"At the push of a button, the engine barks from the aggressive dual quad-tip exhaust and you can't help but smile. We were just a tad disappointed our test vehicles had full doors installed, so we made sure to open up the Sky One Touch top to soak in as much of that visceral V-8 melody as possible. For those who enjoy being a little stealthier, a button on the dash actuates the active flap in the exhaust and makes it quite subdued in 'quiet' mode.
"On the road, this feels like the best-riding and -handling Jeep Wrangler to date. The 392 has great road feel, is incredibly comfortable, and is not at all sloppy. When you stomp the accelerator pedal, the 392 flat out gets on it, pushing occupants back in a way no Wrangler ever has before. Also, just like in the Grand Cherokee SRT, the transmission performs wonderful throttle blips as it makes impressively quick downshifts, and you find yourself playing with the metal paddle shifters just to hear the engine and gearbox dance together.
"While all the on-road stuff is fun, it's not really what the new Wrangler 392 or this first drive is about. For it to really come into its own, you have to be in the dirt, where the 392 transforms into an adrenaline-inducing enabler of off-road hooliganism. Sand dunes were our favorite terrain, where it was seemingly impossible for the 392 to get stuck. No matter how deep the sand was, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 392 used brute force to power its way forward, throwing enormously entertaining curtains of sand skyward.
"Smooth dirt roads become a personal drifting course as the chassis allows you to steer with the throttle, especially when Off-Road+ is activated and the electronic stability-control button is held down until you hear the magic tone that indicates you're off the leash. It might be weird to say of a solid-axled vehicle on off-road tires, but the 392 is a driver's machine. It is so well dialed, it actually encourages you to manhandle it without overzealous nannies stepping in to break up the fun."
— Sean P. Holan, MotorTrend