How did you decide on your engine?

Caveman044

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What were the driving factors that lead to your engine choice? I've been on the fence between the 3.6 and the 2.0T. I'm leaning towards the 3.6 because of the long track record, smooth power, and the sound, sound is oddly important to me. What I don't like is the reduced fuel economy and lower power compared to the 2.0T. I've owned turbos in the past with terrible curves making the gas pedal feel like a toggle switch.

My JLUR will be on 35's and a daily driver with a very short commute to work and day trips out of town through the mountains about once a month. Next year I would like to try some 3 day overlanding trips here in the PNW. I think part of my hang up with the 2.0T is a turbo seems strange in a wrangler, but that's just me and I would get used to it, it's proven to be a good engine so far. I'm not excited about premium gas though.

For choosing an engine the most important considerations, in order, are reliability, enough power to feel confident in all driving conditions, range, fuel economy, and maintenance cost.





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rcadden

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I just went and did a test drive. I've read nothing but good things about the 2.0L, so it was less about giving me a reason to choose it and more about trying to find a reason NOT to choose it.

The test drive was a blast, it was just as peppy and powerful as I was hoping, and it was $1K less, which allowed me to order other fun stuff.

That's it.
 

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What were the driving factors that lead to your engine choice?
I'm a firm believer in tried and true. That's the primary reason for me going with the 3.6. I had the 3.6 in my previous JKU. My wife has one in her current Grand Cherokee and had one in each of her last few Grand Cherokees. It's a reliable workhorse of an engine and mated to the 8 speed auto is the perfect combination for the driving I do.
 

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I went and drove2 identically equipped JL’s, one the the 2.0 and one with the 3.6. On the same 17 mile loop the 2.0 was getting 3.9 mph more than the 3.6. Drove the 2.0, then the 3.6, and then the 2.0 one more time. Took the 2.0 home with me and zero regrets. I did like the sound of the 3.6 better, but the little 2.0 just felt like it had more “zip” and it was getting a significant amount of additional mpg to boot. Running 33” KO2’s and driving mixed with probably 40% interstate I’m running mid 20’s on 87 octane. Great combination. Never, ever, thought I’d drive a Jeep that would do that. Previous were 15 or so😏
 

zrickety

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What were the driving factors that lead to your engine choice? I've been on the fence between the 3.6 and the 2.0T. I'm leaning towards the 3.6 because of the long track record, smooth power, and the sound, sound is oddly important to me. What I don't like is the reduced fuel economy and lower power compared to the 2.0T. I've owned turbos in the past with terrible curves making the gas pedal feel like a toggle switch.

My JLUR will be on 35's and a daily driver with a very short commute to work and day trips out of town through the mountains about once a month. Next year I would like to try some 3 day overlanding trips here in the PNW. I think part of my hang up with the 2.0T is a turbo seems strange in a wrangler, but that's just me and I would get used to it, it's proven to be a good engine so far. I'm not excited about premium gas though.

For choosing an engine the most important considerations, in order, are reliability, enough power to feel confident in all driving conditions, range, fuel economy, and maintenance cost.
Short trips are a good way for carbon buildup on the direct injection 2.0.
Sound is important to me too, the 3.6 has a nice, subtle burble that gets better with a muffler delete. And it has traditional fuel injection that keeps the valves clean. No brainer for me.
 

garyji

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I'm still "old school" and don't want to drive anything with a 4 cyl. Loved the etorque concept and no Aux battery. Definitely not ready for the diesel hassel.

In all fairness, we rented a Ford Edge out West a couple years ago with the turbo 4 cyl, and it totally kicked butt with the mountains and the 80 mph speed limits.

BTW, I have the 3.6.

G.
 

five9dak

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I have no desire to own a direct injection engine, I feel it is a net negative for the consumer. Power and mileage are improved, but at a substantial cost to increased complication, parts cost, increased maintenance, and decreased reliability. Same thing goes with a turbocharged smaller displacement engine compared to a larger N/A one. These design decisions are driven by emissions and fuel economy mandates, not consumer demand or an improved/more reliable product.

The key to mechanical reliability is simplicity, low parts count, and a long track record of continuous improvement.

I sought out a 3.6 from 2020 to avoid eTorque as well.
 

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Ours had the 3.6 liter and we purchased from dealer inventory in March of 2020.

I had a Ford Escape with the 2.0 liter turbo (eco boost), and enjoyed it for what it was, a turbo charged 4 cylinder.

I am happy with the 3.6 liter V6 and the sound from the axle back Borla muffler. The long track record of the motor and the 8 speed auto transmission has been great so far and has lived up to the high praise.

Of course the 4 cylinder Turbo feels peppy, it has a turbo. The 3.6 is no slouch in its own right.
 

Heimkehr

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Prior to ordering my JLU, I test drove three V6s (auto and manual transmissions). It was recommended to me by a friend and fellow Wrangler owner, so I wanted to give that engine a fair chance.

I was underwhelmed by the Pentastar. It shouldn't have required as much right foot as it did to get the JLU down the road, IMO.

When it came time to configure my vehicle order and sign the deposit check, I selected the 2.0T engine, sight- and test-drive unseen. It was a complete leap of faith on my part, as there weren't any on the lot nor expected inbound on a truck.

To date, I've been as pleased as punch with the four cylinder. It's easygoing when I want it, and there's plenty of hustle when I need it. It's not encumbered with any E-torque complexity, either. Fair credit must be shared with the compulsory 850RE transmission, which is superlative in its own right.


I think part of my hang up with the 2.0T is a turbo seems strange in a wrangler, but that's just me and I would get used to it, it's proven to be a good engine so far. I'm not excited about premium gas though.
My YJ had the AMC 2.5L straight-4 engine, rated at 120 hamsters.

Pardon me. "Horsepower". ;)

Rarely did I not have to downshift to maintain my current speed, or at least not slow down too much, when driving up hills of even modest elevation. Believe me, I'd have welcomed forced induction in that vehicle with open arms.

I feed my 2.0T 91+ octane exclusively, and enjoy a high average of 28.x mpg. Granted, I don't have a heavy right foot. Towing a 1,350 lb. load during a recent interstate camp & ride long weekend reduced that figure to 23.x mpg, which was reasonable in my estimation.

The Hurricane 4 continues to impress me. I'm not ignorant of the long term concerns regarding direct injection, either. That is being monitored.

Camp check in.jpg
 

Flieger

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What were the driving factors that lead to your engine choice? I've been on the fence between the 3.6 and the 2.0T. I'm leaning towards the 3.6 because of the long track record, smooth power, and the sound, sound is oddly important to me. What I don't like is the reduced fuel economy and lower power compared to the 2.0T. I've owned turbos in the past with terrible curves making the gas pedal feel like a toggle switch.

My JLUR will be on 35's and a daily driver with a very short commute to work and day trips out of town through the mountains about once a month. Next year I would like to try some 3 day overlanding trips here in the PNW. I think part of my hang up with the 2.0T is a turbo seems strange in a wrangler, but that's just me and I would get used to it, it's proven to be a good engine so far. I'm not excited about premium gas though.

For choosing an engine the most important considerations, in order, are reliability, enough power to feel confident in all driving conditions, range, fuel economy, and maintenance cost.
Hi Caveman,

These are our opinions, I hope no one takes offense to our criticisms of what choice they may have bought.

We bought a 4xe, but it had nothing, zero, zip, nada, to do with fuel economy. The mileage in town on battery driving is a bonus. We were seeking a FUN car. The fun factor was the ultimate goal. Plus, we already had a Level II Bosch charger from previous EV ownership.

For us, we test drove the following (all Unlimited Rubicons):

V-6 with manual.
V-6 with auto.
Turbo 4 e-torque with auto.
Diesel with auto.
4xe with auto.

V-6 w/ manual: Terrible clutch throw and feel. Engagement point is way at the end of a ridiculously long pedal throw, and for both my wife and I to operate the clutch, the seat position made the other pedals awkward to use and for her, the steering wheel was inches from her chest. She’s 5’2” and I’m 5’9”. Also, the clutch‘s friction zone was really narrow and difficult to modulate. Handling was fairly neutral.

V-6 with auto: Meh. The driving experience was ho-hum and power was adequate but uninspiring. Handling was fairly neutral.

Turbo-4 e-torque with auto: This was a really fun car!! The e-torque boosted nicely off the line and at about 2500-3000 RPM the engine really came to life with a very satisfying “whoooooose” turbo spool up. Lots of character, good handling feeling light on it’s feet and instantly our favorite. Really responsive and fun.

Diesel with auto: Gobs of instant power. A bit slow revving. Nose heavy. Loud. Between the the noise and the nose heavy handling it was not super fun to drive for us. I have a Diesel truck, and I really wanted this engine package to be our favorite, but it is not the right application in a Wrangler for us. I drove a Ram 1500 with the EcoDiesel and I loved it! In fact I’m trading my Ram 2500 Cummins in on a Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. So this was a surprise that neither of us really liked the engine in a Wrangler. Fun factor for us was not there. If you are a road warrior making frequent long trips or have a long commute, this is the killer app because it gets phenomenal fuel mileage and once going, produces good passing power.

4xe: Having owned two EV’s, driving in Hybrid Mode was very familiar. Like all EV’s, the 4xe was exciting to drive right away. Instant power off the line, then if you keep your foot in it, the engine takes over seemlessly and that wonderful turbo-4 takes off!! This is what we were looking for!! This is one of the most fun cars we have ever driven. The power is amazing, and everywhere. There is no place anywhere that the power unit does not produce prodigious power and torque. Between the e-torque, EV system, and turbo-4 this thing is a powerhouse.

Side bar: I owned an EV RAV4 produced by Toyota using Tesla running gear (for CA CAFE standards) and a 1st gen Nissan LEAF. What both of these cars (and a few Teslas I have driven) is their suspension is light years ahead of ICE (internal combustion engine) cars. The added weight of the batteries demand an upgraded suspension with regard to spring rates and damping control to provide save vehicle dynamics. The packaging of the batteries is critical for safe driving dynamics as well. The end result was these cars handle like go-carts with fantastic damping. IMO, most cars but sports cars lack quality damping control.

Back to the 4xe; because of the increased weight of the battery, the 4xe‘s suspension is the best of all the Wranglers we drove, and IMO the reason is why the EV’s I’ve owned and driven handle so much better than many ICE cars I mentioned above. The 4xe is the most neutral handling of all the Wrangler we drove, with superior suspension and handling. The spring rates and damping are fantastic. The week I bought it, I took it from northern VA to the Outter Banks to Asheville NC, Greenville TN, and tons of mountain country roads. I cannot believe how fun this Wrangler is on mountain roads!

Between the very powerful power unit, auto-stick, neutral balance and wonderful suspension this car is very enjoyable and FUN to drive. Is it a Porsche 911? Uh, yeah no, it’s not. But this Wrangler scoots n boogies. Pay attention to entry braking, transfer the weight carefully, turn in smoothly, and stomp on it exiting and this crazy Wrangler will surprise many BMW and Audi drivers. I know because I did.😁 That we didn’t get any tickets in the mountains was a combination of luck and Waze. Manual 5th seemed to work best in the typical Blue Ridge/Smokey Mountain roads. Plenty of rev range on top between corners and with the e-torque plenty of exiting power.

Because I’m such a lead-foot, in spite of pluggin in at night and using chargers whenever we can at work, restaurants etc. (we live in urban northern VA and there are chargers available) our life-time to date mileage is just over 21 mpg. But, when in town we get close to 30 miles of EV range as we know how to maximize battery mileage from our previous EV ownership. Driving an EV is a totally new experience that has a learning curve.

Anyway, hope this helps anyone.

ALL of the Wranglers are fantastic cars, which is evidenced by their resale value, and you can’t go wrong with any choice. Ours was the 4xe and we are thrilled with it.

Pic because threads are useless without pics😁

We deleted the hood sticker. We like a stealthy look.
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Heimkehr

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Be careful when driving with Sunrider and Safari mode combined. The Owner's Manual specifically warns against doing so.
 

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