Is the Jeep Wrangler a good SUV?
The Jeep Wrangler is a fine SUV, but its features mean it will likely be your first or last choice. An excellent off-road machine, the Wrangler has some powerful powertrains, including the new 2021 plug-in hybrid and the Hemi V8.
This SUV comes with the easy-to-use Uconnect infotainment system, and the four-door Wrangler Unlimited also has a spacious interior. Oh, and you can remove the top and doors on every Wrangler, which is a nice plus.
That said, the Wrangler lags far behind, if not all, of all other compact SUVs in areas unrelated to rugged capability. The base engine is beefed up, and the optional diesel engine is the only one that allows it to be close to the estimated average fuel economy in its class. Many competitors offer a smoother ride and excellent handling.
The Wrangler’s rugged interior works, but this SUV has less material than most of its top-shelf competitors. The two-door Wrangler also has less cargo space than almost any small SUV (though the four-door has more than most). After all, the Wrangler has a poor safety rating.
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This Wrangler review for 2021 includes research applicable to all models in this generation, starting in 2018.
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Should I Buy a Jeep Wrangler?
Unless you do off-roading a lot, you’re probably better off with another SUV in its class. The Wrangler is the king of its niche, but it sacrifices everyday comfort and practicality. In addition, this SUV has an entry-level price that is much higher than most of its competitors in its class, so it doesn’t offer much for the money.
If your main goal is to stay on the pavement, then you should look to competitors like the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, and Kia Sportage, all of which are sportier and/or more prestigious than the Wrangler. If you still want a bit of off-road skills but don’t want to hike up the rocky trails, consider the Subaru Forester.
2020 vs 2021 Jeep Wrangler: What’s the Difference?
Jeep made two major changes to the Wrangler lineup for the 2021 model year: the debut of the all-new Wrangler 4xe, as well as the 470-horsepower Hemi V8 engine. The 4xe is the first plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler of its kind and has a 375 hp drive consisting of four turbo engines, two electric motors and an eight-speed automatic transmission. An optional front-facing off-road camera is also new for 2021.
Here are the major changes to the Jeep Wrangler in recent years:
2018: completely redesigned with upgraded interior and more standard equipment
2019: Forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control available
2020: mixed sets; Diesel engine becomes available
2021: Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid joins the lineup; The Rubicon 392 model debuts
If you’re considering an older model, be sure to read our Wrangler 2018, Wrangler 2019, and Wrangler 2020 reviews to make up your mind. Also check out our Best New Car Deals and New Car Rental Deals pages to learn more about the savings and discounts you can find on new cars.
How much does a Jeep Wrangler cost?
The Basic Wrangler has a suggested retail price of $28,475 for the two-door coupe and $31,975 for the four-door body (unlimited). That’s much higher than the entry-level prices of most other compact SUVs. The popular Wrangler Rubicon is priced at $38,875 and $42,375 for the two- and four-door bodies, respectively.
The Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid is brand new for 2021. These PHEVs start at $47,995 for the Sahara base, $51,695 for the mid-tier Rubicon, and $53,570 for the top 4-end.
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The most expensive upholstery in the Wrangler lineup is the Rubicon 392, which starts at $73,500 and is only available in four-door bodies. That’s much higher than the average price for a best-in-class coating.
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How much does it cost to insure a Jeep Wrangler?
The cost of a Jeep Wrangler insurance depends on a number of factors, including your deduction, the amount of coverage you want, and the type of insurance you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit history, and driving experience can also affect your insurance rates. You’ll find the best policy for you in our auto insurance guide.
Jeep Wrangler versus competition
If you’re considering the Wrangler, that means you might be interested in things that most other small crossovers can’t. With this in mind, the best comparisons to the Wrangler come from the Jeep family.