10 things Jeep changed on the 2024 Wrangler
The 2024 model year brings a mid-cycle refresh to the fourth-generation Wrangler, introduced in 2017. Jeep’s team introduced a host of commendable changes to kick off the second half of the JL’s life. Here are 10 of the most significant updates.
(For a quick review of the 2024 Wrangler, click here.)
Bumper-integrated 8000-pound Warn winch
The Wrangler’s legendary off-road capability is no secret, but neither is the fact that owners tend to take things up a notch (or four) in the aftermarket. One of the most popular additions is an onboard winch. Naturally, Jeep decided to save owners some headaches and just offer a winch straight from the factory.
The 8000-pound Warn winch features 90 feet of synthetic line and is controlled via a wired remote that can be operated from inside or outside of the vehicle. Jeep says that the winch passes all crash tests—the only changes necessary were elongated “crush cans” that flank the winch out front.
Dana 44 HD full-float rear axle
Fitting larger tires is basically a rite of passage for a Wrangler owner. To help the driveline cope with the added mechanical stress, Jeep’s engineers decided to take another common modification—a full-float axle—and bring it in-house, too.
The 2024 Wrangler Rubicon will offer a full-float Dana 44 HD rear axle, which relieves pressure on the axle shaft by redirecting load onto the axle tube via a spindle that houses the wheel hub. The axle shaft, rather than being welded to the hub, slots into a splined receiver on the back of the hub.
Speccing the full-float unit on a non-4xe, 2.0-liter four- or 3.6-liter V-6-equipped Wrangler increases that model’s towing capacity from 3500 to 5000 pounds. (You’ll also need the eight-speed automatic to haul 5000 pounds; the six-speed manual Rubicons are still limited to 3500.)
Speaking of larger tires …
The Wrangler Willys, a popular “Rubicon-lite” trim, comes standard for 2024 with 33-inch all-terrain tires, up one inch in diameter from those on the 2023 Wrangler Willys.
The added ground clearance isn’t the only upgrade for the 2024 Willys, either: a new locking rear differential also comes standard. The Willys only gets the 2.72:1 low-range transfer case instead of the Rubicon’s 4.0:1 case, but the bigger rubber and locking rear diff should still make the Willys a remarkably capable off-roader—for about $6000 less than a Rubicon.
Two new trims
The 2024 Wrangler family grows by two with the addition of the Sport S 4xe and the Rubicon X. With an MSRP of $51,790 including destination, the Wrangler Sport S 4xe is now the cheapest way into the hybrid-Wrangler family, undercutting the previous value play model, the Willys 4xe, by almost $4000. You’ll still get the same hybrid system you would in any other 4xe: a 17.3-kWh, 400-volt battery and a 134-hp, 181-lb-ft integrated electric motor, a combo good for 21 miles of all-electric range.
On the other end of the price spectrum sits the Rubicon X. Available for both 4xe and regular Rubicons, this maxed-out trim scores you steel bumpers with detachable ends, massive 35-inch tires in place of still-large 33-inch rubber, a standard integrated front-facing camera (it remains an option on non-X Rubicons), and a full-time Rock-Trac transfer case to replace the part-time unit offered on non-X Rubicons. With the full-time T-case, you can select a 4H auto setting that uses clutches to vary torque application between the front and rear axles. The part-time case mechanically locks the front and rear axles and turns them at the same speed at all times, which can be hard on the system when driving on pavement.
Jeep’s designers are constantly wrestling with a mandate of “look the same, don’t be the same.” Rest easy, the Wrangler’s iconic seven-slot grille remains; it is just slightly shorter, largely to accommodate that winch. The easiest way to spot a 2024 Wrangler is to look at the frames around the seven slats; if those partitions are blacked out, you’ve got a ’24 on your hands.
No more antenna
Well, sort of. Jeep says many of its customers complained about snagging their Wrangler’s antenna on branches while out in the wild. Jeep’s solution? Integrate the antenna into the windshield support. The only downside: You’ll need to find a new place to mount that rubber ducky.
4xe gets even better
The Wrangler 4xe has a drive mode called E-Save that will store up the battery’s energy and replenish it using a combination of regenerative braking and power gleaned from the engine. For 2024, engineers re-calibrated this system to scavenge power nearly 50 percent more effectively, enabling the battery to recharge even quicker. (Using the engine and momentum to charge the battery will still take far longer than it would if you were able to just plug it in while parked, but on the go, it’s a welcome improvement.)
Additionally, Jeep introduced a new Power Box that plugs into the vehicle and features four 120-volt power outlets that can offer 30 amps of total output to power devices like a TV, a raft pump, or any number of other devices. Previously, the 4xe drivetrain couldn’t power other pieces of equipment, a feature that other hybrids and EVs have made commonplace.
“Hang on, the 2023 Wrangler still makes you adjust your own seats?”
Yes, until now, you could not get power-operated seats in a Wrangler. There’s a decent reason: Any Wrangler must be able to ford serious amounts of water, which tends to wreak havoc on electric components. The 2024 model can wade through water up to 34 inches deep—well above the height of the seat—so Jeep engineers had to make sure that all of the cabin’s switchgear and connectors were properly sealed. (Side note: The Bronco has offered powered seats since the 2021 model year; it was high time that Jeep caught up.)
Bigger screens all ’round
Beginning with the 2024 model year, all Wranglers will get a 12.3-inch center touchscreen that runs Stellantis’ UConnect 5 infotainment system. (Previously, you could choose between a 7-inch center screen or the upgraded 8.4-inch screen.) The screen is heavily backlit, and engineers went to great lengths to ensure that the display doesn’t wash out in direct sunlight. After a day in the car in the high sun of the Utah desert, we can declare their efforts mostly a success; polarized sunglasses still dim the screen’s vibrance a touch.
The larger screen meant that engineers had to move the center air vents below the screen, an arrangement that both looks handsome and, as Jeep explained, helps improve the cabin’s airflow.
Side curtain airbags
Despite their charm, Wranglers aren’t known for being the safest vehicles. The 2024 Wrangler will finally get a safety feature that’s common on most vehicles today: side-curtain airbags for both rows of passengers.
“We drove our engineers crazy asking them to make the airbags smaller and smaller, but the end result is a component that doesn’t interfere with sight lines or the overall visual of the Wrangler,” said Jim Morrison, senior vice president and head of Jeep brand North America.