You see a larger screen inside and Jeep tweaked the design outside, but the Wrangler continues to carry on as before.
Off road capability continues to impress and offer an ease of tackling obstacles that is unrivaled.
|What Could Improve
On road behavior, on the other hand, also continues to take a back seat in Jeeps priorities.
Even with new technology and larger center console touchscreen, this is still very much the Jeep we know.
Jeep brought out a new Wrangler for the 2024 model year that includes a bigger a full-float rear axle on the Rubicon trim, an optional 8000 lb. winch from the factory, and a 12.3-inch center console touchscreen with UConnect 5 software installed. To accommodate the Warn winch, you also get a tweaked seven-slot grille that’s both higher and more open.
But much of the Wrangler remains unchanged. Engineers didn’t touch the frame. And the body only received mild tweaks to improve crash safety. The windshield remains perfectly flat, as does the vast majority of the body panels. Overall, the 2024 Wrangler has an extremely familiar shape to the 2023 Wrangler, and the 2003 Wrangler, and the 1941 Willys.
Jeep offers four powertrains in the 2024 Wrangler, and they practically run the gamut of todays technology. The least expensive option is a naturally aspirated V-6, which bolts up to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission and outputs 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft of torque.
The other three options only get the automatic, but still range from a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 to an iron-block 6.4-liter V-8. But the most compelling in many ways is what Jeeps calls the 4xe (pronounced four by e). That combines the turbo 2.0-liter with two electric motors and a 17.3 kWh battery pack to make a plug-in hybrid that simultaneously offers 21 miles of electric only driving, 49 mpge, and a 6.0 second 0-60 mph run.
Electric motors also offer smooth and abundant torque when crawling around rocks or ascending 40 degree sandy hills. Of course, with a two-speed transfer case and up to a 100:1 crawl ratio on properly equipped Wranglers, it’s far from mandatory. Especially in the Rubicon, the Wrangler still overcomes big obstacles with ease.
Once you’re back on road, however, all these magnificent traits become trade-offs. The steering feels lifeless in your hands, especially on center, which, in turn, takes a bit of extra effort to keep center in your lane. Moreover, once up to highway speeds, the cacophony from air pushing around blunt, flat surfaces and hard edges makes it a seem someone left a door cracked open before you left.
But for those who love Jeeps, they will continue to love them. As it carries on seemingly unencumbered by the modern world, delivering as they always have, albeit with Apple CarPlay connectivity. And Jeep prices carry on too. The base Wrangler Sport with the V-6 starts at $33,690 and prices quickly climb, peaking at $89,390 for a Rubicon 392, replete with rumbly 470 horsepower V8.
Times change, the but spirit of Jeep remains.
Here’s my review of the Wrangler I wrote for Gear Patrol: 2024 Jeep Wrangler
Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
2024 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe: 5-door, 5-seat, SUV
Base price: $62,380
Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 plug-in hybrid
Power: 270 horsepower at 5250 rpm
Torque: 295 lb-ft at 3000 rpm
System power: 375 horsepower at 5250 rpm
System torque: 470 lb.-ft at 3000 rpm
Transmissions: 8-speed automatic transmission
Fuel Economy and Range
49 combined mpge
21 miles EV only
Length: 188.4 inches
Width: 73.9 inches
Height: 73.5 inches
Wheelbase: 118.4 inches
Weights and Capacities
Curb weight: 5226 lbs.
Interior volume: 103 cu ft
Cargo volume (2nd/1st rows up): 28/67 cu ft
Government classified size: Small Sport Utility Vehicle 4WD
Calculated weight to power (lbs./HP): 13.9:1
Mfr’s claimed 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
Mfr’s claimed Top Speed: NA mph
Test Car Options:
Another SUV worth checking out: 2024 Mazda CX-90