2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
The 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has all of the capability of its predecessors and much more style. One of the last SUVs to catch up to the modern emphasis on technology, it is now right in line. Shoppers will find plenty of standard dash tech and safety tech on the menu. The interior style has caught up to Jeep’s emphasis on exterior personalization, and it’s definitely higher quality regardless of trim level.
As before, Jeep has continued an emphasis on fun design. As such, the SUVmaker offers the Wrangler Willy throwback edition, a military-inspired Freedom Edition, and a Black and Tan Special Edition. The basic trims include the Sport, Sport S, dressy Sahara and tricked-out Rubicon.
The Wrangler Unlimited now has three engine choices. That's way up from its traditional single offering. Still, the tried-and-true V6 really cranks out the fun by providing 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It has proven itself on the trail for several years now. Addressing the need for better fuel economy, there is now a special turbo that generates 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Higher torque should make it tempting to many buyers. Sitting at the top, there's a new EcoDiesel with enviable torque that every off-roader is sure to want.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited – The Pros
1. Motor Trend SUV of the Year
Motor Trend likes the new stuff, which shows you just how updated the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is. The award was given for the 2019 model, and the 2020 model is everything and more than that. The EcoDiesel engine, offered only on the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, is just one reason why the new model is garnering attention.
2. Exciting Interior Design
Jeep is good at making off-roading enthusiasts happy. Trying to match that enthusiasm for the outdoors, interior designers have worked to reflect that same sense of fun. The new Black and Tan edition uses color contrast to provide a truly original look in the cabin. 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited interiors aren't so different than their class any more. The quality is high, the material choices are diverse, and the look is modern. Of course, the SUVmaker has retained the easy-clean flooring. You'll also realize that many features are sturdier than they might be in a regular SUV that won't ever leave the road.
3. Exclusive Open Air Design
The 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, like the two-door Wrangler and new Gladiator truck, has Jeep’s exclusive convertible capability. For families, the four-door Unlimited is the obvious choice of the three. There are many roof options including two black soft tops, a tan soft top, a black hard roof, and a body-color hard roof. If you go for the hard-top, there is more than one way to enjoy open air driving. Any of them let you take off the doors and fold down the windshield. No other convertible comes close to this versatility. Certainly there is no SUV out there to compete with this fun aspect of the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
4. Exclusive EcoDiesel Powertrain
The excitement of off-roading is often limited by the vehicle’s ability to keep going over obstacles. The Wrangler Unlimited EcoDiesel offers to challenge its own regular engine by offering 420 pound-feet of torque. While the horsepower is rated at 260, less than the standard 285, drivers are unlikely to care. That high rate of torque is what gives this Jeep a real push on the trail. It also makes it more fun to drive on the highway, when entering or passing. Better fuel economy helps with the daily commute. That same frugality will help you enjoy longer trail rides.
5. Standard Four-wheel Drive
For those on a budget, the best thing may be that even the entry level Wrangler has four-wheel drive and an off-road rating. Standard on Sport, Sport S and Sahara trims, CommandTrac is best-in-class for use in snow, but it also allows for off-roading.
6. Master of Off-Roading and Water Fording
Certainly the vehicle's class-best off-roading quality gets praise every year. Jeep never seems to rest, however. It is always coming up with bigger and better ways to protect its vehicles and to allow them to go further down the trail. Rising 10.9 inches above the terrain, it claims best-in-class ground clearance. Each exterior element is designed for punishment. The air intake, raised wheel arches, and high-mounted bumpers are just some of the ways it stays out of harm’s way. Large, sturdy skid plates protect the Jeep’s gas tank and other vital systems. You have few worries about trail debris or a deep puddle. If you step up to RockTrac, you pick up greater crawl capability and bigger axles. This strong SUV is the best of the best, which is saying a lot when you are talking about a Wrangler's capability.
7 Smart Build
The new Wrangler Unlimited has a smarter build. Knowing that it needed to lighten the package, Jeep engineers utilized magnesium for the swing gate and aluminum for the doors. The folding windshield frame is now made of military grade aluminum, too. This weight loss improves fuel economy for the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. It reduces sprung weight. Owners won't think much about it, but a lighter package is always an advantage on the trail.
8. More Safety Tech
The Wrangler family was the last among the Jeep siblings to get top safety tech. However, there's plenty on the list now for the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. You can get an automatic braking system with a forward collision warning. There's a lane departure system that tries to keep you on the road (until you want to leave). A blind spot monitor watches for side traffic. You can turn off these features when you don't need them. When you want to turn things over to the SUV, you've got adaptive cruise control. This slows or speeds up to match the traffic. For parking, of course, there's a rearview camera. You can also get a rear cross traffic alert which tells you when traffic is coming too fast alongside. For all of its adventure-minded features, the Wrangler Unlimited can be as safe as its rivals.
9. More Dash Tech
As with safety tech, Wranglers didn't get today's dash tech when other Jeeps did. They are making up for this now with a big 8.4-inch UConnect screen. If you don't step up to the biggest system, you can still enjoy the benefits of Apple CarPlay for your iPhone or Android Auto for your Android-based smartphone. Drivers will appreciate the endless variety of music from built-in apps as well as Android or Apple apps. They can utilize Google or Apple navigational apps, which put maps right on the screen and provide audible turn-by-turn directions.
10. Exclusive Manual Transmission Feature
Jeep loves its manual transmissions. These have been improved recently to do more for their drivers. The best feature is Enhanced Adaptive Cruise Control. This allows the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited driver to keep shifting but enjoy a freer time while driving. It makes sense that the company that brought us crawl control is now bringing us something similar for its manual transmission drivers.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited – The Cons
1. Tow Ratings Aren't Competitive
Despite its new engine choices, the Wrangler Unlimited still hasn’t increased its towing power. It can handle 3,500 pounds. While that may not concern many buyers, there will be some for whom that is a deal breaker. Adventure-seekers generally want to bring their big toys along. They won’t be able to bring a big boat or camper with this SUV as they might with many other SUVs of this size today.
2. Wheel Articulation Could Be Better
Although Jeep has worked hard to keep wheel articulation tight, the Unlimited can’t claim better approach angles than the regular Wrangler. The two-door edition has the best wheel articulation in its class.
3. Cargo Hold Could Be Bigger
At just over 31 cubic feet, the cargo hold is big. However, it is not as big as many rivals. The Toyota 4Runner and the Honda CR-V have more than 39 cubic feet in the hold. While you can lash gear onto the roof rails, the limit on space may make it harder to bring everything you need for your outdoor adventures or a long trip with the family.
4. EcoDiesel is a Costly Addition
The remarkable EcoDiesel powertrain adds about $4,000 to the price of the Rubicon. Plus, it cannot be included without adding the automatic. Buyers will have to decide if the torque and fuel economy are worth the extra money. If you want the best off-roader, you may decide to go for it.
5. No Advanced Parking Assistance on this Jeep
Other Jeeps, such as the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, offer an advanced parking system. As big as the Wrangler Unlimited is, it doesn’t have that on the menu. This may cause shoppers to look at its siblings or at rivals outside of the Jeep family.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
Regardless of which affordable SUV you buy, you will pay more for four-wheel drive and off-roading standard equipment than you would with the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Furthermore, none offer the ground clearance, high build or water fording capability of the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. That said, the 2020 Toyota 4Runner is likely to be the closest direct competitor. You can't drop the top, but if you step up to the four-wheel drive 4Runner, you'll find it can wander far down to the trail.
ConclusionThe 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited continues to dominate the adventure world. Nothing much beats its off-roading chops and open air ride. When you consider that the price includes four-wheel drive, you may be hard-pressed to find a rival that can save you money. Families will definitely favor the four-door Unlimited over the two-door Wrangler. However, families may think twice if off-roading isn't already part of their lives.