Jeep has been near the top of the mountain for those considering an off-road capable vehicle for eight decades and counting. Long-standing reputation aside, there seems to be growing discord among Wrangler owners, and the newest Jeep Wrangler has been receiving poor reviews. In most cases, the Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel is not making a positive difference.
The Jeep Wrangler’s performance
While the Jeep Wrangler gets good marks in Consumer Reports acceleration and transmission tests, it falls short on braking, emergency handling, and fuel economy. However, the available EcoDiesel gets much better marks in the fuel economy category according to Cars.com.
Based on hundreds of thousands of owner-supplied vehicle reports over the last 10 years, Jeep Wranglers have consistently received poor marks for reliability. The top three reported problems centered around major engine trouble, minor engine problems, and cooling system failures.
Major engine trouble includes problems ranging from a complete engine rebuild or replacement to replacement of cylinder heads, head gaskets, timing chain/belt, or turbochargers. Minor engine problems include hoses, belts, engine mounting brackets, computers, knocks, pings, and oil leaks. Cooling system failures, such as overheating, were caused by faulty radiators, cooling fans, water pumps, and coolant leaks.
Anyone purchasing a Jeep Wrangler should expect that there will be sacrifices to comfort. It’s a common trade-off to gain the off-road capability that the Jeep Wrangler is known for. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the Wrangler received subpar scores in the comfort/convenience tests as performed by Consumer Reports.
Categories receiving two of five stars include “ride,” which is a measure of how well the vehicle is able to absorb bumps and isolate the passengers from road imperfections and “noise,” which considers interior noise levels during normal driving.
Other categories received three of five stars. Seating comfort, a Consumer Reports judgment call concerning the level of comfort provided by the seats. The interior fit and finish category evaluates the level of craftsmanship, and trunk and cargo area relates to the amount of luggage and cargo space available.
With such poor marks in performance, reliability, and comfort, it’s not surprising that the Jeep Wrangler ranks above average in owner satisfaction. Driving experience tops the list of positive owner satisfaction criteria. It seems there may be more to Jeep Wrangler owner satisfaction scores than the criteria measured by Consumer Reports.
Personalize your Jeep Wrangler
No doubt that Jeep Wrangler owners have a lot of options when it comes to personalizing their ride. In addition to a choice of engines, transmissions, number of doors, and trim configurations, no other vehicle allows you to remove the top completely, partially, or replace it with an aftermarket top of your choice at your home or in your driveway with just a few tools or maybe even none at all depending on your desires.
If simply altering the top is not enough, you can also remove the doors partially or completely depending on the model you own. If you’re considering a Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.
The Wrangler EcoDiesel’s pros
Topping the “pros” column for the 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel configuration the vehicle’s fuel economy with an EPA-estimated combined average of 25 mpg. Additionally, the EcoDiesel model produces 442 lb-ft of torque. Smooth power delivery is noteworthy with an engine that generates 260 hp. That combined with substantial torque delivers a precise throttle response.
The Wrangler EcoDiesel’s cons
Three important areas to consider top the cons list. First on the list is that the EcoDiesel is heavy. While it is powerful enough to overcome the extra weight, the EcoDiesel’s additional 400 pounds is deducted from the Wrangler’s payload capacity when choosing this option.
It’s also noisy; during Consumer Reports testing, some occupants complained of excessive noise levels, especially under heavy acceleration. Finally, it’s an expensive option. There’s this quote from Jurassic Park – “If it’s heavy it must be expensive.” That holds true in this case as the EcoDiesel option adds as much as $4,000 to the price of the Jeep Wrangler.