Types of JL Wranglers

Types of JL Wranglers

Last Updated September 17, 2020 | Meghan Drummond

One of the first choices you’ll need to make when shopping for a JL Wrangler is what model, or trim level, you want. While some of the differences between trims are aesthetic or comfort related, there are some equipment differences as well.

The three main types of Wrangler are the Sport, Sahara, and Rubicon models. Besides these, there are also several trims that appear for multiple year stretches. They often provide happy mediums between the three main trims.

Jeep Wrangler Trim Levels

Differences Between Models

JL Wrangler Model Differences
Model2-Door Price4-Door PriceFeatures
Sport $28,295 $31,795 Standard six-speed manual trans
Command Trac 4x4
Manual windows, locks, mirrors
17” black steel wheels
Sport S $31,740 $34,995 Adds power windows and locks
Air conditioning
17” silver aluminum wheels
Willys Sport $29,995 $33,495 Upgraded Led headlamps and fog lamps
Rubicon shocks and rock rails
Black grille inserts
Willys $33,990 $37,490 Same features as Willys Sport
Air conditioning
Power windows and locks
Black and Tan $33,190 $36,690 Premium Tan Sunrider soft top
Special black badging
Black side steps
Sport Altitude N/A $36,690 Black grille throats
Black headlamp inserts
Black instrument panel
18” black aluminum-alloy wheels
Black cloth seats
Black hard top
Freedom $34,190 $37,690 Premium Sunrider soft top
Military themed decals
17” satin carbon-aluminum painted wheels
Special “Oscar Mike” interior
Sahara N/A $38,645 18” wheels
Dual-zone climate control
Selec-Trac 4x4 System
Sahara Altitude N/A $41,940 Black grille throats
Black headlamp inserts
Black instrument panel
18” black aluminum-alloy wheels
Black leather seats
Black hard top
Rubicon $38,695 $42,440 Rock-Trac 4x4 system
Locking front and rear differentials
Dana 44 axles
Rock rails
Electronic sway bar disconnect
North Edition N/A $44,465 Remote start
Heated seats
Heated steering wheel
All-weather floor mats
Selec-Trac 4x4 system
Black hard top
Rubicon Recon $43,450 $46,950 Steel front and rear bumpers
Red seatbelts
LED lighting
Special Interior/exterior badging
High Altitude N/A $49,995 Nappa leather seats
8.4” touchscreen
Selec-Trac 4x4 system
Moab N/A $52,795 8.4” touchscreen
Selec-Trac 4x4 system
Rock rails
Steel bumpers

Sport and Sport S

Two Wranglers, top image an orange sport, bottom a black Sport S

The Wrangler Sport is the base model, and its features make that evident. This is the only Wrangler to come with manual windows, door locks, and mirrors. The two-door Wrangler Sport doesn’t come with air-conditioning, though the 4-door does.

The Wrangler Sport is designed to be cost-efficient and ready to go out on the trail right away. With 17” steel wheels, a Sunrider soft top, and a Command-Trac 4x4 system, the base Wrangler has simple, practical features.

If the lack of air conditioning and power locks and windows is a dealbreaker for you, then the Sport S is a perfect compromise. While it has a higher upfront cost, it includes air-conditioning, power amenities, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and silver-aluminum wheels.

Willys Sport and Willys

Gray Wrangler rock crawling with black grille and LED lights

Willys Sport offers upgraded off-road capabilities when compared to the Sport/Sport S. Unlike the Willys Wheeler, offered in the JK generation, the JL Wrangler Willys is pretty bare-bones.

It comes outfitted with the same rock rails that are used on the Rubicon, 17” wheels borrowed from the Moab, and some awesome decals that are all its own. It also gets an upgraded set of mud terrain tires and LED headlamps and fog lamps. All of which make it a little more ready to off-road right off the lot than many other Wrangler models.

If you like the Willys Sport but want air conditioning, power windows/locks, or the ability to add more amenities, the Willys is the right pick for you. It comes with the same wheels, tires, rock rails, and LED upgrades, but can be further optioned for better infotainment or a sound system.

Black and Tan

A black four-door wrangler with a tan top

The Black and Tan is deceptively named. While the name conjures up the image of a black Wrangler with a tan top and interior, it comes in a variety of colors. In every color though, it does get the same upgraded tan soft top.

Unlike the standard soft top, the Black and Tan one has a zipperless design and is spring-assisted for smooth opening and closing.

One part of the trim package that lives up to the “black” part of the name is the badging and side steps. Both come in a deep black that’s designed to complement the tan top.

Sport Altitude and Sahara Altitude

Two Wranglers, top image a red Sport Altitude, bottom a white Sahara Altitude

The Sport and Sahara Altitude are equipped exactly like the Sport S and Sahara, but include some attractive options. Essentially the Altitude” is a black out package. It comes with black grille throats, black headlamp inserts, black fender badging, black instrument panel, 18” black aluminum-alloy wheels, black seating, and a black hard top.

In Jeep’s words, “The Sport Altitude and Sahara Altitude are both built to be noticed. Gloss black exterior accents add a sense of mystique and style to your everyday routine.”

Freedom

A dark gray four-door wrangler with an american flag over the Jeep emblem

The Freedom edition was designed to celebrate Jeep’s extensive military history. This means the obvious military decals and badging, but also a few subtler details. The leather driver and passenger seats are embossed with “Oscar Mike.” The embossment has led to this Jeep being accidentally referred to as the “Oscar Mike Jeep.” An aluminum data plate includes more military details.

Sahara

A dark gray four-door Wrangler with hard top

The Sahara is only available as a 4-door Wrangler. It’s intended to be a daily driver that can also off-road, and thus has the most luxury features in its stock form. With 18” wheels, side steps, and dual-zone automatic climate control, it’s a comfortable daily.

The most unique feature of the Sahara is its Selec-Trac full-time four-wheel-drive system. While other Wranglers use the part-time Command-Trac, the Sahara’s four-wheel drive system can stay on, even while you’re cruising on the highway.

North

A white Wrangler with black hard top in the snow

The North trim was designed to be a lot like the Sahara, but for a colder climate. As a result, it has every luxury feature that would be a “must” for the north-eastern states. Heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and remote start. It also includes the Selec-Trac system used in the Sahara, perfect for dealing with patches of ice.

What the North doesn’t have is a lot of engine or transmission options. This Wrangler only comes with the turbocharged four-cylinder and 8-speed automatic transmission.

Rubicon and Rubicon Recon

Two images, top of JL Rubicon bottom of JL Rubicon Recon

The Rubicon is designed to be able to take on the famous off-road trail that it’s named for. To that end, it features the absolute best in off-roading technology. While some of these features, like the rock rails or off-roading tires, can be added on later, others are difficult to add via the aftermarket. The electronically disconnecting sway bar, for example, is a feature that many off-roaders swear by.

The Rubicon Recon takes this a step further by adding on the steel bumpers and LED exterior lighting pack (both are options for the Rubicon). The Rubicon Recon gains some cool red accents around the Rubicon badging that’s echoed in the interior. Red seatbelts and seats with red stitching outfit the interior. On the outside, red bumper loops add some off-roading practicality.

Unlike the Rubicon, the Rubicon Recon only has one available engine, the turbocharged 4-cylinder.

Both the Rubicon and Rubicon Recon are equipped with the Rock-Trac 4x4 system, which has an ultra low crawler gear.

High Altitude

Dark silver Wrangler with black accents and LED lights

The High Altitude trim is by far the most expensive, but it also includes a long list of luxury features. Nappa leather seats and an 8.4” touchscreen are just the tip of the iceberg. The High Altitude comes standard with the 2.0L Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, but can be upgraded to the Pentastar (for $1,250) or to the Turbo Diesel (for $4,000).

The High Altitude Wrangler includes the Safety Group, which has blind-spot monitoring. Because this is a very serious luxury trim, it’s only available in five colors: Black, Bright White, Granite Crystal, Billet Silver and Snazzberry.

Moab

Light silver four-door Wrangler on mountain

The Moab was only available in 2019, and only available as a 4-door. The Moab featured a blend of luxury and off-roading features. It had the 8.4” touchscreen, Selec-Trac full-time four-wheel drive, and gloss black exterior accents of a luxury model. But it also had the steel front bumper, 32” mud-terrain tires, and rock rails of an off-roader.

As a one-year-only model, it also came with some exclusive details, like a MOAB decal and McKinley leather-trimmed seats.

Which Is Right For You?

It can be tough to decide which JL Wrangler model is right for you. Obviously, cost is a factor, and the price of the Sport is tempting. But after you add all the mods to take on the Rubicon trail, would it just be cheaper to get a Rubicon?

Budget Dailys

The Sport S, Black and Tan, Sport Altitude and Freedom models are all perfect for people who plan to daily drive their Jeep but also want to do some off-roading. All four of these models are stylish and have good features for day-to-day use. Though they’re not as luxurious as some of the higher-end models, they’re still comfortable.

With a little work, you can always turn your Sport model into a Rubicon competitor.

Lean Off-Roaders

The Sport, Willys Sport, and Willys are all good starting off-roaders. While the Sport will need a few mods to really rock the trails, the Willys Sport and Willys are more than equipped for your local trails. You can always add off-roading equipment, like steel bumpers or a winch, later. The Sport’s lack of AC isn’t much of an issue if you’re only using it as an off-roader (or live in a temperate environment).

Luxurious Wranglers

The Sahara, Sahara Altitude, North, High Altitude, and Moab trims are all designed to have a perfect blend of luxury and off-road capability. Whether you’re looking for a Wrangler that will get you through long and icy winters or one to ferry work clients to off-road sites, these are your best Wrangler trim picks.

Off-Road Champs

The Rubicon and Rubicon Recon are the obvious champions of the off-road space. The Recon adds on some parts you may have been considering for your Rubicon anyway, but does so with a little extra flair. You can also equip both of these models with aftermarket off-road options.

No matter which trim level you go with, the Jeep Wrangler continues to be the vehicle that can go anywhere and do anything.

Types of JL Wranglers

The JL Wrangler has a long list of trim levels, but each offers a distinct Wrangler experience. Whether you’re interested in a sporty daily driver that feels luxurious or a bare-bones off-roader, there’s a Wrangler out there for you!