The Jeep Wrangler has been given a series of changes as part of a mid-life update, including upgraded infotainment and new features, which will help keep it fresh in the face of a new arch-rival in the shape of the Ford Bronco.
The Bronco isn’t sold here, so the Wrangler effectively has this niche to itself in Australia – which may help explain why the brand has hiked prices repeatedly.
It’s unclear if (or by how much) prices will rise with this update. Jeep says it expects vehicles to arrive at the end of the year, with specifications to be announced closer to launch.
The brand never messes with the styling of the Wrangler too much, so exterior changes are subtle.
The seven-slot grille now looks like that of the Rubicon 20th Anniversary edition, with slimmer versions of the classic seven slots and a body-colour surround.
It also allows for the fitment of a new factory-installed Warn winch on Rubicon models with a capacity of 3628kg.
A “trail-ready” stealth antenna is integrated into the front windscreen, replacing the old steel mast that could get snagged on greenery.
There are 10 new wheel designs, ranging from 17 to 20 inches, plus a new colour called Anvil.
As before, there’s a multitude of roof types, at least in the US. These include a soft-top, black and body-colour hardtops, the Sky One-Touch powertop, and the so-called Sunrider, while customers can also specify half doors.
The changes are more pronounced inside, with a new 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system running Uconnect 5 on an Android operating system.
It supports over-the-air updates, and offers functions like a Trails Offroad app, five customisable user profiles, a customisable home screen, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The Trails Offroad app is a comprehensive trail guide system, offering detailed guides for the 62 Jeep Badge of Honor trails including the Rubicon Trail in California and the charmingly named Hell’s Revenge in Utah.
There are difficulty ratings based on 14 inputs, plus key waypoints for turns, obstacles and points of interest.
The central round air vents have been removed to make room for the larger screen, replaced with a rectangular vent, though the familiar round air vents still bookend the dashboard.
There are a total of seven USB-A and USB-C outlets for both rows of seating, along with 12V outlets and an available 115V AC outlet.
All models get standard first- and second-row curtain airbags.
Jeep says a wrapped instrument panel features “new soft-touch surfaces in fabric or polyurethane”, with High Altitude, Rubicon X and Rubicon 392 models getting acoustic front glass, thicker carpet and additional sound deadening foam in the cowl, B-pillars and windscreen header to cut down noise.
In addition to the available Warn winch, Rubicon models get a new Dana 44 HD Full Float solid rear axle that supports tyre upsizing and maximum towing capacity of 2268kg.
There’s also a 100:1 crawl ratio.
A new Rubicon X model features Jeep’s Rock-Trac full-time four-wheel drive system, steel bumpers, an integrated off-road camera, and an available Xtreme 35 package with beadlock-capable wheels and 35-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tyres.
It also features a body-colour hardtop and fender flares.
Inside, there are 12-way power front seats upholstered in Nappa leather and a nine-speaker Alpine sound system.
The base Sport S is now available in 4xe plug-in hybrid guise, while the Willys gains a Tru-Lok rear locker, steel rock rails, standard trailering and heavy-duty electrical packages and larger 33-inch tyres.
All 4xe models offer a Jeep 4xe Power Box with four 120V outlets with 30 amps of total output, which allows you to power external devices like phones and tablets with the battery pack.
The powertrain line-up is unchanged, and continues to comprise:
- A naturally aspirated 3.6-litre V6 with 212kW and 352Nm
- A turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder with 201kW and 400Nm
- A turbo 2.0-litre plug-in hybrid four with total outputs of 280kW and 637Nm
- A naturally aspirated 6.4-litre V8 with 350kW and 637Nm
There also continue to be four different four-wheel drive systems.
A 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 available in North America was axed last year.
Jeep has previously ruled out the local availability of any powertrain beyond the venerable Pentastar 3.6-litre V6.
The plug-in hybrid 4xe has been the best-selling PHEV in the US for two years in a row. By the end of 2025, Jeep intends for its entire North American line-up to be electrified.
Next year, it will launch the Recon and Wagoneer S electric SUVs, with plans for 50 per cent of its sales in the US (and 100 per cent in Europe) to be of fully electric vehicles.