Jeep Wrangler 392 2022 Review

Hearing a Jeep Wrangler scream and growl like a Dodge Charger SRT is initially alarming. These updated army vehicles are accustomed to roaring loudly with the sound of a naturally aspirated Pentastar V6 or an agricultural diesel. But a heart-pounding, bass-heavy V8? Not what we would have expected. Ford is to blame for that, since they brought back the Bronco to offer the Wrangler a real competitor. Who ultimately prevails in a competitive environment? We are the customers. As they say, all ships rise with the tide.

This is a Wrangler with a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine up front that produces 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. It is exactly what it sounds like: the Wrangler Rubicon 392. The Stellantis group employs the exact same engine in their SRT versions. And isn't it somewhat ironic? Despite the recent surge of electric vehicles and the clear push toward zero-emission transportation, certain manufacturers continue to be given the go-ahead to pack their SUVs with the thirstiest fossil fuel-burning engines. The Wrangler is only following suit; there are other vehicles like it. Even the Land Rover Defender now has a supercharged V8 engine, and Cadillac recently unveiled the Escalade V, its most potent model with a 682-hp V8 engine.

Although we didn't believe the Wrangler needed extra power, who are we to object? Just as well, because if they had supercharged it, the Jeep might have actually taken off. Jeep didn't, however, simply install that eight-cylinder and call it a day. The Wrangler's frames were also strengthened to handle the increased torque loads, a two-inch lift package with FOX dampers was added to make it actually sit higher than a conventional Rubicon, and larger rear brakes were installed to help you slow down. The 392 only has full-time 4WD and does not include a transfer case that enables two-wheel drive. Additionally strengthened is the 8-speed automatic, which transfers the extra power to the 35-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires. The front hood scoop serves to cool the engine, and the quad exhaust tailpipes and 392 emblems help identify this V8 variant.

How is driving like? Even the sound alone causes goosebumps. When the valves are opened, there is a special exhaust button on the center stack, and the ignition bark is loud, acute, and really has a more aggressive tone than many Dodge SRTs. Additionally, it makes a distinct sound than the Hellcat supercharged engine, one that is more focused, purposefully loud, and that almost deliberately vibrates the entire Jeep. Instead of an SRT, the noise is more akin to a chainsaw-ripping Jaguar or Range Rover SVR. The fact that ON and OFF have such a significant impact on performance makes this one of the few OEM exhausts on the market. It is passive and quiet when off, and the hushed acoustics could even pass for a V6.

The acceleration that follows is amusing. When you apply heavy throttle, the car's nose rises to the sky as the wheels dig into the ground in an effort to find as much pavement and traction as possible. When the road is dry and straight, the V8 feels like it has more torque than the chassis can handle, yet it's still wickedly swift and moving faster than any Wrangler should be. Let's just say that, even for the heavy-footed driver, 470 horsepower feels more than sufficient. Paddle shifters in a Wrangler are unusual and a first for the model, but the 392 likes to be manually rowed. The V8's wide torqueband can be utilized to its full potential, and it downshifts pretty rapidly while howling with each paddle pull.

The Wrangler has never been good at handling, and this hasn't altered with the addition of more cylinders. In fact, the increased power only makes it more resistant to turning. You will have to constantly micro-correct your direction every few seconds as the front wheels will sporadically move about on the pavement. Particularly while traveling at triple-digit speeds on the freeway, it might get boring. However, we don't always desire an arm workout on the drive home. We can blame the big off-roading tires for that. On the other hand, the Ford Bronco and Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro offer a far more comfortable and bearable ride.

The Wrangler immediately gets uneasy when navigating potholed roads and crumbling pavement, and the same is true for dampers. After a hard vertical oscillation, waiting for it to land is terrifying since we can never predict which way the wheels will be facing. In this situation, higher velocities are not correlated with driver confidence. When operating the 392 at speed, it is best to always be alert, and with this kind of V8 at your disposal, the possibilities of that happening are very high.

Next, we discuss the cost. The 392 is not inexpensive. In actuality, it is almost $40,000 more expensive than the second-most expensive Wrangler. Two Unlimited Sahara variants may be purchased for the listed price of $101,445 and the as-tested price of $114,795 for our test vehicle. We're not used to Wranglers costing six figures, but we're also not used to ones with throaty V8s.

The legendary Wrangler has a special and distinctive personality thanks to the 392's vicious acceleration and exhilarating acoustics. Whether or not it appeals to you depends on what you're searching for, but it's safe to say that certain automakers haven't forgotten what inspires our spirits despite stricter emission rules. In fact, they appear to be profiting from the market's sluggish uptake of electric vehicles. The Wrangler 392 is a part of what we may in ten years' time refer to as the "golden age of V8s."


  • Model: 2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited 392
  • Paint Type: Hydro Blue Pearl
  • Base Price: $101,445
  • Price as Tested: $114,795
  • Engine: 6.4-litre HEMI V8
  • Horsepower: 470 hp
  • Torque: 470 lb-ft
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, 4WD
  • Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 18.5
  • Tires: BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2; LT315/70R17C 113/110S

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