The Jeep Wrangler may have been named MotorTrend’s 2019 SUV of the Year, but that doesn’t mean it can sit back and stay the same. It may not have had many competitors recently, but it’s expected to offer a number of updates in the 2021 Wrangler to make sure it stays competitive with the upcoming Ford Bronco. Here’s a look at what you can expect to see in the 2021 Jeep Wrangler.
Off-road features for the 2021 Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler has been an off-road star for many years. The 2021 model year of the Wrangler primarily sticks with its appealing format. The new Wrangler for 2021 will have the Selec-Trac full-time transfer case available on some trims and standard on other ones.
In the past, the lowest Sport trim only had the Command-Trac part-time four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case. This change is great for drivers who do more around-town driving than off-roading since the system is able to pick between two-wheel and four-wheel as needed.
New for 2021, the Wrangler Rubicon trim comes with Off-Road Plus as a standard feature. This feature keeps the locking rear differential engaged at higher driving speeds and is especially useful for improved performance when driving on sand terrain. Available in the Jeep Gladiator Mojave, the feature is expected to appear on a new Wrangler Mojave trim.
Both the Sahara and Rubicon trims will include the forward-facing camera system that is already available in the Jeep Gladiator. It gives the driver a clearer view of the trail ahead.
Technology features for the 2021 Jeep Wrangler
The 2021 Wrangler will offer more standard technology features. The previously optional Technology Group package will be standard on the Sport S, which is one level up from the base Sport trim. The package provides a 7.0-inch touchscreen, a 7.0-inch gauge cluster, automatic climate control, a one-year SiriusXM subscription, and air filtering. It also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
There is also a tire-fill alert system included along with the 7.0-inch touchscreen. This feature is helpful to owners who like to let air out of their tires for off-road driving and then add air back for highway driving. With it, the horn honks one time when the tire pressure is optimal. It honks three times if the tire pressure is too high or too low.
Engine options for the 2021 Jeep Wrangler
The three engine options are the same with one feature change, according to MotorTrend. The 3.6-liter V6 and recently introduced 3.0-liter diesel V6 continue. The 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder is also still available but without eTorque. The eTorque mild-hybrid technology will now be available only on the 3.6-liter V6. An electric Wrangler is expected in the future, and there is the possibility of a 392-hp V8 Hemi engine.
The V6 has a standard six-speed manual transmission, while the four-cylinder and diesel engines provide a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. An automatic transmission is an option for the V6.
Competition from the 2021 Ford Bronco
The new Wrangler will have to face some new competition. A lot of excitement is swirling around the upcoming 2021 Ford Bronco, which Ford just revealed on July 13. The Bronco hasn’t been available since 1996 when it ended its 30-year run. Buyers are expected to be people who loved the classic Broncos and also consider themselves adventurous and outdoorsy.
The new Bronco, like the new Wrangler, will also come in two- and four-door versions, but will also have a smaller Bronco Sport version. Both take their cues from retro designs and are developed with serious off-road capabilities. To stay on top, the Wrangler needs to retain its commitment to outdoor adventure and to Jeep history and culture. However, Jeep has been dominant in the off-road market for 50 years, so the Ford Bronco will have some catching up to do.
With production beginning on the 2021 Jeep Wrangler in August, it is expected to be available in early Fall. The smaller Bronco Sport should arrive at the end of 2020, and the 2021 Ford Bronco will go on sale in Spring 2021.