The Jeep Wrangler is the one to pick if you are shopping for a no-frills SUV that can tackle some serious off-road terrain. Admittedly, it isn’t as refined to drive on the street as its body-on-frame rivals like the Ford Bronco and Toyota 4Runner. But it makes up for that in its off-the-pavement capability. The 2024 update gives a fresh face to the Wrangler and adds a bunch of goodies inside the cabin. It also expands its 4xe range with new models and adds more capability to the Rubicon trims.
If you can ignore Wrangler’s lousy on-road manners, it should be your top choice if you like to spend time in the great outdoors. It offers a great package and sits on top of the pecking order among its peers. There are many reasons to bring home this Jeep as your next adventure vehicle. But there is one reason why you should steer clear of the Wrangler in 2023.
The Jeep Wrangler Trumps Rivals With Powerful Engine Options
Before we dig into why you shouldn’t spend your money on the Wrangler, let’s look at why this SUV is the go-to choice of any off-road enthusiast. Part of the reason why this SUV is so popular is the fact that it offers a variety of powertrain options to choose from. The standard fitment is a 3.6-liter V6 good for 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. It is available in two configurations: a standard and a mild-hybrid version. The latter gets an additional electric motor that assists in low-end torque.
You can also pick the optional 270 hp turbocharged inline-four, which comes standard with the mild-hybrid assist and an eight-speed automatic. If you are looking to maximize your fuel efficiency, then the Wrangler also comes with a plug-in hybrid setup in the 4xe trim that pairs the inline-four with a full-blown hybrid setup. Its peak power output is 375 horsepower with an impressive 470 lb-ft of torque.
If a V8 is all you want, the Wrangler also has a 6.4-liter HEMI that pumps 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. For diesel lovers, there is a 3.0-liter V6 with 260 horses and 442 lb-ft of torque.
Fuel-economy numbers for the Wrangler are pretty impressive. EPA rates the PHEV for a combined gas-electric figure of 49 mpg. The diesel comes next with 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The HEMI V8 only manages 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway.
The Jeep Wrangler Packs Plenty Of Tech Onboard
The Wrangler doesn’t get big changes with the 2024 update. Jeep has restyled the front end, giving it a fresh look. Visually, nothing has changed on the inside, save for the giant 12.3-inch central screen, which replaces the older ones. The new infotainment will now be a standard fitment across the Wrangler’s range. It comes with Trails Offroad software with pre-loaded guides to Jeep’s 62 Badge of Honor Trails. There is also the option to access the directory of all 3000 trails through a subscription service.
The system gets Jeep’s latest Uconnect 5 interface with wireless connectivity for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. If all you want is a bare-bones off-roader, you can go for the base Wrangler Sport which is stripped of everything, even air-conditioning and power windows. But if you are okay climbing up the price ladder, you can get yourself a well-equipped Wrangler full of luxury stuff and onboard tech.
The Jeep Wrangler Is The Undisputed Off-Road King
The Wrangler has never been the ideal highway cruiser. But it’s always been the perfect rock crawler. That’s thanks to its legendary off-road chops. It comes with the proven Command Track 4×4 system that servers a healthy 2.72:1 low range. Higher models get the advanced Selec-Track 4×4 system, which can automatically switch between four and two-wheel drive depending on the terrain.
The Wrangler Rubicon gets a leg up over other models thanks to the Rock-Track 4×4 system, which serves up more torque for advanced off-road performance. Its impressive 4:1 low-gear ratio allows for smooth crawling even at low speeds. With the 2024 update, the Rubicon also gets heavy-Duty DANA 44 axles, making installing larger tires easier.
Front and rear locking differentials, underbody armor, steel bumpers, gnarly off-road tires, and disconnecting sway bars further boost the Wrangler’s performance off-road.
High Dealer Markups Make 2023 The Worst Time To Buy A Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler is undoubtedly among the best off-roaders money can buy. The 2024 update boosts its desirability up a notch. But there is one reason why it makes so sense to buy a Wrangler in 2023. And that’s because of outrageously high dealer markups.
According to a study by iseecars.com, the average MSRP of cars on sale in America has increased by 7.6 percent since February 2022. Last year, the average sticker price of a new car was $38,707. This year it has gone up to $42,608. To worsen the situation, dealerships are now leveraging a listing price 6.6 percent above the MSRP. This means the average price of a new can in America has grown 8.8 percent over the MSRP.
While the effect of this trend on some models isn’t that much, a few have had a significant impact on their selling price. The Jeep Wrangler is among the latter. According to the study, the average MSRP of a Jeep Wrangler in February 2023 was $35,827. But its average selling price, after adding the dealer markups, was $44,396.
That’s a substantial gain of 23.9% over the MSRP, amounting to almost $10,000. That’s lower than only the Genesis GV70, which is seeing a bump of 27.5% in its selling price over the MSRP. So though the Wrangler is an excellent pick in its segment, it hardly makes sense to buy one right now, considering the current market conditions.
Source: Jeep / iseecars.com
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