What Is the 2021 Jeep Wrangler?
The Wrangler is Jeep’s wildly popular 4×4. It’s available as a two- or four-door SUV, the latter known as the Wrangler Unlimited. The two-door model has room for four people, while the Unlimited version seats five.
A standard 285-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine pairs with a six-speed manual transmission; an eight-speed automatic is available. There’s also an optional 270-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that delivers 295 pounds-feet of torque; it pairs with the eight-speed automatic. A turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6 that works with an eight-speed automatic is also available for the Wrangler Unlimited. Finally, a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that makes 375 hp and offers around 25 miles of all-electric range is new for 2021.
Four-wheel drive is standard, and the Rubicon trim level features upgraded mechanicals for serious off-roading. Wrangler competitors include the Land Rover Defender, Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
What’s New on the 2021 Jeep Wrangler?
Jeep has broadened the Wrangler’s powertrain lineup with a newly available plug-in hybrid drivetrain, found in the 4xe model. Featuring a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, a 17-kilowatt-hour battery pack and an eight-speed automatic transmission, Jeep says the Wrangler 4xe is still fully capable off-road.
Other Wrangler updates include an available forward-facing camera on models with the 8.4-inch touchscreen, plus new 80th Anniversary and Islander models with unique features and trim. Rubicon models gain Off-Road Plus, which adjusts throttle, transmission and traction-control settings.
What Features in the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Are Most Important?
Standard features include:
- Four-wheel drive
- Folding soft-top
- Push-button start
- Cloth seats
- Tilt/telescoping steering wheel
- Cruise control
Available features include:
- Power locks, windows and mirrors
- LED headlights
- Three-piece hard top
- Remote start
- Air conditioning
- Leather-trimmed seats
- Heated front seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Alpine premium stereo
- 7- or 8.4-inch touchscreen multimedia system
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity
- Blind spot warning
- Adaptive cruise control
- Automatic emergency braking
2021 Jeep Wrangler Vs. 2021 Toyota 4Runner: How Do They Compare?
The Wrangler and 4Runner are legends among fans of off-roading, but there are some major differences between these two SUVs. To start, the Wrangler is available in two- and four-door form, while the 4Runner is only available as a four-door SUV. With four- and six-cylinder engines, along with diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains, the Wrangler also offers more choices under the hood; the 4Runner’s sole engine is a 270-hp V-6. The 4Runner can seat up to seven with an available third row, and it does offer a rear-wheel-drive version if you don’t plan on venturing off-road. In terms of ride and handling, these SUVs are fairly evenly matched, but both are less comfortable and don’t handle as well as similarly sized SUVs.
Should I Buy the 2021 Jeep Wrangler?
The Wrangler is a back-to-basics SUV, but that doesn’t mean it comes cheaply. The base two-door model lacks creature comforts like standard power windows and power locks, but still starts around $30,000 — and the Wrangler Unlimited is even pricier. For your money, you’ll get a rugged 4×4 that’s fun to drive, has an iconic look and is extremely capable off-road. Better still, the latest Wrangler is better behaved than its predecessor on paved roads.