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 ESS or E-Torque
3.0L EcoDiesel Turbo
EPA Estimates
18/23/20 Auto
17/23/19 Manual
Manual Available?
Normal Driving Range:
1 Gallon Reserve Using Combined EPA
400 miles
380 miles manual
440 miles
513 miles
ESS on Sport and Rubicon
E-Torque on Sahara
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

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 in the Sahara models. This provides extra torque from start-up, and the stop-start feature works seamlessly. (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 Opt 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. The EcoDiesel significantly changes the way the Wrangler feels because of its added weight, and extreme torque.  For off-road conditions, this motor is a beast, and if it's a long way between fuel stops, it offers the longest range--over 500 miles with a one-gallon reserve.  This motor is 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.

What's the horsepower rating of the 3.6L V6 in the Jeep Wrangler: 285

What's the horsepower rating of the 2.0L Turbo in the Jeep Wrangler: 270

What's the horsepower difference between the 3.6L V6 and the 2.0L Turbo in the Jeep Wrangler: There's 15 less hp in the 2.0L turbo, 285 vs 270

Which engine is cheaper in the Jeep Wranger?  For the 2020 model year, the 2.0L Turbo is standard in Wrangler if you want an automatic transmission.  The 3.6L V6 costs $1250 more.  If you choose a manual transmission, the only available engine is the 3.6L V6. The 3.0L Ecodiesel is $4500 more than the 2.0L Turbo automatic.

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.