jeep in snow

Jeep Wrangler In Snow: How Good Are They Really?

The Jeep Wrangler is often held up as a paragon of off-road capability, particularly the Rubicon models. Snow, however, presents a unique challenge to any vehicle, and that’s why today we’re looking in detail at how Wranglers handle the wintry white stuff.

Are Jeep Wranglers Good in Snow?

In short, Yes Jeep wranglers are good in the snow due to their 4-wheel-drive ability, This means that all four wheels have power and they can push the Jeep forward to overcome snow. Also, the Wrangler has a low center of gravity. This means that the vehicle’s weight is as close to the ground as possible. This makes it more stable and easier to turn in the snow.

Jeep Wrangler in Snow and Ice Capability

First, let’s get a general picture of how well the Jeep Wrangler fares in the snow. The 2018 generation onward of Wranglers generally do very well in the snow, even without having to buy the top-level off-road Rubicon model.

They are all built to handle tough on-road conditions, even if not all containing the full range of off-road qualities.

In general, the features that contribute to the Wrangler’s prowess in snow are ground clearance, powertrain, tires, driver assistance features, and interior comfort features.

Put these things together and you have a vehicle that not only handles well in the snow but is also very comfortable for winter driving in general

What Makes Wranglers Good in the Snow

Ground Clearance

The Jeep Wrangler comes with a very impressive up to 9.7 inches of ground clearance as standard, giving you both a strong position above all or most of the snow on the ground, but also a commanding view of the road ahead.

Driving in the snow is about maximizing visibility and clearing obstacles underneath, and the Wrangler meets both those requirements

Powertrain

Inside the Wrangler you’ll find an impressive 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine that outputs 285hp and 260lb-ft of torque with either an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual.

There’s an alternative gasoline option, a 2.0L I4, which still manages 270hp and 295lb-ft of torque. The 2020 model brought in a diesel engine in the form of the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. This bad boy boasts torque all the way up to 442lb-ft.

All this engine power, when added to the 4-wheel-drive system and other hardware on certain models lie the electrical locking front and rear differential on the Rubicon

make for a secure, steady experience when driving through the slippery winter snow. The differentials are a great feature because they help to channel power between your 4 wheels, or to all 4 at once.

You use the locked form when starting up and traveling at low speeds, and the unlocked differential when you’re steady on the road. This hardware has you covered.

Tires

The Wrangler is a car built with an off-road spirit, which means it’s also built to handle many different kinds of tires. Even the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara with its standard all-season tires does much better in the snow than your average car.

Pair a nice set of deep-tread and strong-traction winter tires with one of these Wranglers and you have the perfect traction ally for the powertrain and suspension hardware to work with. They’ll make short work of any snow under them.

Driver Assistance Features

The 4-wheel drive is obviously an important feature for maintaining control and traction in the snow, but there’s more than a Jeep Wrangler can offer.

There’s a rear reversing camera built-in as standard, as well as great on-road features like hill start assist and tire pressure monitoring.

Slightly lower tire pressure is better in snow and winter driving since it provides you with better traction. If you find yourself starting up on a slope very possible in most places where the snow builds up then the hill start assist really helps to make life easier.

Interior Comfort

A final part of effective snow driving is either not freezing to death in your car while you’re doing so, and having a comfortable environment in which you can focus on driving without shivering or generally feeling out of sorts.

The Jeep Wrangler warms up very quickly, even in extreme sub-zero temperatures. Along with that, you get a heated seat and an optional heated steering wheel to make things really toasty in there.

Driving in the snow is hard enough without throwing major discomfort-into the mix. The new Wrangler’s interior includes great heating features, but also a pleasant ambiance, comfortable seating, soft-touch materials on the dash and controls. It may be rugged and built for adventure on the outside, but inside it is also a great family car.

How to improve Jeep Wrangler Snow Performance

  • The first thing is that it needs to be equipped with Goodyear MTR-60 tires. We found that Wrangler owners report that these tires are “awesome,” especially for off-road use. That means they’re prepared for the worst snow and ice conditions, as well as normal road use.
  • Second, the vehicle needs to have an automatic transmission. We’ve looked at this in another article, but the reason for this goes back to Jeep’s roots. When they first started building the Wrangler they didn’t intend it to be a vehicle one could drive in snow. Instead, they built it to be a vehicle you could escape in, with all-wheel drive on half of the drivetrain and a manual transmission. That’s exactly what makes it such an amazing vehicle and we think it still holds true today.
  • The more important thing is what type of snow conditions you’re going into. Pay attention to the type of snow or ice you’re dealing with! Ice is a different animal. The problem is that it’s very slippery and when you have a tire spinning all by itself, it can be much more difficult to control the vehicle. This is why we’d recommend a four-wheel-drive vehicle for these conditions; but if you’re stuck in a snowstorm, most drivers report that their Jeep Wrangler drives very well on ice.
  • Another tip I’d recommend is a set of good front and rear snow chains. This will enable you to drive on roads that have been plowed, but that still have a little bit of snow on the side.

Are Jeep Wranglers safe in the snow?

The answer is yes, for the most part. Jeep Wranglers always offer a hearty off-road engine and transmission combination and dual-wheel drive with ABS as standard equipment.

That makes them a more viable option for the winter than many light-duty vehicles. But according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in their new Top Safety Picks, they are also crashworthy enough on ice and snow to be ranked in the Top 10 among all vehicles.

Jeep Wranglers aren’t built specifically for winter driving, so some of them may not handle well on snow and ice when you try it.

But if you go with a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, you can equip yours with an Electronic Limited Slip Differential (ELSD), which should give you better traction and handling.

The off-road suspension of the Jeep Wrangler is at its best when dealing with obstacles and obstacles. The stiffer suspension makes it obvious that the vehicle has no intention of being driven on highways, but it also allows it to have more impact energy absorption, while at the same time providing precise handling and high stability levels in off-road maneuvers.

Conclusion on jeep wranglers in the Snow

The Wrangler is by no means the most powerful adventure SUV out there, but it’s one of the few that is made with off-roading in mind rather than a mere by-product.

To that end, the Wrangler is more purpose-built to handle winter weather and other difficult conditions. To reiterate our initial summary, the Jeep Wrangler is a more-than-capable partner to have in the snow

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