Trucks & SUVs

Consumer Reports Didn’t Have Many Nice Things to Say About the 2020 Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler is an iconic vehicle that has roots in the military – specifically World War II. The first rough terrain vehicle to be sold in the automotive market, this Jeep was a unique utility vehicle that went from active duty to everyday adventurous driving.

Fiat released its 2020 Jeep Wrangler with some improvements from previous model years. They introduced new trim packages and an optional diesel engine. On paper, it sounds like a stellar year for this Jeep, but Consumer Reports tested the Wrangler and found it to be pretty disappointing.

What’s wrong with the 2020 Wrangler?

Consumer Reports had a pretty long list of things they didn’t like about the 2020 Wrangler when they reviewed it. A lot of those complaints dealt with how it performed on the road test and with its reliability. Anyone driving or riding in the Wrangler could feel the bumps or dips in the road. The SUV felt a bit shaky even when tires gripped smooth surfaces as well as rough ones. All in all, the 2020 Wrangler just isn’t comfortable to ride, especially in long-distance travel.

Braking wasn’t up to par during the testing period, and maneuvering left a lot to be desired. The wind noise became overwhelming to the testers when traveling at higher speeds. The slower you go, the better it gets. Headlights were okay with the low beams, but you hardly notice a difference when you switch over to the higher ones. As for reliability, the Wrangler has had a few bad years of engine, transmission, and body issues.

What Consumer Reports liked about the 2020 Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler 4x4 off road vehicle on display at Brussels Expo
The 2020 Jeep Wrangler | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Despite the long list of issues, Consumer Reports found some things that pleased their testers. The truck and cargo area was decent for an off-road capable SUV. The interior finish has high-quality materials and a few stylish touches, like a strong gear selector and classic Jeep logo imprinted on top. The 3.6-liter V6 engine has an impressive acceleration time of 7.3 seconds going from 0 to 60 mph, which isn’t bad for an off-roader and surpasses quite a few of its competitors.

Consumer Reports advised buyers to consider the four-door options as they can handle 1,500 lbs more in towing than the two-door versions. They feel the Rubicon handled off-roading quite well, while the Sahara trim offers four-wheel drive on a continuous basis without having to make a judgment call on when it’s needed. One thing that pleased them the most is the Uconnect infotainment system the vehicle comes with, believing it to be one of the most user-friendly features the Jeep has.

What do owners have to say about the Wrangler?

Drivers who owned previous models of the Jeep Wrangler rated it a 4 out of 5. Owners feel that the Wrangler has good handling and acceleration even though its competitors rated better in this area. When it comes to value, the Wrangler scored in the average range in owner ratings, but drivers thought it was a little above the norm for comfort and reliability.

The area that scored the highest for previous and current Wrangler owners had to do with the styling. The classic rugged look made a big splash because they gave it a rating of 91 out of 100. Apparently, the looks have a greater impact on the desirability of the vehicle than some automakers thought. Fiat hit it on the mark there.

The 2020 Wrangler didn’t impress Consumer Reports, and it seemed to disappoint them that the few improvements made on this SUV didn’t improve the overall performance of it. But, since the owner’s satisfaction with this Jeep model paints a different picture, sales of the Wrangler will probably be high anyway.