Which 2019 Jeep Wrangler Should I Buy: Sport, Sport S, Sahara or Rubicon?

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When Jeep updated the new Wrangler, it did more than just improve the SUV by making it more comfortable, easier to use, better to drive and more capable off-road. Jeep also simplified trim levels, dropping to just two choices on the two-door Wrangler and three on the four-door. What Jeep most definitely did not do was make the Wrangler any less expensive — in fact, the new “JL” Wrangler is $3,600 to $4,100 more expensive than the outgoing “JK” model, depending on which trim you’re looking at and what equipment you’ve specified.

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Despite the simplification of the trim levels, Jeep hasn’t reduced the number of combinations you can buy — in fact, it’s only gotten more complicated as in addition to the standard 285-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6, there’s now a 270-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder mild-hybrid motor. And there’s about to be a third engine, a diesel, coming in 2019. But for now, we have two engines and two transmissions to play with, as well as a few trim levels and special editions.

The cool thing about the Wrangler is that the different trim levels result in vehicles that feel very different. So we’ll choose a model from the two-door and one from the four-door variants, and explore the various options you have for each.

Which 2019 Wrangler Two-Door Should I Buy? Our Choice, the Wrangler Rubicon

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The Wrangler is happiest off-road, and the two-door is arguably better than the four-door thanks to its shorter wheelbase. The trade-offs are worse ride quality and straight-line highway stability for superior off-road prowess when compared to the four-door (the two-door has a better break-over angle). Jeep simplified the two-door lineup, offering just three models: the Sport, Sport S and Rubicon. Sport and Sport S are similar, with the Sport S adding a bit more standard content. Jeep considers them to essentially be the same trim level. The Rubicon, however, is a considerably different animal adding in heavy-duty off-road content: a different four-wheel-drive system, higher ride height with bigger tires, electronic locking differentials and sway-bar disconnects, beefier Dana 44 axles, the bigger 7-inch Uconnect system and more.

Since the two-door Wrangler is arguably better off-road, our choice is the ultimate Rubicon model. It still comes with a standard manual transmission, but the jury is out as to whether a manual or automatic is better off-road (it’s largely a matter of comfort, skill and preference).

Shop the 2019 Jeep Wrangler near you

2019 Jeep Wrangler Sport
42,355 mi.
$27,998 $1,000 price drop
2019 Jeep Wrangler Sport S
52,119 mi.

Wrangler Two-Door Sport Standard Features, $29,540 (all prices include delivery fee)

  • 3.6-liter V-6 (285 hp, 260 pounds-feet of torque)
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • 17-inch black steel wheels
  • Command-Trac part-time 4×4, 2.72:1 transfer case
  • Dana 44 rear axle
  • Stop-start system
  • Zipperless Sunrider convertible top
  • Backup camera
  • Tow hooks and skid plates
  • Keyless entry and push-button start
  • Fold-down windshield, removable doors
  • Foglamps
  • Bluetooth and two USB ports
  • 5-inch touchscreen Uconnect 3 multimedia display
  • Eight-speaker audio system
  • Removable folding backseat

Wrangler Two-Door Sport S, $32,740, adds:

  • Air conditioning
  • 17-inch silver aluminum wheels
  • Power door locks, windows
  • Power heated mirrors
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Wrangler Two-Door Rubicon, $39,540, adds:

  • 17-inch polished wheels with 33-inch tires
  • Locking front and rear Dana 44 axles
  • Rock-Trac part-time 4×4, 4:1 transfer case
  • Electronic sway-bar disconnects
  • Steel off-road rock rails and skid plates
  • Automatic climate control
  • 220-amp alternator
  • Red tow hooks
  • 7-inch touchscreen Uconnect 4 multimedia with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite radio
  • Bright interior accents

Related: 2018 Jeep Wrangler: 5 Things for Non-Enthusiasts to Enthuse Over

Which 2019 Wrangler Four-Door Should I Buy? Our Choice, the Wrangler Sahara

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The four-door Wrangler used to be called the Unlimited, but that name’s been dropped for simply the four-door. Our choice for the four-door is the luxury-oriented Sahara model, which slots between the Sport and the Rubicon, and is geared more toward comfortable on-road, all-weather ability than pure rock-crawling prowess. It’s by far the quietest and most comfortable of the Wranglers to drive on-road with its 18-inch wheels and all-season tires. And with the new power-sliding Sky One-Touch soft-top, which is actually more like a large panoramic canvas moonroof with removable hard side panels, you can now enjoy the convenience of a power top on the Wrangler.

As for powertrains, we’re fans of the new optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and automatic transmission. It’s quick, smooth and much more fuel-efficient than the V-6, which makes it a perfect combo for the four-door. The Sahara also has the exclusive option of a new Selec-Trac full-time four-wheel-drive system that allows drivers to put their Wrangler in a “set-it-and-forget-it” automatic mode that drives all the wheels, all the time. The system is not available on the Sport or Rubicon but is standard on the new limited-edition Moab trim (more on that in a moment).

Wrangler four-door trim levels have the same walk for equipment as the two-door when looking at Sport ($33,040), Sport S ($36,240) and Rubicon ($43,040). But the four-door adds in the Sahara at $39,890, which comes with some unique standard equipment.

Wrangler Four-Door Sahara, $39,890, adds to Sport S:

  • Heavy-duty suspension with gas shocks
  • 18-inch polished aluminum wheels
  • Cloth seats with Sahara logo
  • 7-inch touchscreen Uconnect 4 multimedia with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite radio
  • 115-volt auxiliary power outlet
  • Body-colored fender flares
  • Tubular side steps
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control

Related: 10 Things Wrangler JK Owners Will Love About the New JL

Nobody loves special editions like Jeep, and the first one for the new JL Wrangler is the Moab Edition, available for a limited time on the 2019 four-door only. This thing’s loaded at $52,795, includes the Selec-Trac full-time 4×4 system that you can only get on the Sahara and comes with some exclusive cosmetic content as well. It’s only available with the V-6 and an automatic transmission, however, so you won’t find the turbo option or a stick shift here.

img 2053538861 1535566758732 jpg 2018 Jeep Wrangler Moab Edition | Manufacturer image

Wrangler Four-Door Moab Edition, $52,795

  • 17-inch low-gloss black wheels
  • 32-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A tires
  • Selec-Trac full-time four-wheel drive
  • 8.4-inch touchscreen Uconnect 4 multimedia with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite radio
  • Steel front bumper
  • Jeep Performance Parts rock rails
  • Gloss black exterior accents
  • McKinley leather-trimmed seats with Jeep logo
  • Leather-wrapped park brake handle, shift knob and dashboard
  • Body-color fender flares
  • Body-color hardtop’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

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