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Which 2022 Jeep Wrangler Is the Best? We Recommend Three

Which 2022 Jeep Wrangler Is the Best? We Recommend Three

Regardless of budget, intent or lifestyle, there is a Wrangler to suit almost anyone

  • Choosing the best Wrangler can be tricky. Our recommendations make it easier.
  • Our recommended spec is all about variety and purpose.
  • Our worthy alternative is for people seeking the lifestyle, not the capability.
  • Our no-frills choice puts Wrangler ownership within closer reach.

Everybody has a Jeep story, and I'm no exception. In college, I dated a woman as much for her company as for driving her red 1986 Jeep CJ-7 during a sultry Michigan summer. With the CJ's top off and doors removed, we reveled in the joy of cruising aimlessly across the countryside on humid evenings, and that Jeep made me a lifelong fan.

2022 Jeep Wrangler.

2022 Jeep Wrangler.

Sadly, I never bought one. Still, to this day, I romanticize the notion of owning a Jeep Wrangler, and I'm not alone. Last year, Jeep sold more than 200,000 examples of its iconic SUV, which comes in so many flavors it can be hard to choose just one.

First, you must decide between the two-door Wrangler and the four-door Wrangler Unlimited. Then you need to select from 10 or more trim levels, depending on whether or not Jeep is offering special editions like the recently announced Wrangler High Tide and Beach models. Lastly, you must choose from six different engines ranging from a turbocharged four-cylinder to a 470-horsepower V8, with turbodiesel, standard and mild hybrid V6s and plug-in hybrid powertrains in between.

With 2022 Jeep Wrangler prices ranging from under $32,000 to more than $76,000, including the destination charge to ship it to your local dealership from the Toledo, Ohio, factory that builds it, this rugged off-roader accommodates a wide range of budgets. But which ones does Edmunds recommend? Take a look below.

The recommended spec: Wrangler Rubicon

Overall, Edmunds recommends the Wrangler Rubicon. It is the most capable version when the going gets really tough, and it comes with every available engine and transmission.

2022 Jeep Wrangler.

2022 Jeep Wrangler.

With an eye toward keeping a lid on the price, we'd stick with the only free paint color (Bright White) and upgrade no further than the 3.6-liter V6 with eTorque mild hybrid technology and an eight-speed automatic transmission, a combination that should return a reasonable 21 mpg in combined driving, according to the EPA.

The optional black wheels with a machined-finish lip match nicely with the Rubicon's black overfenders and the black extra-cost three-piece hardtop. Next, we'd add the integrated off-road camera, the Gorilla Glass windshield, all-weather floor mats and the hardtop headliner (to try to quiet the interior a bit). Additional worthy options include the Cold Weather Group for spring and fall open-top driving, the LED Lighting Group, and the Safety Group for blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

So equipped, a Rubicon Unlimited runs $56,375, including the $1,595 destination charge.

The worthy alternative: Wrangler Sahara

2022 Jeep Wrangler.

2022 Jeep Wrangler.

Lots of people buy Jeeps for the image and then get cranky about how they drive during the daily commute on the pavement. If you have no concrete plans to travel far off the road, the Sahara is your best bet for long-term happiness and satisfaction.

Again, we're going to recommend the eTorque V6 and the eight-speed automatic, paired this time with the Wrangler's optional Selec-Trac full-time four-wheel-drive system. Selec-Trac automatically engages 4WD (in high range) when you encounter slippery surfaces to give you better traction.

Since the goal here is an effortless Wrangler ownership experience, consider the Unlimited's exclusive Sky One-Touch power-operated top to save lots of hassle when open-air driving is desirable. While you're at it, upgrade to the Gorilla Glass windshield, leather seats, and all of the option groups including Cold Weather, Safety, Advanced Safety and LED Lighting. Your grand total will come to $56,800, including destination.

The no-frills choice: Wrangler Willys

2022 Jeep Wrangler.

2022 Jeep Wrangler.

By definition, buying a Wrangler is an emotional choice. But with prices easily rising beyond $50,000, a back-to-basics version holds special appeal.

Enter the Wrangler Willys Sport. It adds to the base Sport upgraded black alloy wheels, 32-inch mud-terrain tires, a Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential, heavy-duty shocks and Rubicon rock rails. It gets a blacked-out treatment for the grille, bumper trim and badges, plus a military-style "Willys" hood graphic and a sassy "Four-Wheel Drive" decal on the tailgate. The Willys Sport also comes with all-weather floor mats and tinted rear windows for added privacy.

Aside from a paint color other than Bright White, you don't need to option the Willys Sport with anything other than an automatic transmission if you can't or don't want to use the standard manual gearbox. Stick with the stick, and you're out the door for $36,880, including destination, for the Unlimited version.

Edmunds says

Jeep Wrangler ownership is not for everyone. These SUVs are loud inside at speed, sloppy handlers on pavement, and equipped with few, if any, comforts. But if you love the wind in your hair, the sun on your skin, and the ability to go almost anywhere at any time in an SUV that's made in the USA, the Wrangler is one of your only choices.

How would you spec a 2022 Wrangler? We want to know, so tell us in the comments below.