There’s always a large discrepancy between what automotive critics say about the Jeep Wrangler and what its owners say. On the one hand, even Consumer Reports can’t deny that it’s a great off-roading vehicle. However, because it falls short of its rivals in other areas, the site consistently gives the Wrangler a low score overall.
The 2023 Jeep Wrangler doesn’t have anything that makes it stand out from the 2022 model. That means it’s still prone to the same problems. Here are the four that gave CR the biggest headache.
1. A stiff, uncomfortable ride
According to Consumer Reports, the Jeep Wrangler’s suspension struggles to absorb even the slightest bumps. The seats are also too cushy and provide minimal support, so riders will likely get jostled around a lot during daily driving. All seat adjustment devices are manual and hard to reach, so most riders will find it difficult to get comfortable.
Of course, the Jeep Wrangler’s rigid ride works to its advantage in an off-road setting. Each trim has solid axles, part-time 4WD with a two-speed transfer case, hill descent control, and skid plates.
CR didn’t appreciate the generic tires on the base model, but these can be swapped out for all-terrain tires. The Jeep Wrangler Sport can also be equipped with several other off-roading enhancements, from rock sliders to snorkels.
2. A noisy cabin
2023 Jeep Wrangler | FCA
On its road test, Consumer Reports found that the Jeep Wrangler’s cabin stays loud regardless of which roof it has. The Jeep Wrangler can be optioned with a hard or soft top and a one-touch power soft top. With this premium sliding roof, you can choose which interior portions are exposed to fresh air.
The special Sky fabric also reportedly absorbs UV rays to keep riders comfortable. Unfortunately, even this material can’t keep out exterior noise, especially from the wind at higher speeds. CR assures drivers that at least the V6’s engine note remains unobtrusive.
3. The Jeep Wrangler is hard to access
The only time feeling green is a good thing.
?: Jacqueline M. pic.twitter.com/FCl9LFxhVt
— Jeep (@Jeep) August 25, 2022
Making your way to the Jeep Wrangler’s backseat is challenging, especially if you’re driving the two-door model. Even if your Wrangler has four doors, there are slim openings that you’ll have to squeeze past. CR says it’s easier if you use the grab handle.
Cabin riders have no such option, stuck with utilizing the Wrangler’s standard running boards instead. The position of the boards is too high, making it difficult to enter and exit the vehicle. Thankfully, the Wrangler has optional side steps to make access slightly less of a hassle.
Additionally, once inside the cabin, the Wrangler has good visibility. The driver’s position is also roomy, though CR wished there was a footrest. CR still appreciated the overall interior quality of the upscale Sahara model.
4. Bad fuel economy ratings
Consumer Reports’ test Jeep Wrangler was equipped with the standard V6 engine, capable of 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox is usually standard, but CR opted for the eight-speed automatic. The EPA’s official estimates for this type of Wrangler are 20/24 mpg city/highway.
However, in a real-world driving test, CR’s Jeep Wrangler could only get 13 mpg on city roads. The EPA’s city driving estimate for Wranglers with the six-speed manual gearbox is even lower at 17 mpg.
CR was still satisfied with the Jeep Wrangler’s acceleration and the smoothness of the automatic transmission. However, the vehicle feels hard to control and has a worrying amount of brake travel. Given the Wrangler’s flaws and historic unreliability, this SUV is probably only worth the money if you’re a Jeep fan.