Learn About the Jeep Wrangler Engine Options

Which Engine Should I Choose for my Jeep Wrangler?

For 2020, Jeep has made a realignment of engines for the new model year.  The optional engine, the 2.0 Turbo, has become the standard engine, while the 3.6L V6 is now the optional engine.  There are now two versions of each engine, mild hybrids with belt-start generator, and 'standard' engines without this feature.  The mild hybrid engines are available only with automatic transmissions and only on Sahara models..

Here's some advice on which engine to choose: The traditionalist would go for the 3.6L V6 for its proven performance and reliability. The early adopters likely choose the acceleration and excellent fuel economy of the 2.0 I4 Turbo E-Torque. Still others are waiting for the EcoDiesel to become available. Our take: we love the EcoDiesel engine (see our page here), and we can't wait to drive one when they are available in the Wrangler, but the 2.0L I4 is tough to beat.  See the chart below for engine specifications for each option:


3.6L V6 24V VVT
20.L I4 Turbo E-Torque
3.0L EcoDiesel Turbo
Horsepower285270262 Est.
Torque260290442 Est.
EPA Estimates
City/Highway/Combine
18/23/20 Auto
17/23/19 Manual
22/24/2221/26/23 These are Educated Predictions
Manual Available?
YesNoNo
Normal Driving Range:
1 Gallon Reserve Using Combined EPA
400 miles
380 miles manual
440 miles
460 miles estimated
CostStandard
$1000$4500 Estimated
Towing Capacity
3500 lbs.
3500 lbs.
3500 lbs.
0-60 Acceleration
7-8 seconds (auto)
7-8 Seconds
7-8 Seconds
Fuel Required
87 Octane
87 Octane
91 Rec. for Certain Conditions
Diesel

*Note that information on the Eco-Diesel are estimations based upon previous variants of the engine along with the limited information supplied by Jeep at this time

2.0L I4 Turbo E-Torque

Of course, if you want a manual transmission, your choice is easy.  The 3.6L V6 is the only engine that is mated with a manual.  The 3.6L V6 is an excellent engine.  It's equipped with stop/start technology and is proven tough over many generations.  This engine debuted in the Jeep lineup in the 2011 Grand Cherokee.  Millions have been produced, and they are extremely reliable.

If you're choosing an automatic, my vote is for the 2.0L I4 Turbo. This engine has mild-hybrid technology with a 48V belt start system. This provides extra torque from start-up, and the stop-start feature works seamlessly. There is an upcharge for the engine, but the fuel savings will likely pay for it over the life of the vehicle. (A caveat:  *Jeep says that 87 octane gasoline is satisfactory, but you will experience the best engine performance with 91 octane or higher, particularly in hot weather or under heavy load). The 2.0 is extremely responsive and fun to drive. Even though the 0-60 times are about the same as the 3.6L V6, the 2.0 makes the Jeep feel lighter and faster while driving. These engines are new in the Wrangler starting in the 2018 model year, while we haven't seen issues with reliability, if you are concerned about this, choose the V6.

Should I Wait for an EcoDiesel?

While the staff at Planet Jeep are huge fans of the EcoDiesel because of its exceptionally smooth power delivery at low RPM's and the excellent fuel economy.  We expect the EcoDiesel to significantly change the way the Wrangler feels because of its added weight, and extreme torque.  For off-road conditions, this motor will be a beast, and if it's a long way between fuel stops, it will offer the longest range.  This motor will be significantly more expensive to purchase and maintain (see our analysis here).  Given that the MPG of this engine will not be significantly higher than the other engine choices, the cost of ownership is likely to be considerably higher.

All information and pricing is approximate and subject to change. While every effort has been made to ensure we display accurate information Planet CJDR is not responsible for misprints, typographical or factual errors on the site. If questions arise please directly contact Planet CJDR who can confirm all current information and offerings. This information is copyright protected and may not be used in whole or in part without express written permission of Planet Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram.

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