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Jeep Wrangler: 2019 Motor Trend SUV of the Year Finalist

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/7/2018 Motor Trend Staff
2018-Jeep-Wrangler-Unlimited-Rubicon-4x4-steering-wheel.jpg

WE LIKE Drives better, rides better, easier to take apart

WE DON'T LIKE Soggy V-6 torque, loud interior

"With the roof open and the wind in your hair, early Beatles playing on the radio, it takes you back to that golden childhood you never really had," Kim Reynolds said, stepping out of the Jeep Wrangler Sahara. "It's a bit like driving a classic car."

a car parked in front of a truck© Motor Trend Staff

The Wrangler generated a lot of philosophical thought among the judges. After all, how do you judge a vehicle that's nothing like anything else on the market—an actual SUV in the purest (purist's) sense?

"Icon is a much-abused term, but it's difficult to describe the Jeep Wrangler any other way," Angus MacKenzie said. "This is an SUV whose style is substance; the Wrangler looks the way it does because of what it does. The advancement in design is in the minutiae, the tiny details that make it more usable, more capable."

Same goes for engineering excellence, which manifests in features like the detachable anti-roll bar on the Rubicon model or the removable side panels on the Sahara. "The genius of this Jeep is that it can be configured to suit the off-roading ambitions of neophyte and expert alike and deliver an experience that will reward them both," MacKenzie said.

Even icons aren't perfect, though. We found the V-6 engine coarse and underwhelming, particularly when paired with the long-geared manual transmission. Both the hardtop and softtop models couldn't keep out road noise. And your friends will hate the Wrangler's pinched second-row ingress and egress.

Mark Rechtin captured the dichotomy: "This is the ultimate retro-modern vehicle. No other legendary car does this, not the 911, not even the Mustang. The Wrangler retains all the original crudeness, noise, and ruggedness—just with updated technology and so much more capability and function and ease of use."

READ ABOUT 2019 SUV OF THE YEAR CONTENDERS:

• 2019 SUV of the Year Introduction
• BMW X2
• BMW X3
• BMW X4
• Cadillac XT4
• Ford EcoSport
• Ford Edge
• Hyundai Santa Fe
• Infiniti QX50
• Jaguar E-Pace
• Jeep Cherokee
• Lexus RX L
• Mercedes-Benz G-Class
• Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
• Nissan Kicks
• Subaru Ascent
• Toyota RAV4

    READ ABOUT 2019 SUV OF THE YEAR FINALISTS:

    • Acura RDX
    • Ford Expedition
    • Hyundai Kona
    • Jaguar I-Pace
    • Jeep Wrangler
    • Lincoln Navigator
    • Range Rover Velar
    • Subaru Forester
    • Volvo XC40

    READ ABOUT 2019 CAR OF THE YEAR CONTENDERS:

    • 2019 Car of the Year introduction
    • Buick Regal
    • Ford Mustang
    • Ford Transit Connect
    • Honda Clarity
    • Hyundai Accent
    • Hyundai Elantra
    • Kia Forte
    • Lexus ES
    • Lexus LS
    • Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
    • Nissan Altima
    • Toyota Avalon
    • Toyota Corolla Hatchback
    • Volkswagen Jetta

      a truck that is driving down the road© Motor Trend Staff
      2018 Jeep WranglerRubicon 4x4Unlimited Sahara 4x4Unlimited Rubicon 4x4
      Base Price/As tested $39,540/$47,355$39,890/$54,045$43,040/$56,100
      Power (SAE net) 285 hp @ 6,400 rpm270 hp @ 5,250 rpm270 hp @ 5,250 rpm
      Torque (SAE net) 260 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm295 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm295 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
      Accel, 0-60 mph 7.4 sec8.1 sec8.0 sec
      Quarter-mile 15.8 sec @ 83.6 mph16.3 sec @ 82.6 mph16.2 sec @ 83.2 mph
      Braking, 60-0 mph 150 ft140 ft145 ft
      Lateral Acceleration 0.63 g (avg)0.68 g (avg)0.68 g (avg)
      MT Figure Eight 31.3 sec @ 0.48 g (avg)29.5 sec @ 0.56 g (avg)29.9 sec @ 0.56 g (avg)
      EPA City/Hwy/Comb 17/25/20 mpg22/24/22 mpg22/24/22 mpg
      Vehicle Layout Front-engine, 4WD, 4-pass, 2-door SUVFront-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door SUVFront-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
      Engine/Transmission 3.6L DOHC 24-valve V-6 /6-speed manual2.0L turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 /8-speed automatic2.0L turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 /8-speed automatic
      Curb Weight (F/R Dist) 4,355 lb (51/49%)4,541 lb (51/49%)4,755 lb (52/48%)
      Wheelbase 96.8 in118.4 in118.4 in
      Length x Width x Height 166.8 x 73.8 x 73.6 in188.4 x 73.8 x 73.6 in188.4 x 73.8 x 73.6 in
      Energy Cons, City/Hwy 198/135 kW-hrs/100 miles153/140 kW-hrs/100 miles153/140 kW-hrs/100 miles
      CO2 Emissions, Comb 0.98 lb/mile0.85 lb/mile0.85 lb/mile

      2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4x4 front three quarter in motion© Motor Trend Staff 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4x4 front three quarter in motion

      Research the All-New Jeep Wrangler JL | Find an All-New Jeep Wrangler JL near you 

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