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Wrangler’s stunning advance in fuel economy

by David Zatz on

The Wrangler has long been criticized for its low gas mileage — though, when it had competitors such as the FJ Cruiser, they had roughly the same mileage. It seems it’s hard to make a go-anywhere 4×4 that can stand up to the worst trails, remain stable on the highway, and pass all the safety tests.

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL

Jeep has figured out a way, though, to eclipse its former competitors and its own numbers. The Wrangler JK was rated at 17 city, 21 highway — a good advance over past ratings. The 2018 went up to 17 city, 25 highway, which was even better (with a manual transmission).

The 2-liter turbo mild-hybrid Wrangler hit the ball out of the park: it’s rated at 23 mpg city, 25 highway. Since most drivers, even of Wranglers, spend far more time in the city cycle, that six-mpg gain is substantial indeed. While buyers may have to pony for higher octane fuel, they won’t be lacking power; the electric motor’s peak torque comes when it’s just starting up, and those who have tested the hybrid Wrangler have said it is, if anything, more responsive than the V6.

Now, it seems, you can have your all-weather, all-surface, road-or-no-road Wrangler — without taking out a second loan for fuel.

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