Seven Favorite Things About the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4x4
A cool crawler for the mall, trail, or to just bag some rays.
For the longest time I wasn't much of a Jeep Wrangler fan. The steering is loose, the cabin can get noisy on the highway, and the knobby tires seem to catch every groove on the road. Then, I drove a Trail-Rated Jeep off-road and had my "ah-ha" moment— as I crawled slowly up a rocky cliff, I realized this thing is freakin' amazing. Since then I've learned to love its rugged eccentricities. Recently we had a 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4x4 in our fleet and I loved it so much that I ended up renting another one the following week while visiting family and friends on the East Coast.
The Unlimited 4x4 isn't cheap—its base price is $38,645—but it's cheaper than the Rubicon, which starts at $41,455. Diehards say the Unlimited is not as rugged as the Rube if you are a hardcore off-roader since it doesn't share all the same technical bits, but it can still take you almost anywhere you need to go, with a bit more style if you are so inclined. The Sahara tested here was fully loaded and will set you back a staggering $56,585 if you like to pile on all the options—which you probably don't really need. If you want something a bit more affordable, get the Sport trim with the manual transmission, which starts around $31,795.
An Unlimited Sahara has four doors and is longer than a two-door Wrangler Sahara, growing the two-door's 96.8-inch wheelbase to 118.4 inches. It is available with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine with or without the eTorque assist mild hybrid system; for this test, I drove the hybrid, rated at a combined 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, with standard four-wheel drive. The Sahara is also available with a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder with eTorque, and there's even a diesel variant available now, but I'll have to get back to you on those in another post.
In the meantime, here's a list of seven things that make the latest-generation JL Wrangler a winner.
- Most Jeeps are available with removable hardtop panels that are easy to pop on and off, but the optional Sky One-Touch Power top ($3,995) is the real jam. It turns the Jeep into a convertible at the touch of a button without having to mess with storing panels.
- On the dash, the chunky volume and tune controls are easy to find without looking away from the road, and the touchscreen is easily reached, too. And as added bonus, there is a screen-off button and a start/stop-defeat button, too. To help drown out the usual road noise, there are speakers built into the B-pillar above your head so you can crank up some Billie Eilish.
- The Wranger is available in 11 factory shades including Firecracker Red, but my personal new favorite is Mojito!, a metallic Hulk-greenish hue. It looks fab with or without mud caked all over it, too.
- Fat grab handles are located low on the interior A-pillar and there's a long running board to help make getting in and out of the rock-climbing beast easier. However, my mom still needed a step stool to help her get in and out of our sweet Mojito-mobile.
- No matter where you live, the heated steering wheel and heated front seats, which are part of the optional Cold Weather package that adds $995 to the tab, are so worth it. I took the tops off with temperatures in the low 30s and still felt pretty darn toasty. A little light-headed, but still toasty.
- I encountered a few inches of the white stuff while in New Jersey, and the low gears and 4x4 came in handy, but sadly I ended up with a flat tire the next day. Thankfully the Wrangler comes equipped with a full-sized spare. No mobility air kit or puny donut here—a real replacement tire. Plus, there are tools to help take the rest of the roof off, and the doors, and the windows—and even storage space for all of the bolts, located under the rear seats so you can easily find them all later. It's brilliant.
- Here's something all vehicles also need: a built-in cell phone holder! This one is really simple, it's just a plastic slot that is located between the cup holders in the center console that can hold a big or small Android or iPhone. Holy Toledo! Who knew tech solutions could be so easy?
Bonus: I love all the original Willys Jeep shout outs and Easter eggs found on the Wrangler's startup screen, on its windshield, headlights, wheel rims, and shifter—too cool.
|2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4x4 Specifications|
|ENGINE||3.6L DOHC 24-valve V-6; 285 hp @ 1,400 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, 4WD SUV|
|EPA MILEAGE||19/22 mpg|
|L x W x H||188.4 x 73.8 x 73.6 in|