By on July 18, 2014

 

2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Afar

A common complaint among the Best & Brightest is that certain consumer oriented publications don’t get the Jeep Wrangler. America’s sports car, as Enzo Ferrari once labeled it, is unfairly docked for performing poorly on-road, without taking into account that its mission is to excel off-roadEven though I’ve driven off-road precisely twice in my life, I decided to get to the heart of the matter.

Most press vehicles are fully-loaded, top trim examples with abnormally high sticker prices and all the bells and whistles that one can possibly order. Not this baby.

2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Interior

The Wrangler Sport seen here has – get ready for it – manual locks, crank windows, no touch screen and an honest-to-god manual transmission. In any other car, this level of equipment would bear the odious stench of poverty and poor credit. In a Jeep, it’s somewhat charming. The UConnect 130 is an old-school head unit unlike the rest of the range, with knobs and buttons replacing touch screens and QNX software. There’s an auxiliary port and a hidden USB port – you’re better off using the former if you want to play your music off of an iPod.

2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Center-Stack

 

As refreshing as it may be to see an honest Wrangler on paved roads, rather than a top-spec Mickey Thompson-shod Unlimited Rubicon, there’s still the unavoidable fact that no Wrangler is particularly pleasant to drive on the street. It’s simply not made for it, in the same way that a McLaren 650S, with its carbon fiber bodywork, shouldn’t be driven on a dirt road pockmarked with rocks and divots.

2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Badge

Unfortunately, the majority of our infrastructure does consist of paved roads, and depending on their condition, the Wrangler’s ride quality ranges from “oscillating” to “back of the school bus”, in terms of how severely it crashes and bounds over bumps, ripples and potholes.

2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Front-three-quarter

Is it my own damn fault that I’m driving the Wrangler in an environment that is totally unsuitable for the car? Yes, but, I’d venture to say that the majority of these vehicles are driven in urban and suburban areas, and buyers hardly seem to care – or they put up with the Wrangler’s dynamic drawbacks because of its aesthetic appeal and rugged image.

2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Back-Seat

That’s not to say it’s all negative: with its small footprint and ultra-high driving position, you get a good view of the road, even if the Wrangler isn’t the most nimble-footed beast. Parking is a cinch relative to a lot of other SUVs, and the rear can be used for either human or material cargo in a pinch – but not necessarily both. That distinctive shape may give it tough-guy “Defender-lite” looks, but it also has the aerodynamics of a garden shed, and fuel economy in town was dismal, around 15 mpg.

The sole glaring drawback is with the removable soft top, which is needlessly complex to operate and poorly explained in the instruction manual. I will cop to being a bit dense when it comes to manual tasks that require pattern recognition, and the multiple latches, zippers, tabs and closures required to raise and lower the roof are my own idea of hell. Perhaps I was under the mistaken impression that should one get caught in a rain storm, one could simply pull over by the side of the road, hop out and raise the top, like you can in a Miata. I was wrong, and my passenger and I got a 55 mph baptismal thanks to my ineptitude. At the very least, Jeep should look into a new technical writer for their owner’s manual.

2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Close-Up-Headlight

Despite the myriad flaws and unsuitability for my own driving conditions, I kept coming back to the Wrangler with an overriding sense of affection. Car enthusiasts talk about the purity of the XJ Cherokee and the Mazda Miata as if they are two sides of the same enthusiast vehicle proposition, and always seem to skip over the one that started it all. But here we have an honest-to-god basic vehicle, made in America, for $25,295 (if you don’t need A/C, a base model sport is just $22,395) that has charm and authenticity in spades. The Wrangler is not for everyone – and certainly not for me. But Jeep manages to sell every example they make, and consumers seem utterly unaffected by these negative reports.

 

 

 

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181 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport S...”


  • avatar
    thelaine

    +1, (until regulations finally kill it.)

  • avatar
    spreadsheet monkey

    Nice to see Jeep are not messing around with an iconic design. And that basic $22k car comes with the Pentastar V6 these days, right?

    • 0 avatar
      Hank

      We’d know if they’d posed the requisite engine and suspension photos…

    • 0 avatar
      Nicholas Weaver

      Yes. The Pentastar is the only engine in the Wrangler these days, mated to a 5 speed auto or 6 speed manual.

      The top trim has a different 4wd system and uprated suspension and other goodies like electronic sway-bar disconnect etc, but the bone stock one alone is an incredible off-road vehicle.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    It’s not that CR doesn’t get the Wrangler, they do. They just don’t gloss over it’s obvious shortcomings in order to appease Jeep off-road zealots. Face it, most people that buy a Wrangler are buying the image. I think it would be in their best interest to really know what they are buying and the severe compromises that come with it. I laugh at a friend of mine who bought one on a whim as her only vehicle, even optioning it up with the giant factory off-road wheels and lift. She constantly complains about fuel economy and that she can’t drive it in the rain on days in the summer after she has removed the hard top because it takes two people to reinstall. Ridiculous vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Hank

      No, ridiculous buyer. Form follows function, and she used a hammer to install a screw.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      These seem to be chick mobiles and I heard a story of woe myself from a young women that had owned one of these things. After the initial “yee-haw” of driving with no top wore off she realized what a crappy vehicle it was to drive/own. In the end she couldn’t get rid of it fast enough and basically gave it away to a dealer for a Mazda sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I’d rather say the Mazda dealer probably gave away the sedan for the Wrangler or simply took advantage of her. With my own JKU, I still get unsolicited offers from dealerships offering almost 2/3rds of what I paid to trade into one of their other vehicles. And my JKU is 7 years old.

        Yes, I’ll agree that raising and lowering the soft top can be complicated–but it’s also not so fragile that it has to be replaced every five years and the cost of replacing the canvas is a fraction of that for replacing the soft top on any other convertible. As for the hard top; I sold the one for mine after the first winter and haven’t looked back. I use my soft top more as a bikini top–taking out all the windows to get all that fresh air and still avoiding that harsh, sea-level sun that, while fun riding full open all the time, also guarantees a good sunburn in short order until you get a decent tan to help protect from it. And if I do want the open air? Hey, I don’t even have to drop the whole top–I can just fold back the portion over the seats and still have some cover over the load area if necessary. That’s also MUCH easier to pull over and re-cover in the rain than riding full top-down.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          If I want open air, I just take the boat out. That’s better than any Jeep.

          I rode and drove my SIL’s Jeep. Hated that thing. Unless you belong to some 4 wheel off-road club the most useless thing ever IMO. Kill it with fire!…..LOL

          Still I can perfectly understand the appeal these vehicles have for people. Let’s face it, if we all liked the same stuff, it would be a pretty boring world.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I bought a 1992 Wrangler in 2008 because we wanted something out of the ordinary. We got it in spades!

    I have always had affection for a Jeep because of the rugged factor, and in its CJ5 version, its simplicity. Our 2008 suffered from the clutch slave cylinder INSIDE the bell housing. Needlessly complex. ‘Nuff said about that. Had I researched it, I would not have bought it for that detail alone.

    I liked the rugged, choppy ride – after all, Jeeps are SUPPOSED to be rough around the edges, aren’t they? Duh! CR just can’t seem to get that through their thick skull!

    Speaking about the top – yes, they do need to address that little detail, for sure! Once, we got caught in a downpour without the top on. Needless to say, we had a very wet ride going home. Wifey exclaimed: “The wipers aren’t even clearing the windshield!” Uh, I told her the rain was on the INSIDE of the glass! We were soaked to the skin, but laughed all the way home.

    I removed all the carpeting and went ahead and shampooed it and just carefully cleaned everything else up.

    We had fun with the Jeep the 19 months we owned it, but like I said, that clutch slave is what did it in, plus it needed tires. Cheaper to sell it, and I did.

    I understand the clutch slave is accessible, now. What I do not like about the new Wranglers are the awful black flappy front fenders. Make mine steel and body color, please!

    Would I own another? Hmmm… The biggest drawback is no secure storage with the soft top and door uppers, which is the only way I would own one again. The lack of fuel economy is definitely another factor.

    Like I said, it was fun while it lasted.

    BTW, the “sport” or bare-bones model is the only way to go. Our 1992 was a base model. No A/C either.

    I haven’t driven a newer Jeep, but I’d like to!

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “Wifey exclaimed: “The wipers aren’t even clearing the windshield!” Uh, I told her the rain was on the INSIDE of the glass!”

      QOTD!

    • 0 avatar
      wstarvingteacher

      Had a Saturn Vue with the same feature. They charged like bandits to change it and told me the clutch was fine. Then they were changing the clutch a few thousand later. That vue was a misadventure for sure and one I didn’t repeat. We lost the timing chain and the engine before 200k miles and traded in the second vue. Would love a Jeep. My 4Runner is crappy on the street as well but it has saved me in the pasture.

    • 0 avatar
      Drewlssix

      Not complex at all. It’s actually simpler than an external slave as it omits the fork the pivot and the fork/bearing interface. And replacement even considering the driveshafts and t case is dead simple and doable with hand tools. If you want needlessly complex oh back several more years to the days of mechanical clutch linkages. Wrap your brain around the idea of connecting one end of a pivot to a solid frame and the other to a lashing about drivetrain and the nightmares that ensue when bushings disintegrate.

    • 0 avatar
      formula m

      A girl in my building has had her wrangler broken into a few times now. They just cut holes in the soft-top to get at what ever they want… Mainly parking tokens or a 6 pack. Leaving her to replace the panel$. I know more 24-30yr old women that own these things than men. I think the convertible aspect gets old quick. I enjoy off roading so I would go back to a used 4runner over a new cheap jeep. Glad they exist tho

  • avatar
    ScottE5

    “…my passenger and I got a 55 mph baptismal thanks to my ineptitude.”

    That had me scrolling back up to the byline to see who penned that one.

    Bravo, Mr. K.

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    Step father has a lifted 2006 Wrangler X with the manual (he bought it new). The last year of the inline-6. Reliability wise it just only had an 02 sensor needing replacing, which on these things is a cakewalk.

    He never offroads it, it has offroad tires, but the charm is there. It is a fun vehicle to drive around town and with the top down it is sweet. On the interstate though…oh dear.

    Overall, I really enjoy it, but I would never buy one. It just isn’t for me, but I can see what others enjoy about it.

  • avatar

    Given the road conditions in my home state, I’m starting to wonder if its ability to bound over potholes and inch thick steel plates is exactly what I need…

    • 0 avatar
      Nicholas Weaver

      Its actually very bad at high speed over potholes etc (having rented one in Hawaii): The suspension is designed for slow speed over craters.

      If you want good performance at high speed over potholes in an off-road vehicle, you need the Raptor with its trick shocks.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Of course, you can get those trick shocks for the Wrangler as well. They tend to ride significantly softer when lifted and trail-rigged. Even so, I’m driving a Sahara bone-stock and it does as well on-road as it does off, handling trails that dyed-in-the-wool TJ owners said it wouldn’t make without a lift.

      • 0 avatar
        anti121hero

        I have a lifted cherokee and it dominates potholes

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    A long time ago, I drove an actual WW2 surplus Jeep on the roads it was meant for: dirt roads and trails high in the Colorado mountains. If I lived in that environment, or near a beach that allowed motorized vehicles, this is definitely the way to go. And the base model, even without air conditioning is definitely the way to go. The Jeep is an uncompromised off-road vehicle and a very much compromised on-road vehicle.

    As long as the buyer understands that, it’s a great value.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      With the JK model, they’re not really compromised on-road either. Depending on your driving habits you can still get reasonable, albeit not great, gas mileage. I don’t even have the Pentastar engine and I’ve managed 25mpg on a 600-mile freeway run. My usual is more like 22mpg, but that’s still 4mpg higher than EPA rating for an ’08 model.

      • 0 avatar
        Drewlssix

        If they would only instal a decent steering setup it would be a much better onroader. Flimsy when pushed off-road prone to shakes wobbles and destroying tires on and seemingly perpetually worn out it must go. With the refinement the rest of the truck exhibits an idler arm is the least it deserves and an axle mounted rack would be just fantastic.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Wish I knew what you are talking about. I’ve not experienced any of those problems in 7 years of driving one.

          • 0 avatar
            Drewlssix

            I’m a mechanic so I see all the problems that are “common” to most cars. The death wobble is a common issue from my perspective and when it occours tends to be persistent. Just my perspective. But it seems to be supported by the greater tech community as well as the enthusiast community.

  • avatar
    Andy

    Edmunds did a long term test on a very base model Wrangler. They ended up spending enough on what they considered essential mods (wheels & tires, suspension bits, I don’t recall what else) that the conclusion was, ante up for the Rubicon in the beginning if you’re actually going to do anything off-road, unless you just really enjoy doing your own wrenching and like a nice polyurethane steering wheel…

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “…ante up for the Rubicon in the beginning…”

      JEEP:

      Just
      Empty
      Every
      Pocket

      It will if you let it, too!

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Do I know you from somewhere else, Zackman?

        No, the Jeep will NOT “Just Empty Every Pocket”, unless you CHOOSE to let it. They CHOSE to do things they didn’t really NEED to do because they let someone else tell them they needed it.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Vulpine,
          By your logic, it won’t be Found On Road Dead and Tony won’t have to Fix It Again?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            It’s a Jeep, Fix It Again Tony is doing all the warranty work

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            In seven years of ownership, VoGo, I have had exactly one serious issue–and I blame that on Daimler’s cheaping out on components that FIAT chose to cover. I spent almost nothing in repairs in the first 50,000 miles of ownership and that’s even AFTER taking on several mid-level trails at Rousch Creek Offroad Park in Pennsylvania in factory-stock gear.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Vulpine,
            I was just joking around with the Fix It Again Tony stuff. I honestly have no experience in owning Jeeps, and no reason to doubt your repair history.

            If I were serious about understanding the reliability of a Jeep or any vehicle, I would go to Micheal Karesh’ wonderful site.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Perhaps, VoGo, but it is a legitimate question even if you were playing with 40-year-old memes. So I chose to answer honestly. At now 60,000 miles on mine, I’m not yet willing to give it up unless my local Jeep dealer is willing to offer one heck of a trade for a newer one. I do understand the newer ones ride better and I wouldn’t mind the extra hundred horsepower, but those things aren’t absolutely necessary for my needs. I wouldn’t mind either though; and I could use the better fuel mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Sounds like Edmunds listened to hard-core trail riders and did more than necessary. Sure, all those added geegaws make it a better trail runner, but they’re not absolutely necessary unless you intend to ride the trails regularly. Even after 7 years owning my JKU, I haven’t modified the suspension one bit and only upgraded my tires to a different tread pattern that gives me better grip on road and off. For me, the Wrangler is more intended as a foul-weather rig to help me get around problems on the highway and travel logging trails where I honestly wouldn’t take anything with less ground clearance. Sure, a pickup truck could do it, but with very limited exceptions, they’re simply too large for the need and you still have to load down the bed in snow and ice conditions or you get a very tail-happy ride. That just doesn’t happen in a Wrangler unless you’re stupidly lead-footed in treacherous road conditions. And with modern stability controls, the Wrangler itself will at least try to prevent it.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        You don’t even need a Wrangler for what you describe. I took my Ford Escape on logging trails every weekend, plenty of clearance, ideal on muddy roads

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Did you take the top down and enjoy the open air?

          Oh, that’s right. You can’t do that with an Escape.

          (Besides. I have YET to own a “reliable” Ford.)

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Sunroof open, windows down, I know not the same, but where I lived, NW Florida, it rains several times a day, the “open Jeep” does not have the same appeal

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            With that kind of response, Lie, you’re obviously NOT an outdoorsman. I’m sure just taking the windows out and leaving the top up would serve just fine under those circumstances.

            On the other hand, I’ll admit I wouldn’t take mine through a safari park with the soft top… open or closed.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “Lie, you’re obviously NOT an outdoorsman”

            Yeah, I am, just one that prefers to be dry. If it rained every time you went off-road with a constant 90 degrees F and 90% humidity you’d understand what a few minutes with the windows up and the A/C blasting can do for your “Mr Woodsy” pleasant disposition

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ah, but see? I have that ability too if needed. You still don’t have the ability to go topless though.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Ah, well there was that one trip, we went topless and bottoml…. A story for another time

            Told ya it was hot there ;-)

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @Lie2Me – people can say what they want about you but dang it you do know how to have fun!

            I’ve got a truck that I can’t look at without smiling (even when a tires flat) because of this one particularly intense make out session in the cab when I should have been far too old to be doing that sort of thing. ;-) Luckily I’m still too young to care.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Bet you even left the footprints on the headliner… I know, I know

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          CUVs are great for getting about 10 miles deep in the woods, finding a section of poorly-maintained dirt road, and then driving back to your original location.

          If you plan to drive a dirt county road, at any time other than the height of summer, when the water is low and the road is graded and the deadfall is cleared, your best bet is a Wrangler.

          I’ve seen people beach themselves on the dirt drifts left behind by the road grading machines. CUVs are not suitable.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Like with any off/soft-roader knowing your limitations is paramount over your vehicle’s ability. I tend to be rather conservative then remorseful

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Tread Lightly: Leave only footprints, take only pictures.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Like with any off/soft-roader knowing your limitations is paramount over your vehicle’s ability”

            Probably the truest thing you’ve ever said.

  • avatar
    319583076

    “Car enthusiasts talk about the purity of the XJ Cherokee and the Mazda Miata as if they are two sides of the same enthusiast vehicle proposition, and always seem to skip over the one that started it all.”

    I resemble this remark – I daily drive an NC Miata and my beater is a ’96 XJ Cherokee. I’ve considered whether or not a new Wrangler could replace these two vehicles. The latest V6 pentastar is a sweet motor and the Wrangler looks great, but the compromises (or not) of it’s execution and mission can’t replace the uncompromising nature of my two current rides. I can get 21 mpg out of my HO 4.0 liter and my XJ wears highway tires. I get 31 mpg out of the Miata almost regardless of how I drive it and the top goes up and down by itself.

    I prefer hammer and chisel to multi-tool.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    I wonder if the ride and/or practicality is any better in the four-door version. I live in a beach town in Mass and these are literally everywhere. The four doors seem to outnumber the two doors 10-1. I’ve thought about buying one, seems like a fun vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      The four door (Unlimited) Wrangler was one of the best decisions Jeep has made regarding the Wrangler. It’s gives families the rugged option. I don’t know if the ride is improved but the practicality definitely is. And I’m assuming by practicality you mean the ability to carry more people and stuff. The two door should be better on the trail because its smaller.

      • 0 avatar
        Tim_Turbo

        I think if I ever get rid of my near mint 99 XJ (which is a 3rd vehicle, I drive it about 3k miles a year) it would be with a 4 door Wrangler-its the only thing on the market even close to the XJ. As much as I hated them when they came out-I had a YJ and a TJ and considered the 4 doors to be a crime against all that was Jeep. Little did I know at the time that even worse crimes were coming (New Cherokee) haha.

      • 0 avatar
        Drewlssix

        For a long time there was atleast one company making 4 door wranglers and selling them well at a steep premium. They would be littered throughout the DuPont registry with asking prices comperable to slightly wrong year/option exotics. I wonder if they have been put out of business by the unlimited?

    • 0 avatar
      Pinzgauer

      Yes, signifigantly more practical and has a much better ride. It can also tow a good bit more weight. My 14′ Unlimited has been a great family truck so far.

      • 0 avatar
        PartsUnknown

        Good to know, thanks. Where I live, and with two kids, the Unlimited would make a great summer and winter car. Curious – do you have dual top option? The hardtop would seem to be the choice for winter, soft top for summer, but it’s a pricey option. It would be a daily driver for me, just wondering if soft top only is feasible year round.

        • 0 avatar
          Pinzgauer

          I live in NY, and I bought it with just a soft top. Opt for the Premium Soft Top if you go with soft top as your only.

          That being said I did buy a hard top on CL but I may just resell it. The premium top is really good.

          BTW dual top group includes the premium soft top.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      PU, the JKU is remarkably fun and practical–especially where weather can shut down whole cities. I personally do NOT recommend the hard top–I’ve been running exclusively soft top now for 6 years even through Sandy and another hurricane that passed through my area between Philadelphia and Baltimore. I’ve been able to get out and even help in some cases through flood and blizzard while riding bone stock.

      Yes, it does have its limitations, but it really depends on what you want out of it. The JKU handles remarkably well with an incredibly tight turning radius–making an easy U-turn from the shoulder on a 2-lane highway that would force a pickup truck to perform a two-point turn. With the rear seats up, the load floor can still handle three 3-ball bowling bags either longitudinally or latitudinally and you can get cargo webbing to hold down any load that extends up past the sidewalls when the side and back windows are removed. Fuel economy isn’t great, but it’s not really any worse than your typical full-sized pickup truck and as I said, it can go places and do things that bigger truck simply can’t.

      • 0 avatar
        PartsUnknown

        Making it even more tempting is that my town has just one franchised car dealer and – drum roll – it’s a Jeep/Dodge/RAM shop. Oh man. My wife is going to kill me.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @PartsUnknown: To belatedly answer one of your questions, when I bought my ’08 JKU I went with the dual-top option with exactly that in mind. I even went so far as to purchase a storage rack for the hardtop during the summers while I ran with the soft top. What I discovered is that the heater is good enough to handle the winter cold even with the soft top and that it’s remarkably resistant to winter cold. I actually sold the hard top after I ran my entire second winter with only the soft top. I simply didn’t need the hard top.

          Even now, after 6 winters on the Jeep, the original soft top is as tight and waterproof as when it was new, though it’s looking a little spotty with stains. I have no complaints with it and when it does come time to replace the canvas, you can buy a factory-grade replacement set (keeping your original hardware) for about $800. Replacing the convertible top on almost any other car costs double that.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I just test drove a JKU “Sahara” with a soft top and 6spd manual last week, as a contender to replace my 1996 4Runner and daily driver ’12 Civic with one new SUV.

      While I love the solid front axle and excellent approach and departure angles, the interior compromises brought on by not having a traditional roof severely limit interior space. 31 Cu ft trunk vs 44 cu ft in my 4runner, much narrower. Seats fold flat in the Wrangler but leave a huge gap, lazy engineering there. Rear seatbacks are so bolt upright and cushions offer zero support. All of that and it has a wheelbase nearly a foot longer than my 4Runner, which does it no favors off road.

      It was fun to drive, but packaging in general was rather poor.

  • avatar
    YellowDuck

    We owned a TJ for many years and now have a 2008 Unlimited (doesn’t have the Pentastar). These vehicles do have their charm, but their biggest shortcoming, at least for the way we use it, is not their behavior on asphalt – it is their behavior on gravel roads. You would think they would be well suited for such roads but not so. If you hit significant washboard at any speed above 35 mph the live axles get dancing pretty good, to the point that you could end up in the ditch. These things are optimized for low speed crawling. On a merely rough road basically any production car you can name is more competent.

    They do provide access to a very good (if manual) 4WD system at a very low cost, so for people who deal with deep snow on a regular basis they can be fairly practical. Think rural property with long driveway in northern region.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Pickups are bad enough on washboard with their light back ends, despite the long wheelbase. I’d imagine a short Wrangler could easily forget which end is which on that stuff.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        While I agree the 2-door is unstable, the 4-door is better and doesn’t have the light tail of a pickup truck. But then, you’re not supposed to be running 50-60mph on a washboard road.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      For smooth high speed gravel road driving, I think something like the last-gen (2001-2006) fullsize Mitsubishi Montero would be a top pick. Independent suspension front and rear, Dakar tested.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        “Smooth high speed gravel road driving…”

        Um you want a LOW center of gravity. I suggest Subaru or Mitsubishi Evo, you know something that is actually used in World Rally Championship.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          By smooth I mean not strewn with boulders, there are still whoops and potholes that will demolish a CUV/sedan in short order. Although the forester isn’t a terrible idea.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Living out here in New Mexico there are far more washboard gravel roads (minus holes and ravines) in daily life than the “purposeful off road trails”.

            Not that there aren’t trails its just that most people have 4×4/AWD because of slick and muddy roads after the monsoon than because – rock-crawling, or Rubicon crossing.

            So that’s why when someone says “gavel road” I don’t think of something in dry conditions that even requires 4×4.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Sad, but true. Washboard roads hammer vehicles with solid axles. The Wrangler has two solid axles. Not fun.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Then it’s a good thing the next model is going fully-independent, isn’t it?

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          Not if you know anything about offroading

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Can’t have it both ways, TW5. You want an easy ride, or extreme crawling capability? Personally, I think you’ll be surprised at how capable a fully-independent suspension is–until you attempt some of the more extreme maneuvers. It may not be the greatest on the big rocks, but I’ll bet it handles the Rubicon Trail better than the Cherokee Trailhawk–which has already done the Rubicon.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            I have definitely learned that “offroading” means different things to different people. I like to go up mountain roads and trails most vehicles cannot handle, regardless of driver’s self-estimation. I need a lifted jeep with a winch for self-recovery. Other people think offroad is an unpaved road. For that, you can drive a Geo Metro and be just fine.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Exactly what “lifted Jeep” do you drive, thelaine?

            I will agree that a winch, or at least a “come-along” is an almost mandatory self-rescue tool. The electric winch is simply faster than the “come-along” hand-jacked cable winch.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            I’ve never asked Jeep for a comfortable ride. I’ve criticized Jeep for making their offroad nameplates more car-like. I’ve also criticized Jeep for diverting resources to the JKU, a vehicular aberration for vainglorious middle-class-noblemen, who demand more cargo room and lay-flat seats so they can tote their 80″ 3D flatscreens home from Costco.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I can appreciate a purpose-built machine and hate to natter on about pricing on a vehicle I’d never own, but $25.3K is too much for this. As a primary vehicle it’s tedious and difficult and as a secondary vehicle it’s rather expensive.

    Xterra, por favor.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      What’s tough to justify if the Wrangler is to be used as anything but a DD, is that there are used Wranglers of all price ranges available. A $25k XK is cool, but so is a $6500 TJ.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        “…there are used Wranglers of all price ranges available…”

        Holy cow! I’m surprised it took this long for someone to actually write that!

        A true TTAC’er!

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I’ve got a JKU as a primary vehicle and honestly my ONLY complaint with it is the fuel economy. Then again, I don’t have the Pentastar where I could probably up my highway economy to 25 or better which would make a difference. For every other purpose, I prefer the JKU over anything else on the road EXCEPT the Tesla Model S.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        1 driver + 1 passenger and/or dog = Wrangler OK!

        The Wrangler is a cool vehicle and I like the purity of it, but the only reason I would own a vehicle like this is to take the kids camping down rough backcountry roads. The 2 door Wrangler can’t hold people and cargo simultaneously and the 4-door is stupid expensive. I can buy an Xterra for the price of this Wrangler Sport and I am guessing it’s a far better on-road vehicle. Makes more sense for my intended use.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          What, and never give your kids the pleasure of riding in an open car as you drive through the woods? Believe me, kids LOVE riding top-down! Not saying it’s perfect for YOUR purposes, but the JKU is my daily driver and I’m not exactly wanting to get rid of it. If I do, it will probably be for a new one with the Pentastar engine.

  • avatar

    … one could simply pull over by the side of the road, hop out and raise the top, like you can in a Miata.

    I just slow down to 25mph, reach my right arm back back, and pull the top up. I can keep one hand on the wheel, and my eyes never leave the road. The 2 latches are in reach of the drivers seat, if you are 5′ 10″ anyways. I have an NA, did they mess this up in the newer ones?

  • avatar
    Maymar

    At least the current soft top is also designed to work as a giant sunroof – undo the two latches along the top of the windshield and flip it back, the entire space over the two front seats is open (it’s a little more tedious with the hardtop panels, but with practice, it can be done in a minute or two). If there’s any chance of rain, it’s a pretty good substitute plan, as there’s just way too much soft top to make anything near as simple as the Miata’s top.

  • avatar

    One thing that the Wrangler – ANY Wrangler – does better than off-roading is selling. They all sell. Any year. Any mileage. Any condition. Any color. Black dot queen? Who cares? There is no ‘unsellable’ Wrangler, regardless even of history. Salvage title? Its a Jeep. Total loss? Its a Jeep. Flood damage? Duh…its a Jeep; they get wet. Isn’t that the point? Lemon Law? Its a Jeep. TMU? Its a Jeep. Set on fire, rolled down the hill, traded in for a Coupe DeVille? So what; Its a Jeep.

    Nothing. Matters. With. These. Things.

    And on top of it, people – retail AND wholesale – pay C-R-A-Z-Y money for even a moderately ‘right’ one.

    I don’t fully ‘get it;’ I don’t need to. All I need to know is that I can’t keep one in stock for more than 10 days.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      This is true. Anyone that gets burned selling a Wrangler a la the stories above deserves it. The resale on these things is stupid.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      A Jeep is unique. It has history. It still looks a lot like the original. It can climb up the side of a mountain, or onto the beach, or through the mud or desert. It is a radical convertible. It rides high. You can modify it however you like. It makes you feel free, like a motorcycle.

      A Corvette is not practical, and the fun most people have in them is illegal, but lots of kids grow up dreaming about one.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    Several comment here based on my new ownership of a ’14 Wrangler Unlimited w/ 6MT.

    1) Ride comfort: Air down the tires a bit, they come overinflated from the factory. The BFG KM’s on mine came with 40psi, going to 34psi made a world of difference in ride.

    2) The top is really easy to operate. I do it myself all the time. The secret is to unzip the back window from right to left, then just drape it over the tailgate into the rear storage area. Then, simply fold over the top to the sunrider position. Boom, you’re done. Its not fully down but you get the full convertible effect IMHO. Repeating those steps in reverse takes literally 45 seconds at most. And yes, I had a Miata before.

    Finally, a lot of rumors about Wranglers getting an IFS. I wouldn’t be happy about that, but many people might be.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      You’re on truck tires, Pinzgauer. By airing down on the road, you’re risking a rollover in an emergency maneuver or a blowout at highway speed on a longer run. Sure, airing down softens the ride, but it’s dangerous and its killing your fuel mileage.

      • 0 avatar
        Pinzgauer

        You’re being really dramatic. Airing down to 15psi might be an issue on the road, but anywhere above 30 psi is fine. 34 psi is certainly not any cause of risk, especially if the door jamb says 37. Ever heard of the chalk test?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          … says a man arguing with someone who has ridden out a blown tire at freeway speeds because someone didn’t know what the rated and recommended tire pressures were and aired them down to 32. Supposedly a military motor pool specialist at that. You DON’T want a blowout; believe me.

          Just wait until you’re going along at freeway speed and a rear tire blows. If you’re going 75mph, you hear the bang and ‘sense’ a sag in the back. Whatever you do, DON’T HIT THE BRAKES! Let the rig slow down on its own. At about 60 you’ll feel the rig try to fishtail. Just hang onto the wheel and keep your controls as steady as you can. Once you get down to about 45 you can begin applying brakes–lightly–as you’re now past the worst of it. Ease it down and head for the shoulder. Any lane-change maneuver before you get slowed down is likely to end in disaster.

          Am I being over-dramatic? I’m the one who had to drive through it. It’s downright scary when it happens. Sure, on short runs you might be fine; you may never heat the tires enough for them to separate. But do you REALLY want to take that chance?

          And what about your fuel mileage. Lower air pressure also means more rolling resistance. I’d be willing to bet you’re running at or below the EPA ratings where I’m typically exceeding those ratings by 20% at recommended pressure. With fuel prices nearly $4/gallon for 91 octane I prefer to stretch my fuel–each fill up from a quarter-tank costs me over $65. I’d like to have the Pentastar like you have–I could probably extend my fuel mileage even more.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Does the high COG or short wheelbase of the Jeep make a blowout especially dramatic?

            I once had the right rear blow at 70-ish in a ’77 Chevy wagon. The handling remained so neutral and the flapping tire noise so mimicked an open exhaust that my first response was to check the mirror to see how much pipe I lost along with the muffler.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            In a word, yes. The shorter the wheelbase, the less stable a vehicle will be under emergency conditions like a blown tire. The vehicle I described was a 15-pac Ford passenger van where the tires were supposed to be aired significantly higher. The fact that it was longer and that I was traveling 75mph at the time limited the fishtailing. However, I’ve seen multiple skid marks on the freeway where a blowout and panic braking has caused a wild ride for the driver if not an all-out crash with rollover. Even abnormally low pressure in a rear tire can cause a condition not too dis-similar to the descriptions I’ve read of Jeep’s so-called “Death Wobble”.

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    It’s a Jeep Thing.

    Many people just wouldn’t understand.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    A YJ Wrangler was in the family motor pool when I turned 15. I remember driving it to high school with my mother shortly after I got my permit. One of the most attractive girls in school rushed over to admire it and gush about how much she liked it. I tried to tell her it wasn’t the easiest thing to live with… but sure enough she had a brand new TJ 6 weeks later (at least it was a 5-speed).

    Within 6 months it was replaced with a relatively battered Explorer.

  • avatar
    SOneThreeCoupe

    I don’t get Wranglers. I don’t care that they exist, and if they were to stop making them tomorrow, the world would be a better place.

    My wife has a TJ with low miles. It’s done nothing wrong, has been utterly reliable, and took out a telephone pole without any damage to the truck itself.

    However, it’s completely bloody useless. Stock, it has small tires, not much flex, and makes you look a fool. Lifted, with 33s, it stops hilariously slowly, is a mix between twitchy and vague and will rip its own flares off if you flex it out. It’s also equipped with exactly zero limited slip diffs or lockers, so it’s not exactly an off-roading machine. It does not compete with modern vehicles in terms of braking, acceleration or cornering.

    It’s noisy, slow and impossibly harsh- it’s an anachronism for people who think they’re hardcore but really just want to project an image*.

    *Some people who drive Wranglers really do take them off-roading often and really are hardcore. Those people are alright.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I love this, “BUSTED, The Jeep Mystique”

      After owning four Jeeps, I approve of this message

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      A TJ is not a JK, there’s a surprising amount of difference between the two. There are some Jeep “purists” that still hate the JK, but the JK has made a name for itself on the trails. The current Rubicon can handle its namesake Rubicon Trail end to end bone stock.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    This begs the question in my mind: why not get the FJ Cruiser instead? It has the same sort of appeal and shape, no zips and toggles to construct the vehicle all the time, and I’m sure it’s better in almost every way.

    And lets discount the blythe response of “Because it’s not a Wrangler.”

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Let’s start with the simple fact that you can’t take the top off the FJ Cruiser. Right there you lose a lot of the appeal of an off-road vehicle. You can’t remove any of the side windows and I’m not sure I would want to try to trail-ride with the rear window stuck out behind the rig in its open position. It just doesn’t give the same kind of Outdoor Experience that a Wrangler offers, even if it is somewhat more comfortable for the passengers.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I should’ve clarified further: Why not FJ Cruiser in the context of what 80%+ of people with them are used for, which is driving on paved surfaces?

        I didn’t think the roof-off-windows unzip was a major selling point.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          If you are limiting the conversation to on-pavement, then why not a CR-V? Or a Mazda3?

          I think we can all agree that the Wrangler is great for off-road use, and lousy on-road. Make your buying decision accordingly.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Looks! People like the blocky look and tough thing – I do. It’s why I like old Volvos and the original Range Rover, and the FJ.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I don’t agree that the Wrangler is “lousy on-road”, but then, I’ve been driving for over 40 years now and have driven many far worse vehicles. I’ll grant it’s not the most comfortable ride–after all, it is classed as a truck–but it can do things and go places no truck can achieve with as much ease.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          You’d be surprised, Corey. The simple fact that it’s a big convertible IS one of its selling points. Obviously not the only one since people are buying hardtop only versions as well, but the FJ Cruiser didn’t even offer the option.

      • 0 avatar
        formula m

        I can’t help but think how dirty the interior of a jeep gets every time I pass one on the road to the cottage. The best part of off road trail driving is ripping down dusty roads and hitting mud holes. It’s honestly way better to just hit the car wash, clean the floor mats and your on your way. I may just be lazy but I would hate to have to clean inside one of the 4doors after dusty/muddy roads

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      The FJ also has utterly terrible visibility, fewer factory options (no Rubicon equivalent, for example), and there’s no way you’re touching one for $25k new.

      Also, plenty of people take the roof or doors off even if they have no intention of off-roading. The guy in cargo shorts and sandals, one foot resting on the running board isn’t an uncommon sight.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      Well, the FJ is being discontinued. Not enough people want them.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      “why not get the FJ Cruiser instead? …I’m sure it’s better in almost every way.”

      Why are you so sure an FJ Cruiser is “better in almost every way”?

      FWIW, here’s a recent comparison of the two: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/suvs/1405_2014_jeep_wrangler_unlimited_vs_2014_toyota_fj_cruiser/viewall.html

      If some folks don’t go off road but still want to drive a Wrangler, so what? Lot’s of people drive Miatas and never autocross them even though they are seriously compromised as a daily driver when compared with something like a Fusion. What’s wrong with driving something you find interesting, even if you don’t use all the capabilities of the vehicle in everyday driving?

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “why not get the FJ Cruiser instead?”

      Because the FJ is not an icon.

    • 0 avatar

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/barks-bites-saving-the-stuck-salty-swissman/

      Most FJ owners are much like the guy in this story.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Also, the close-up shot of the radio and air vents looks like saggy boobs to me.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I would like to own a Wrangler someday, just so I could take the doors off and drive around.

    On what other car are you SUPPOSED to be able to remove the doors?

  • avatar
    olddavid

    You know what is really cool about these? If H.J. Kaiser came back today, he would know exactly what this is. Crank windows, three pedals and all. The CD would probably have to be explained.

  • avatar
    bills79jeep

    As a dyed in the wool, multiple Jeep owner, I’ve always disliked the “It’s a Jeep thing, you wouldn’t understand” motto. No one has ever ridden in my CJ and not understood.

    I’m very surprised by the comments though. There are a decent number of people who say they have owned TJs and JKs and say they aren’t practical as a DD. I get the MPG gripe, but you know that going in. As for the ride, it’s not THAT harsh. Some commenters are acting like it’s a Conestoga wagon or something.

    • 0 avatar
      Car Ramrod

      I agree–any Wrangler, especially the coil spring ones, can be good DDs with a few caveats.

      - A/C is required if you have to dress up for work.
      - You can’t ever need to have a phone conversation or even hear your phone ring at speeds over 45mph.
      - If you’re married, you wife must not mind arriving with messy hair.

      I guess hardtop, full-door Wranglers solve thioe problems, but I think full doors take away a lot of the character of these things.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      @bills79Jeep: well, the CJs DO ride like a Conestoga wagon. Their “suspension” is just like one.

      I can say that because I’ve had several.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Jeep is the maker of its own problems. The Wrangler was basically a tractor with nice profit margins.

    Naturally, Jeep wanted to sell more Wranglers, but how? I know, they can make the Wrangler more like a car. The JK was born. As more people buy Wranglers, particularly the Unlimited, the more convoluted the Wrangler brand becomes.

  • avatar
    AJ

    What’s great about a Wrangler is the endless amount of modifications one can make. My TJ goes through yearly upgrades. Soft top to hard top to no top. She just got a new set of aluminum control arms!

    Being lifted, the ride is so much better off-road then stock. My mpg is at best in the 14s so it’s not how far it is to a destination, it’s how many gallons of gas it will take? But no complaints there!

    I’ve taken that Jeep places few other vehicles go. Sure it’s a drive just to get there (out west yearly), but it’s how I relax. This was a recent million dollar dinner view the wife and I shared at 11,000 feet elevation. (Oh, and possibly with big foot too.)
    http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/9339/20120723at195430.jpg

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Y’all need to think outside the box. Throw away the backseat, buy or configure a half-top to just cover the front seats, and then finish it all off by painting the back half on the interior with some of that truck bed coating paint. Presto-Chango! The mini-truck of your dreams!

  • avatar
    hubcap

    I’ve gotta admit some of these comments are surprising, especially for an enthusiast site. One of the reasons I love cars (and transportation in general) is because I’m an explorer at heart. I love seeing what’s around the next corner or in this case what’s on top of the next mountain. It’s a bonus that performance cars feel so good to drive.

    I’d say that many of the cars that interest me are compromised in one way or the other. Some are lower to the ground than a bee’s knees, others don’t have much space, and some drink gas faster than a drunk in Vegas. But to me they feel good and do what I need them to do.

    Why does it seem that on this particular enthusiast site the more anodyne the choice the better?

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    I’ve looked at Jeeps of this stripe several times over the last 40 years or so – couldn’t pull the trigger to purchase one. My ’72 VW Type 2 could and would go 80%-90% of the same crappy off-roads the CJ’s would go back in ’72 (Southeast Idaho, Utah trails, Wyoming crap roads). My ’85 Dodge Colt Vista 4×4 5spd with its tiny motivator could/would do better. Both of my Outbacks (one with the ‘rubber-band” CVT and one with the 6spd manual) are much better. Jeeps, in my mind, are a great vehicle for a third car or suitable for ranchers and folks with routine rough off-road needs. They are chick vehicles, a “look at me vehicle” for anyone else.

  • avatar
    ajla

    What Jeep really needs to do with the Wrangler is make it unibody, give it an IRS, offer an automatic full-time AWD system, drop the soft top for a panoramic sunroof, and equip it with a turbo 1.9L I4 matched to a CVT.

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    Owner of a ’12 Wrangler Sport S here….

    She guzzles gas, the ride is harsh, the brakes are just OK, cargo capacity is a joke…… but I LOVE this thing.

    Seriously, I adore mine. It just makes me happy. I owned my dream car since high school, a V8 Mustang (in this case a ’06 GT) and yeah I liked it. It didn’t disappoint. The Jeep though, it just makes me smile. Yes it has shortcomings, yeah there are compromises…. but god driving it with no top and doors in the summer is just bliss. Especially a coastal drive with the sights, sounds and smells. The ocean air, the sun….. it just feels right. I like the way she looks, in red with black fenders and my tube frame doors with no top.

    Oh and people love it…. people stare from their Corollas and Accords. The Jeep isn’t an appliance and I’m thankful. It has personality and charm in spades, plus it’s heritage….. the Jeep certainly played it’s part in WWII and there’s even a badge that proudly states ‘Since 1941′…. kids look at it in awe from their parents car. People in the lane next to me give me thumbs up and compliments….. last night I had a 10 minute long conversation with the gas station attendant about mine! Plus the Jeep community is a cool thing. I love getting “Jeep waves” from CJ and Wrangler owners and I love giving them too.

    Simply put, I love mine.

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    Went for a ride in my son’s ’67 CJ today: fun for going to the mini mart, but can’t imagine it as a DD.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I have been toying with the idea of buying a Wrangler for nearly twenty years…test drove several with the Pentastar before I took my assignment here in Saudi Arabia, and still am considering one when I return to fhe US in a few years. The one I envision is pretty much equipped as the one reported…six speed manual, crank windows, soft top…my only concession to modern comfort would be A/C. The only thing holding me back from completely pulling the trigger is the abysmal fuel mileage. If I can convince myself that sub-20 MPG isn’t THAT bad, maybe I’ll finally do it…

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Keep an open mind. One of the things that affects fuel mileage is your own driving style. I have one of the pre-Pentastar Wrangler JKU models and I can easily exceed 20 mpg on the highway with it; despite the EPA rating of between 18 and 19 highway. I have achieved 25 mpg on the freeway over a 600-mile trip, but mostly because I held my speed to 60mph for the majority of the trip despite higher speed limits. I typically limit myself to 65mph simply because the thing is a brick wall when it comes to aerodynamics and get between 22-23mpg on the highway. City and mixed mileage is going to be worse, but it’s surprisingly no worse than a typical American pickup truck. That’s because you’ve got so much weight to tool around.

      Jeep has announced that the ’17 model will be lighter and more comfortable to ride due to an independent suspension. While I personally believe this will make the stock Wrangler a better vehicle on and off the road, it WILL have an effect on how you mod it for hard-core rock crawling. I don’t doubt that there will be mod kits available to revert the Wrangler to solid axles again, but for the less extreme crowd they might just discover that the fully-independent suspension makes it easier to handle the technical stuff that doesn’t require extreme flex.

      Keep your eyes and mind open and pay attention to what Jeep is doing. Just remember that today’s Jeeps do far, far more than the old Willys ever imagined.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The brutal fiatization will continue until the Wrangler is FWD-AWD, unibody with removable targa top and hatch area, but no convertible, removable doors, V6 or 2-speed transfer case. This can then be sold in Europe. Hecho en Mexico of course.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Agreed DM. It will start when they begin offering two separate vehicles, both labeled Wranglers, but only one real Jeep. The mainstream softcore version will basically be the Cherokee trailhawk setup with a Jeep body. The hardcore version will be a solid axle Jeep with the same body. That will be the beginning of the end. The hardcore version will be dropped due to regulations and economics (same difference). The Jeep will then lose its mojo/cred. The softcore version will begin to die. Bye bye Jeep. (Not a problem for TTACers though, since their unofficial motto is “New cars are for suckers”.)

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            And people want the “best of the old” on new cars, when a Resto-mod would get them “best of both worlds”. But no, they want a new car warranty and something to complain about.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Yes DM, I’m still going to weep when they kill the real Jeep, however inevitable. But you are right, I will just buy a sweet resto. A new Rubi is so expensive, a killer resto is a totally viable anyway.

            There are also some great resto classic FJ Toyotas and Land Rovers out there to choose from. You got money to spend, you can get what you want.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @thelaine – Build an old FJ, CJ, TJ, Samurai (yeah I said it) etc, to your exact specs and taste for a fraction of new. Or look for one that’s for sale at someone else’s loss. Aftermarket fuel injection? Turbo? Smog legal Hemi conversion? I’ve seen ‘em. And It’s not hard to outdo a Rubicon.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            @DM
            Yep.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            @DenverMike – Have you built an old FJ? There is NOTHING cheap about that. The rust repair alone on a 40 or 60 series will be extensive. Then there is the honest to god 8-12 MPG uphill, downhill, or falling from an airplane. I love em’, and I am still going to do a 40 or 60 with a Benz Diesel one day, but there will be nothing cheap about it. I don’t believe there is a less than 250 dollar part on the them.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Keep dreaming, DM; you haven’t been right yet about future products. Someone keeps on doing things you say won’t be done and not doing things you say will be done.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            This one isn’t hard to figure out. These aren’t farm tractors. Most consumers of new Wranglers don’t care about solid axles, BOF, RWD, transfer case, manual hubs, fold down windshield or completely removable top/doors. New Wrangler buyers are just looking for the lifestyle/image and traditional Wrangler/CJ/Willys features will all go away or already gone.

            It’s surprising OEMs are willing to stick their necks out for diesel 1/2 tons, domestic midsize trucks or diesel midsize trucks. But results are yet to be seen. High hopes!

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I see what you did there….

          Renegade!

  • avatar

    I remember my gf buying one of these POS sport Jeeps in Phoenix, we drove out to the Horseshoe Dam area, all rocks and dirt roads. Whilst bouncing, and I do mean bouncing, along at 15mph feeling like we were off road hero’s we were passed many times by the local chicanos racing along in their ten year old Civic DX’s and beat up Suby Brats. Kind of made her $22k lifestyle statement seem like a waste of money

  • avatar
    rudiger

    The Wrangler is the foul-weather, off-road version of a Harley. It’s just that simple. In fact, it’s quite easy to envision many lifestyle seekers having one of each in their garage (or, more likely, designated parking spaces).

  • avatar
    mkirk

    You guys kill me:

    Wrangler = Stupid, unnecessary

    Hellcat = YEAH MAN, BRING IT ON!!!!!!!

    If it was brown and had a damn Diesel you guys would be drooling.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Exact same thing happens with pickups mkirk. “No one NEEDS… “90 percent never…

      But an awesome 700 horsepower musclecar? Hell yeah.

      To me? All of the above, and more. If it has an engine, it probably has some redeeming quality.

  • avatar
    Eric

    This is, and always will be, an image vehicle. Useless and awful for 99% of your driving (snow too!) And that last 1% where it excels? Nobody drives that last 1%

    I do give credit to Jeep for keeping the formula safe and intact for AGES. They seem to know the customer here, and they don’t deviate.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      While the Wrangler may not be for you, what you say is pure bunk. It’s a decent vehicle for on the road and remarkably efficient for driving in snow that would strand most other vehicles. Jeep drivers in particular DO drive that last 1%.


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