2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Review - We test the EcoDiesel and the 2.0 Turbo (2024)

We were supposed to get the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EcoDiesel for a week but unfortunately things didn’t go exactly to plan. Our Hellayella tester looked great though and I had been anxiously awaiting a drive in the new EcoDiesel, essentially a slightly de-tuned version that is in the Ram 1500. This engine is good for 260 hp @ 3,600 rpm (only 10 hp down on the 2.0 T) and a whopping 442 lb-ft @ 1,400 rpm, that’s way more than either the V6 or the 2.0 four can summon. All engines are driven through an excellent 8-speed auto.

The EcoDiesel is a somewhat pricey option ($6,000) however, so you’ll have to weigh up the fuel economy gains to see if it is worth it, after all, $6,000 buys you a lot of gas. The torque in this engine makes any driving easy, it just pulls away from very low revs, as the turbo spools up, its whistle drowns out the diesel chatter as 31.9 pounds of boost kicks in. Off the line acceleration is impressive but the low geared steering means you have to hang on to the wheel and the large tires and a high ground clearance don’t make it a canyon carver in any shape or form.

So instead we headed out for some rougher terrain where we expected the Jeep to excel, however, it was not to be, on a steep uphill section on the 8 freeway East of San Diego, the Jeep threw a throttle control light and an engine check light, power was reduced and it went into “Limp Mode” and I was unable to accelerate beyond a fast idle, which meant 40 mph was my max. Sadly we had to turn around since there was some sort or throttle control system issue or possibly a sensor failure.

Having contacted Jeep the next day they said they could send a 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon to replace it the next day. Great news! Our tester arrived with Mojito! clear coat exterior paint the 2.0 turbo engine. The 2.0 t is also a very good engine and delivers 270 hp @ 5,250 rpm and a healthy 295 lb-ft @ 3,000,35 pound-feet more than the V6. We tested it with traction control off in 2 wheel-drive mode and after a few attempts with too much wheel-spin finally managed to get it from 0-60 in 6.1 seconds.

The Rubicon comes with all the off road goodies most will ever need, it comes with front and rear differential locks and you can disconnect the sway bar if travelling over very large rocks and you need more axle articulation. This Jeep will go just about anywhere, in fact, we couldn’t find anything difficult enough for the Jeep to break a sweat, so we headed out to Otay Mountain to test a few trickier and steeper options it offer.

Most of the trails are rocky, narrow and steep and progress is slow and the drop offs are extreme. You wouldn’t want to lose concentration up there. We crossed dried up streams, plough over large rocks and the Wrangler never put a foot wrong while delivering excellent fuel economy, we averaged 19.8 for the week.

Don’t expect any fancy adjustable-ride-height air springs, or terrain-response system on Jeeps, that task is purely up to the carbon life form in the driver’s seat. They have to choose the range, 2H, 4H or 4L for the driven wheels, decide when and which differentials are locked, and, if the sway bars need disconnecting. This is what off -roading is all about.

It’s comes as no surprise that the Wrangler had absolutely no problem getting across this trails we ventured on and only when we drove through some muddy wet ruts did we experience some wheel slippage but the BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires got us through. This is the Jeep’s bread and butter and it’s so much fun you find yourself constantly searching for any unpaved piece of road to test its mettle.

Huge Improvement On Road

The 2.0 Turbo gives the new Wrangler lots of real-world punch and acceleration is quick enough to easily keep pace with and pass traffic. It does run out of revs pretty quickly but that wave of torque is really all you need for quick forward progress. The 8 speed transmission works very well and shifts smoothly, drops a cog or two when you need it and is a very capable partner for the turbo 4.

The steering is much better than before, the vagueness of the old model has been eliminated, however, you have to pilot this Jeep, two hands on the wheel or it does have a tendency to wander. This is somewhat expected since it’s a low geared set up for when you get into tricky situations off road.

The new soft top is a huge improvement, the zippers are gone instead a series of rails are used to extract each of the sections and it’s a lot quieter than before, however, I would still option the hardtop, both for noise reduction and ease of access into the rear cargo area because the soft top requires the removal of the rear window for larger items.

Just to note the Wrangler Unlimited we had for a couple of days had the nifty Sky OneTouch Power Top for $3,995,and the only downside apart from the price is it can’t be removed.

My Rubicon had quite a few options checked including Leather heated seats with cool red stitching a leather wrapped parking brake handle and shift knob. , a boon since the soft top can be drafty. The heaters on these are some of the best I’ve used; if it’s a hot butt you need then look no further.

The cabin has a rugged and durable feel to it and if you’re bored, you can count the number of Willy’s Jeep logos on vehicle. The seats are decent but it’s not easy to find the ideal position, I found myself a bit too close to the steering wheel most of the time.

My tester came with 8.4 inch Uconnect screen and as usual provides excellent functionality and is still one of the best available in my opinion. It offers support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Storage space in the 2 door is not generous but folding the rear seats flat provides 49.9 cubic feet of space to play with and additionally you can remove them completely for a huge 61 cubic feet of space. Since I never carry passengers this would be ideal for me.

My loaded Rubicon had a base price of $38,295 but with options this rose to $51,805, the 8 speed adds $1,500 over the manual transmission and the aforementioned leather seats, shift knob and parking brake handle ($1,395). My tester also had several other options including the Cold Weather Group, Tow Package, LED Lighting, Premium Audio, Advanced Safety (Adaptive Cruise Control) and the Safety Group. Add the Steel Bumper Group its easy to add $10K worth of options without blinking. That said the Rubicon EcoDiesel came out at an eye watering $62,420 thanks t the EcoDiesel and the Sky One Power Top.

How Would I Spec It?

Last time I drove the 2.0 turbo I was eagerly anticipating a drive in the EcoDiesel and despite only having it for 2 days it didn’t disappoint, the only real downside is price, $6,000 is a lot to ask considering you would have to an incredible amount to make the numbers work, so even though new Ecodiesel is a gem I would have to get a Rubicon Unlimited with the 2.0 turbo.

2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 2.0 turbo Numbers

BASE PRICE: $38,295
VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door convertible
ENGINE: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4

POWER: 270 hp @ 5,250
TORQUE: 295 lb-ft @ 3,000
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT: 4,132 lb
0-60 MPH: 6.1 sec

CARGO SPACE: 12.9 cubic feet, 46.9 with seats folded down, 61 with seats removed
PROS: Excellent new 2.0 Turbo motor, spectacularly capable off-road, new refined on road manners,
CONS: Soft top cargo access is tricky.

2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited EcoDiesel Numbers

BASE PRICE: $42,125
VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door SUV
ENGINE: 2.9 liter turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve diesel V-6

POWER: 260 hp @ 3,600 rpm
TORQUE: 442 lb-ft @ 1,400 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT: 4,870 lb
0-60 MPH: 7.0 sec

CARGO SPACE: 31.7 to 72.4 ft³ with seat area
OUR OBSERVED: 25.1 mpg

2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Review

2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Review - We test the EcoDiesel and the 2.0 Turbo (2024)


How reliable is the Jeep 3.0 v6 Turbo diesel? ›

Some owners report driving between 200,000 to 300,000 miles on their EcoDiesel engine. That's significantly longer than many gas-powered engines built to last at least 100,000 miles and up to 200,000 with proper care.

What is the problem with the Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel? ›

Jeep Wrangler Diesel Problems. First and second generation EcoDiesel's had a myriad of issues. From the EGR coolers failing, to electrical issues, oil cooler issues, exhaust leaks, camshaft failures and more.

Is the Jeep EcoDiesel engine reliable? ›

The EcoDiesel engine has several glaring flaws, including an oil cooler prone to malfunction. The oil cooler is responsible for keeping the engine's oil temperature within an optimal range. If the oil exceeds this range, it will not be able to lubricate the engine as effectively, which leads to increased wear.

Why is Jeep discontinuing the EcoDiesel? ›

According to Jim Morrison, head of Jeep Brand in North America, the EcoDiesel is being discontinued “as the Jeep brand continues its drive to electrification.” By 2025, all Jeep vehicles will offer an electrified variant, the automaker said.

Is Jeep discontinuing the 3.0 diesel? ›

The Jeep Gladiator's torque-rich diesel 3.0-liter V-6 will end production after the 2023 model year. To commemorate the engine's run, Jeep has introduced a limited-production FarOut edition, which is based on the top-of-the-line Rubicon.

How reliable is the 3.0 diesel engine? ›

Overall, the 3.0 PowerStroke engine is a decent engine with not many serious issues. This engine can be pushed really hard as every diesel truck engine should be. This is why if you want something fuel-efficient and also very capable, this engine will be the perfect option for you.

Is the Jeep EcoDiesel high pressure fuel pump recall? ›

What RAM and Jeep Models Are Included in the 2023 Ecodiesel Recall? FCA's ecodiesel safety recall pinpoints several models equipped with a 3.0L diesel engine; the affected vehicles might have a faulty high pressure fuel pump “HPFP” and may experience premature failure.

What is the warranty on the Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel? ›

What Is The Ram And Jeep EcoDiesel Warranty. Ram and Jeep EcoDiesel Warranty has a 3 year/36,000 mile basic Extended Warranty. They also each have a 5 year/100,000 mile Powertrain Warranty.

Who manufactures the Jeep EcoDiesel engine? ›

EcoDiesel engines were made by VM Motori, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Stellantis, and a sister company of Ram and Jeep. Stellantis was formed in 2021 when Fiat Chrysler merged with the French PSA Group.

Why did Jeep drop the diesel engine? ›

After a short run of just three model years, the Gladiator will drop the diesel option it gained in 2021. Jeep cites the reasoning for the decision as the automaker pivoting heavily towards electrification, with all of its new models due to be electrified in some way in just a few years.

What transmission is in a Jeep EcoDiesel? ›

The diesel is a $4150 option, available on most trims and paired with the 8HP75 heavy-duty transmission that's more commonly found behind V-8s.

How many EcoDiesel jeeps were made? ›

7,554 Gladiator Ecodiesels produced between 2021-2023

Hopefully we don't see the negative side of this with part shortages due to our 3.0 being present in the Wranglers and Rams, but if you want a diesel off-road Jeep truck, there is officially less than 10,000 of them that will ever be in existence from the factory!

How many miles per gallon does a Jeep 3.0 diesel get? ›

25 combined

What is the failure rate of the EcoDiesel engine? ›

Jeep and Ram have recently released stats related to the gen2 ecodiesel recall for the CP4 HPFP. There are 138,645 vehicles in the recall and reports of 1279 failures. So can one deduce that the known failure rate is just shy of 1%? . 9225 to be precise.

Who makes the best 3.0 diesel engine? ›

The Chevy's 3.0L Duramax I6 still offers smooth and linear power delivery. If the decision is solely based on the powertrain performance and efficiency, I would pick the 3.0L Duramax I6 every time. GM improved this engine for 2023 models and beyond. It now is rated at 305 hp and 495 lb-ft of toque.

How many miles per gallon does a Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 diesel get? ›

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee
VehicleEPA Fuel EconomyDriver MPG
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD 3.0 L, 6 cyl, Automatic 8-spd, Turbo, Diesel
24 MPG 21 28 combined city/hwy city hwy 4.2 gal/100 mi26.8
590 miles Total Range
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2WD 3.6 L, 6 cyl, Automatic 8-spd, Regular Gasoline
17 more rows

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