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2020 Jeep Wrangler, 2020 Jeep Renegade exude off-road attitude Featured

Posted On Sunday, 03 May 2020 05:12 Written by
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The 2020 Jeep Wrangler knows no bounds. The 2020 Jeep Wrangler knows no bounds. Photo courtesy of Jeep

In my experience, I’ve found that you’re either a Jeep person, or you’re not.

Many people will avoid Jeeps like the plague, as it’s just not for them. But for those of you who are Jeep people, you probably think there’s no legitimate alternative.

Here’s a look at a couple Jeep options, the 2020 Wrangler, and the 2020 Renegade.
I’ll start with the Wrangler, the ultimate Jeep for Jeep people.


In terms of looks and design, the Jeep Wrangler exudes that off-road character that you’ve come to expand from this brand that dates back to the WWII era. You’ll never mistake the Wrangler for another ride.

It’s a totally unique vehicle, incredibly rugged, and you can literally take it apart (doors, roof, windshield are all optional) if you want to experience an extreme sense of freedom while driving (just check the forecast first).

The Wrangler sits high up,  is made of very strong materials and has a unique grill that has never been mimicked. A Wrangler is a Wrangler, and that's why it has kept its loyal fans for so long.

Another unique aspect of the Wrangler is the large number of customization options, both from the factory and in the aftermarket.

Even the paint colors are nice. My test vehicle had a pumpkin metallic clearcoat paint that was a type of bright orange that was shocking yet pleasing to the eye. Inside was a more traditional look with black leather trim seats.

Some folks may question the lack of cargo space and limited rear leg room compared to traditional vehicles, but that’s not likely to scare off Wrangler fans. There’s also limited space up front to store items (keys, wallet, etc.).

You can spruce up the Wrangler. An optional package on my test vehicle included leather trimmed seats, leather-wrapped park brake handle, leather-wrapped shift knob, and premium wrapped instrument panel bezel.


The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine in the Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4x4 I tested pumped out 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. It also featured eTorque, a mild hybrid system that offers more low-end torque and increases rock crawling capability. The engine was paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

It offers a powerful ride for the class, which is necessary for the rough terrain it is built to handle. You can also adjust your driving mode to match the terrain that you are navigating.

One downside is that due to the setup of the Wrangler, there will be lots of road noise entering the vehicle at faster/highway speeds, even if you don’t take it apart and put everything in the wind.

In terms of the ride quality, the most important thing is that the Wrangler is built to handle anything you throw at it. It’s not a grocery getter, though there’s no rule against using it as one. But the types of terrain where the Wrangler can go and offer you safe passage are far more extensive than most or all of its competition.

All those images of Jeep sitting on top of mountains happen for a reason. This is a vehicle for adventurers and people who go beyond the beaten path.

The Wrangler features anti-lock heavy duty brakes, a transmission skid plate, fuel tank and transfer case skid plates for protection, heavy-duty suspension, trailer sway damping, and more.


Overall, for a vehicle that is mostly known for being rugged, there are lots of great tech offerings included on the Wrangler that I would not have expected to be there. It's a sign of the changing times for the Jeep brand, which is becoming more modern in terms of technology.

The Wrangler’s Parkview rear backup camera is helpful. The vehicle is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto for phone mirroring.

There are advanced multistage front airbags, as well as supplemental front side seat airbags. The Uconnect system with its standard 7-inch display offers easy-to-use infotainment and  one of the best setups for user experience.

You get remote keyless entry. And the optional LED lighting group includes front LED fog lamps, LED reflector headlamps, daytime running lamp LED accents, and LED tail lamps.

You can opt for the premium audio group. This includes the Uconnect system with Navigation and an 8.4 inch display, 5 years of SiriusXM traffic service and travel link service, an Alpine premium audio system, HD radio, emergency call assistance, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, GPS navigation and RearView Auto dimming mirror.

The Safety Group package features Parksense rear park assist system, and blind spot with cross path detection. The Advanced Safety Group features adaptive cruise control with stop, advanced brake assist, and full speed forward collision warning plus.

Fuel mileage on the Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4x4 that I tested is officially listed at 19 City/22 Highway/20 overall. I averaged 17.2, which was low even by those standards.

My test vehicle was loaded, and priced just under $56,000; base price starts about $27K (lots of variety to choose from in the middle there).

While Jeeps are very strong and capable vehicles, especially the Wrangler, the quickly escalating price is a turn-off for many. Sure you can get one for under $30,000 barebones, but you really have to spend big bucks to soup it up, and you end up paying luxury vehicle prices to get a Wrangler.

Jeep lovers are very loyal and demand the ruggedness they offer. If you love The Wrangler you will probably continue to buy more Wranglers, or at least another Jeep. 

But the price will be a factor in determining how many people can actually pick up these versatile, powerful and adaptable go-anywhere vehicles.

2020 Jeep Renegade

Another Jeep I recently tested is a bit of a chameleon — the subcompact 2020 Jeep Renegade.
Among its many levels, you can choose anything from a suburb-friendly family ride up to a Trailhawk model that allows you to go where there are no roads. It’s a mostly domesticated Jeep, with the ability to turn into something much tougher.

The interior of the 2020 Renegade Limited 4x4 that I tested was not fancy, but still very  comfortable and high-tech for a Jeep. Its looks have lots of character, with a classic Jeep design.

There were leather-trimmed bucket seats, and rain sensitive windshield wipers. Cargo space and legroom in the rear are both limited.

The steering wheel-mounted audio controls worked well, and you get a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 8-way power adjustable driver's seat, 4-way power adjustable lumbar on driver's seat, and rear view automatic dimming mirror.

The dual-pane panoramic power sunroof is another nice touch on the Renegade. Also featured are 18-inch aluminum wheels.

Two engines are offered on the 2020 Renegade. I tested the 1.3-liter, four cylinder turbo engine, which was paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Numbers were 177 horsepower and 210 lb.-ft. of torque, and it featured Stop/Start technology.

Also offered is a 2.4-liter Tigershark engine with 180 hp/175 lb.-ft. The Renegade is available both in 2WD and 4x4 versions.

I was not as impressed by the power in the Renegade, compared with the Wrangler, but that’s logical considering the difference in numbers. It did have agile handling through turns. Road noise is also an issue in the Renegade.

The Renegade features: Anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes, electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, Selec-terrain system, all-speed traction control, stop-start system, capless fuel fill, daytime running lamps, tire pressure monitoring display, windshield wiper de-icer, and hill start assist.

And as I mentioned, you can opt for the Trailhawk option to get more off-road capability (at a higher price of course). The Trailhawk model features skid plates, all-terrain tires, and a two-speed transfer case.

LIke the Wrangler, the Renegade includes many strong tech and safety features. 

Beyond the airbags and rear camera system, you get a Bluetooth connection for streaming audio and phone calls, responsive voice commands, a 115-volt auxiliary power outlet, and dual-zone control of air conditioning and heat.

An Advanced Technology Group features: lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic high-beam control, adaptive speed control, and parking assist. Another option is blind spot and cross path detection.

A similar UConnect system to the Wrangler can be found in the Renegade. Kenwood premium audio system is also offered.

My 4x4 tester offered numbers of 23 city/29 highway/26 combined. The 2WD version gets you 24 city/32 highway.

My test vehicle was just under $36,000; base price starts about $23K. These are decent numbers, and if you want the Trailhawk model that starts closer to $28K.

For Jeep buyers who don’t need the Wrangler’s level of off-road sophistication and adaptability, but still love the look of Jeeps and want something in the family, the smaller and more domesticated Renegade may be a good compromise and preferable to competitors in the subcompact category like the Kia Soul or Nissan Kicks.

And the Trailhawk version offers the option of boosting off-road ability even with a domesticated model.

--- can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2020 Jeep Wrangler, 2020 Jeep Renegade
  • Price as tested: Wrangler: $55,785 (starts around $27K)  Renegade: $35,860 (starts around $23K)
  • Best feature: Wrangler best feature: Off-road exceptionalism   Renegade best feature: Price, Trailhawk option for off-roaders
  • Rating: Wrangler rating: 4 out of five stars     Renegade rating: 3 out of five stars 
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Wrangler: Who will want this vehicle?: Drivers seeking the peak of off-road ability     Renegade: Who will want this vehicle?: Jeep fans who want something more affordable, but still with off-road chops
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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