The All-New Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is the most capable Wrangler ever. True to its heritage, it has the traction to handle some of the harshest and most unpredictable driving conditions. Specification includes Hardtop Headliner, 17in alloy Wheels with Mud-terrain 32in off-road tyres, Front Sway-bar disconnectable, Exclusive Rock-Trac 4x4 System and Off Road plus mode, TRU-LOK front and rear electronic locking differentials, Uconnect 8.4 inch with Navigation, Climate Control, 7 inch Thin Film Transistor Instrument Cluster with Speedometer, Rubicon hood decal, Keyless enter-n-go, Steering wheel mounted audio controls, heated seats and heated steering wheel as part of standard spec. The legendary Wrangler just gets better and better. Now packed with extra features to make every drive an adventure, like the Sky One- touch roof for the full-on open-air experience.
Petrol 25.7 combined MPG (WLTP)
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Emissions and Fuel
* Price does not include road fund license
Deep tint sunscreen glass, Power front windows with one touch, Windshield wipers with intermittent and variable
ABS, Electronic stability control, Hill start assist, Traction control
Electronic front sway bar disconnect
Apple car play/Android Auto
Active speed limiting device, Emergency response assistance system, Off road plus mode, Parksense rear park assist system, Parkview rear backup camera, Power Steering
240 AMP heavy duty alternator, 700 amp free maintenance battery, Connected services (e-call), Select speed control
Exterior temperature gauge, Instrument cluster with 7" colour TFT Display, Trip computer, Uconnect 8.4" with navigation, Uconnect live - Europe, Vehicle information centre
Auto dimming rear view mirror, Black door mirrors, Power adjustable heated door mirrors
Alpine premium audio system with subwoofer + 9 speakers, Steering wheel mounted audio controls, USB port
Exterior Body Features
Black colour fender flares, Rock rails, Rubicon hood decal, Tubular side steps
Auto high beam, Automatic headlights, Front and rear fog lamps, Headlamp off time delay, LED tail lamp, Premium LED headlamps
12V auxiliary power outlet in centre console, 12V auxiliary power outlet in rear, Auxiliary switch bank, Centre console storage, Front centre armrest, Illuminated front cupholders, Leather wrapped steering wheel with shift knob, Lockable glovebox, Rear compartment storage system, Rear luggage cover, Storage nets, Storage trays, Tilt adjustable steering column
LED ambient lighting
Safety pack - Wrangler
3x3 point rear seatbelts, Driver / front passenger multi stage airbags, Front side airbags, Selectable tyre fill alert, Tyre pressure monitoring warning lamp
2 way manual adjustable drivers lumbar support, 4 way manually adjustable passenger seat with height, reach, tilt, backrest and headrest, 6 way manually adjustable drivers seat, 60/40 split folding rear seat, Front headrests, Heated front seats, Isofix child seat preparation, Rear headrests, Reclining front seats
Keyless entry, Keyless go with 'push to start' button, Locking fuel filler cap, Locking wheel nuts, Premium security alarm
Tru lok differentials
Sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors
Wheels - Spare
Full size spare wheel, Vinyl spare wheel Cover
|Badge Engine CC:||2.0|
|Based On ID:||N|
|Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07:||40D|
|Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years:||7|
|Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years:||2|
|NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %:||50|
|NCAP Child Occupant Protection %:||69|
|NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09:||1|
|NCAP Pedestrian Protection %:||49|
|NCAP Safety Assist %:||32|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage:||60000|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Years:||3|
|Vehicle Homologation Class:||M1|
|Standard Euro Emissions:||EURO 6|
|WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb:||269|
|WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH:||271|
|WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL:||269|
|Cylinders - Bore (mm):||84|
|Cylinders - Stroke (mm):||90|
|Fuel Delivery:||TURBO DIRECT INJECTION|
|Number of Valves:||16|
|EC Combined (mpg):||28.3|
|EC Extra Urban (mpg):||34|
|EC Urban (mpg):||23.5|
|WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb:||11|
|WLTP - MPG - Comb:||25.7|
|Engine Power - BHP:||268|
|Engine Power - KW:||200|
|Engine Power - RPM:||5250|
|Engine Torque - LBS.FT:||295|
|Engine Torque - MKG:||40.8|
|Engine Torque - NM:||400|
|Engine Torque - RPM:||3000|
|Emissions Test Cycle:||WLTP|
|RDE Certification Level:||RDE 2|
|Tyre Size Front:||255/75 R17|
|Tyre Size Rear:||255/75 R17|
|Tyre Size Spare:||FULL SIZE|
|Wheel Type:||17" ALLOY|
|Height (including roof rails):||N|
|Width (including mirrors):||N|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres):||81|
|Gross Vehicle Weight:||2574|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Down):||1059|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Up):||548|
|Max. Loading Weight:||621|
|Max. Roof Load:||45|
|Max. Towing Weight - Braked:||2495|
|Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked:||N|
|No. of Seats:||5|
|Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb:||12.28|
If you thought Jeep's Wrangler was strictly for Californian rock hoppers and D-list boy band members, think again. Jonathan Crouch puts it to the test in 'JL'-series generation Rubicon guise.
The Jeep Wrangler is an icon that has managed to remain loyal to its roots while adapting to the changing spirit of the times. If you think that it's strictly for Californian rock hoppers and D-list boy band members, then think again. This latest 'JL'-series fourth generation model is the most credible Wrangler yet, especially in this top 'Rubicon' form, justifying what Jeep sees as its position as the only true off-road company in the market.
The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most iconic serious SUVs on the planet and has never been a car to shy away from even the toughest SUV conditions. Like those this 'JL'-series model was launched into at the end of 2018. By then, the European market had decided what a fashionable SUV should be like and it wasn't anything remotely resembling this. But the Wrangler's always gone its own way and for the few who want something more authentic, its appeal remains very much unique. The 'JL' design offers better off road angles, more ground clearance and a tighter turning circle. But at the same time, today's Wrangler needed to offer slightly wider appeal. For that, brand owners Fiat Chrysler knew that a completely fresh generation of powertrains would be required. And areas like ride quality, refinement and day-to-day usability would need to be completely re-evaluated. As they have been with this 'JL'-series car. It's a Wrangler - but perhaps not quite as you know it. Let's take a closer look at the wheel of the most focused 'Rubicon' version.
Previous Wranglers never had to be very good on road. As long as they didn't shake your fillings out on the way to your surf shack, all would be forgiven once you set a tyre on the rough stuff. But Marlboro men are in short supply these days and to keep this car in customers, Jeep had to appeal beyond those who might use their cars as weekend mountain playthings. Without diluting what makes a Wrangler a Wrangler. No small task. How successful you'll perceive the designers' efforts to have been depends whether you've experienced previous versions of this Jeep. If you haven't, then you're likely to find the wind noise, the rumbly demeanour and the vague steering all pretty crude. Those coming to this car from an older Wrangler though will find this 'JL'-series model a vast improvement. The revised steering's much better and the revised five-link suspension means that potholes no longer feel like craters. The main changes though with this MK4 design have taken place beneath the bonnet. Buyers now choose between a 200hp 2.2-litre Multijet diesel or the 272hp 2.0-litre petrol turbo unit we tried, both engines available only mated to a slicker-shifting 8-speed auto gearbox. As with all proper off roaders, there's a two-speed transfer case offering a series of dedicated 4x4 driving settings - '4H', '4H part-time' and the '4LO' crawler gear. With the slightly more road-orientated 'Sahara' and 'Overland' variants, all this works through a 'Command-Trac' 4WD system, but with this more serious top 'Rubicon' derivative, there's a heavy duty 'Rock-Trac' 4WD set-up, which uses a tougher low range crawler ratio. 'Rubicon' models also get detachable 'Sway bars' for extra suspension travel; heavy duty Dana front and rear axles that can be manually locked with the brand's 'Tru-Lok' electric front and rear axle lockers; and gnarlier BF Goodrich 32-inch tyres. All of this delivers an extreme level of off road capability. And once you've experienced it, you'll view this Jeep in a whole different light.
The Wrangler format is iconic: a simple boxy body dropped onto an old-style ladder-frame chassis with a folding screen, detachable doors and a removable roof. You don't mess with that. Or with the familiar frontage, which offers up the usual circular headlights and familiar seven-slot grille. Look more closely though and you'll find that much has changed, as the designers have sought to subtly evolve the look for this fourth generation 'JL'-series model. That front grille for instance now has a canted upper section and its outer slats intersect with headlights that now feature full-LED beams from Magnetti Marelli. Even the vertical windscreen is different - it's now not quite so vertical and features a new 4-bolt design at the top of the frame that allows it to fold down far more easily, though you've still got to get your socket set out to do it Up-front, you're faced with a dashboard structure as bluff as the north face of the Eiger, but it's much more appealing than the boring plasticky layout that characterised the interior of the previous 'JK'-series model. The coloured fascia frontage aims to reference the metal-panelled dashboards used in much earlier Wranglers and the previous tightly sectioned centre stack has given way to a more open layout, though one absolutely festooned with knobs and buttons. Everything's of much better quality than anything that buyers of this model have seen before. Plus there's a sophisticated 8.8-inch centre-dash 'Uconnect' infotainment screen and a further 7-inch TFT display between the conventional dials in the instrument binnacle. We should talk about the open air aspect; all Wranglers come as standard with a three-piece Modular Hard Top with these lift-off front panels. The rear section must be removed with a socket set.
Pricing for this Rubicon model start at around £46,000 for the 2-Door version; add around £1,500 more for the 4-Door body shape most will want. The 2.0-litre GME petrol turbo unit is the same price as the 2.2-litre Multijet diesel. For true Wrangler aficionados, only this ultimate 'Rubicon' variant will do. It gets the more serious 'Rock-Trac' 4WD system, which uses a tougher low range gear ratio, heavy duty front and rear axles and 'Tru-Lok' electric front and rear axle lockers to tackle really extreme off road trails. Also helping a Wrangler Rubicon in dealing with this type of terrain are the 32-inch BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain tyres and an electronic front sway-bar disconnect system to provide additional wheel travel when conditions call for it. As for options, well we think the key thing to decide here is how you want your Wrangler's roof to be. Some might find the three lift-out panels of the standard 'Freedom Top' to be rather fiddly and cumbersome, which is why Jeep offers some other choices that replace the detachable panels with various forms of fabric hood. On the 2-Door variant, this takes the form of a manually-operable 'Premium Soft Top', covering the whole of the roof and available with either clear or tinted windows. On the 4-Door version, you can have what the company calls a 'Black Sunrider Soft Top' that slots in behind the two removable 'Freedom Top' panels (these available either in black or body colour). The 'Sunrider' hood folds back manually like the roof on a Mazda MX-5. Or, even better, you can have it specified in 'Sky One-Touch Power Top' form, with electrical operation.
A typical 4-Door Rubicon diesel model manages up to 36.2mpg on the combined cycle and 206g/km of CO2. Or 37.7mpg and 197g/km for the 2-Door. For the 2.0-litre petrol 4-Door Rubicon, you're looking at 28.2mpg and 213g/km; or 28.2mpg and 211g/km for the 2-Door. Insurance varies between groups 37D and 41D. These days, Jeep offers a much more competitive customer aftersales package - the brand's '5-3-5' offer which gives you a five year / 75,000 mile warranty, three years of servicing and five years of roadside assistance. Talking of servicing, the petrol models need a garage visit every year or every 9,000 miles - whichever occurs soonest. For the diesel variants, it's every year or 12,500 miles. What else might you need to know? Well the CO2 figures quoted and the high purchase will see the few company Wrangler users paying a hefty 37% Benefit-in-Kind tax and a £310 Luxury Car Vehicle Excise Duty supplement, which means a total road tax outlay of £450 in the first six years of ownership. At least residual values should be strong. Industry experts CAP HPI reckon that after the standard three year/60,000 mile period, a Wrangler 4-Door 2.0-litre petrol variant would still be worth 41% of its original purchase price.
You've still got to be serious about hard core off-road driving to consider a Jeep Wrangler - but not quite as serious as you had to be before. This 'JL'-series model offers considerable improvements in refinement, quality and technology. Which allows it to make a decent fist of providing versatile family transport for the user who doesn't mind making a few sacrifices at the altar of comfort, ride and handling. It's got a style all of its own, but its heart and soul remain on the Rubicon Trail rather than on the Kings Road. Thank goodness for that. Of course, it'd be a terrible choice if your SUV will have a heavy diet of on-road work - but that's like criticising a supercar for having a small boot. Horses need to be matched with courses and if, just occasionally, those will take you to the back of beyond, you'll be glad you chose a Wrangler for the trip. If previous generation versions of this Jeep weren't for you, you probably still won't like this one. No problem: the market's stacked with compromised alternatives. But if you've always wanted an excuse to choose one of these, this 'JL'-series model's extra polish and new-found sophistication provides it. It's now a vastly more capable all-rounder. But it's still very much a Wrangler. And that's all that really matters.
If you thought Jeep's Wrangler was strictly for Californian rock hoppers and D-list boy band members, think again. This updated 'JL'-series fourth generation model offers new engine technology and goes even further off road. Jonathan Crouch reports
The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most iconic serious SUVs on the planet and has never been a car to shy away from even the toughest off-road conditions. The current model is this fourth generation 'JL'-series version, which takes a completely fresh approach beneath the bonnet, introduces modern safety standards and features a redesigned interior. There's even a PHEV derivative. It's still very much a Wrangler though.
A bit of history first. Shortly after the surface of the earth cooled, vertebrates appeared, developed into dinosaurs and then died for reasons still not fully understood. Shortly thereafter, the Willys Jeep was built and spawned countless generations of Wrangler models, first driven by cigar-chomping beefcakes in aviator sunglasses who hadn't realised World War II had ended. Unfortunately, the brand image suffered a terrible knock in the mid Eighties when boy band Bros chose the Wrangler as their vehicle of choice. Bear with me, we're nearly there. Realising that the Wrangler just didn't cut it in an increasingly sophisticated world, Jeep subjected it to major surgery, creating the 'TJ' series model in 1997. This sold until the launch of the 'JK' series design in 2006, which was replaced by the current 'JL'-series fourth generation model in 2018. With the 'JL', the challenge for Jeep was to modernise the vehicle without alienating the hardcore fans of the marque. The first step was to make sure it rode a whole lot better than its predecessor (which wasn't too difficult). Since then, the brand has concentrated on gradually enhancing powertrain refinement and efficiency. Having done so, the company has tweaked the exterior looks, creating the MK4 model we're going to look at here, revised for the 2021 model year.
Just about the only way we can describe the ride of pre-2007-era Wrangler models to the uninitiated is to imagine being stricken with a rather severe case of haemorrhoids and then being superglued to a spacehopper. Perhaps that's a tad harsh but after the novelty of an old Wrangler's bouncy ride had worn off, you were left with a vehicle that could crawl through deep mud but which wasn't much good at anything else. With the current 'JK' series car, things certainly improved - if not dramatically then, at least, unequivocally. This design is much quieter than its predecessors too, thanks to beefed up insulation from engine and road noise. There's only one conventional engine on offer these days, a 2.0-litre turbo petrol unit with 272hp and 400Nm of torque, mated to 8-speed auto transmission. You can though, talk to your dealer about a PHEV version, the Wrangler 4xe, which mates the 2.0-litre petrol engine to a motor generator unit and a 400V 17kWh battery pack which when charged, can offer up to 30 miles of electrified driving. These days, the Wrangler offers two active, on-demand full time 4WD systems - known as 'Command-Trac' and 'Rock-Trac'. These use next-generation Dana axles, Tru-Lock electric front and rear-axle lockers, a Trac-Lok limited-slip differential and an electronic front sway-bar disconnect system. Whichever engine you go for, the Wrangler is still brilliant off road, with its super aggressive approach and departure angles. For this revised model, Jeep has added Selec-Speed control, an off-road cruise control that allows the driver to maintain a steady speed during rock crawling and other types of low speed manoeuvring. Plus a selectable tyre fill alert can now be set through the 8.4-inch touchscreen. Ideal for off-road adventurers who deflate the tyre pressures to get grip on off road courses when traversing mud and rocks. The plush Rubicon model gets even more specialist front and rear locking differentials, plus a new 'Off-Road+' (OR+) mode that provides unique powertrain and chassis tuning. Specifically tailored for high range 'sand' performance and low range 'rock' activity, OR+ adjusts the ABS, ESC, accelerator pedal, traction control and transmission calibrations . Sand mode is enabled when OR+ is activated while in 4H gear and rock mode is enabled when OR+ is activated while in 4Low. What about tarmac capability? Well on road manners feel safe and predictable, if a little slow-witted, but there are decent levels of grip and, on broken or rutted surfaces, the handling is no longer stymied by a bouncy ride.
Changes to this Wrangler's looks yo create this fourth generation design include small styling changes to the instantly recognizable keystone-shaped grille, iconic round headlamps and square tail lamps. Plus there are improved aerodynamics and Jeep promises a convenient fold-down windscreen for off-road purists, even more open-air freedom and dozens of different door, top and windscreen combinations. Quite a lot though, hasn't changed at all. The trapezoidal wheel arches, the external door hinges and the rubber bonnet catches are all present and correct, so the Wrangler still looks properly butch. The cabin is pretty spacious in all dimensions and a fold and tumble feature for the rear seat virtually doubles the available cargo capacity, while the curved glass windscreen reduces drag and helps refinement. On the inside, the cabin is actually a lot more car-like that you expect it might be, with decently smart surfaces, a neat instrument panel, plenty of storage areas and an intuitive switchgear layout. Heated, power mirrors are optional and rearward visibility is aided by large rear windows.
The fourth generation Jeep Wrangler is offered in two or four-door configurations. Pricing starts at just over £49,000 for the two-door model - or about £51,500 for the four-door body shape. Either way, there's a choice of Sahara, Overland, Rubicon and 80th Anniversary trim levels. Engine-wise, the choice is now restricted to a 2.0-litre petrol unit with 272hp mated to 8-speed auto transmission. You can also talk to your dealer about the clever '4xe' PHEV plug-in petrol version. As for kit, well even on basic variants, expect to find 16-inch steel wheels, a DVD-compatible stereo with six speakers and remote keyless entry offered as standard. Range topping Rubicon variants will have a '4:1 Rock Trac' part-time four-wheel drive system, electronic front detachable anti roll bars, Tru-Loc front and rear axles and performance suspension. New standard features fitted to this updated model include accident emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and auto high beam. An array of safety and security systems also feature, including Blind-spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Path detection, a ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and four standard air bags. It makes it sound as if the Wrangler has become gentrified. Don't be fooled. Bottom line? Only buy this car if you're very serious about off-roading. Otherwise you'll merely be wasting your money.
The 2.0-litre petrol unit combines the use of a Twin Scroll turbocharger, a new C-EGR system, central direct injection and the independent liquid cooling intake of air, throttle body and turbo, all in a bid to reduce consumption. Plus of course there's an engine stop/start system. The combined cycle fuel figure for a 4-door Sahara version is 24.8mpg and 243-251g/km of CO2. The Wrangler 4xe hybrid powertrain has three modes of operation, known as E Selec. The driver can select the desired powertrain mode via buttons mounted on the instrument panel, to the left of the steering wheel. Regardless of the mode selected, the Wrangler 4xe operates as hybrid once the battery nears its minimum state of charge. There are three settings. In the first, 'Hybrid', this default mode blends torque from the 2.0-litre engine and electric motor. In 'Electric', the powertrain operates on sero-emission electric power only until the battery reaches the minimum charge or the driver requests more torque (such as wide-open throttle), which engages the 2.0-litre engine. The third mode, 'eSave' prioritises propulsion from the 2.0-litre engine, saving the battery charge for later use, such as EV off-roading or urban areas where internal combustion propulsion is restricted. Charging is easy and user-friendly with a full charge available in less than 3 hours.
Jeep has had to walk a very precarious tightrope in its improvements to the Wrangler. On the one hand, they needed to make it smarter and more relevant to the majority of SUV buyers, while at the same time not alienating those customers who loved the model's rough, tough go-anywhere ability. After looking at this improved version of the MK4 'JL'-series model, we think many brand loyalists will feel that the company has succeeded in achieving this. Although still not a good choice if your SUV will have a heavy diet of on-road work, this Jeep is now a more capable all-rounder, more comfortable and with a much improved interior. But it's still very much a Wrangler. And that's all that really matters.
Mrs Christine Desler - 07/12/2015, owner of a Jeep Wrangler Hard Top Special Edition 2.8 CRD Black Edition 4dr Auto - 2015
User rating: 5/5
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