Jeep Wrangler Engines: Which is Best?
At one time, owning a Jeep Wrangler meant pretty much just one thing – two doors, four-wheel drive, and not much else. Thirty years ago, most Wrangler models came with the same stuff. But that’s not the case today. The 2023 Wrangler offers many trim levels, options, and configurations. Drivers can spec out a Wrangler to fit their exact use cases. The Jeep Wrangler’s engines are among the most essential options to consider. With five powertrains to consider, Jeep provides a crucial choice.
What engines does the Jeep Wrangler have in 2023?
Jeep offers five powertrain options for the new 2023 Wrangler. Each one has its own strengths and characteristics to consider.
- 3.6-liter V6
- 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
- 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6
- 4xe hybrid powertrain
- 6.3-liter HEMI 392 V8
A familiar V6 comes standard
It’s no AMC 4.0-liter straight-six, but the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine has become synonymous with the Jeep Wrangler over the last decade. This well-rounded Wrangler Engine offers a stout 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. According to MotorTrend, the 3.6-liter V6 yields 17-20 mpg city and 23-25 mpg highway. It’s a versatile engine that has anchored Jeep’s SUV lineup for a decade.
2.0-liter four-cylinder engine embraces turbocharging
Jeep added a turbocharged four-cylinder option to the Wrangler a few years ago. While somewhat controversial, the move opened up the possibility for more power and efficiency. Wranglers with the 2.0-liter turbo engine outpace the 3.6-liter V6 option with 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. However, MotorTrend reports a faster zero-to-60 with the less powerful V6. The four-cylinder does manage a better city fuel efficiency rating at up to 22 mpg.
Diesel Jeep Wrangler engine gone after this year
Jeep’s 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 offers the best Wrangler fuel efficiency outside electrification. The unit is suitable for up to 22 mpg city and 29 highway, according to MotorTrend. That efficiency also pairs with an impressive 422 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately, Jeep has stated that 2023 will be the final year to get the 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine.
Wrangler 4xe uses plug-in hybrid tech
This powertrain adds an electric motor to assist the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Unsurprisingly, efficiency is its specialty, offering up to 49 mpge while employing gas and electricity. As a plug-in hybrid, the 4xe powertrain allows for some electric-only driving range. But the Wrangler 4xe is no slouch. MotoTrend reports power ratings of 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.
392 V8 is all about old-school muscle
At long last, Stallantis has heard the cries of Jeep fans and thrown a HEMI V8 into the Wrangler. This engine started with the Scat Pack versions of Dodge’s Charger and Challenger before moving to the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler. The HEMI V8 Wrangler offers 470 pound-feet of torque, 470 horsepower, and a zero-to-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds. But there’s a cost: the Wrangler Rubicon 392 suffers poor fuel economy ratings at 13 mpg city and 17 mpg highway.
How to pick the best Jeep Wrangler engine
Picking the best Jeep Wrangler engine depends on one’s criteria for success. If you’re looking for an engine that does a bit of everything, the base 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 will suit you well. The 2.0-liter turbo and 3.0-liter diesel engines deliver a fine balance of power and efficiency. With the plug-in hybrid 4xe powertrain, you’ll get a system that benefits from cutting-edge technology. And, of course, the 392 HEMI V8 maximizes power and fun.