Wrangler 2020. 2020 Jeep Wrangler first drive review: Diesel makes the heart grow fonder

2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel Review: Efficiency You Can Feel (and Hear)

Wrangler 2020

So, with the tires aired down to 20 pounds per square inch for some added traction, I set out in a Rubicon EcoDiesel to see if my fears were misplaced — and they were. These changes give the advantage on the road to the Rubicon, where its larger, knobby tires seem to do a better job of smoothing the ride out, making it feel closer to the gas versions than the Sahara does. The EcoDiesel remains a fantastic off-road vehicle. According to Jeep, the 400-pound gain is in comparison to both the gas four-cylinder and V-6 somehow those two engines weigh the same , and most of that weight comes from the engine itself. The added weight is no match for the added torque from the engine, and the Wrangler was as easy to manipulate as ever. Off the Road This portion of the testing was where I most feared for the diesel engine for a couple of reasons. Be prepared for a lot of engine noise, which overwhelms the added sound deadening around the engine compartment and fills the cabin with that unpleasant, grainy diesel sound anytime you start to press on the throttle.

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2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel Review: Efficiency You Can Feel (and Hear)

Wrangler 2020

I took a trip to Zion National Park in Utah to test out a pair of Wrangler Unlimiteds with the new powertrain to see what it might change, fuel economy aside. And that extra torque with the even delivery arguably gives the EcoDiesel a better experience after the pavement ends. The diesel engine is very similar to , having virtually identical hardware, though some of it has been moved around in the Wrangler to accommodate its off-road needs. My second fear was also misplaced. Sound deadening was also added around the engine bay to try to keep the diesel growl out of the cabin. That, however, is about to change for the 2020 Wrangler four-door, called the Unlimited, which adds a diesel powertrain as an option that delivers big gains in fuel economy and torque.

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2020 Jeep Wrangler first drive review: Diesel makes the heart grow fonder

Wrangler 2020

Jeep plans to offer the diesel only on the Unlimited for now, so those who want two doors will have to stick with the gas engines. I spent time in both the street-friendly Sahara and the off-road-specialist Rubicon on pavement, and the Rubicon on a robust off-road course. This is especially true in the Sahara, which feels busy as the front chatters along, highlighting any imperfections in the pavement. . The engine also offers consistent performance at speed; some diesel engines struggle to provide even passing power, but there are no such problems here. Though the ride disappoints, the diesel engine itself does not. That figure far bests the numbers from the gasoline engines, which make 260 pounds-feet V-6 and 295 pounds-feet turbo four , respectively.

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2020 Jeep Wrangler first drive review: Diesel makes the heart grow fonder

Wrangler 2020

From a steering and balance perspective, there was no discernible difference between the gasoline versions and the diesel. The EcoDiesel seems to roll back that positivity. I admit I did not see that coming. This aspect of the powertrain was nearly telepathic. The diesel is also paired with a reworked eight-speed automatic transmission designed to handle the extra torque.

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2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel Review: Efficiency You Can Feel (and Hear)

Wrangler 2020

Maximum torque is available starting at 1,400 rpm, and good off-the-line responsiveness reflects that. The throttle mapping with four-wheel drive in 4-Low or in 4-High is spot on. It was so loud that my drive partner and I quickly got accustomed to waiting for the engine to finish accelerating to continue our conversation. The Wrangler Unlimited EcoDiesel is available for order now and will arrive in dealerships starting in December. The diesel joins the turbocharged four-cylinder and V-6 gasoline engines to give the Wrangler Unlimited three engine options. In this case, however, given the changes to the suspension, I actually found the opposite to be true.

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2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel Review: Efficiency You Can Feel (and Hear)

Wrangler 2020

Jeep also made suspension changes to help account for the added weight, increasing the shock tuning and spring rates on EcoDiesel models. Hefty Powertrain The turbo-diesel 3. This forms a weird contrast with the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, which has a roughly identical engine but a very quiet cabin that filters all of that noise out. The Editorial department is independent of Cars. The suspension tweaks designed to better handle the added weight produce a ride that feels brittle on the road, as if the Wrangler has just awakened and its joints are creaky. . .

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