2024 Jeep Wrangler reveals more tech, refinement — and a cheaper 4xe

A new Wrangler only comes around once a decade, but with the re-introduction of the Ford Bronco, Jeep has extra incentive to keep its JL-generation model as current as possible. Now that buyers have had the opportunity to digest the competition, Jeep is finding new ways to give its iconic 4×4 an edge in the face of its first real competition in decades. For 2024, the Wrangler gets two new models (a cheaper 4xe and a more-expensive Rubicon), some new factory tricks and an interior upgrade that incorporates a larger, horizontal infotainment screen. 

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Let’s start with the mechanical updates, which are few but significant. Most notably, the EcoDiesel V6 is toast. For 2024, standard Wrangler buyers can choose from either the Pentastar V6, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four or the 6.2-liter “392” Hemi V8. Only the V6 can be mated to a six-speed manual now; the turbo-four and V8 are available exclusively with an eight-speed automatic. Rubicon models now benefit from a full-float Dana 44 rear axle design lifted from heavy-duty truck applications. This setup isolates the vehicle’s weight from the rear end, meaning it carries only the torsional loads of the axle itself. When equipped with the Xtreme 35 (no longer “Xtreme Recon”) package, this axle also delivers a crawl ratio of 100:1. 

Freeing up load on the rear end allowed Jeep’s engineers to re-rate the Wrangler for 5,000 pounds of towing on Rubicon models — up from a max of 3,500 pounds for models without the upgraded axle. This configuration also opens up more options for wheel and tire setups without owners having to resort to potentially untrustworthy adapter kits. Rubicons can also be equipped with an 8,000-pound factory Warn winch. 

Topping off the Rubicon updates is a new trim: Rubicon X. This is a somewhat obvious nod to the likes of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class: a refined, all-boxes-checked model with standard 35-inch tires, steel bumpers and integrated off-road camera. Beneath that, the Willys variant is getting a slight mission overhaul as well. It’s now a bit more of a Rubicon Jr., offering up more ground clearance and high fender flares with a more spartan equipment list, including a rear locker and 33-inch all-terrain tires. 

The extremely hot 4xe model — America’s best-selling plug-in hybrid — remains available, and in fact is now offered in Sport S guise, shaving thousands off the cost of entry. A new “Power Box” feature (another shot at Ford) offers a powered tailgating setup that runs off the 4xe’s plug-in hybrid battery. It offers four 120-volt outlets with a total output of 3.6 kilowatts at 30 amps and can be configured for either indoor (battery only) or indoor/outdoor operation. The former will force the Power Box to shut off when the battery is depleted, so it can be operated safely in an enclosed environment. In outdoor mode, the 4xe’s gasoline motor will automatically kick on to act as a generator when battery capacity is depleted. 

Inside, Jeep scrapped the entire top half of the Wrangler’s old dash to make room for a 12.3-inch widescreen infotainment setup running the latest version of Uconnect 5 with standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It also bakes in Jeep’s new Trails Offroad app that offers maps of the 62 trails included in Jeep’s “Badge of Honor” series. This can be upgraded via subscription to unlock more than 3,000 trails currently mapped. 

Further upgrades include new standard side-curtain airbags (no doubt a response to Bronco’s side bags) and a new “stealth” antenna integrated into the windshield; buh-bye, whip! Twelve-way power adjustable seats are also now available, as is a built-in accessory mounting system on the Wrangler’s dashboard — another item no doubt inspired by the Bronco. 

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