2019 vs 2020 (engine/interior/steering comparison)

clf1024

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Well, I've had my 2020 for a couple of weeks now and thought I'd write a comparison on some things coming from someone who's actually owned different configurations now.
2019 was a JLUR with tan leather and the 4 cyl with eTorque.
2020 is a JLUR with aftermarket "Mopar" leather and 6 cyl.

I'll do the engine comparison first since that's a big topic I see discussed on here a lot.
The 4 cyl with eTorque had a lot more instant power available and honestly "drove" better, but was very buzzy/rattly and you always heard it working. Even with as horrible as it sounded, I was debating going with it again for 2020 because it drove so much better, but when they no longer offered it for the JLUR in 2020 (4 cyl available, but not with eTourqe), I decided to give the 6 cyl a try.
Even though the 6 cyl definitely doesn't have as much grunt and I'm getting 3-4 MPG worse than the 4 cyl, I honestly have to say I like the 6 cyl better overall. It still drives fine and is SO MUCH QUIETER than the 4 cyl. No more rattling/buzzing all the time. Just a slight growl and/or intake noise when you have to get on it.
In summary, the 4 cyl drives better, with better MPG, but I just couldn't stand the sound, so the quiet smoothness of the 6 cyl outweighs the extra torque of the 4 cyl. In my opinion anyway.

As for the interior option comparison, when you do the "Mopar" aftermarket leather (I did the black "stitched" leather), you essentially get reverted back to "cloth" interior and then they add the leather. This means you don't get the little bit of leather on the dash or on the ebrake handle, neither of which I even notice. However, you also lose the fold down armrest in the back seat and you end up with the dash panel in red instead of gray like when you choose the tan factory leather option. I don't sit in the back seat and the color of the dash isn't a big deal to me either. For a comparison of the actual leather seating surfaces, I have to say the aftermarket leather is MUCH nicer and even feel more comfortable. Maybe it's the "stitched' pattern, but in addition to the leather being softer, the seats actually feel like they have more padding. An odd thing I also noticed is that the interior door handle on my 2020 is smaller. I keep a pack of smokes and a lighter in the door handle hole and they fit with no issue in the 2019, but not in the 2020. I don't know if this was change across the board in 2020, or if it has to do with factory leather or not.

Finally, the lovely steering issues. My 2019 had sloppy steering with a big dead spot that caused it to wander, but there was death wobble. As I continued to drive it (about 12k miles), the steering got a little tighter, but the wobble was starting to show itself. I never took it in for any of the recalls because of mixed reviews, the fact that the closest dealership to me absolutely sucks, and that I knew my 2020 would be here soon. Well, the steering has NOT been fixed on the 2020. In fact, the wandering is WORSE than on my 2019. It's seriously spooky to drive. I don't know how they've had this issue since day one and still haven't fixed on the 2020's yet. We'll see if the 2020 follows the same path of less wander and more wobble as time goes on. Honestly, if the steering doesn't tighten up some, I'm going to have to take it in and have them start throwing parts at it because it's so bad. It's so bad, my wife won't even drive the thing as it is now.





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clf1024

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My 2018 Jeep Sahara JL, wandered so badly it was in the shop and met the 4 times in for the same issue and/or 25 days in the shop to be considered a lemon, I did the buyback. My 2019 just returned from the shop after 44 days, only 6k miles on it and it still wanders all over the place.
 

viper88

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I have a 2020 JLR on order, I have test driven 3 2019 JLRs in trying to decide if I wanted auto or manual transmission. I like the auto better, but on my 3rd and final test drive, unlike the first two, I couldn't keep that Rubicon on the road. It squirreled all over the place, I don't buy it's a "Jeep thing", the first two had no issues. Poor design, inferior parts supply or just plain old quality control issues, who knows? It is baffling to me that FCA cannot fix this issue once and for all. I hope to heck my 2020 doesn't turn out of the factory as a "wanderer"...
I think your '20 will be fine. Just check your tire pressure. Wranglers are delivered with over 40psi tire pressure and dealers don't air them down a lot of the time. It might have been tire pressure giving you a hard time with the Rubicon. Makes a noticeable difference going from 42psi to 36psi.

I do agree FCA should/could do better QC wise.
 

melman8r

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My 2018 Jeep Sahara JL, wandered so badly it was in the shop and met the 4 times in for the same issue and/or 25 days in the shop to be considered a lemon, I did the buyback. My 2019 just returned from the shop after 44 days, only 6k miles on it and it still wanders all over the place.
Yikes, that is not good, the 2019 is still not fixed?
 

UtahDirt

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My 2018 Jeep Sahara JL, wandered so badly it was in the shop and met the 4 times in for the same issue and/or 25 days in the shop to be considered a lemon, I did the buyback. My 2019 just returned from the shop after 44 days, only 6k miles on it and it still wanders all over the place.
This is similar to MacBook Pro keyboard issues discussions, two camps those that call their jeeps death traps that wife won’t drive and those that either don’t have the issue or it’s minor expected behavior. I’m in the second camp after the recall and lowering tire pressure, it has sensitive steering, at slower speeds but rock solid on freeway. It is sensitive to road conditions, if I want a boat slow steering I drive my 07 F250. Has turned into kinda useless threads, for me. You have it, think you have it, don’t have it. What else is there to say?
 
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Got the new LCA's on tonight and it's not long drive from my shop to my house, but long enough to tell the steering definitely feels better. There's still a decent amount of "dead space" on center so the wandering isn't completely gone, but a noticeable improvement for $70 and not having having the hassle of going to the dealership.
 

blnewt

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Got the new LCA's on tonight and it's not long drive from my shop to my house, but long enough to tell the steering definitely feels better. There's still a decent amount of "dead space" on center so the wandering isn't completely gone, but a noticeable improvement for $70 and not having having the hassle of going to the dealership.
Glad you noticed an improvement, think over time you'll like it even more :)
 
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TowDawg

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TowDawg

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Finally remembered to take a video of the huge amount of “dead spot” when steering. THIS is the issue and why it wants to wonder all over the place. If I can turn the wheel this much without the wheels moving, that also means the wheels can move without me moving the wheel. It’s not too bad when you’re on the highway with nothing influencing the tires, but as soon as something does (wind, road condition, etc), then the tires physically turn and you get stuck going back and forth in the dead spot to get them to settle back in again.
I’ve driven plenty of solid front axle vehicles (including older wranglers) and no vehicle (unless it’s old with worn out steering components) should have this much play in the steering.
OK. I guess the video will have to be on hold because it says I can't upload it because it's not an allowed file extension?
It's a freaking .MOV file from an iphone. Isn't that what 99% of videos are today? How can it not be an allowed file extension?
 

Johns19Rubicon

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My experience between my 2015 Rubicon JKU and my 2019 Rubicon JLU is night and day. First, the BF's on the 2015 SUCKED. They cupped after 10k miles and the noise was mind-bending. The door hinges rusted and the paint was pitting. I traded it in before it flaked off. That said, I loved the 2015.
Now, the 2019 is a different rig altogether. I think that I do notice more wander in this one than the 2015, But it's not a huge difference. The tires are larger so I would expect this. The ride overall is much better. It's a softer more comfortable ride especially when on long trips. I recently was upstate skiing last weekend and the tires on the 2019 hold the snow and slop much better. I barely had to put it in 4H to get around. Another notable comparison I would point out is the 8sp transmission. It is a treat. It completely wakes up the 3.6L in the 2019 compared to the 2015. The 2019 actually pulls at highway speed compared to my 2015. They did a nice job here. Just my $0.02 worth of babble.
 

DiabloBlanco

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Man I keep reading people talk about steering issues and, at first I was pretty worried about it. It's still a concern for when I do order my Jeep (finally). But after renting 3 separate JLUs in the past 6 months (all three 2020 Sport S's with the 2.0L) and putting 200-600 miles on each of them with zero steering issues, my worries are mostly put to rest. I also had no issue with the sound of the 2.0. It sounds a little whiney/dinky but I feel like that can be rectified with exhaust. Seems like the steering issue is a very case-by-case issue.
 

JesseSC

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I would really love the opportunity to drive one of these "so dangerous women can't drive it" Jeeps to compare it to mine. Not directed at the OP but I'll bet one persons "sloppy steering" is another persons "seems fine to me". Not in all cases of course.
Five different steering “repairs” from Jeep and now my only remaining steering issue is that I need to steer left in order to get my 19 JLUR to drive straight... If I take my hands off the wheel I’ll be fully in the next freeway lane in less than five seconds.

I’ve owned or at least driven just about every generation of Wrangler, and none of them had any of the steering issues I’ve experienced with this JL.
 

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That sucks.

I’ve had my JL three months and 3,000 miles: besides some minor electronic glitches that self-rectified, I haven’t had to take it in at all.

The steering is extremely light and devoid of any feel, but at least it goes straight.
 

jespey

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My wife thought the steering on our 2018 JLS was loose. Thanks to that experience and this forum we diligently checked for steering issues on our 2020 JLUS and JLUR during our test drives. 5500 and 1800 miles later, pure stock and without lowering our tire pressure to 36, still no steering issues. The S is 36 cold, the R is 40 cold right now.
 

JDM

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Finally remembered to take a video of the huge amount of “dead spot” when steering. THIS is the issue and why it wants to wonder all over the place. If I can turn the wheel this much without the wheels moving, that also means the wheels can move without me moving the wheel. It’s not too bad when you’re on the highway with nothing influencing the tires, but as soon as something does (wind, road condition, etc), then the tires physically turn and you get stuck going back and forth in the dead spot to get them to settle back in again.
I’ve driven plenty of solid front axle vehicles (including older wranglers) and no vehicle (unless it’s old with worn out steering components) should have this much play in the steering.
OK. I guess the video will have to be on hold because it says I can't upload it because it's not an allowed file extension?
It's a freaking .MOV file from an iphone. Isn't that what 99% of videos are today? How can it not be an allowed file extension?
Based on my experience with my JLU, the dead spot is not necessarily the reason for the wandering and it can be mistaken for a steering box that is too loose. I believe that it’s the electric power steering pump with the way it is controlled by the computer. The only fix for that is an update from FCA on the program, MAYBE!, or replace the pump with a belt driven hydraulic system and that is not cheap. But, what your describing is not all necessarily the electric pump/program either.

The handling and road manners of my JLU are now rock solid, but there is still that dead spot, not bad at all and not all the time it depends on the road conditions and speed that I’m driving at. It all started with a severe death wobble around the 12,000 mile mark. The reason that it took that long to manifest itself is that the steering damper was masking it until it failed. The replacement lasted for 3 months at most. The way the dealer and FCA were handling this inspired little faith so I had the track bar changed... no more death wobble. That was about 14,000 miles ago and a lot of the wandering also went away.

At that point I decided to change the drag link and tie rod and steering stabilizer. With that the wandering completely went away as did a lot of the bump steer. The dead spot was now greatly reduced. Recently I had Falcon SP2 shocks installed to see if I could get rid of the bump steer and I still have a hard time believing the difference that these made. I can take my hands of the wheel at 70 mph on a straight section of highway and the JL tracks true. Body roll and the control in turns is excellent. The ride is firm but not harsh, for some it might be a bit too firm, for me it’s good and I want the control. Even wind buffeting has been tremendously reduced. But I still have a very small, annoying and IMO at times dangerous dead spot. Here’s what I consider dangerous, driving at night, light snow almost a drizzle, very low visibility and I’m hunting for a feel of the road condition without turning the wheel to much but the dead spot doesn’t allow for any feel at all! At this point I don’t know how much control I have and “trusting” that it’s all OK is not an option. This actually happened and once is once too often.

So I just finished speaking with the shop that has done all the work and we talked about LCA’s and/or a power steering pump system. In this case the verdict was the power steering pump replacement. Evidently the issue with the dead spot and floaty feeling is not strictly a Jeep thing. It appears to be an electric/electronic pump thing. I was told that Chevy had that problem with their electric pumps until they finally updated the program. So, I’m now budgeting for a pump replacement.

The reason I’m telling you all of the above is that based on my experience with my JLU it was more than one component that contributed to different issues that made it very difficult to pinpoint the source of a particular issue. Don’t forget that everything was redesigned in the JLU/JLUR. I have to say that I believe that there are many who if they drove my JLU now would think that it was great and some may be OK with the small amount of the dead spot, not me, I want it gone. Like you, I’ve driven many solid steering axle vehicles and I know the way that a good solid axle system handles and I won’t accept anything less.
 

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