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2020 Jeep Wrangler Overview
There is no other vehicle on the road today like the 2020 Jeep Wrangler. No other vehicle offers standard 4-wheel drive (4WD), removable doors, a fold-down windshield, and a removable roof that allows open-air driving. This formula has brought the Wrangler incredible popularity, turning it into an American motoring icon.
Given its popularity and status among off-roaders and weekend warriors alike, Jeep could have rested on its laurels, but the American automaker has continually evolved and improved the rugged and trusty Wrangler. But for the 2020 model year, in addition to the new Wrangler-based pickup covered separately as the Gladiator, Jeep has added an all-new turbodiesel V6 engine option as well as a few new special-edition trims.
The 2020 Jeep Wrangler is two years removed from its most recent redesign. While the exterior will always be unmistakably Wrangler, the ’18 redesign added a host of new features to make the Wrangler an easier vehicle to live with. Most notably, its soft-top is far easier to lower, operating on a rail/hinge system. The soft top's plastic windows easily slide out as well, replacing the frustrating zippers of older Jeeps that could rust and become nearly impossible to use.
But the soft-top is one of a trio of roof options for the Wrangler. In addition to the standard black soft-top, you can get a tan soft-top as part of the new “Black and Tan” edition of the Wrangler. The soft-top provides solid protection from the elements, but if you prefer something that’s literally solid, Jeep also offers a three-piece hardtop. It has two individual removable panels in the roof, one above the driver and the other above the front passenger. Other optional tops include mesh-and-cloth versions of the sunbonnet top, also colloquially known as the “Bikini Top.” These don’t provide full coverage and are probably best suited for those who live in areas that seldom see bad weather.
The Wrangler has a bold, attractive interior, with nods to older Jeeps, such as the body-color dash panel and gauge cluster design.
The Wrangler is offered in Sport, Sport S, and Rubicon trims. The Sport trim comes with manual windows and locks, fog lamps, 17-inch black-painted steel wheels, LED interior accent lighting in the cup holders, and push-button start. It also comes with eight speakers, a USB port, and a 5-inch infotainment system display. The Sport S mostly opens up the availability of options packages but also adds 17-inch alloy wheels, power windows and doors, automatic headlights, and power heated side mirrors.
For 2020, Jeep brings back the Willys edition, complete with mud-terrain tires, rock rails, a limited-slip rear differential, and a unique dark look. Another special edition for 2020 is the "Black and Tan," named for its tan soft-top, which brings a vintage look to the modern Wrangler.
Multiple powertrains are available for the Wrangler, starting with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can also choose a mild-hybrid version of this engine with eTorque assist. Select trims are also available with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that puts out 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque (and utilizes eTorque mild-hybrid tech). Later this year, buyers will be able to select a 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine that will make 260 hp and an impressive 442 lb-ft of torque.
The gas V6 comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission and is available with an 8-speed automatic. The automatic is the only transmission option for the 4-cylinder engine, and it will come on the new diesel engine. It's unknown if the turbodiesel V6 will offer a manual transmission.
While every Wrangler comes standard with 4WD, Jeep offers multiple levels of capability in its systems. The Sport comes with Command-Trac, which has a 2-speed transfer case and part-time 4WD and routes power through Dana front and rear axles. This system can be made more capable with the available Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential.
The Wrangler Rubicon comes with the Rock-Trak 4WD system with a lower low-range setting. The Rubicon also comes with a disconnecting front sway bar for increased suspension articulation and electronically locking front and rear differentials for enhanced off-roading traction. These systems can all be remotely controlled with the push of a button from the dash.
The 2020 Jeep Wrangler comes standard with a full assortment of front and side-impact airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, and backup camera. These systems ensure the all-fun Wrangler is also a practical and sensible SUV.
From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.
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