2022 Jeep Wrangler

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2022
The Car Connection
2022
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
January 26, 2022

Buying tip

If you’re going anywhere that doesn’t come with Waze directions, get a Wrangler Rubicon and enjoy the adventure.

features & specs

Rubicon 4x4
Sport 4x4
Sport S 4x4
MPG
17 city / 25 hwy
MPG
17 city / 25 hwy
MPG
17 city / 25 hwy
MSRP
$41,400
MSRP
$29,995
MSRP
$29,995

The 2022 Jeep Wrangler SUV endures as an off-road icon, and now has the best and broadest set of powertrains in its history.

What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Jeep Wrangler? What does it compare to?

It’s an original: the Wrangler’s a two- or four-door convertible SUV that telegraphs America from every knob in its tires. It’s competition for the newly reborn Ford Bronco, and also for the Toyota 4Runner.

Is the 2022 Jeep Wrangler a good SUV?

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We give the Wrangler a TCC Rating of 5.4 out of 10. It’s not meant for on-road cruising, and our rating system favors that. It’s spectacular off-road when equipped the right way, even as it faces its first real rival in decades in the Bronco. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Jeep Wrangler?

A 7.0-inch touchscreen joins the Sport and Sport S, except on two-door Sport models; Saharas and Rubicons get an 8.4-inch touchscreen. Rubicons also get an option for a 4.88 axle with a 100:1 crawl ratio.

The Wrangler’s an instantly recognized icon of the automotive world. If you don’t know what it looks like, check out some “M*A*S*H*” reruns on Hulu and get back to us. It’s remarkable how much of that military jeep’s character has carried over to present day—on the outside, at least. Inside, a wash of touchscreen pixels, power-operated conveniences, and even leather upholstery try to elevate the Wrangler out of the trenches.

Base Wranglers come with a 6-speed manual transmission and a 285-hp V-6; one of the pair belongs in a museum. That manual’s better swapped out for a marvelous 8-speed automatic—and though the V-6 isn’t bad, Jeep’s newer turbo-4 or even its brand-new plug-in hybrid powertrain make even more sense as the tactical uses of the Wrangler are explored. For the ultimate off-road machine, many Jeepers will turn to the optional turbodiesel, for its locomotive low-end grunt. Equipped with the right Dana axles, locking differentials, 33-inch tires, and skid plates, the Wrangler Rubicon can find places on the map that haven’t been touched in years, but its attention wanders on the interstates, where a bouncy ride and vague steering have improved on past generations, but still lag nearly every passenger vehicle sold today.

The same holds true for safety, where the Wrangler scored a low three-star side-impact rating in incomplete federal testing. Automatic emergency braking costs extra. Still.  

How much does the 2022 Jeep Wrangler cost?

It’s $31,320 (including a $1,595 destination fee) for a two-door Sport with no air conditioning, no power windows or locks, and a tiny 5.0-inch audio display. The $42,045 Sahara four-door gets 18-inch wheels and an 8.4-inch touchscreen, and can be configured with the plug-in drivetrain. We’d recommend it with extra-cost automatic emergency braking if you commute in the Wrangler; otherwise, the $42,095 Rubicon is where the off-road party starts. Bring a wallet. 

Where is the 2022 Jeep Wrangler made?

In Toledo, Ohio.

8

2022 Jeep Wrangler

Styling

The Wrangler still has it.

Is the Jeep Wrangler a good-looking SUV?

It’s a box on wheels, with or without doors, a roof, and an upright windshield. What’s not to love about the way the Jeep Wrangler looks?

More non-biased judges will have to weigh in. We think the classic shape’s on its third or fourth iteration of being a classic, and it’s worth all the extra points we can give, while the interior…well, it has one. It’s an 8.

The latest Wrangler has reverted to classic details, but it hasn’t disrupted one fact: everyone who knows a little bit about cars knows what a Jeep is, based on this shape. With its distinctive headlights and seven-slot grille, it’s difficult to confuse the Wrangler even with vehicles meant to look like it, <cough> <Bronco>. 

Inside, it could use more vintage panache. It’s dramatically better to live with inside, with better technology and ergonomics and visibility than all the Jeeps before it. It can look cheap, too, but with leather on the seats and an 8.4-inch touchscreen on the dash, it’s easier to look past some of the shiny hard plastic that keeps the Wrangler wash-and-wearable. 

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5

2022 Jeep Wrangler

Performance

It’s capable off-road, but the Wrangler’s a handful on highways.

With a point gained for its muck-running talent, and one lost to its imprecise road feel, the Wrangler chalks up a 5 for performance, based on the most common versions with the standard engine and an automatic transmission.

How fast is the Jeep Wrangler?

The Wrangler’s most common powertrain combines a 285-hp 3.6-liter V-6 with an 8-speed automatic and part-time four-wheel drive. It’s moderately quick, more efficient, and more refined than any Jeep powertrain that came before it, but it’s a little thin on low-end torque. 

One solution for that is a 270-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4. Its 295 lb-ft arrived at 3,000 rpm vs. 4,800 rpm in the V-6 for more low-end grunt. It works better at stoplights and on trails, where low-speed power can make the difference between cresting a butte and being left behind. It’s confident—but maybe not quite as confident as the Wrangler torque champ, the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6. A pricey upgrade, the turbodiesel’s more efficient on the highway, but the point’s more in its 442 lb-ft of torque, laid out at 1,400 rpm. It’s a mighty trail boss, offered only on four-door Wranglers, and desirable for its unobtrusive and exceptionally smooth power delivery. 

All that applies to the automatic-equipped Wrangler and its seamless, impressively responsive shifts. There’s a 6-speed manual transmission on V-6s if you want it, but it’s more a nostalgia act with its long throws and low fuel economy. 

Is the Jeep Wrangler 4WD?

Jeep blesses every Wrangler with the core it needs for off-road exploring. A ladder frame plus four-wheel drive, with available locking differentials and knobby tires and lots of ground clearance can be dressed in a thousand different ways with the options list or the Mopar accessories catalog. What they generally have in common, aside from rock-clambering goodness in Rubicons and even in lesser models, is an inept feel on pavement that’s better than in the past, but still not great. Steering has lots of slack; two-doors bound around like Labrador puppies and require just as much attention. Four-doors with Sahara-grade creature comforts fare best in daily driving, but that’s faint praise. Any other Jeep will commute better than the Wrangler. 

Wrangler 4xe

One compelling new addition to the Wrangler lineup comes in Sahara, Rubicon and High Altitude spec. The Wrangler 4xe four-door twins the turbo-4 with a 17.3-kwh battery pack, a motor-generator, and an electric motor for a net of 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. Teamed with the 8-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a 2-speed transfer case, the 4xe complicates what would already be a complicated set of mechanicals—but it just works. Power arrives in a swell from launch, and drivers can choose whether to run in electric mode and use up its 22 miles of range, or in hybrid mode to blend in gas power seamlessly. It’s quiet, too, and can even accelerate to 60 mph in about six seconds, while it still offers front and rear Dana 44 axles for excellent off-road traction.

Wrangler Rubicon 392

The 4xe might be the best off-road powertrain in any Wrangler; the Rubicon 392 has the silliest. The 6.4-liter V-8 fits in here, barely, and kicks out 470 hp through the 8-speed automatic and Jeep’s Selec-Trac four-wheel-drive system, with its 2-speed transfer case and front and rear locking differentials. Shod with 285/70R17 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires, the 392 can shoot to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, but it still drives like a Wrangler, down to its approach and departure angles of 44.5 and 37 degrees and its 22.6-degree breakover angle. With an electronic disconnecting front sway bar, 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels and 33-inch tires, an Off-Road Plus drive mode that engages the rear locking diff, and a 48:1 crawl ratio that’s not quite as low as the standard Rubicon’s 77.2:1 ratio, the 392 claims lots of Wrangler best-ofs, with a sticker price that sucks the air out of the room at nearly $80,000.

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5

2022 Jeep Wrangler

Comfort & Quality

Comfort ranks low on the Wrangler’s to-do list.

The Wrangler makes room for four passengers, in varying degrees of comfort. Cargo space exceeds expectations, but fit and finish do not. It’s a 5 for utility and comfort.

Two-door Wranglers and four-doors share a lot, at least from the front row. They’re identical there, with manual-adjusting seats wrapped in cloth or leather, with decent bolstering and scads of space around the footwells. The dash of the Wrangler sits low, and doesn’t block excellent outward vision; the windshield lowers for spectacular off-road views.

The Wrangler’s back seat isn’t anything special in four-door spec, with 38 inches of leg room but less space than that indicates. It’s a big climb into any Wrangler, too. Two-doors have slim openings for back-seat passengers and it’d be a big ask to con more than two people to sit back there for any length of time, though leg room isn’t bad. Head room depends on the roof configuration—whether it has one or not, mostly.

The Wrangler can stow up to 31.7 cubic feet of stuff in four-door versions, four cubic feet less in two-doors. That’s still a lot.

What’s also a lot is the road, tire, and wind noise generated by any Wrangler at almost any speed. It’s loud inside, and materials that seem ready for a good hose-cleaning don’t always look great when they’re dry and clean.


 

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2022 Jeep Wrangler

Safety

We’ll pass on a rating, just like the safety agencies have done.

How safe is the Jeep Wrangler?

Neither the NHTSA or the IIHS has completely tested a Wrangler for crash safety, and in this case it might be a blessing, since it earned a low three-star score in limited federal side-impact tests. 

We won’t rate it until there’s data, but we’ll point out that no Wrangler comes with automatic emergency braking standard, unlike the Ford Bronco. It’s not even offered on the Sport trims. 

Outward vision is fine inside the Wrangler. Of course, it gets better with every roof panel and door you remove.

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5

2022 Jeep Wrangler

Features

The Wrangler’s chockablock with options, but they’re not cheap.

We give the Wrangler a 5 for features, with offsetting points. It picks one up for the myriad options on its build sheet—powertrains, body styles, off-road hardware—but loses it for skimpy equipment on the base two-door. 

It’d earn one for infotainment, if the base model didn’t stick with a teensy 5.0-inch display. That two-door Sport (it’s $3,500 more for four doors) costs $31,320 and includes roll-up windows, manual locks, cloth seats, 17-inch steel wheels, and lacks air conditioning. It’s a DIY kit for an off-road toy, essentially, equipped more like a work truck than anything. 

Four-door Sports get a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but most drivers will likely step into a Wrangler Sport S with power windows, air conditioning, and alloy wheels, for a daily-driver Wrangler that checks in at $38,020.

Which Jeep Wrangler should I buy?

We’d steer you toward a Sahara, which starts at $42,045 and includes four doors, 18-inch wheels, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen. It’s also available with the plug-in drivetrain, which adds 20-inch wheels, leather seats, and blue tow hooks. Options at this level still include automatic emergency braking, bundled here with adaptive cruise control, for $795; the three-piece hard-panel Freedom Top costs $2,495. 

The numbers keep spinning with the hardcore Rubicon models, which start at $42,095 in two-door form, with standard 17-inch wheels and off-road tires, beefy off-road gear, and plentiful options including a new factory 4.88 axle with a 100:1 crawl ratio. 

How much is a fully loaded Jeep Wrangler?

The Rubicon 392 costs at least $76,395 and can include a $2,000 power convertible top, pushing its price perilously close to $80,000.

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4

2022 Jeep Wrangler

Fuel Economy

Plug-ins have the best efficiency; gas Wranglers can be abysmal.

Is the Jeep Wrangler good on gas?

It’s better on hybrid power and diesel, but based on the most popular four-door Wrangler with the V-6/automatic combination, the EPA calls it at 19 mpg city, 24 highway, 21 combined. We call that a 4. 

Two-doors with the same powertrain get rated at 20/24/21 mpg, and off-road editions go lower. 

With the manual transmission, the V-6 two-door is rated at 17/25/20 mpg, the four-door at 17/23/19 mpg. 

With the turbo-4, the Wrangler’s bricky shape can’t do better than 21/24/22 mpg with the four-door body, or 22/24/23 mpg with the two-door. 

Turbodiesels get the highest highway numbers, at 22/29/25 mpg, but come only with four doors and the automatic. Rubicons with the diesel rate 21/26/23 mpg.

The Wrangler 4xe’s numbers look mixed to us at 49 MPGe, 20 mpg combined, and 22 miles of electric driving. It’s ideal for off-roading, and takes only two hours to recharge on a Level 2 connection, but the overall economy isn’t spectacular. It’s better than the Rubicon 392, though, at a low of 13/17/14 mpg.

Review continues below
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$29,995
MSRP based on Sport 4x4
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5.4
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 8
Performance 5
Comfort & Quality 5
Safety N/A
Features 5
Fuel Economy 4
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2022 Jeep Wrangler Pricing Insights

  • 2022 Wrangler supplies growing
  • Lease: From $405/mo
  • Rebates: No cash offers
  • Finance: See dealers for APR offers
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