What is the Difference Between a $30K and an $80K 2023 Jeep Wrangler?

Most people think of the Wrangler as an affordable yet capable off-road SUV. However, the 2023 Jeep has one of the .

The base 2-door Sport Trim starts at a very reasonable $31,000. The Rubicon 392 trim starts at $82,000, the same price as a well-equipped C8 Corvette. The big question is, what buys you more than $50,000 more?

. When you picture a Jeep these days, you’re probably picturing one of three: a 1940s Willy’s, an XJ Cherokee, or a 2-door Wrangler. The Sport comes standard as a 2-door with a 6-speed manual transmission mated to the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that has been under the Wrangler’s hood since 2012.

This engine produces 285hp and 260Nm of torque, and for most applications, that’s more than enough power. The V6 gets the job done getting 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

If you want to opt for the 8-speed automatic, you’ll have to shell out another $2,000. Unfortunately, the 6-speed is great, but the clutch is light, numb and incredibly vague, perhaps making it worth the extra cost of the automatic.

The base Sport is fairly spartan with cloth seats, hard plastics and minimal amenities, but comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

Rubicon 392: $50k for a V8


A modern Jeep Wrangler with a V8 – what’s wrong with it? Opting for the 392 is probably a decision driven by a desire for V8 horsepower. V8 power is something of a Stellantis specialty lately, and this Jeep certainly doesn’t disappoint.

It has a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that puts out 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. This allows this 5,000-pound off-road machine to accelerate to 60 mph in 4 seconds, the same time as a Volkswagen Golf R.

Because the 392 adds nearly 200 horsepower and torque to the standard V6 engine, Jeep did a few things so the vehicle could handle the extra horsepower, even if just barely.

To make up for the giant engine, Jeep beefed up the frame, added two inches of lift with Fox shocks, and updated the rear brakes. The hefty price tag also gets you a hood scoop that can separate and drain 15 gallons of water per minute, something you may need if you choose to take your Wrangler where it belongs: off-road.

In addition to all the special off-road goodies, including 17-inch beadlock wheels and beefier axles, you get heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, an updated 8.4-inch touchscreen with Uconnect, and LED interior lighting.

The 392 is only available in 4-door form, which costs $4500 more even in Sport form. This obviously adds extra doors but allows for an extra seat giving you the opportunity to carry 4 passengers with a 0-60mph acceleration of just 3 seconds in the 2-door.

Ultimately, the Rubicon 392 includes many lovely additions to make the cabin more premium and obviously give the vehicle more capability, but do they warrant the $82,000 price tag?

If you love it, buy it

This is a vehicle that wasn’t designed with a V8 in mind and therefore drives like “a rocket-propelled basset hound,” according to Car and Driver. So, is the Rubicon 392 worth $50k over a lower trim?

To most? No. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be worth it for you. If you want to enjoy the farewell of Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep to the V8, do it. You may end up emptying your savings, but you will have a lot of fun doing it.

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