The rugged Jeep Wrangler maintains a strong cult following of off-road purists. It's a great choice for those who have an active, outdoor lifestyle that involves frequent off-roading and tough terrain. With its last full redesign in 2007, the Wrangler picked up modern safety features and a more refined driving experience without losing its distinct character. And the new Unlimited model has a back seat big enough to fit adults. What's more, Jeep claims that the Wrangler is the only true 4x4 convertible, which sets it apart from anything else in its class.
Tough off-road ability; rugged style
The Wrangler is offered in two different body styles: the shorter, traditional-looking two-door Wrangler and the longer, four-door Wrangler Unlimited. All Wrangler models come tough and off-road-ready, with standard four-wheel drive, but Wrangler Unlimited models can be specified with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
Regardless of the body style, all Wranglers come with a 3.8-liter V-6 engine making 202 horsepower and 237 pound-feet of torque, delivered through either a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Although the automatic has fewer gears than most modern transmissions, it works well because of the engine's torquey, responsive character.
The Wrangler looks the part of off-road vehicle, with exposed hinges, full-framed doors, angular sheetmetal, and a hinged, fold-down windshield, along with several top options. A SunRider soft top includes a partial-open "sun roof" position as well as the full open-air experience, and the three-piece Freedom Top brings a quieter, more weatherproof interior for those in cold-weather states.
Wrangler X and Sahara models come with standard four-wheel drive, but Wrangler Unlimited X and Sahara models can be specified with rear-wheel drive. The 4WD system offered here is the Command-Trac part-time system, with a low-range transfer case and available Trac-Lok limited-slip differential. Working with this setup are a Dana 30 front axle and heavy-duty Dana 44 rear axle.
The Rubicon model is outfitted for extreme off-roaders, at slight detriment to on-road comfort, and includes a host of extra equipment such as heavy-duty front and rear Dana 44 axles, a Rock-Trac transfer case with low-range creeper gear, electric front and rear lockers, and big 32-inch BF Goodrich off-road tires. An electronic sway-bar disconnect allows the Rubicon to handle acceptably on the road in between off-road outings.
Sahara models slot between the base X model and the Rubicon, including tow hooks, heavy-duty shocks, machined cast-aluminum wheels, on/off-road OWL tires, fog lamps and tubular side steps.
On the entire Wrangler lineup, electronic stability control, which helps prevent the loss of control that could lead to a rollover, is standard, and it includes full-off and partial-on modes to help in situations where some wheelspin is useful. Hill Start Assist helps prevent rollback on steep, slippery grades, and a new Trailer Sway Control is integrated with the system to assure stability while towing. Anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist are also standard, but seat-mounted side airbags are a $490 option.
Base versions of the Wrangler come simply equipped--the way many buyers want them. The base X comes with manual-wind windows, and air conditioning is optional. Jeep knows that its buyers want a good sound system, though -- a six-speaker CD/MP3 unit is standard. In addition to the functional and appearance extras, the Sahara adds upgrades such as cruise control, keyless entry, an alarm, air conditioning and Infinity speakers with a subwoofer. Options include a remote start system and a MyGig hard-drive entertainment system.
For 2009, the Wrangler gets a couple of new storage spaces--a storage net at the bottom of the dash and a bin in the center console. Hill Start Assist is newly standard across the line, and Trailer Sway Control is available. Otherwise, there are few changes except some new colors; Sunburst Orange Pearl Coat replaces Rescue Green Metallic Clear Coat, and Deep Water Blue Pearl Coat replaces Steel Blue Metallic Clear Coat.
Vehicle Price: 23,815.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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