Difference between all the 2021 JL models, editions, trims?

J.Ralston

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Hello.

So when I first looked at buying a Jeep Wrangler in 2007, I think those were the JK’s if I am remembering correctly? But with them, there were only 3 models to choose from.
Sport
Sahara
Rubicon
And it was easy to decipher between them.

When I ordered my 2021 JL Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, I knew in advance that that was specifically what I wanted. However, now there are a ton of models to choose from and I am confused as to what is the difference between them all?
You now have the
Sport
Willy’s Sport
Sport S
Islander
Willy’s
80th Anniversary
Freedom
Sport Altitude
Sahara
Rubicon
Sahara Altitude
High Altitude

I will now be a first time Jeep owner but do remember them before they were called Wranglers and had the square headlights. But now with all of these different models, what are the differences between them? If anyone even knows?
Thanks in advance!





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rts4714

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Jeep has a model comparison online. It's just what features and packages are included by default. Some limit your options, etc.
YJs (square headlights) were still called wranglers...
 

Hound Dog

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I think the YJ with square headlights were the first "Wranglers ".

The online comparison gives you most of the info but what are you looking for would be answerable on forum. To list all the detailed differences on all models would be way to much to ask for. Let us know what you want, not just an off road capable vehicle...
 
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J.Ralston

J.Ralston

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I think the YJ with square headlights were the first "Wranglers ".

The online comparison gives you most of the info but what are you looking for would be answerable on forum. To list all the detailed differences on all models would be way to much to ask for. Let us know what you want, not just an off road capable vehicle...
I know the square headlight Jeeps were the first ones to be called “Wranglers” but I worded it wrong.

With the 2021 JL’s, what I was curious about with all of those sub models, is how are they different? Obviously the “S” is the base model and the “Rubicon” is the most off road capable. It’s the only one that has front and rear lockers, higher front fenders, and I think 4:10 gears and sway bar disconnect I think? I know the “Sahara” comes standard with painted front fenders. Other than that, I can’t see any other differences between the other models. That is why I asked. Why make that many sub models if there are no differences between them? Even on the 80th Anniversary, why not make that as an option of 80th Anniversary badging and features on all sub models, so you could get an 80th Anniversary Rubicon for example as opposed to just an 80th Anniversary JL or JL Unlimited but has no real differences that I can see vs. the other models.
 

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They are trims with slightly different interior and exterior options/specifications.

The main ones of concern are the Sport, Sport S, Sahara, and Rubicon.
The Sport is the very base model with restricted options and few optional packages, the Sport S is the model with some more standard features and more optional packages available for it, the Sahara is the ‘luxury’ model with many standard convenience amenities and all optional safety and comfort packages available for it, and the Rubicon is the off-road model with the unique differential lockers and sway bar disconnect in addition to also having all available optional packages for it.

In other words, if you want everything that Jeep has to offer, including the convenience and safety and the ‘luxury’ and all the off-road features, the Rubicon is the only trim that has everything Jeep has to offer for the Wrangler.

The trims not listed above are sort of “limited” trims that are based one of the top four main trims I mentioned with added standard and limited options. I believe most of those “limited” trims are based on the Sahara model.

Google Search will be your best friend here, with many articles and sites available on the internet that list and discuss all the little differences and provide detailed comparisons for all the Wrangler trims.
 

cgagnon99

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Like others said, it comes down to what you want. There is good value in some of the limited trims though! I have wanted a Wrangler for a while, but being my only vehicle I wanted creature comforts too.

After pricing everything out I went with the Sport Altitude which gave me all the options I wanted in the Sport S, but with the Sahara suspension, heavier duty brakes, and even a hard top headliner for $500 more than a comparably equipped Sport S (and the brakes and suspension you can't add as an option). Not to mention it includes the black out package which I like a lot better than the silver Sahara trim!
 

Wrongful Suspicion

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Like someone else said, give us a list of your must haves, won’t budge on and we can start narrowing your selection to what you want. Someone could list all the differences here, but that’s asking a lot, and Jeep.com already does a pretty good job of this.
 
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J.Ralston

J.Ralston

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They are trims with slightly different interior and exterior options/specifications.

The main ones of concern are the Sport, Sport S, Sahara, and Rubicon.
The Sport is the very base model with restricted options and few optional packages, the Sport S is the model with some more standard features and more optional packages available for it, the Sahara is the ‘luxury’ model with many standard convenience amenities and all optional safety and comfort packages available for it, and the Rubicon is the off-road model with the unique differential lockers and sway bar disconnect in addition to also having all available optional packages for it.

In other words, if you want everything that Jeep has to offer, including the convenience and safety and the ‘luxury’ and all the off-road features, the Rubicon is the only trim that has everything Jeep has to offer for the Wrangler.

The trims not listed above are sort of “limited” trims that are based one of the top four main trims I mentioned with added standard and limited options. I believe most of those “limited” trims are based on the Sahara model.

Google Search will be your best friend here, with many articles and sites available on the internet that list and discuss all the little differences and provide detailed comparisons for all the Wrangler trims.
Okay, that makes more sense now. I was building several of them online to see how they were different but I never saw anything discernible. But now I understand how they are. Thank you.
 

Hound Dog

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Okay, that makes more sense now. I was building several of them online to see how they were different but I never saw anything discernible. But now I understand how they are. Thank you.
As David said, couple base differences.

Sport is all around capable and best priced.

Sahara has softer suspension, selectrac standard and I believe larger brakes.

Rubicon sits a little higher, has lower gear ratio, lower geared transfer case, electronic disconnect for the sway bar, stiffer suspension and shocks, electronic locking differentials front and rear, larger axels front and rear, larger brakes, 33" tires (you can fit 35's with no extra lift).

Multiple cosmetic differences and options for all vary. Safety wise? They are all jeeps. Don't drive faster than your guardian angel can fly.
 

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Yep, when the JLs were first rolled out, it was easy to distinguish the models. They each had real (mechanical) differences.
  • 2-dr Sport (JL)
  • 2-dr Rubicon (JLR)
  • 4-dr Sport (JLU)
  • 4-dr Sahara (JLUS)
  • 4-dr Rubicon (JLUR)
Even though the Sport S (my Jeep) has always been listed separately, it is really an option package on the Sport. I wanted a 2-dr Sahara but they were not available.

Now, I'm thinking about giving my Jeep to my son and buying a new one. The good news (for me) is that some of these special editions are Sahara-like (ex. 80th Anniversary).

If Jeep rolled out a 2-dr Moab, I'd be all over that. Sorting through all of the special edition packages makes my head hurt.
 

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Now that every option is pretty much available on every trim, I have a different way of looking at this.

My first question is do I want an open differential or not? If not, that narrows down my choices to anything with an LSD or a locker.

My next question is do I need an LSD or lockers? Lockers can only be used in very specific offroad conditions. For snowy areas and all-weather driving LSD is more effective.

If I want lockers Rubicon is it. If I need an LSD, my field of trims are now narrowed down to Sport S thru Sahara.

Granted, Sport S thru Sahara still covers about six trim levels, but that is half as many as from the start.

If leather is a must, then it’s Rubicon or Sahara.

IMO, Sport S offers the best overall value; followed closely by Willys.
 

OSCAR II

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If Jeep rolled out a 2-dr Moab, I'd be all over that. Sorting through all of the special edition packages makes my head hurt.

Tell me about it.
I'm have mine down to three trim levels.
Freedom
Willy's
Islander
If the freedom came with the bigger brakes or they were an option that would make my day. Mopar does offer the larger brake package aftermarket. I'm more than able to install it myself, just don't want to. Other thing is I haven't seen any 2dr freedoms out there at all, so I see an order coming in the near future.
 

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Rubicon: Heavy duty axles, lower 4:10 geared with Lockers in both
Lower geared 4:1 part time 4WD tranfer case (Rock Trac)
Elect front sway bar Disiconnect
More fender clearance and 1.5 inch taller springs

Models with anti-spin rear diff or manual Trans have the heavy duty rear axle M220
Non Rubicon have 3:45 axles gearing and 2.72:1 transfer case.

Select Trac transfer case has AUTO (similar to full time AWD systems)
Command Trac trans case is part time (can't use on hard surface like select trac)

The 8 spd Auto Trans seems to handle going to bigger tires better than the manual simply because it has more gears that are closer together. Acceleration is effected less with heavier/bigger tires.

All models have Traction control that makes non Rubicon models very capable and better than
what most would realize so "open diff" does not mean its helpless as it use to.

Most of the rest of the options IMO are fluff. (elect windows or heated seats adds no capability)

If you just want a 4WD for winter highway driving, daily driving, and light trail exploring-Sahara with select trac
If you expect to get into more than an occasional logging or fire road type trail riding then the Rubicon which also handles bigger tires well with the lower axle gearing than the rest.
(lockers are 4WD Low range mode and won't help for highway winter driving)
If your doing light trails and daily driving and no winter driving-Sport/Sahara.
 
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