Home Auto 2023 Jeep Wrangler Review, Pricing, and Specs

2023 Jeep Wrangler Review, Pricing, and Specs

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Overview

From its very beginnings the Jeep Wrangler has told a patriotic story, drawing inspiration from the military Willys Jeeps that helped the allies win World War II. Since then, the Wrangler has taken on civilian form and now has a couple of tires in the luxury market in terms of both price and features. A variety of fuel-swigging powertrains and two body styles help give the Wrangler broad appeal. A plug-in hybrid variant is offered too, but there’s nothing more distinctly American than the range-topping 470-hp V-8–powered Rubicon 392model. All Wranglers come with four-wheel drive and a varying set of off-road capable features, and most models will take you just about anywhere you want to go so long as you have the driving skills to match. On the pavement is where the Wrangler shows its flaws. Its ride can be jarring over rough roads, its steering vague on the highway—and as an errand runner isn’t the handiest. Regardless, the Jeep enjoys a loyal fanbase that would never consider a Ford Bronco or a Toyota 4Runner.

What’s New for 2023?

A new Freedom Edition model joins the Wrangler lineup, but only for a limited time. It wears a military-themed exterior treatment, a steel front bumper, and rock rails on the sides. Elsewhere in the lineup, the Rubicon receives new 17-inch wheel designs. Two new paint colors are now available called Earl and Reign, names which don’t give you a clue as to their true hues. But we’re here to help; you can learn what they look like here.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

Sport

$31,890

$35,090

Freedom Edition

$38,385

Willys

$38,485

Rubicon

$43,695

Sahara

$45,915

Sahara Altitude

$49,810

Sahara High Altitude

$55,010

Sahara 4xe PHEV

$56,360

Rubicon 4xe PHEV

$60,190

Sahara High Altitude 4xe PHEV

$62,135

Rubicon 392

$81,590

We like the idea of staying close to the Wrangler’s simple roots while keeping the price towards the low end of the range, so we’d start with the two-door Wrangler—which comes standard with a removable cloth top. We don’t want to go full World War II bare bones, so we’d opt for the Wrangler Sport S for its extra equipment, which includes air conditioning, a leather-covered steering wheel, power windows and locks, automatic headlamps, heated mirrors, and more. Beyond that, we’d spec the 270-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder for its 295 pound-feet of torque —35 pound-feet more than the standard V-6. The four-cylinder also comes standard with an eight-speed automatic, a powertrain combination that should make for low-stress trail driving. We’d also opt for the Technology package for its larger 7.0-inch touchscreen and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The standard 285-hp 3.6-liter V-6 from the previous-generation Wrangler makes its way under the hood of the new JL and can be paired with a six-speed manual gearbox or a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine is optional and teams up with an electric motor to provide additional low-end power. In addition to the standard V-6 and optional four-cylinder hybrid, the Wrangler can also be equipped with a 3.6-liter V-6 with similar hybrid assist, a 3.0-liter diesel V-6; a 375-hp plug-in hybrid 4xe powertrain, and a 6.4-liter V-8 are also available. Wranglers are born off-road ready, so part-time four-wheel drive is standard across the range and is controlled by a lever on the center console. In our testing, a base two-door Wrangler Sport with the V-6 and the six-speed manual transmission sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds; a well-equipped four-door Sahara model with the automatic transmission did the deed in 6.8 seconds. With the four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, the four-door Sahara was slightly quicker at 6.5 seconds to 60 mph. The Rubicon model and the High Tide model—both of which carry additional weight in the form of heavier-duty off-roading equipment—weren’t as quick as the others in our testing. Performance at our test track shows that the Wrangler JL is much improved compared with the previous model, but it’s merely holding steady with its rivals in some metrics. Although its handling has improved, it’s still trucklike in comparison with today’s refined SUVs and pickups. The ride in the four-door is acceptably smooth over rough surfaces, but braking distances were inconsistent between our two test vehicles.

Range, Charging, and Battery Life

If the idea of tackling trails under electric-only power is appealing to you, then the 4xe powertrain is the obvious choice. The 17.0-kWh battery pack is said to provide up to 25 miles of electric-only driving, but Jeep says that’s enough for a few hours of low-speed off-roading. When the battery runs out, the turbocharged four-cylinder is capable of driving all four wheels like a normal Wrangler, so you needn’t be concerned about being stranded without a charge.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

In this segment of gas guzzlers, it doesn’t take much to be at the top of the class. The Wrangler’s EPA fuel economy estimates put it ahead of rivals such as the Bronco and the 4Runner. The most fuel-efficient version features the diesel engine that tops out at 22 mpg city and 29 highway. The V-6-powered four-door Wrangler Sahara returned a 20-mpg result on our 75-mph highway fuel economy route, 3 mpg fewer than its EPA rating for highway fuel economy. The turbocharged four-cylinder hybrid model fared much better, delivering 26 mpg—2 mpg more than expected. For more information about the Wrangler’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

It’s not the most spacious or accommodating SUV available, but the Wrangler provides a seamless blend of vintage and modern Jeep character. A commanding view of the road—or trail—makes for easy maneuverability, but the view rearward is obscured by thick roof pillars, roll bars, and various grab handles. Need a better view? Just pop the top and remove the doors. Seated close to the upright windshield, the driver and front-seat passenger face a narrow, squared-off dashboard punctuated by round air vents and chunky switchgear for the climate-control system, power windows (if equipped), and infotainment. As an errand runner, the Wrangler offers enough room for groceries and gear, but be aware that its rear seats don’t fold flush with the floor. As you might expect, there’s a significant cargo-hauling tradeoff for going with the classic two-door Wrangler versus the larger Unlimited four-door model. Fitting just two of our carry-on cases behind the two-door’s back seat—versus 10 for the four-door—means packing light if you’re adventuring with friends.

Infotainment and Connectivity

A Wrangler can be outfitted with only the essentials or can be loaded up with modern infotainment goodies. Its infotainment interface—called Uconnect—is easy to use, quick to respond, and can be displayed on a touchscreen available in three sizes. Apple Car Play and Android Auto are both optional, as are navigation and a nine-speaker Alpine audio system.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Jeep offers only a handful of optional driver-assistance features but none of the high-tech equipment that we expect to see on vehicles with price tags stretching into the $40,000-plus and $50,000-plus ranges. For more information about the Wrangler’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Available blind-spot monitoring
  • Available rear cross-traffic alert
  • Available rear parking sensors

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Jeep doesn’t give Wrangler buyers much to get excited about in terms of warranty, with a standard package that includes limited warranty and powertrain policies that toe the same line as its rivals. However, all 2021 models do come with three years of free maintenance.

  • Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Three years of complimentary scheduled maintenance is included

Specifications

Specifications

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited High Tide

Vehicle Type: front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE

Base/As Tested: $35,640/$58,695

ENGINE

DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 220 in3, 3604 cm3

Power: 285 hp @ 6400 rpm

Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm

TRANSMISSION

8-speed automatic

CHASSIS

Suspension, F/R: live axle/live axle

Brakes, F/R: 12.9-in vented disc/13.6-in vented disc

Tires: BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2

LT 315/70R-17 113/110S Load Range C M+S

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 118.4 in

Length: 192.5 in

Width: 79.3 in

Height: 75.5 in

Passenger Volume: 104 ft3

Cargo Volume: 32 ft3

Curb Weight: 4829 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 7.7 sec

1/4-Mile: 16.3 sec @ 84 mph
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.

Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 8.1 sec

Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.9 sec

Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 5.5 sec

Top Speed (gov ltd): 97 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 211 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.69 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY

Observed: 16 mpg

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Combined/City/Highway: 20/18/23 mpg

C/D TESTING EXPLAINED

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4xe

Vehicle Type: front-engine, front- and mid-motor, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE

Base/As Tested: $53,190/$62,415

POWERTRAIN

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 270 hp, 295 lb-ft + 2 AC motors, 44 and 134 hp, 39 and 181 lb-ft (combined output: 375 hp, 470 lb-ft; 14.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack (C/D est); 7.2-kW onboard charger)

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

CHASSIS

Suspension, F/R: live axle/live axle; Brakes, F/R: 12.9-in vented disc/13.6-in vented disc; Tires: BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A KO2 Baja Champion LT285/70R-17 116/113Q M+S

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 118.4 in

Length: 188.4 in

Width: 73.8 in

Height: 73.5 in

Passenger Volume: 109 ft3

Cargo Volume: 28 ft3

Curb Weight: 5318 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 5.5 sec

1/4-Mile: 14.1 sec @ 96 mph
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.2 sec

Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.5 sec

Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.7 sec

Top Speed (gov ltd): 100 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 217 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.72 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY

Observed: 16 MPGe

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Combined/City/Highway: 20/20/20 mpg

Combined Gasoline + Electricity: 49 MPGe

EV Range: 21 mi

More Features and Specs

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