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2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | To Boost or Not to Boost? | TestDriveNow


When you fill your Wrangler cup all the way
to the top this is what you drink; an Unlimited Rubicon with every option making it nearly
as luxurious as it is capable. This is my first drive in one powered by a
2.0-liter turbo; one of three engine offerings for the 2020 model year. No motor is more ubiquitous in today’s vehicles
than the 2.0-liter turbo-four. With very few exceptions, these engines power
at least one vehicle in every automaker’s lineup from Chevy to Porsche. Offering power and torque levels on par with
a small V6 but with better fuel economy, these boosted 4-cylinder engines started their reign
of dominance about a decade ago during the lightweighting/gas crisis era. So when Jeep redesigned the Wrangler a couple
of years ago one showed up on its options list. The Pentastar V6 is the standard engine but
as long as you’re willing to forgo the manual transmission and part with the $1,750 that
necessitates the 8-speed auto, the torquier turbo-4 is there to satisfy your racier side
because it indeed offers a quickness the V6 and the sloth-like diesel can’t match. It’s rated at 270 horsepower and an impressive
295 pound-feet of torque peaking at 3,000 RPM. So though the EPA says it bests the V6 by
3 mpg in city driving it’s all going to depend on how often you spool up that twin
scroll turbo. Power delivery is energetic but composed. Just keep in mind that Jeep recommends 91
octane or higher for optimum fuel economy and performance. It’s capable of towing 3,500 pounds which
is the same as any other 4-door Wrangler though I’m surprised to see its curb weight of
4,478 pounds is heavier than the V6. 21mpg city/22mpg highway isn’t much of a spread
but it only trails the EcoDiesel by 1mpg in around the town driving. But man – it sounds gruff. Smartly, the engine stop/start system can
be defeated for off-roading. Though this engine is livelier and slightly
more fuel efficient, at least on paper, I think it’s an odd fit in the Rubicon where
owners are far more likely to do some serious off-roading where precision is often required. So a more linear power delivery is favored
and that’s what the V6 gives you. It’s also not cheap to upgrade to the turbo
though it’s not nearly as expensive as the optional diesel. It doesn’t sound appealing in any way, but
it gives the Wrangler a jolt when you’re on the tarmac. This JL Rubicon is similarly spec’d to first
one I tested last year so my opinions haven’t changed – it possesses the expected level
of off-road awesomeness bundled with an uncanny attention to cleverness and detail; a hallmark
of many FCA vehicles. Loaded up, MSRP is $59,605 but Jeep gives
you just about everything at that price except power seats. Did you ever thing you’d see a Rubicon with
adaptive cruise control, auto high beams, heated seats and steering wheel and super
slick infotainment with Off-Road pages? Of course you didn’t. The brown leather is not attractive in any
way and without sidesteps it’s a long way up but this is the smartest, friendliest Rubicon
ever. But as I always say; if you’re never going
to pull the 4-wheel drive lever and get this thing really muddy then save yourself some
coin and get a Sahara – plus it’ll drive better on-road whereas this one requires constant
steering correction. Jeep offers a wide variety of roof options
with the new Wrangler but this one is the most impressive as well as the most expensive. It’s called the Sky One Touch power top
and it turns your wrangler into a convertible with the utmost ease at an added cost of nearly
$4k. This is neat and still allows for the rear
quarter windows to be removed and stowed in the provided bag. I’d take it for the convenience factor alone
because removing the hard top is 2 person work that requires some planning. Base price is about $44,000 but this one has
it all. And it’s as fun to drive through the snow
and mud as ever with a new turbo option that’s likely best suited for the Wrangler Sport
.

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19 thoughts on “2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | To Boost or Not to Boost? | TestDriveNow

  1. The fact that it NEEDS premium, and an automatic, are major flaws, weaknesses
    Peaky power, rough edges and extra cost make this a loser engine for me

  2. When My younger sister had her New Compass in shop getting new engine ( -excessive oil consumption ๐Ÿ˜ณ-). They gave her a Wrangler turbo as a loaner. The Turbo is a odd mix for it from what i drove. Thank for the review๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ

  3. Another great review! Iโ€™ve driven the 2.0T in the Cherokee. Lots of power but Iโ€™m not a fan of the course sound and I think the torque delivery could be smoother. There is turbo lag and then a huge surge of power requiring your foot to let back off the throttle. Ford really seemed to nail the torque delivery with little lag in the Escape with the 2.0T. I was hoping the Jeep would have similar power delivery but no such luck.
    Thanks Steve!

  4. $60k? I donโ€™t know how FCA keeps their products flying off the shelves – especially a Wrangler at that price point but they surely work their magic. โ€” Great review as always, Steve!

  5. Never really understood the point of the turbo for. With premium gas and cost more to operate than the V6 probably won't have as good durability is the V6, and for what? A little bit of acceleration? You don't buy a Wrangler to be fast. This is a real head-scratcher for me

  6. Happy New year steve! Are we going to see som dodge reviews with you and nicolette viscousi this year? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Another spot on review. The V6 Pentastar is the best engine FCA makes nowadays and much better suited for a Wrangler so why paying more to not get it does not make much sense.

  8. Turbo motors are better for torque at low revs unlike the pentastar which needs some revs. The fuel economy gains in the real world though are not often seen. Will be interesting to see the hybrid model sometime next year how that fares! FCA is not known for reliability so adding hybrid might be a worry

  9. Also, the 2.0L turbo thatโ€™s in the Wrangler has the mild hybrid eTorque system, but I donโ€™t think itโ€™s available in the Rubicon. I just wish Jeep lent the Sahara model (volume model) as your tester.

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