Before Apple CarPlay, the only way to sync your iPhone with your car was through the auxiliary input jack. This would allow you to play your own music, but not much else. With CarPlay, you can now sync your phone with the car’s actual infotainment system.
In addition to playing music, you can use Siri to call or text your contacts hands-free. You can also use the iPhone’s navigation feature, which is useful if your car doesn’t have one. The feature was first released in 2015, but some automakers only offer smartphone connectivity in certain models. Fortunately, Jeep offers CarPlay in all its newer vehicles, including the Wrangler.
Is Apple CarPlay standard?
Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available for the Wrangler, but you can’t get either on its base trim. The Wrangler Sport only has one USB port, Bluetooth, and a 5-inch touchscreen. Every other trim has Apple CarPlay, which is included in the Technology package.
This bundle also includes dual-zone climate control, satellite radio, and a 7-inch touchscreen. The Sahara trim also comes with an infotainment package. This gives you integrated navigation, a Wi-fi hotspot, HD radio, and the largest available touchscreen. The Sahara’s engines can also be updated to include eTorque technology. This mild-hybrid system boosts the Wrangler’s acceleration and recharges the battery during idling.
Another perk of the infotainment system is that it’s completely waterproof. You won’t have to worry about it getting damaged while fording rivers. If your Wrangler has a removable top, you can even drive through heavy rain without a problem.
The Rubicon trim comes with some unique off-roading features. It has locking front and rear differentials, larger brakes, and rock sliders, and protective skid plates. It also comes with a two-speed transfer case with a wide range of gears. This gearbox is especially useful for rock climbing. Certain versions also have electronic disconnecting sway bars and limited-slip differentials.
If you’re a fan of off-roading, the Rubicon is probably the best model for you. It’s available in both two-door and four-door configurations. It also has all the same infotainment offerings as the Sahara, including Apple CarPlay.
Advanced safety functions
The Wrangler’s safety features are sparse. A rearview camera is standard across all models. Higher trims include parking sensors, forward collision warning, and blind-spot monitoring.
It also doesn’t have the best crash test ratings. The 2019 model only received a one-star rating in the frontal crash test conducted by Euro NCAP. However, the crash dummy was well-protected while the Wrangler crashed into a side barrier.
The 2020 model hasn’t received any crash test ratings from the IIHS. The NHTSA awarded it four stars in frontal crash tests and three stars for rollover tests. It has yet to be tested for side crashes.
Do other Jeeps have more tech?
There are other Jeeps that come with Apple CarPlay for no extra charge. Both the regular Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee have it as a standard feature. The Cherokee is also a few thousand dollars cheaper than the Wrangler. A Grand Cherokee is more expensive but comes with several more standard and available safety features. It also has a better reliability rating than the Wrangler.
In terms of off-roading, the Jeep Gladiator provides a similar experience to the Wrangler. It’s around the same price and offers more advanced safety features. However, these aren’t included in the base trim, nor is Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
While the Wrangler struggles in a few categories, it’s still a highly-capable SUV. If you don’t want to pay extra for more technology, there are several good alternatives. However, they might not have the same off-roading capability of the Wrangler.