Is the Jeep Wrangler a Midsize or Compact SUV?
Defining the Jeep Wrangler is no simple task. Until they resurrected the Ford Bronco, it had no real competitors, and there really aren’t any other vehicles on the market that can compare to it. While Jeep insists that it is clearly a midsize SUV, the Wrangler is not so easily labeled.
What is the Jeep Wrangler exactly?
Jeep has labeled both the Wrangler and the Cherokee as its midsize SUVs. When you look at the small or compact SUVs, only the Compass and Renegade are included. And yet the Wrangler can technically fit into both categories.
This is because it comes as both a two- and four-door option. According to Capital One, a compact SUV usually has a size range of 179 to 183 inches long, 71 to 75 inches wide, and 65 to 69 inches high. Other features that set compact SUVs apart from larger models include two row seating, and around 50 to 70 cubic footage of cargo space with all the seats down.
The two-door Wrangler definitely meets these criteria. So how else do these two Wranglers differ?
Which is the more powerful Jeep Wrangler?
There are more differences between the Wrangler than its size, according to U.S. News. The most obvious, besides the number of doors and the size, is the price. Each four-door model is distinctly more expensive than the two-door models. This is especially true for upper trim levels.
Some of the features available on the midsize Wrangler that you can’t get on the compact include AM/FM stereo, a pass-through rear seat, heated front seats, a blind spot monitor, child safety locks, and HD Radio.
As far as engines go, both are equipped with a regular unleaded V-6 3.6-liter. They both also have 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a standard manual transmission.
How much bigger is the four-door model?
The height is the same for both Wranglers. Both are 73.6 inches. Each Wrangler is also only 73.9 inches in width. It’s the length where things are obviously different, and you may be surprised at exactly how much bigger the four-door model is.
The two-door model is 166.8 inches in length. By comparison, the four-door is 188.4. This is 21.6 inches in difference, or 1.8 feet longer. In the auto world, that’s huge.
There’s more to the four-door Wrangler, however. The compact version has a wheelbase of 96.8 inches, as compared to 118.4 inches on the four-door.
Naturally, there is a difference in the weight as well. The smaller Wrangler weighs 219 fewer pounds than the four-door model.
The midsize Wrangler can also tow more. The compact Wrangler has a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds, as compared to 3,500 lbs.
The one area you’ll really appreciate the extra room offered by the midsize SUV is the cargo space. With the seats up, you’ll get 12.9 cu-ft of space in the two-door, and 31.7 cu-ft in the four-door.
With the seats down, the compact Wrangler gives you 31.7 cu-ft of space in the compact. This increases dramatically to 72.4 cu-ft in the midsize. The final major difference is that you can seat five passengers in the midsize, as opposed to four.
If you’re on the fence about which model to buy, it really boils down to how much room you want and what your budget looks like. If you can afford the midsize, however, you’ll get more for your money.