If you’re looking for a Jeep Wrangler, this guide will help you understand the differences between all the 2023 Wrangler models available.
Jeep Wrangler models range from the base-level Wrangler Sport to the fully outfitted Rubicon 392. All Jeep Wrangler’s have impressive ground clearance and off-road capability, but upgraded models give you better tires, suspension, underbody protection, and ride quality.
I love hitting the trail in capable four-wheel-drive vehicles, and the Jeep Wrangler is the most iconic off-roading vehicle there is. For this guide, I dug deep into the spec’s and features of the Jeep Wrangler Models available today as well as historical generations of the Wrangler to get you all the information you need on this iconic vehicle.
What are the Different Types of Jeep Wranglers?
There is a huge range of Wrangler models to choose from. Read on below to see the features, specs, and prices for each of the different models. The pricing I’ve listed are for four door models; you can expect to spend about $3500 less for two door versions.
Jeep Wrangler Sport
Starting at $35,690 the Jeep Wrangler Sport is your entry-point to the Wrangler world. Even though this is the base model, it still has impressive off-road capability. In this base model you still get impressive ground clearance and a great 4-wheel-drive system.
You miss out on some convenience and comfort features like power windows and locks, but this follows with the general principle of the Wrangler design overall: capability is more important than bells and whistles.
Jeep Wrangler Sport S
A step above the Sport, the Sport S starts at $38,395 and has improved features like power locks, LED fog lights, and a more modern interior. The Sport S gives you alloy wheels, an improved safety package, and better interior features.
Jeep Wrangler Willys Sport
Jeep has brought back Willy's name for some of its models with improved off-road capability. The Willy’s Sport starts at $38,365 and has some fantastic improvements over the base Sport model for the modest price increase.
In the Willy’s Sport you get 32” mud-terrain tires, Rubicon shocks and rock rails, and a limited slip rear differential. It is also available with an optional package that gets you massive 35” tires. If you want a highly-capable off-road vehicle without breaking the bank, the Willy’s Sport is a fantastic choice.
Jeep Wrangler Freedom
The Jeep Wrangler Freedom Edition starts at $42,185 and has upgraded interior and off-road features. The biggest upgrades with the Freedom Edition include leather upholstery, steel rock sliders and bumper, and all-terrain tires.
Jeep Wrangler Willys
The Jeep Wrangler Willys starts at $42,685 and combines the capability of the Willy’s Sport with the improved features of the Sport S. You get the same Rubicon racks and shocks with upgraded interior features and refinement.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
The Wrangler Rubicon is Jeep’s signature upgraded off-road package. The Wrangler Rubicon starts at $47,495 and packs in some serious off-road capability.
The Rubicon comes with an advanced 4-wheel-drive system that has a 4:1 low range transfer case and is available with the option of a 100:1 crawl ratio. This 4x4 system is one of the best you’ll find and it works incredibly well for all types of off-road terrain.
In addition to the upgraded 4x4 system, you also get 33” off-road tires, electronic swaybar disconnect, steel rock rails, and front and rear axle lockers.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392
This considerably more expensive model of the Wrangler Rubicon is the most well-outfitted Wrangler you can buy. With a starting MSRP of $82,495, this model is for people who are willing to spend the most money for the most performance.
The Rubicon 392 comes with a powerful 6.4L V8 engine under the hood that pumps out 470 horsepower and 470 ft-lbs of torque. On the interior you have leather-trimmed seats and all the high-end tech features.
Jeep Wrangler High Altitude
The Wrangler High Altitude can be considered the luxury vehicle version of a Jeep. It starts at $55,215. With 20” aluminum wheels, body color-matched fenders, and a high-end leather interior, this model is more for cruising town in style than tackling tough trails.
Of course you still get classic Jeep capability in the High Altitude. This model has the same 4-wheel-drive and high ground clearance that you’ll find in other Wranglers. One interesting note is that the Wrangler High Altitude is available only in a four door setup.
Jeep Wrangler High Tide
The Wrangler High Tide is a limited edition model that’s designed for cruising the coasts. It comes in at $50,335. This is the only model that comes stock with the Xtreme Recon package that gets you 35-inch tires. These massive tires make the Wrangler High Tide seriously capable and ready for some difficult rock crawling.
This model is ready for driving in the open air with a Sunrider hardtop that can fold back at the front for easily getting an open riding experience without taking off the whole top.
Jeep Wrangler 4xe PHEV
Introduced for 2021, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe is the first-ever hybrid version. The 4xe Wrangler is a plug-in hybrid that lets you run either only on the two electric motors with battery power, the 2.0 liter turbo gas engine, or both together in hybrid mode. Running on the battery alone, you can drive 22 miles before even starting the gas motor.
There are lots of choices when looking at the 4xe. You can purchase a Willy’s, Sahara, Rubicon, or High Altitude version with the 4xe hybrid system.
Features of the All Jeep Wrangler Models
The Jeep Wrangler has an iconic design that has made it an off-roading legend for decades. Over this time, surprisingly little has changed about the core design features of Jeeps, even though Jeep is now owned by the European Fiat Chrysler automobiles.
Here are several features that are common to all types of Jeep Wranglers and help to define this vehicle:
While modern cars and even SUV’s are implementing unibody construction methods for lighter weight and smoother handling, the Jeep Wrangler sticks to tried and true body-on frame construction that is stronger, stiffer, and more durable.
Only once has Jeep made a two-wheel-drive Wrangler. All other models of Wrangler have always been four-wheel drive. This is right in line with the Wrangler’s position as the classic off-road vehicle.
Most vehicles nowadays have independent suspension, which is lightweight and makes for a smoother ride. SUV’s and trucks sometimes have solid axle design, but even heavier-duty trucks often have at least independent front suspension.
The Jeep Wrangler is unique in the fact that it has solid front and rear axles. While this means Wranglers don’t feel as smooth and refined on the road, it is a huge advantage for tough off-roading. A solid axle enables better articulation when rock crawling, and having two solid axles is what puts the Wrangler in a league of it’s own.
Removable Tops, Doors, Windshield
You’ve likely seen Jeep Wranglers rolling down the street with their tops open like a convertible. This ability to ride in the open air is one of people’s favorite features about the Wrangler.
These vehicles either come with a fabric soft top that can be rolled up out of the way for riding in the sun, or a removable hard top.
Keeping features from the original Willys Jeep, Wrangler windshields can fold down, and it’s easy to remove the doors for an even more open ride.
Jeep Wrangler Previous Models
The Jeep Wrangler has gone through five different generations, and they all have surprisingly similar style and overall design. Here is a quick breakdown of the different model years and how the Wrangler evolved over time.
First Generation Wrangler: CJ (Civilian Jeep)
The Jeep Wrangler was first introduced in the public with the civilian Jeep, or CJ, model, produced from 1944 to 1986. The first Jeeps were modeled after the military Willys Jeep and carried over many features from the military model.
Second Generation Wrangler: YJ
Building on the success of the original CJ, the Jeep Wrangler JK was produced from 1986 to 1995. With this new model, safety and comfort were hugely improved for a vehicle that could be used for more than just off-roading. This was the only Jeep model to feature square headlights, which is a point of controversy for Jeep enthusiasts around the country.
Third Generation Wrangler: TJ
Produced from 1996 to 2006, the Wrangler TJ continued to improve upon the innovations of the previous decades. With this model, the Wrangler got coil suspension instead of old-school leaf springs, and the frame and body were strengthened for a more rigid, solid construction.
Fourth Generation Wrangler: JK
From 2006 to 2018, the Jeep Wrangler JK saw some big changes. The overall width and size of the Jeeps were increased and more safety features were added for better highway driving.
The biggest change in the JK Wranglers was that they were the first to have a four door option. In the past, Wranglers had only been two doors. Two door Wranglers are still available, but four door models have considerably more room and functionality, so they are far more common today.
Fifth Generation Wrangler: JL
The current model of the Jeep Wrangler, the JL, started in 2018. This model is once again wider and longer than previous Wranglers and introduces more useability with new zipperless soft tops and improved hardtops.
What is the Best Wrangler for You?
There are a lot of aspects to take into account when choosing which Wrangler model is for you. Here are a few different scenarios and recommendations:
- If you’re looking to stick to a budget, but want the classic Jeep style and capability, the Wrangler sport would be a great choice.
- For fantastic off-road performance at a reasonable price, the Willy’s Sport gives you the best bang for your buck.
- For awesome hybrid gas mileage, check out a Wrangler 4xe model that combines electric-hybrid efficiency without sacrificing off-road capability.
- If you’re more interested in cruising in style, the Wrangler high-altitude is a more refined vehicle for driving around town.
- For the ultimate off-road capability, the Wrangler Rubicon is ready from the factory to tackle the toughest trails.
About THE AUTHOR
Corey has been off-roading all his life, starting from a very young age on ATV's and dirt bikes. As he's grown older, his interests have focused more on larger off-roading vehicles like Jeeps and Toyotas. He lives for the slow and calculated crawl up (or down) steep terrain.Read More About Corey Brooks