A look at some of the pros and cons of the new Jeep Wrangler
If you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you know what the 2019 Jeep Wrangler is all about. You know it’s not your conventional sport utility vehicle. You’re not, for example, hesitating between a Honda CR-V or a Jeep Wrangler… Right?
The Wrangler is a unique vehicle, a sort of blast from the past if you will. Despite major improvements in comfort and interior refinement, your leg will still brush against exposed wiring at the base of the door. It still has the aerodynamics of a Rubik’s cube which means you’ll hear even the faintest gust of wind from inside the cabin. The driving position is up right, and the massive blocky dashboard is in your face.
The Jeep Wrangler was redesigned in its entirety for the 2018 model-year but didn’t lose its unique DNA and personality. They didn’t improve comfort enough to make the Wrangler appealing to people who hated it before the redesign, but they did just enough to keep Wrangler fans happy while making their daily commute much more tolerable.
You still need to want a Wrangler to buy this new generation. First-time owners will be just that because they finally make enough money to afford one, or they bought a cabin deep in the woods and asked around for the very best off-road utility vehicle. No one will buy a Wrangler because it just looks the part while being comfy. It’s still the real deal.
So, knowing that, should you buy a 2019 Jeep Wrangler?
Why You Should Buy a 2019 Jeep Wrangler
1) The powertrains just work. Be it the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque or the new turbocharged 2.0-liter with 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Both Wranglers we drove had the 8-speed automatic which is flawless.
2) Despite the turbo’s ample low-end torque that gives the Wrangler an extra kick off the line, we still would recommend the V6. It’s supple and smooth and makes the Wrangler a surprisingly quick SUV. It accelerates with more gusto than you would expect.
3) We mentioned earlier that the 2019 Jeep Wrangler was still rudimentary. It is, but it’s nevertheless a lot more comfortable than the previous generation. It’s stiffer, doesn’t rattle as much, and it’s not as jumpy and nervous over rough pavement.
4) The Rubicon version is a bit more extreme, but it’s still manageable on a daily basis. The wider tires make it less agile and you’ll feel the bumps a bit more, but it’s a far cry from the previous Rubicon.
5) Speaking of the Rubicon, it’s still an off-road monster. On very tough segments you can disconnect the sway bars for better wheel articulation and of course lock either differential. We never had to try any of this during our week with the Rubicon, but if we had to go deep into the woods on a regular basis we’d be happy to live with the most rugged Wrangler version.
6) The interior is much nicer than in previous versions and the center touchscreen complete with an 8.4-inch Uconnect screen is one of the best infotainment systems you can buy in any vehicle available today.
7) The dual tops are optional, but they are a must.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2019 Jeep Wrangler
1) It’s more comfortable, sure, but this is still a niche SUV. Name any compact or mid-size traditional SUV, it will be more comfortable than the Wrangler.
2) We like the versatility of the four-door Unlimited, but space in the rear seats remains limited.
3) Fuel economy is still an issue. Jeep says it reduced the Wrangler’s fuel consumption by about 10 per cent, but we couldn’t do better than about 14 liters per 100 kilometers.
4) The Wrangler is an expensive vehicle, more expensive than before. Top-of-the-line Unlimited Rubicons will easily top $60,000 while base two-door Sport models start at $34,195. The best version, the Wranger Unlimited Sahara hovers around $50,000 with taxes, and that’s if you avoid options. At least they keep their value.
For everything that it is and everything that it isn’t, we love the Jeep Wrangler. As noted above, it’s pretty darn expensive to buy and also to own because of the fuel costs, but there’s nothing else like it. Buy the Unlimited Sahara, keep for 10 years, and enjoy the improved comfort while still knowing you can go anywhere you want.