We’ve taken a deep look at every 2021 Jeep Wrangler trim level available and we’re confident in saying that it’s never appealed to more buyers than now.
In 2021, the new Jeep Wrangler gets some major upgrades and options that many have been waiting for. First, the Rubicon 392 will be the first V8 Wrangler ever to roll off the line as a factory configuration. Packing 470 horsepower under the bonnet of the Wrangler is by far the most powerful version of the off-road machine ever. Second, the 4xe version of the Wrangler is the first hybrid-powered variant in history and leverages two electric motors and a turbocharged 4-cylinder to produce 375 horsepower and 470-lb-ft of torque. Until the 392 was announced, the 4xe was slated to be the most powerful Wrangler ever. It can even travel 25 miles on electric power alone and, thanks to clever packaging, the batteries don’t reduce overall clearance.
In addition, the “Islander” trim returns to the Wrangler lineup with additions from the Rubicon and special graphics. For the first time, even base models are available with a two-speed transfer case. Rubicon models are now available with a new Rock-Trac 4-Wheel-Drive System that enhances off-road capability even further than it already was. To directly combat the new Bronco, half-doors will be an optional extra for both 4-door and 2-door Wranglers and all Wranglers fitted with the optional 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system can also be fitted with a special TrailCam system to help drivers manage the terrain they’re on.
The best driving Wrangler on and off-road ever
Vast selection of trims for every buyer
The 4xe and 392 are the best
Incredibly cheap feeling interior on lower levels
Base infotainment leaves a lot to be desired
We’d like more of the luxury included
Add a lower cost base model to the lineup
Add far more modern safety features
Every Jeep Wrangler, aside from the 80th anniversary and the 4xe, will come with the Pentastar V6 and a 6-speed manual transmission as standard. Multiple trim levels can opt for the eTorque version of the V6, which not only adds a little power, but also provides a bit more efficiency. In addition, a beefy 3.0L diesel V6 is available with 442 ft-lbs of torque and 260 horsepower. The standard 80th anniversary version will be equipped with the 2.0L 4-cylinder and an 8-speed automatic transmission though it can also be optioned with either version of the Pentastar V6.
The 4xe will come with the most advanced hybrid powertrain ever fitted to a Jeep and won’t be a slouch in any respect thanks to more torque than any other Wrangler in history, including the monstrous Rubicon 392. With respect to that HEMI powered Wrangler, it’s also going to set a new precedent as the most powerful mass-production off-road focused SUV ever sold.
While nobody in history has ever bought a Jeep with fuel economy as the main goal of their purchase, it’s becoming more and more important across the industry and Jeep is working hard to improve those numbers throughout the Wrangler lineup. To that end, the standard Wrangler gets 20 mpg combined, but the 4xe is slated to get 50 mpg. The 4xe is a complete game changer considering that you won’t be sacrificing power to achieve that efficiency.
With recent reveals of the Grand Wagoneer and the new Grand Cherokee, it’s clear that the next generation of Jeep products will have a far more pleasurable interior and it makes what you find in most Wranglers feel even more drab and cheap. Nevertheless, serious off-roaders will appreciate that these rougher surfaces will be easier to clean and harder to damage. For those who really want a soft and supple Wrangler, the Sahara exists. Cargo is pretty limited, just 12.9 cubic feet in the two-door model. Those with the four-door can maximize space by using the entire volume of the interior to reach 72.4 cubic feet. That’s enough to handle what a couple on an off-roading weekend might need and more, but a party of four will need to stow gear on the roof.
Wrangler drivers typically aren’t focused on technology when it comes to anything but off-road capability and that comes through in terms of options. While Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are optional on most every model, that’s about as extreme as the tech gets. Alpine premium audio is available as well, but beyond that there’s not much past the standard UConnect system that’s been available in Wrangler previously to 2021.
Perhaps one of the biggest major faults of the Wrangler is that it doesn’t feature the same major safety facets of other vehicles in the same price range. Not only that, but it’s never been a big success story when it comes to crash testing and we’re still waiting on 2021 ratings for the Wrangler from both the IIHS and the NHTSA. Nevertheless, the above features like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors will be appreciated.
The Sport model is easily spotted when you notice the small 5”-inch touchscreen, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take this thing deep off-road. Solid Dana axles are standard as is a part time “Command-Trac” 2-speed 4×4 system. If this is all you can afford, you’ll still end up with a sincerely capable off-roader that simply lacks much of the sophistication of higher priced models.
If off-roading and the history of the Jeep brand makes a big difference to you, then the Willys Sport is a great option. Just a few hundred dollars more than the base Sport trim, the Willys Sport gets special 17-inch wheels, Rubicon shocks, mud-terrain tires, rock rails, and a Trac-Loc rear-differential. It’ll also get upgraded heavy-duty brakes and suspension. Those features couldn’t be had for less than a few thousand on their own.
When you move up to the Sport S model you’ll get more on-road functionality. A bigger 7-inch touchscreen is fitted. Heated power exterior mirrors are standard. A full-time “Command Trac” system that works with less input from the driver. Blindspot monitoring and rear cross-path detection becomes available as well to add more safety on-road.
Perhaps the most jovial of the trim levels on the Wrangler, the Islander will revive an old Wrangler option with surf blue stitching, “Tiki-Bob” graphics on the exterior of the Jeep, silver-finished aluminum wheels, and off-roading rock rails. All Islander Wranglers will get All-Terrain tires as well and come with most every option from the Sport S.
All who get the Willys edition will have a forward LED lighting package that includes both upgraded fog lights and headlights. 17-inch special edition wheels and mud-terrain tires are also standard with heavy-duty brakes to slow you down. A limited-slip differential and Rubicon shocks are also standard on the Willys Jeep that sports Willys graphics all around the SUV.
The Freedom Edition is mostly a graphics package with Star decals and “Oscar Mike” graphics. Oscar Mike translates to “on the move” in military circles, which fits the brand quite well. It’s based on the Sport S trim level and comes in Red, White, and Blue. Rock rails, and the LED lighting package are standard as is a steel front bumper.
The 80th anniversary package is a blend of old and new that both features where Jeep came from and where it’s arrived. For example, this is the only trim level that uses the 4-cylinder engine (the same cylinder count as the original Jeep), but at the same time it features the top of the line 8.4-inch touchscreen and 18-inch wheels.
This is the posh Wrangler so to speak. It comes with a power top, 18-inch aluminum wheels, body-colored fender flares, and the 7-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard. It’s also only available as a 4-door, so you’ll never see a 2-door Sahara running around on the road. Leather trim becomes available and this is truly one of the most potent packages in the war against the new Bronco.
If off-roading is your game and you have the cash to splash, the Rubicon is always a good choice. The only Wrangler that will have the 392 HEMI engine available, this thing comes with a ton of adventure goodies. Dana 44 heavy-duty locking differentials become stock as do 33-inch tires, high-clearance fenders, an electronic front sway bar, and the Rock-Trac 4:1 low range system.
While details are still sparse, expect the 4xe to arrive with practically every option that the Rubicon gets in addition to the ultra-efficient and powerful hybrid powertrain. Combining gasoline and electric power usually means a pretty big compromise, but with a vehicle that isn’t about all out speed, handling, or acceleration, it’s perfect.
If the Sahara is posh, then the High Altitude is the Maybach of Wranglers. 20-inch wheels are standard, as is the 8.4-inch touchscreen, Nappa-Leather trimmed seats, and an instrument panel bolster with caramel stitching and black chrome accent rings. No passenger in the High Altitude Wrangler will ever mistake it for another variant.
Overall Jeep does a great job of supporting the Wrangler after the initial sale. First, the first 3 years or 36,000 miles are covered under a limited bumper to bumper warranty. Next, the powertrain is covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Finally, the first 3 years of regular maintenance is covered as well. That’s a fantastic combination.
2021 Jeep Wrangler – jeep.com | Shop 2021 Jeep Wrangler on Carsforsale.com
There are no vehicles currently for sale that are anywhere near as wide-ranging in terms of off-road performance and brand identity as the Wrangler. There’s a good reason for that, it’s set the bar for roughly 80 years. The latest Wrangler continues the tradition with sincerely capable off-road equipment. It also leverages the current brand currency by asking a pretty penny for the best of the bunch when it comes to trim levels. Still, there is such a vast range of Wranglers available in 2021 that, regardless of whether you’re looking for a low-end off-road option or the most opulent version available, you’ll be able to get it. No Wrangler in history has so easily fit the needs of so many different buyers.