Are There Any Automatic Jeep Wranglers? | JK, JKU, JL, JLU


If you are a true Jeep enthusiast then you have probably been involved in more than one conversation debating over whether Jeep Wranglers are better as automatics or manuals. It is a tale as old as time, there will be drivers having this conversation many years into the future because it is a good topic to debate.

Those who feel strongly about one engine over the other will have solid reasons why. However, if you are set on having an automatic engine, you might be wondering: are there any automatic Jeep Wranglers?

You might also wonder if automatic Jeep Wranglers are even good or do Jeep Wranglers have transmission problems. You are not alone in these thoughts because if you commit to one or another, you should know that there will be pros and cons. To find out which engine will suit you better, automatic or manual transmission, then keep on reading.

Let’s get started!

Are there any Automatic Jeep Wranglers?

Jeep Wranglers do come with an automatic engine. The older the Jeep (ex: YJ, TJ, and LJ), the harder it is to find an automatic but they do exist. Newer Jeeps like the JK and JL models are much easier to find with an automatic transmission.

Below is a chart listing which Jeep Wranglers come with an automatic engine and which Jeep Wranglers come with a manual engine.

●     Jeep Wranglers with Automatic Engines

If you are a fan of an automatic engine, then have no fear because the list for Jeep Wranglers with automatic engines is quite lengthy:  

  • 2003-2006 2.5 L AMC Straight 4 Engine: 4-speed 42RLE automatic
  • 1997-2002 2.4 L PowerTech: 3-speed 32RH automatic
  • 2003-2006 2.4 L PowerTech: 4-speed 42RLE automatic
  • 2007-2011 JK and JKU Models Built from 2007 to 2018:  3.8 L EGH 4-speed 42RLE automatic
  • 2012-Present 3.6 L Pentastar: 5-speed W5A580 automatic
  • 2007-2010 3.6 L Pentastar: 5-sped 545RFE automatic
  • 2011-Present 3.6 L Pentastar: 5-speed W54580 automatic
  • 2018- Present JL Models Built from 2019-Present: 3.6 L Pentastar: 8-speed Torqueflite 850REautomatic transmission
  • 2018- Present JL Models Built from 2019-Present: 0L GME T4 Hurricane Turbo: 8-speed Torqueflite 850REautomatic transmission

●     Jeep Wranglers with Manual Engines

Now for all the manual fans out there, here is a list of all the Jeep Wranglers with manual engines:  

  • 1997-2002 2.5 L AMC Straight-4 engine: 5-speed AX-5 manual
  • 2003-2004 2.5 L AMC Straight-4 engine: 5-speed NV1500 manual
  • 2005-2006 4.0 L AMC Straight-4 engine: 6-speed NSG370 manual
  • 1997-1999 2.4 L PowerTech: 5-speed AX-15 manual
  • 2000-2004 2.4 L PowerTech: 5-speed NV3550 manual
  • 2005-2006 4.0 L AMC Straight-6 engine: 6-speed NSG370 manual
  • 2007-2011 3.8 L EGH: 6-speed NSG370 manual
  • 2012-Present 3.6 L Pentastar: 6-speed NSG370 manual
  • 2007-2015 2.8 L RA 428: 6-speed NS370 (Please note: this model is not sold in the United States)
  • 2018- Present 3.6 L Pentastar: AL 6-speed manual transmission Torqueflite 850REautomatic transmission

What are the latest Jeep Wrangler Models?: What engines do they come with?

While the list above does list a plethora of Jeep Wranglers throughout the years, the newest edition to the Jeep Wrangler family are:

  • JK-07 to 18:
  • automatic transmission
  • JL 18-Present :
  • 2018- Present: AL 6-speed manual transmission
  • 2018- Present JL Models Built from 2019-Present: 3.6 L Pentastar: 8-speed Torqueflite 850REautomatic transmission
  • 2018- Present JL Models Built from 2019-Present: 0L GME T4 Hurricane Turbo: 8-speed Torqueflite 850REautomatic transmission

Pros and Cons of Manual and Automatic Engines

Now that you know which Jeep Wranglers come with a manual engine and which comes with an automatic engine, you might be wondering what are some pros and cons to each engine. Despite what enthusiasts on both ends might argue, there are some good and some not-so-good aspects for each engine option. 

Pros and Cons of Manual Transmission Engines

●      Pros of Manual Transmission Engines

  • When it comes to a manual transmission, you get full control. When you choose to go with a manual, you will be able to control all the gears. This will make it much easier for you to slow down, speed up, or stop completely compared to an automatic engine.
  • While automatic transmissions are newer, sometimes newer is not always better. Manual transmission is less maintenance than automatic transmission because they are more simple built. When your engine has problems, it will not take you forever to figure out what is wrong.
  • Piggybacking on the point above, if you are someone that likes to fix and maintain your own vehicle then the manual transmission is the way to go. Most people who like to fix their cars in their garage find it easier to work with manual transmission because there are fewer bells and whistles.
  • If being fuel-efficient is important to you then you should consider a manual transmission engine. Manual cars are more fuel-efficient since you are not using as much power as you would to power an automatic car.

●      Cons of Manual Transmission Engines

  • Let’s be honest, driving a manual is much more fun than an automatic car. However, what is not fun is driving a manual car in some stop-and-go traffic. Yes, are you cringing already? Imagine already feeling drained from sitting in hours of traffic, but then once it starts letting up for a few seconds you have to switch gears, only to switch it back again once it stops.
  • If you have a long commute, then a manual transmission will seem more of a chore than a fun joy-ride.
  • Learning to drive a manual transmission car is not only harder but it might also be more difficult for you to find a teacher. Most people do not know how to drive a manual car so to find one, you have to do a bit of research.
  • Even though it is a bit more difficult, you will be able to find a good teacher if you search hard enough. However, do not be too surprised if your new instructor might charge you a bit more than you would have thought.
  • If you thought learning how to drive an automatic was difficult then it is a whole other game when it comes to manual cars.
  • You also have to be quite an expert when it comes to driving up and down a hill. It is quite dangerous to be out on the road with your manual car if you have not mastered the skills yet. This is not to say that learning how to drive a manual transmission is not worth it, but it will take some trial and error. 
  • A manual transmission will most likely not be found on higher trim levels.

Pros and Cons of Automatic Transmission Engines

●      Pros of Automatic Transmission Engines

  • Most cars these days are automatic vehicles. If you are looking to buy a new car, chances are it will only be offered with an automatic transmission engine.
  • If you know how to drive an automatic then you will be able to drive more vehicles. If a friend asks you to drive his or her car, chances are it will be an automatic transmission car. So if you know how to drive an automatic car then you are good to go. However, if you only know how to drive a manual car then you will not be of much help.
  • More mechanics know about automatic transmission engines than manual engines. Chances are, if you bring in a car with a manual engine, most of the mechanics in the shop might not know how to fix it. This is because they cater to the masses and if you have a car that is driven with a manual engine then you will need to ask if the auto mechanics in the shop work with manual transmission vehicles.
  • No one likes being stuck in traffic but if you drive an automatic car, then you do not have it as bad as though you drive a manual car. You do not have to worry about shifting gears every few minutes as it can be exhausting both mentally and physically. So the next time you are stuck in traffic, just be grateful because it can definitely be worse.
  • If you are a commuter, whether it be because of school or work, then you would love an automatic car. Especially if, like the point mentioned above, your commute is quite the long one. Either you leave during heavy traffic hours or you head home during heavy traffic hours, or in the worst-case scenario both…you will not want to be driving a manual transmission car then.
  • Automatic transmission vehicles are just easier to drive and they make life a bit more simple which is what most drivers would want.
  • If you are looking to have some fun on the roads than an automatic transmission engine may not be up your alley but if you are just looking for a day-to-day vehicle then we would suggest you stick with an automatic.

●      Cons of Automatic Transmission Engines

  • Most drivers will agree that automatic transmission vehicles are not as fun to drive as manual transmission vehicles. If you are someone that loves to drive or you love to go off-roading then the thought of driving an automatic is enough to send you running.
  • Automatic transmission engines are also more complex and difficult to fix. When you have a problem with your engine it could be solely an engine problem or it could be a number of other things affecting your engine. The best thing to do would be to take your vehicle to a mechanic but that will also be more costly.
  • Automatic cars are more expensive to maintain than traditional manual ones.
  • If you love older cars then you will have to learn how to drive a manual car.

 The Takeaway | Which is right for you?

The good news is that Jeep Wranglers do come with both an automatic engine and a manual engine. However, the hard part is that you have to decide which one is right for you.

Another downside is what if the model that you want comes in a transmission engine option that you do not want?

All in all, most people do prefer an automatic engine because it is more convenient but if your heart is set on a  manual transmission then there are Jeep Wranglers out there that will suit your wants and needs.

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

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Are There Any Automatic Jeep Wranglers? | JK, JKU, JL, JLU