When the latest generation of the iconic Jeep Wrangler arrived in 2018, it came bearing tidings of added comfort and refinement — ditching the less-than-pleasant ride and handling of the past versions while keeping all the off-roading capability that made them legendary. But every time a new Jeep arrives, it resets the clock on the endless volley of new trims and special editions — which can mean we have to wait a while to get the Jeeps we really lust after.
Luckily, we’ve now progressed far enough through the Wrangler life cycle for some of the better special editions to start arriving. And perhaps none are quite as delightful as the Wrangler Willys trim, coming to the fourth-generation Wrangler for the first time for the 2020 model year.
To put it simply, the Wrangler Willys brings much of the off-roading capability of the higher-level Rubicon trim at a more easily-digestible price. The Willys takes the basic Wrangler’s capable bones and adds on a rear limited-slip differential, 32-inch mud-ready all-terrain tires, beefier brakes and Rubicon rock rails and shocks, all designed to burnish the rig’s capabilities out past where the pavement ends. (It’s a Wrangler, of course, so four-wheel-drive is standard.)
LED headlamps and foglamps come standard for added visibility, while a black grille and black wheels add visual panache. There’s also a Willys decal on the hood, to keep you from forgetting which Jeep you brought home — but if you still want to make sure your Wrangler stands out in the parking lot, feel free to order it in one of Mopar’s wilder, delightfully-named available colors, such as “Punk’n” (orange), “Hellayella” (bright yellow) and “Mojito!” (bright green, exclamation point theirs).
The best part? The new Wrangler Willys starts at just $33,740 for the two-door model and $37,240 for the four-door. That’s only $2,495 than the effective base model, the Sport S (the cheaper Sport doesn’t even give you power windows, so we doubt Jeep sells all that many); more importantly for budget-minded overlanders, it’s thousands cheaper than the Rubicon, the off-road champ of the lineup. We’ll take our Willys in Mojito!, please.