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The Jeep Wrangler is hard to miss, even after being on the road for such a long time. The convertible SUV is available in both short and long wheelbases, all while paying homage to the design of military Jeeps in WWII. There still aren't many competitors to the Wrangler, with the closest being the Nissan Xterra and the now-deceased Toyota FJ Cruiser and HUMMER H3. MORE: Read our 2015 Jeep... Read More Below »
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New & Used Jeep Wrangler: In Depth

2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition

2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition

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The Jeep Wrangler is hard to miss, even after being on the road for such a long time. The convertible SUV is available in both short and long wheelbases, all while paying homage to the design of military Jeeps in WWII.

There still aren't many competitors to the Wrangler, with the closest being the Nissan Xterra and the now-deceased Toyota FJ Cruiser and HUMMER H3.

MORE: Read our 2015 Jeep Wrangler review for pricing with options, specifications, and gas mileage ratings.

Since 1987, Jeep has produced three different generations of the Wrangler, but all have stayed fairly consistent through the years. The 1987-1996 Wranglers (the ones with rectangular headlights) offered a choice of four- or six-cylinder engines, and manual or automatic transmissions. Renegade and Islander option packages dressed up the Wrangler with different wheels, exterior trim and interior appearance and options upgrades.

From 1997 to the present, the utility vehicle got an upgraded suspension design to improve on-road comfort and roadholding, plus new engines to boost power and fuel economy. The so-called "TJ" built from 1997 to 2006 carried on the original two-door soft-top design, with instantly recognizable classic Jeep lines. But in 2004, a long-wheelbase Unlimited model joined the line, expanding the model count to three--along with the more off-road capable Rubicon added in 2003.

Then numerous upgrades arrived for the 1997-2006 Wrangler, including a return to round headlights. It also added  a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine in 2003, the same year the automatic transmission was upgraded from three speeds to four. Trim packages expanded to add the Rubicon, beefed up with stronger front- and rear differentials, a 4:1 low-ratio transfer case and other off-road improvements. The Wrangler Unlimited extended the wheelbase by 10 inches, offering more cargo room but still just two doors. A limited-production Sahara Edition also debuted in 2005, offering a range of desert-themed appearance upgrades inside and out.

The new Jeep Wrangler

In 2007, the most recent generation of Jeep Wrangler (the "JK") turned the Unlimited into a four-door model with an available hardtop roof. The old AMC in-line six-cylinder engine (which dated all the way back to Rambler days) was replaced with a 205 horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 that year. The two-door model comes in both hardtop and soft-top versions, and the doors are still removable.

Today's third-generation Wrangler is offered in two main body styles: the standard short-wheelbase Wrangler and the long-wheelbase, four-door Unlimited, both of which are available in Sport, Sahara and Rubicon trims. The three trim levels run the spectrum from minimalist (Sport) to luxurious (Sahara) to serious off-road (Rubicon). The Sport is a basic vehicle, but can be optioned to suit the buyer. The Sahara offers power windows and locks, an upgraded sound system, different exterior looks, and other comfort and convenience items.

Given its extreme off-road abilities, the Wrangler has never been known for on-road manners, but with this generation the streetability has improved greatly. The long-wheelbase Unlimited provides the best ride of any Wrangler yet, and a series of powertrain and suspension changes have further enhanced things for both models. Both models are larger than before, with greater comfort for passengers and rom for their stuff, and the Wrangler now offers such niceties as power windows and locks with a remote, items only dreamed of before.

Overall, with its classic looks, superior off-road capability and unique packaging, the Jeep Wrangler manages to stay relevant despite continuing largely with tradition. Ride quality, comfort, steering, and even occupant safety might not be up to the standards of some daily road commuters or families, but if you head to the trails on the weekends the Wrangler is king.

You might even be happy with a used Wrangler if you're a serious trail hound and expect some cents, scrapes, and gouges. Meanwhile, new Jeep Wranglers come priced from less than $23,000 to about $40,000, with the latter being the loaded top-of-the-line Rubicon.

The Wrangler received a freshened interior in 2011, with an all-new instrument panel and upgraded materials throughout the cabin—plus better noise insulation. For 2012, Jeep then added its new 285-hp Pentastar V-6 to the Wrangler. Hooked to a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual, the new engine yields much quicker acceleration and better responsiveness compared to the 3.8-liter pushrod V-6 it replaces.

The Wrangler received a few additional changes for 2013, limited to comfort and convenience additions like new LED map lighting, interior lighting, and available Alpine speakers. A new easy-lift top mechanism was also introduced for 2013. There's also a Moab special edition that borrows much of the Rubicon's look, but without its front locker and super-low 4:1 'creeper' transfer case--which gives it a more affordable price, too.

Changes for 2015 include the usual new paint colors and trim packages, as well as a new standard eight-speaker audio system, a new nine-speaker system that includes a subwoofer, a package that bundles steel wheels with 31-inch tires for Sport models, and a Torx tool set that's standard on all models, allowing owners to remove the windshield or doors wherever they are.

Used Jeep Wrangler Models

The Jeep Wrangler is the world's only four-wheel-drive convertible SUV. It's an off-road specialist that attracts hardcore users, so buying one secondhand means knowing more about it than usual. Has it been modified? How often is it taken off-road? Since it's also popular with first-time drivers, the Wrangler also shows up often on used-car lots in four-cylinder form, or as an Unlimited--a longer-wheelbase model with either two or four doors, depending on the model year. 
Jeep Wrangler Related News
 
2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Chrysler Recalls Chrysler 300; Dodge Challenger, Charger, Durango; Jeep Grand Cherokee, Wrangler

Earlier today, Chrysler issued two unrelated recalls affecting late-model Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles. Taken together, the recalls affect more than 900,000 owners... read more October 16, 2014 by 


 
Jeep Renegade Zi You Xia design concept

Big In China: Jeep Brings Four Concepts To The Beijing Auto Show

Looking to make a splash in the Chinese market, Jeep showed up to the Beijing Auto Show with a quartet of vehicles showing a variety of design concepts inspired by the... read more April 24, 2014 by 


 
2013 Toyota Prius liftback

Consumer Reports Dubs The Toyota Prius Best New-Car Value; Nissan Armada The Worst

It's December, and by now, nearly every automaker has rolled out its 2014 models, giving new-car shoppers lots to look at. And right on cue, Consumer Reports has just named... read more December 18, 2013 by 


 
2013 Jeep Wrangler

2012-2013 Jeep Wrangler Recalled For Transmission Problem

Chrysler is conducting a voluntary safety recall of certain 2012 and 2013 model year Jeep Wrangler SUVs for potential transmission fluid leaks. A notice on the National... read more June 6, 2013 by  0


 
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition

2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition Debuts

If you're a Jeep fan, you probably know all about the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. The special edition Wrangler is named for one of the world's most celebrated, brutal, off-road... read more November 28, 2012 by  0


 

Specs: Select a Trim

Style MSRP Invoice MPG City MPG Hwy
4WD 2-Door (4)
Freedom Edition Specs $22,695 $22,132 17 21
Sahara Specs $28,495 $26,956 17 21
Sport Specs $22,695 $22,132 17 21
Willys Wheeler Specs $22,695 $22,132 17 21
4WD 2-Door Rubicon (2)
4WD 2-Door Rubicon Specs $31,595 $29,777 17 21
Hard Rock Specs $31,595 $29,777 17 21
Unlimited 4WD 4-Door (3)
Freedom Edition Specs $26,495 $25,781 16 21
Sahara Specs $32,295 $30,529 16 21
Willys Wheeler Specs $26,495 $25,781 16 21
Unlimited 4WD 4-Door Rubicon (2)
Unlimited 4WD 4-Door Rubicon Specs $35,395 $33,350 16 21
Hard Rock Specs $35,395 $33,350 16 21
Unlimited 4WD 4-Door Sport (2)
Unlimited 4WD 4-Door Sport Specs $26,495 $25,781 16 21
RHD Specs $31,195 $30,152 16 20
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