The 2019 Jeep Wrangler makes big changes to the iconic SUV, but retains its legendary character. It's no wonder it has been a big hit in South Carolina, and also with the critics. That certainly goes for Motor Trend, which named the 2019 Jeep Wrangler its SUV of the Year. With the 2019 Wrangler, Jeep has brought more comfort, more capability, more tech & safety, and greater practicality as a daily driver. All this and more helped make the Wrangler SUV of the Year, so let's take a look at what Motor Trend had to say about the all-new 2019 Jeep Wrangler.

The All-New, Award-Winning Wrangler

While the Jeep Wrangler has long been known for its incredible off-road capability, it wasn't necessarily the best choice for a family vehicle or daily driver. Jeep set out to change that with their 2019 model, and it certainly paid off. Motor Trend was particularly impressed with the all-new Wrangler's handling on pavement, offering a much more comfortable ride than past generations. Jeep extended the wheelbase to add stability and interior space, and upgraded just about every aspect of the Wrangler's construction and materials. That extends to tech as well, with even the base Wrangler offering strong infotainment options.

Safety is a big factor in Motor Trend's evaluation, and Motor Trend was impressed with the Wrangler's improved visibility, as well as its range of safety features like assisted braking, blind-spot monitoring, and more. They also noted that, while still using its rugged body-on-frame construction, Jeep has made the Wrangler more maneuverable than many competitors, providing a responsive and confident driving experience.

Improvement over the previous generation is a key component of Motor Trend's scoring, and they registered huge improvements across the board. From its more comfortable suspension, more practical interior, higher-quality materials, and more, Motor Trend loved the 2019 Jeep Wrangler's improvements. But not only the Wrangler's construction impressed the judges. Its responsive and powerful engines set a new standard, and add a new chapter to the Wrangler's history as the most capable vehicle on the market.

Powertrain & Off-Roading

New for 2019, the Jeep Wrangler is available with a 2.0l turbocharged engine, which impressed the Motor Trend judges so much, they said, "The new engine isn't impressive for a Wrangler-it's just plain impressive. Markus called the Wrangler 2.0's engine stop/start system 'amazingly quick' to restart, lauding it as 'one of the best.'"

Not only is the 2.0l turbo a well-designed engine when it comes to power, it also makes the 2019 Wrangler 38% more fuel efficient than a previous generation Wrangler. Of course, the Wrangler can still be had with a V6 paired to either a manual or automatic transmission. And due to the Wrangler's total redesign, owners will notice improved performance and efficiency over the previous generation even with the larger engine. There's a new eight-speed transmission this year as well, which not only maximizes efficiency, but is optimized to handle all driving conditions.

And speaking of driving conditions, the 2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is not only a better off-roader than the previous generation, it's better than pretty much anything else on the road today. And unlike older off-roaders, with the 2019 Wrangler you don't sacrifice nearly as much on-road comfort or convenience features. While the Wrangler used to be more of a specialty or niche vehicle, Motor Trend has no problem recommending Jeep's 2019 offering for anyone looking for a fun, capable SUV. Whether you plan to push a Rubicon to its limits on the trail, or want something more family-friendly like the Sahara, the 2019 Wrangler truly impresses.

Test Drive the SUV of the Year

The Jeep Wrangler has always been an instantly recognizable SUV, and its 2019 redesign is sure to put it in more driveways than ever before. But you don't have to take Motor Trend's word for it. At Benson CDJ in Greer, South Carolina, you can take your pick of Wrangler models to test drive, and experience in person what impressed the Motor Trend judges so much. The 2019 Jeep Wrangler is truly without compare, so take this opportunity to take an incomparable test drive.

Read the original Motor Trend article.