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New jeep wrangler rubicon on the road

2024 Jeep Wrangler Review

This might look like the same basic vehicle that’s been on sale since 2017, but the updated Jeep Wrangler JL has greatly improved on the previous generation. It addresses performance with a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine, infotainment with a 12.3-inch Uconnect 5 touchscreen, and safety with first—and second-row side curtain airbags now standard across all models.

Is it enough to justify the AU$90,450 plus on-road costs of getting behind the wheel of the top-of-the-range Rubicon model with all the fruit? Let’s take a closer look at the new vehicle and find out!

RELATED: 2024 Jeep Avenger Price and Specs Revealed for Australia.

Driving offroad in the new jeep 4
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Image: Jeep

What Does the New Jeep Wrangler Cost?

Pricing for the new Jeep Wrangler starts from AU$75,950 plus on-road costs in Australia for the entry-level Sport S model. If you want to get your hands on a top-of-the-range Rubicon model with all the fruit, the 2-door variant starts from AU$83,950 plus on-road costs, while the 4-door edges close to $100,000 on the road with a starting price of AU$90,450 before on-roads.

The full pricing list for the new Jeep Wrangler is as follows:

  • Jeep Wrangler Sport S – AU$75,950 plus on-road costs
  • Jeep Wrangler Overland – AU$84,950 plus on-road costs
  • Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 2 Door – AU$83,950 plus on-road costs
  • Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4 Door – AU$90,450 plus on-road costs

Options for the new Jeep Wrangler in Australia include Premium Paint ($1,490) which includes all colours except Bright White, Sky-one-touch powertop ($6,450) for the Overland and Rubicon 4-door, and 18-inch alloy wheels for the Overland model ($950).

Competition-wise, the GWM Tank 300 Hybrid (from AU$58,990) is the most comparable vehicle in terms of looks and standard off-road features. However, the range of software failures and hardware limitations we experienced when reviewing that vehicle makes it hard to recommend. More importantly for buyers, the Jeep Wrangler is a more capable off-road vehicle with a live front and rear axle and it’s proven itself as such for decades. Still, if you spend most of your time on fire trails and tarmac, the Tank 300 is a solid choice.

2024 jeep wrangler rubicon interior
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Image: Jeep

Is the Interior of the New Jeep Wrangler Nice?

The Jeep Wrangler has always been a pragmatic bit of kit, and it’s increasingly difficult to criticise a vehicle with a removable roof, doors, and foldable windscreen. Even though it’s priced like one, it’s not designed to be a luxury vehicle, but the updated model has added previously unfound comfort to the vehicle.

For this launch we spent our time in the top-of-the-range Rubicon which comes with the added kit over the other models in the line-up, this includes:

  • Acoustic laminated front door glass
  • Front 12-way power seats (4DR)
  • Driver 12-way power seat (2DR)
  • Nappa leather seats
  • Premium wrapped dash panel

These additions result in a more luxurious vehicle, and the acoustic laminated front door glass has significantly reduced road noise at all road speeds. Even with the large 255/75R17 BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tyres, you can actually converse with the person next to you while at the highway speed limit of 110km/h. It’s unclear how much the standard front ‘Gorilla Glass’ windshield has helped, but knowing the quality of their products, it’s likely aided in reducing wind noise too.

We’ll quickly note that the 12-way power-adjustable seats on the Rubicon models (which include lumbar support) can withstand wading through 86 centimetres of water—when you have the doors off on private property—and can still be hosed clean thanks to carefully sealed electronic connections and a drain hole.

Every model in the line-up has benefitted from an antenna that’s been relocated to the windshield, the aforementioned front ‘Gorilla Glass’ windshield, side curtain airbags, rear seat reminder, NVH improvements, and the new 12.3-inch Uconnect 5 touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The infotainment unit features a fully customisable home screen for one-touch operation, simultaneous connectivity for two Bluetooth-enabled devices, five user profiles, and a valet mode with customisable music preferences, apps, seat position, mirror angles and climate comfort level. It’s a quality unit that’s positioned above two sleek air vents and is a noticeable step up over the previous model. We didn’t experience any lag, and the screen gets bright enough to use while the roof panels are removed.

New jeep wrangler rubicon engine bay
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Image: Jeep

What’s Under the Bonnet?

We never got along with the 3.6-litre V6 engine in the previous-gen Wrangler, but this new 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine has transformed the vehicle. It might be down slightly on outright power with 200kW at 5,250rpm, but there’s more torque available at 400Nm (+53Nm), and it arrives lower down the rev range at 3,000rpm. This makes a huge difference when overtaking, driving up hills, and towing up to the 2495kg max capacity. Of course, there’s a drop in 0-100km/h time to 7.4 seconds which is respectable.

This extra torque and power available lower down in the powerband make a significant difference behind the wheel. It’s smoother, punchier, and vastly improves the driving experience.

It’s also more efficient too. On the windy roads through the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia, we returned fuel consumption figures of 10.1 litres per 100km, which is close to the claimed 9.9 litres per 100km. The real-world fuel consumption of the previous V6 engine was closer to 13 litres per 100km.

New jeep wrangler rubicon offroad 4
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Image: Jeep

How Does the New Jeep Wrangler Drive?

Like the interior, incremental but noticeable changes have been made to the driving experience. The brand doesn’t go into details about the aforementioned NVH improvements, but having driven nearly every version of the JL Wrangler over the years, we can confidently say the steering is sharper, the Performance suspension (Rubicon only) has made a difference to the comfort of the vehicle on the road, and it just feels more tightly screwed together. Yeah, it’s still a Wrangler and a long way off your average SUV, but it’s easy to see why owners will happily sacrifice this for the exceptional off-road capabilities.

We tested the new Wrangler’s capabilities at a private, previously closed off-road park near Murwillumbah, NSW. In short, it’s still the most capable vehicle you can buy from a dealership in Australia.

Under the skin, you get Dana solid front and rear axles, a 2-speed transfer case, traction control, and four skid plates. Rubicon models further benefit from the next-generation HD Dana 44 full-float rear axle and a forward-facing TrailCam, which helps you see the track when your bonnet is facing skyward.

New jeep wrangler rubicon offroad 3
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Image: Jeep

The new full-float rear axle design is important because it offers improved lateral force camber compliance and basically means you can fit larger tyres with less concern of getting stranded on the trails.

Rubicon models still come standard with the brand’s Rock-Trac 4×4 System which includes a 4:1 low gear ratio, 77.2:1 crawl ratio, Tru-Lok electronic locking front and rear differentials and an electronic front sway bar disconnect. If you manage to get stuck with all these features, it’s probably not the car.

Sport S and Overland models come with the Selec-Trac 4×4 System which is a simple part-time low and high-range and high-range full-time automatic 2WD to 4WD. This is more than enough for most people and will take you further than most owners will ever need to go off-road.

New jeep wrangler rubicon dashboard
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Image: Jeep

What Do You Get?

The Jeep Wrangler range kicks off with the Jeep Wrangler Sport S (from AU$75,950 plus on-road costs) and you get the following features as standard:

  • 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine
  • New front grille
  • New design 17-inch wheels
  • Antenna relocation to the windscreen
  • Front “Gorilla Glass” windshield
  • Side curtain airbag
  • Rear seat reminder
  • 12.3-inch U connect 5 touchscreen
  • NVH improvements
  • Ambient LED interior lighting
  • Nexen Roadian A/T tyres
  • Fabric dash panel
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 240 amp alternator
  • Auto high-beam headlights
  • Normal duty suspension

Step up to the Jeep Wrangler Overland (from AU$84,950 plus on-road costs) and you’ll add:

  • New design 18-inch wheels
  • Anti-spin Dana M220 rear axle
  • Front 12-way power seats
  • Black side mirrors
  • Premium McKinley seats
  • Hard seat back panel
  • Soft spare tyre cover

Finally, the top-of-the-range Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4 Door (AU$90,450 plus on-road costs) adds:

  • New design 17-inch wheels
  • Performance Suspension
  • HD Dana 44 full-float rear axle
  • Acoustic laminated front door glass
  • Front 12-way power seats (4DR)
  • Driver 12-way power seat (2DR)
  • Nappa leather seats
  • Forward facing TrailCam
  • Premium wrapped dash panel
New jeep wrangler rubicon airbag inrear seats
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon gains second-row side curtain airbags across all models | Image: Jeep

What Safety Technology Does the Jeep Wrangler Have?

This new generation debuts a handful of new safety technologies, including:

  • Standard first and second-row side curtain airbags across all models (NEW)
  • Driver and passenger front and side seat-mounted airbags.
  • Rear seat reminder alert (NEW)
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Autonomous emergency braking and forward collision warning

If you’re buying a car with a removable hardtop roof, doors, and fold-down windscreen, there’s only so much you can expect in terms of safety. You don’t have to look far to find a safer vehicle on the road, and the previous generation Jeep Wrangler came with a 3-star ANCAP safety rating (2019).

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Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Image: Jeep

Man of Many’s Verdict on the Jeep Wrangler

With prices creeping up to $90,450 for the top-of-the-range Rubicon model, sadly, this off-roader only has a narrow audience of die-hard fans and cashed-up adventurers to please. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact the brand has done a great job of improving its product, adding standard features and refinement, and not raising the prices too much over the previous generation.

The 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine, acoustic laminated front door glass, and various NVH improvements have transformed the vehicle from a thirsty gas-guzzler with character to a vehicle that you would happily drive every day.

Still, it’s unfortunate that our dollar is so poor against the U.S. because we can only imagine how many more people would love to get behind the wheel of the Jeep Wrangler if it was more attainable to the average Aussie.

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Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Image: Jeep

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