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What looks like the old Jeep Wrangler but is newer? The new Jeep Wrangler, which I find to be a big step up as part of my Jeep Wrangler review (2019).

Despite a dislike of 4x4s that take up most of the road, I have a lot of time for chunky, no-nonsense off-roaders. There’s just so satisfying about them. It’s the type of car you may have played with as a kid out in the garden, but never grew out of.

Though I now spend my life mowing the garden instead of playing in it, I have to come to realise that going off-road can be as exhilarating as blitzing along in a supercar at Spa. Man, machine and Mother Nature in a tug of war. It’s a different thrill, but a thrill nonetheless as you drive up and over things that would make other cars fall apart.

So when the ladies and gentlemen at FCA invited me to the Lake District to drive the 2019 Jeep Wrangler, well I was hardly going to say no, was I? If it’s been good enough for Ken and Barbie in the past, it should be good enough for a motoring journalist like me.

Jeep Wrangler review (2019): What’s new?

Jeep Wrangler 2019 review: Front view on the road

Jeep has to ensure the Jeep looks like a Jeep because otherwise Jeep fans would get upset – and I’ve heard they are a vocal bunch. Many of them gun owners, too, so that’s probably why it’s as boxy as ever and I don’t mind. It’s the Suzuki Jimny‘s bigger, meaner brother. Also: round headlights.

Although the keen-eyed onlooker will notice the Jeep badge is no longer up front, such is FCA’s faith in its recognisability. Instead, those famous four letters now live on the side.

The 2019 Jeep Wrangler also has LED headlights and tail lights, blind-spot monitoring and some other modest aesthetic tweaks, while the interior has been drastically overhauled. It’s now much nicer to look at and is home to a clear 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system display, which supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Jeep Wrangler 2019 review: Interior with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

By improving the interior, the 2019 Jeep Wrangler is a much easier car to live with. In terms of opposition, while there’s no Land Rover Defender around you are limited in options. To get similar off-roading abilities, you would need to shell out more than double for a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon.

Three flavours are available. Sahara is the bottom spec and it’s bearable, but it makes sense to opt for the mid-range Overland, which has more colour options, 18-inch alloys and an array of useful extras for not a lot more cash to name a few things.

Rubicon is the top model, which comes with Tru-Lok differentials and a disconnectable front sway bar for even better off-roading ability. You will be able to buy the new Jeep Wrangler in the UK from September, 2019. Keep on scrolling for pricing details.

Jeep Wrangler review (2019): How does it drive?

Jeep Wrangler 2019 review: Rear tailgate and window opening

Like a box on wheels with large amounts of suspension travel, which is hardly surprising. But what is surprising is how comfortable and refined the whole package is now. You could and would be happy using it for motorway miles.

In terms of off-roading, you can make use of the 4H part-time or 4L ratios, which feed power to all wheels in a way that appears to defy gravity. Despite the rain and slippery rocks, the 2019 Jeep Wrangler never once flinched.

Such was its ability, I actually went up obstacles deliberately slowly to try and get stuck. I need not have bothered. Just a dab of the pleasingly weighted accelerator and off it climbed. Every time. The smooth, unfussy eight-speed automatic playing a key role here.

Despite bump, rocks, dips and tree roots the size of a medium-sized dog, obstacles that would ground most soft-roaders and rip the bumpers off (this actually happened to the Cherokee support car twice), it managed to be smooth. You could almost hear the car yawning it found the task so easy.

Jeep Wrangler 2019 review: Removable roof

At higher speeds, you barely hear the 2.2-litre diesel working away and there’s enough low-down torque (331lb/ft/450Nm at 2,000rpm) to never need to rev it hard. Progress is anything but brisk, as the 9.6-second 0-62mph highlights, but it never feels like a car you need to rush in.

This is partly down to the high-up seating position, which lets you parade over most cars, and provides a pleasing view of the meaty, vented bonnet. You feel like a king or queen.

It’s also because there’s something appealing about its utility interior aesthetic. In fairness, the display is something you’d see in a Corvette and most buttons are of the meaty, hard-wearing plastic kind. With that said, there is some cheap stuff to be found such as the flimsy seat release buttons to put the seat forward.

By having another door, the Wrangler looks better in my opinion. It also makes it easier to live with and the extra length actually helps keep the wheels on the floor when the going gets particularly tough. But the three-door’s design is cleaner.

Steering is perhaps the biggest hint that the 2019 Jeep Wrangler is an off-roader at heart, though the initial vagueness soon becomes natural. It also rolls about when you corner fast, but it’s capable enough for normal driving.

2019 Jeep Wrangler review: What about the price?

Jeep Wrangler 2019 review: Side view of the four-door

At the bottom of the ladder is the two-door Sahara, which starts from £44,865 with the 2.2-litre MultiJet II 200hp and the eight-speed automatic. You will pay an extra £500 for the four-door.

Overland, the spec I spent my time driving, costs £1,500 more and given the extras – leather upholstery, heated front seats, 18-inch polished aluminium wheels and a hardtop headliner – it works out the best value.

With the Overland, you can spend more and get the 272hp 2.0-litre GME petrol, which actually has more torque than the old 3.6-litre while being more economical. It is, however, a bit less powerful, not that it really matters as the newer lump is also faster.

For serious off-roading, in steps the range-topping Rubicon (nothing to do with the highly sugary soft drink). Starting from £48,365, you get the aforementioned front-sway bar that is electronically disconnectable, Tru-Lok differentials, a heavy duty alternator, auxiliary switch bank and the three-piece modular hard-top.

Jeep Wrangler review (2019): Should I buy one, then?

Jeep Wrangler 2019 review

Once upon a time you either had serious off-roading or comfort. The 2019 Jeep Wrangler is another example that proves that is no longer the case. Sure, it’s not Range Rover refined but it’s pleasantly quiet, pleasantly smooth and pleasantly comfortable for all types of driving come rain or shine.

The fact you can wade through water as deep as three-quarters of a metre, ascend steep and slippery rocks without breaking a sweat and enjoy your tunes via Apple CarPlay is nothing short of impressive.

At just under £50,000, it’s pricey. But if you want something more livable than a Jimny and routinely use an off-roader for what it was designed to do, the 2019 Jeep Wrangler is a bold, rewarding solution that will give the new Defender, whenever that arrives, something to worry about.

Jeep Wrangler (2019) Key Specs

  • Engine tested: 2.2-litre diesel
  • Horsepower: 197bhp
  • Torque: 331lb/ft (450Nm) at 2,000rpm
  • 0-62mph: 9.6 seconds
  • Top speed: 112mph
  • Kerb weight: 2,044kg
  • Fuel economy: 36.7mpg
  • CO2 emissions: 202g/km
  • UK price: From £44,865
Jeep Wrangler review (2019): The Land Rover Defender killer?
Made to conquer the great outdoors with ease, the 2019 Jeep Wrangler is also now much easier to live with and extremely likable despite costing twice as much as a Suzuki Jimny.
Performance
Handling
Enjoyment
Cool-factor
Usability
The Good
  • Still looks cool
  • Well refined
  • Off-roading monster
The Bad
  • Steering is a tad vague
  • Rolls about
  • Not exactly cheap
4.0The Score

About The Author

Editor-in-Chief

Ben Griffin is a motoring journalist and founder of the website and YouTube channel, A Tribe Called Cars. He is also a contributor at DriveTribe.

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