in convenience and tech with classic vs Unlimited across all models is by far the option of the Sun and Sound package. With this package you can find extras like:

  • 115-Volt Auxiliary Power Outlet
  • Uconnect® 4C NAV with 8.4-Inch Display
  • 8.4-Inch Radio and Premium Audio Group
  • Console-Bin Task-Light
  • Dual Remote USB Port – Charge Only
  • Remote USB Port – Charge Only
  • Sky One-Touch Power Top

Tire Size and Other Body Features

Another all-time iconic feature of the Wrangler is its high clearance and massive tires. The standard wheel sizes are either 17 or 18 inches, but on the High Altitude model, 20-inch wheels are available.

The 17-inch wheels are standard across most models, and the 32-inch tires are available on the Black and Tan trim. As previously stated, you will only see the 20-inch wheels on the High Altitude, and the 33-inch tires are special to the Rubicon and Rubicon Recon. Double-check the availability for all-terrain and off-roading tires and interior packages, along with steel grill and reinforced rail and Mopar reinforcement options when choosing your model. Not all options come standard, and some of the models are just not as well equipped for the off-road and all-weather experience.

The all-weather package, engine safety features, roof reinforcement, and exterior convenience options are another key reason to go with the unlimited. With heated seats, standard mount assist, Mopar reinforcement in the ceiling- interior and exterior, and heat spill-over protection for the engine, the Unlimited is your best choice for preserving the longevity and versatility of your Jeep—whatever the model.

A red 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is climbing rocks during the 2020 Jeep Wrangler comparison.

Why A Jeep?

When it comes down to it, being a part of a larger community and having a utility vehicle that is ready for the daily adventure—and the apocalypse—is every American’s dream. But don’t just take it from me. Many Jeep Lifers have nothing but loving words.

For some who have owned many vehicles in their lifetime, their Jeep passion is similar to that of Eric, Jeep owner, car enthusiast, and blogger for Jeepsies. Eric said, “I’ve driven sports cars, luxury cars, trucks, convertibles, and practically every type and style of vehicle there is. Having said that, I’ve never felt as passionate as I do about any vehicle as I do my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. By far it is my favorite vehicle I’ve ever owned. Nothing compares, nothing comes close.”

On top of the off-roading adventures that some Jeep owners love, when you buy a Jeep you “to put it mildly, as a Jeep owner, you’ll instantly become part of an insanely passionate group of rabid, welcoming, helpful, and waving enthusiasts.” If you love adventure, nature, down-and-dirty off-roading, and having your back-up plan for the apocalypse parked in your driveway, then there is no question why the Jeep life is the only life.

Wrangler or the Wrangler Unlimited?

To sum it up, what are the overall differences between the Limited vs Unlimited models across the board? Better all-weathering package options, on-road vs off-road convenience packages to support more off-road fun, more expansive and more powerful engine options, and those passenger-loving extra doors. Go with the Unlimited Wrangler to be able to get full enjoyment out of the on-the-fly opportunities in life with more comfort, ease, and adventuring spirit.