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2012 Jeep Wrangler Photo
5.0
/ 10
On Quality
BASE
INVOICE
$21,461
BASE
MSRP
$22,045
On Quality
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler doesn't offer much comfort on the road, but recent improvements to quell noise and vibration go a long way to reduce fatigue.
5.0 out of 10
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QUALITY | 5 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

for the 2011 model year, the cabin received a 21st-century upgrade to go with its best-in-class off-road reputation
Autoblog

The seating position is good, the view out that flat front windscreen is excellent, and the suspension tuning manages to be comfortable without being wallowy
Road & Track

The cabin is reasonably quiet
AutoWeek

the quietest Wrangler ever
Truck Trend


You can get the Wrangler in two quite different packages: two-door Wrangler, and four-door Wrangler Unlimited. Wrangler Unlimited models add 20.6 inches of wheelbase (116 inches), giving them the most cargo space ever in a Wrangler, and a larger rear-seat design.

While that extra backseat space in the Unlimited will be much appreciated, and the Wrangler's all-new interior introduced last year brought the dash and trim up to the 21st Century—it no longer feels pieced together military contractors raiding Chrysler's parts bin and skimming the top—seat comfort still isn't up to the level of other SUV alternatives. Front seats are merely adequate, and all the seating has a rather firm, flatly padded feel (perhaps under the assumption that it might get wet). Ride quality is on the firm side, and quite busy, with lots of secondary motions, and nearly all minor road imperfections making their way inside. You'll also be frequently made aware that this is one of the few vehicles (other than heavy-duty pickups) that still offers a live front axle. Any mid-corner bumps reliably produce a full-frontal shudder from the front end (the back end can hop somewhat but seems to soak such things up a bit better). Standard Wrangler models are somewhat more bouncy, though, due to their shorter wheelbase, but really, the difference isn't as pronounced as you might expect.

A lot of the things you'd find frustrating in nearly any other car, you might find novel or charming in the Wrangler: For instance, the doors completely lack detents, with only a fabric retainer strap limiting their travel. On manual-transmission models, there's no dead pedal on the far left to rest your foot; instead, the three pedals are large and widely spaced; surely, you could drive the Wrangler with hiking boots. That could get tiring on a long trip. But positively, you still have a choice of many top arrangements and can still pivot the windshield forward when you so desire (in private, low-speed use).

The removable tops are one of Jeep's best features; though they allow lots of road noise in the cabin, they can completely open the cabin of both the two- and four-door models, turning a hardtop Jeep into a convertible SUV. Jeep keeps improving its soft top design, and the new body-color hardtop that was introduced on the Sahara last year has been expanded to the Rubicon.

Thanks to a host of improvements to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) last model year, as well as this model year, with the new powertrain, the new Wrangler is much quieter inside—making it a much more tolerable choice for commuters or daily drivers than it previously had been. Considering its sharply angled exterior and exposed door hinges and the like, the Wrangler is shockingly quiet inside. Even at 70 mph we heard only a faint whistle around the front pillars. It should be noted that when you go for the manual gearbox you get a little more gear whine and road whoosh. 

Conclusion

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler doesn't offer much comfort on the road, but recent improvements to quell noise and vibration go a long way to reduce fatigue.

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