Jeep Wrangler Ground Clearance: Expert Guide

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Jeep Wrangler ground clearance is a very important thing to learn when off-roading with your Jeep, understanding your Jeep Wrangler ground clearance will help you understand your Jeep’s capabilities, and the kind of driving you can do.

Simply put, ground clearance is the distance between the lowest point of your Jeep and the ground. Based on the trim model and configurations you choose, a Jeep wrangler’s ground clearance ranges from 9.7 inches to 10.8 inches, with the highest ground clearance Jeep wrangler trim model being the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe PHEV with 10.8 inches ground clearance.

A Jeep Wrangler is one of the SUVs with the best ground clearance according to the U.S. News Overall Score of 7/10.

Jeep Wrangler ModelGround Clearance
Jeep Wrangler Sport9.7 inches
Jeep Wrangler Willys Sport9.7 inches
Jeep Wrangler Sport S9.7 inches
Jeep Wrangler Willys9.7 inches
Jeep Wrangler Sport Altitude9.7 inches
Jeep Wrangler High Tide9.7 inches
Jeep Wrangler Sahara10 inches
Jeep Wrangler Sahara Altitude10 inches
Jeep Wrangler Sahara High Altitude10 inches
Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4xe PHEV10.1 inches
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 39210.3 inches
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe PHEV10.8 inches
Jeep Wrangler Ground Clearance

For off-roading with a Jeep wrangler, we recommend a minimum of 8.5 Inches of ground clearance which will be enough to ride over obstacles such as uneven terrain, rocks, logs, creeks, and hills, Owners of Jeep wranglers from the first and second generations of Jeep Wranglers (1987-2006) will need to lift their Jeeps or install larger tires for off-roading since their ground clearance is approximately 8.5 Inches.

Owners of third-generation Jeep wranglers (2007-2017) have an 8-10 inches Jeep Wrangler ground clearance, and you will need to check your exact trim ground clearance to understand if you will need a lift or larger tires, the fourth-generation of Jeep Wranglers (2018-Present) have evolved with 9.7-10.8 Inches Jeep Wrangler ground clearance and they are good to go off-roading without a lift installation.

Jeep Wrangler Ground Clearance

Wondering how much a lift kit goes for? Check out our Jeep Lift Kit Cost & Options Guide

You should also note that excessive Jeep Wrangler ground clearance increases the possibility of Imprecise handling of your Jeep, which might lead to a rollover. Higher ground clearance Jeep Wranglers may also be less maneuverable, making it harder for them to drive through congested traffic or into a small parking space. However, the ground clearance of a Jeep Wrangler often has little impact on these activities.

Jeep Wrangler Off-Road Angles

As a Jeep owner, it’s important to understand your Jeep Wranglers approach angle (A), break-over angle (B), and departure angles (C) illustrated in the infographics below:

Jeep wrangler ground clearance infographics
Jeep Wrangler Ground Clearance Angles

Jeep Wrangler Approach angle (A)

Jeep Wrangler Approach angle (A) is the maximum ramp angle that the front of your Jeep wrangler can approach something before touching your front overhang/ nose, as illustrated in the yellow angle (A) of the infographics image above, the angle runs between the front tire of your Jeep to the lowest hanging point of your Jeeps frontal overhang.

Highlighted below are some of the Jeep Wrangler approach angles (A) Based on different trims of Jeep wranglers:

Jeep Wrangler ModelApproach Angles (A)
Jeep Wrangler Sport38.7 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Freedom Edition38.7 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Sport S41.5 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Sahara41.7 degrees
Jeep Wrangler 75th Anniversary Edition41.7 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Winter Edition41.7 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Willys42.2 degrees
Rubicon42.2 degrees
Jeep Wrangler approach angles (A)

Jeep Wrangler break-over angle (B)

A Jeep Wrangler break-over angle (B) is the angle your Jeep Wrangler can navigate without its undercarriage coming into contact with the road surface, as illustrated in the infographics image above. For off-roaders customizing their Jeep wrangler, we recommend at least 25 degrees Jeep Wrangler break-over angle to protect your undercarriage and chassis from coming into contact with the terrain.

Interesting posts relating to undercarriage protections: Jeep undercarriage protection with a skid plate.

Highlighted below are some of the Jeep Wrangler Breakover Angles (B)

Jeep Wrangler ModelBreak-Over Angle (B)
Jeep Wrangler Sport21.5 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Freedom Edition21.5 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Sport S24.8 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Sahara25.1 degrees
Jeep Wrangler 75th Anniversary Edition25.1 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Winter Edition25.1 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Willys25.8 degrees
Rubicon25.8 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Breakover Angles (B)

A Jeep Wrangler departure angle (C)

A Jeep Wrangler departure angle (C) Is the angle your Jeep wrangler can descend without its tail end coming into contact with the surface of the terrain, as illustrated in the infographic image above. If you are customizing your rear suspension system by lifting your Jeep wrangler or installing larger tires, we recommend having at least 35.9 degrees departure angle to navigate your way without any damage to the tailgate

Highlighted below are some Jeep Wrangler Departure Angles (C)

Jeep Wrangler ModelDeparture Angles (C)
Jeep Wrangler Sport29.1 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Freedom Edition29.1 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Sport S31.6 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Sahara31.8 degrees
Jeep Wrangler 75th Anniversary Edition31.8 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Winter Edition31.8 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Willys32.3 degrees
Rubicon32.3 degrees
Jeep Wrangler Departure Angles (C)

Jeep Wrangler Wheelbase.

A Jeep wrangler wheelbase is a distance between the center of the front axle ad the center of the rear axle, knowing your Jeep Wrangler wheelbase is important to understand your Jeep Wrangler approach angles, break-over angles, and departure angles. You can easily find the wheelbase of your Jeep wrangler in the dimension plate located on your Jeep’s tailgate.

Contrary to conventional beliefs, your Jeep Wrangler ground clearance is not the only criterion for scrape-susceptibility when off-roading, the wheelbase also plays a role, because if your wheelbase is long your increase the chances of your undercarriage and chassis rubbing on the surface.

The table below highlights the wheelbase in inches based on different Jeep wrangler models:

Jeep Wrangler ModelWheelbase in Inches
JL Wrangler (2018-present)        96.8 Inches
JL Wrangler Unlimited (2018-present)   118.4 Inches
JK Wrangler (2007-2018)              95.4 Inches
JK Wrangler Unlimited (2007-2018)          116 Inches
TJ Wrangler (1997-2006)               93.4 Inches
YJ Wrangler (1987-1995)               93.4 Inches
Jeep Wrangler Wheelbase.

When customizing your Jeep wrangler for off-roading you should aim for a short wheelbase, combined with lift kits and big tires to improve your Jeep Wrangler’s ground clearance, this will help your get over most of the obstacles when off-roading in your Jeep.

Having a Jeep with a shorter wheelbase gives you a better turning radius when off-roading, and helps with the break-over angle of your Jeep. The shorter your wheelbase, the bigger your break-over angle which we all aim for ground clearance.

You can off-road with a bigger wheelbase Jeep wrangler, but it will be difficult to turn because of the longer turning radius. We don’t recommend off-roading with bigger wheelbases without off-roading lessons.

A Jeep Wrangler with a short wheelbase is superior on narrow paths due to a large break-over angle increasing your Jeep Wrangler’s ground clearance. The large wheelbase just cannot fit in some areas. The extended wheelbase on Jeep Wranglers helps contend in more open terrain. Based on sheer performance, it comes down to personal taste, but utility must also be taken into account.

James Ndungu - Jeep Runner Writer

Author: James Ndungu

James is an Automotive Service Writer, I4WDA certified trainer, Jeep enthusiast, and shop owner specializing in Jeep parts, accessories, and Electric Vehicles Charging Station Installation services. His interest and first-hand experience in electric vehicle charging technology motivated him to achieve certification through the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP).

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