Car Review: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara learns to use less fuel with optional diesel power

When the Jeep Wrangler was redesigned in 2018, the V6 engine was joined by a punchy turbo four-cylinder engine that worked well for Jeep.

Now the 2020 Wrangler has a third option, and this one packs power, torque and better MPG with a V6 turbo diesel engine.

It’s a good match for the Wrangler Unlimited. It boats torque you don’t get with either of the gas engines, and that power comes low in the rev range so this Jeep moves swiftly.

It sounds a bit unusual at first, hearing a diesel soundtrack coming from a Wrangler, but you can’t beat the fuel economy. I saw 30 mpg on the highway, which is impressive for this rough-and-tumble SUV.

The Wrangler has improved interior materials, and the Sahara I drove had leather and soft touch materials. It would be a shame to splatter it with mud. It has an 8.4-inch touch screen and NAV, and a 4G LTE hot spot. The 2020 Wrangler is more than an off-road champ. The optional dual top group gives you a three-piece hard top and soft top, so you can have a hard top for the cold weather and a soft top for the summer.

Cost: $38,645; as tested $55,125

MPG: 22 MPG City; 29 MPG Highway (sticker). I managed 27.1 mpg in 278 miles of mixed driving.

Options: $1,495 leather trimmed seats, park brake handle, shift knob and wrapped instrument panel; $1,045 customer preferred package 26G with LED lighting group; $1,895 8.4-inch radio & premium audio group with NAV; $2,295 dual top group; $895 safety group; $795 advanced safety group; $195 cargo group with trail rail system; $75 soft top window storage bag; $2,000 8-speed automatic transmission; $4,000 3.0L turbo diesel engine; $495 remote proximity keyless entry

Safety: Electronic roll mitigation; ParkSense rear park assist system; adaptive cruise control with stop; blind spot and cross path detection; advanced brake assist; full speed forward collision warn-plus

Things to know: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara will take you about anywhere and with a new diesel engine while returning good MPG at the same time.

Pros:

  • Good MPG in a Jeep Wrangler with the new optional turbo diesel engine
  • The Wrangler is an off-road champion and has more comforts inside
  • Many trim levels and options to please most buyers

Cons:

  • Cost of optional diesel engine and transmission is $6,000
  • Only available with the automatic transmission
  • Still a bit loud and unruly for some buyers looking for a softer crossover

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