Carl Cabusas

Cebuano with zest for cars, gadgets, watches, travel, food, and real estate.

2019 Jeep Wranger Unlimited Sport review

carlcabs's picture

Yep, you are looking at the all new 2019 Jeep Wrangler. If you think it looks more or less the same as the 2017 model, you are not alone. To the untrained eye, the design of the Jeep Wrangler has remained true to its heritage: Boxy, heavy, upright design, big engine, remarkable grille and two rounded headlights. Basically, the design has remained the same for many decades. But that’s not a bad thing, it has been Jeep’s best selling model ever since so why mess with the design, right?

For 2019, Jeep went back to the drawing board and worked on remaking the Iconic Jeep Wrangler without totally altering its looks to meet future safety and emission standards. After many years of research and design, the new JL body, Jeep Wranger was revealed to the public late 2018 as a production ready concept in an International motorshow. It still has the same boxy and upright body design, it still retains a body on frame platform but it's now 200lbs lighter compared to  the previous model. Thanks to modern engineering and with  the use of light weight steel and aluminum, it's able to shed weight, making possible for Jeep to fit the new Wrangler with an all new 4 cylinder, turbocharged gasoline engine mated to an 8 speed A/T. Powertrain and transmission aside, new safety technology and niceties are also built into the cabin of the new Jeep Wrangler. Let's take a closer look at the changes of the new Jeep Wrangler and how it performs with its new 4 cylinder turbocharged engine.

Ride and handling

Granted that this test unit has been kitted out and accessorized, the previous Jeep JK I tested 2 years ago was also in the same condition, and this feels a whole lot lighter, more comfortable on the road and drives less like a truck. On the highway, it feels more planted and the steering input lighter and more accurate than before. Out on the beaten track, it pleases the driver with a well weighted, but not heavy steering feed back. It's a lot less stressful to drive than the JK model was. With a lot less weight on its platform, the suspension system has a lot less, about 200lbs less to be exact to worry about. Making the ride more manageable at high speeds and more ride complaint. It's still drives like a truck, but a whole lot better.

Creature comfort

It may not look like things have changed a lot in the new Jeep on the outside, however, on the inside, things are way better in passenger comfort. The new Jeep has better equipped dashboard with bigger digital multi display on the centre of the 2 gauge meters. The steering wheel is now thicker and have
multiple controls and button. It also comes with Push start stop button with auto engine shut for more fuel efficient driving on busy roads and mostly idle speed. Infotainment is via touch screen, it's small, but it has better sound and bluetooth connectivity with Android and iPhone compatibility. Seats have better height, tilt and slide and lumbar support adjust feature. This makes driving a lot less stressful. Built and finish is also topnotch.

There are lots of hard plastics inside the cabin, but at least they feel really solid and unbreakable. The back seat have better seat cushioning and better seat back angle with rear aircon vents and USB port. Aside from that, most of the new Jeep's body panel do come off with the help of built in special tools provided for in the vehicle and maybe some good handy man lift from your friends. Other comfort features inclusive in the JL Jeep Wrangler include Auto headlights, better AC controls, cruise control, hill decent control USB port on the front and inside the arm rest and a much slimmer side view mirrors.

 

Overall, the JL Model, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport is a more comfortable Jeep for driver and passengers alike than the previous JK model.

Performance

Powering this almost 3 ton truck/SUV is a 2.0li turbocharged, gasoline engine with an output of 268hp and 400Nm of torque and is mated to an 8 speed automatic transmission. What this mean is that the new Jeep is able to handle a new and a more lightweight turbo engine because it's basically a lighter vehicle now and with that new 8 speed AT, the engine is able to breath freely as it smoothly revs up and settles down to a higher gear when cruising along the highway. This also in turn results in a better gas mileage.

On paper, the engine spec may not sound much coming from a 4 pot, but in the real world, the 4 cylinder Turbocharged engine actually feels lighter, more powerful, agile and operates with less noise than a V6 engine. Less noise and harshness means better driving and less stress for the driver and passengers. At almost 3 tons, I was so surprised that this Jeep Wrangle with this engine went up the mountains of Busay with so much ease. Power delivery was smooth and gear chnages were on point all the time. The Jeep never felt it was under powered nor was it gasping for more engine power at high revs.

The engine provides low end torque quite well for a big SUV. Between this 4 pot, turbocharged gasoline engine over the 3.5 V6, I would probably choose this. It's just better overall; less noise and vibration, power delivery is smooth and seamless, power is equivalent to the V6 engine and it's a whole lot lighter. There was a hint of turbo lag as expected, but it wasn't very noticeable. I have to give Jeep the credit for pairing the engine with the right 8 speed Automatic transmission as it is quick and responsive to the driver's every input.

Verdict

It’s a surprisingly light Truck/full size body on frame American, go anywhere SUV to drive.  Jeeps of old were known to be massive and heavy and gas guzzlers too! The new, 2019 JK model, Jeep Wrangler is a step forward into the right direction for future Jeep Wranglers as it employs new light weight materials and advanced manufacturing processes, trimming its overall weight by 200lbs. I also have to give credit to Jeep by adding important niceties to the Jeep Wrangler as the previous one was almost bare to the bones, and was not very passenger and driver friendly.  Overall, it’s a fun huge American SUV that you can use daily, or on weekends for an outdoor trail with your barkadas or on those days when weather is really bad and most of Cebu’s road are flooded, this is your Survival Kit! 

It’s not an SUV for everyone, that’s for sure! If you have the right parking space for it, that’s already a check on the must have list before buying a Jeep Wrangler. If you have the heart for really huge SUV, this one is for you, if you want an SUV with lots of customization options, this is certainly for you!  Then there is the price. If you have P3.6++ million, then this is really for you. Ow, this SUV comes with a built-in attention magnet too! It gets attention everywhere I drive it, especially in this color yellow!
 

Categories: 
Share this post: 
carlcabs's picture
Carl Cabusas
A graduate in Business Administration and Economics, Carl Cabusas works as a real estate professional by day. He has been a car enthusiast at a very young age while growing up in the U.S influenced by his uncle who is an avid car collector. The passion for travel, lifestyle, gadgets and watches is his take on living life in the right balance of yen and yang (work and life balance) in the hopes of encouraging others to work hard but at the same time enjoy life and live it to the fullest and discover their own passion.