$19,614 - $33,119

2015 Jeep Wrangler Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Jeep Wrangler was new.


Performance: 7.2

Reviewers agree that the 2015 Jeep Wrangler shines with its outstanding off-road capabilities. However, many report that the Wrangler’s on-pavement ride is too harsh, and its handling isn’t very composed. Most test drivers write that the Wrangler has decent acceleration for commutes around town, but struggles on the highway. They also complain that the Wrangler’s engine is noisy and unrefined.

  • "Although the current Jeep Wrangler is the most civilized version ever, it's still noisy, rough-riding and nothing at all like the compact and midsize crossover SUVs that dominate this price range. However, if your weekend plans include off-roading, this Jeep is arguably the most capable utility vehicle you can buy." -- Edmunds (2014)
  • "Bumpy pavement can trigger bouncy feel and wayward body motions. Wrangler is surprisingly cushioned on sharp ruts and ridges." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Jeep Wrangler comes with a 285-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine, which is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. A five-speed automatic transmission is optional. The 2015 Jeep Wrangler earns up to an EPA-estimated 17/21 mpg city/highway, which is low for an affordable compact SUV, but on par with what off-road-oriented SUVs like the Nissan Xterra get.

Most auto writers agree that although the Wrangler isn’t particularly quick on the highway, it has decent acceleration and enough power for the average commute. A few are also satisfied with its speed from a stop and on the highway, though many critics note that the Wrangler uses a lot of fuel.

  • "Still, it's ridiculously loud at highway speeds, and its barnlike aerodynamics means you'll use a lot of gas to not go very fast." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Wrangler's V6 engine has enough grunt to make it seem reasonably quick around town, though the bricklike aerodynamics hamper higher-speed acceleration." -- Edmunds
  • "The 3.6-liter V6 provides sufficient power off the line and for highway passing; generous throttle input is only needed during hill climbs." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Handling and Braking

Test drivers agree that the Wrangler’s rugged off-road nature and firm suspension make for a jarring ride on the pavement. They say its steering is slow and that it exhibits body roll in turns. Still, a few reviewers note that the Wrangler’s ride quality is much improved and more comfortable than it was in previous model years.

  • "Alas, on-road driving is also hampered by excessive noise levels, slow and vague steering and an unusual mix of both an unrefined ride quality and a lot of body roll and low grip when driving through turns." -- Edmunds
  • "Be warned: The 2015 Jeep Wrangler is not the kind of SUV you get because you think it'd be cool-looking to drive one in the city. It's loud, the suspension is stiff, and it's short on creature comforts. That's fine for off-road, but for around town, look elsewhere." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Wrangler exhibits body lean and noseplow in even moderate-speed cornering. The steering is light and slow in directional changes, and these SUVs are subject to crosswind wander." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "The Wrangler doesn't ride smoothly. It has improved dramatically over the years and is more livable than ever, especially in the relatively new Unlimited version, thanks to its longer wheelbase. But there's no overcoming its design and heavy-duty hardware." -- Cars.com (2013)


The 2015 Wrangler comes standard with part-time four-wheel drive and a two-speed transfer case. Rubicon models feature locking front and rear differentials, off-road tires and suspension upgrades, making it the most off-road capable option in the Wrangler lineup. Reviewers praise the Wrangler for its excellent off-road prowess and say it’s capable of tackling nearly any type of terrain. 

  • "With front and rear solid axles and body-on-frame construction, the 2015 Jeep Wrangler is downright primitive by modern standards. But that's what makes it work so well off road. There's generous ground clearance, minimal overhangs, and that distinctive Jeep look, of course. Being equipped with 4-wheel drive, the Wrangler is nearly unstoppable off road." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With high ground clearance combined with short front and rear overhangs, the Jeep Wrangler has the ability to conquer incredibly challenging off-road obstacles, especially severe inclines." -- Left Lane News
  • "If you want to dominate the off-road trails in your area, you've come to the right review. We specifically recommend either the Sport or the Rubicon for this purpose. Why? Because the Sport is cheap, leaving plenty of room in the budget for custom modifications via either Jeep's Mopar parts division or the thriving aftermarket scene. And the Rubicon is perfect for shoppers in search of a complete trail rig right off the shelf." -- Edmunds
  • "What a hoot. We crawled over rocks, forded creeks and generally tackled the most treacherous of terrain without breaking a sweat. Well, we did, but the Jeep was universally composed." -- AutoWeek (2012)

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