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1997 Jeep Wrangler

  • 1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Utility

    Sahara Utility

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      4.0L I6
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  • 1997 Jeep Wrangler SE Utility

    SE Utility

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      2.5L I4
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  • 1997 Jeep Wrangler Sport Utility

    Sport Utility

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      4.0L I6
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1997 Jeep Wrangler Review

The perennial off-road toy.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1997 Jeep Wrangler is designed to do one thing: drive off road. It is a rugged, sturdy vehicle that excels in this area. While the on-road performance is alright, the poor fuel economy and slightly below average maneuverability make it less of a choice as a day-to-day driving vehicle. The Wrangler can outperform many of its competitors in both areas, but in the end, it is a car that should primarily appeal to off-road driving enthusiasts.

The 1997 Jeep Wrangler's clear design focus is part of the reason for its charm, but it's not going to appeal to the broad range of buyers in the SUV market. Drivers looking primarily for additional storage space or prestige are not going to find the Wrangler to be a good choice. Any driver looking for an off road-capable vehicle should at least test-drive it before making a final decision. It's a solidly built example of what an off-road vehicle should be like.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 4.0-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: three-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Jeep Wrangler SE, Jeep Wrangler Sport, Jeep Wrangler Sahara

What's New

The 1997 Jeep Wrangler has been completely redesigned from the previous year’s model.


The 1997 Jeep Wrangler is a very compact SUV, measuring at a meager 151.8 inches in total length. Somewhat unusual, it's a two-door vehicle, although this is not that strange given its petite size. The standard options give it a soft top, although a hard top is available as an option. A camper towing package is also available as an option.


The 1997 Jeep Wrangler is designed for performance, not comfort. In addition, the standard options include a soft top. Not surprisingly, it has almost nothing in the way of internal features. Even features almost universally accepted as standard features are optional features, which are air-conditioning, a rear window defroster, center console, and an audio system.

Performance & Handling

The 1997 Jeep Wrangler has unremarkable road performance. It has mediocre acceleration, which is a little worse on the four-cylinder models. The handling is decent, but not on the same level as cars or other vehicles based on a car platform.

The 1997 Jeep Wrangler excels in off-road driving. The engine provides enough power to keep it going on difficult terrain. Few vehicles can match the ease of usage with off-road drivers.


The 1997 Jeep Wrangler comes equipped with dual-front airbags on all models, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes are available as an option.

EPA Fuel Economy

Jeep Wrangler, four-cylinder, three-speed automatic: 15/18 mpg city/highway
Jeep Wrangler, four-cylinder, five-speed manual: 17/19 mpg city/highway
Jeep Wrangler, six-cylinder, three-speed automatic: 13/16 mpg city/highway
Jeep Wrangler, six-cylinder, five-speed manual: 15/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Four-wheel drive
  • Respectable handling
  • Excellent off-road capabilities

You Won't Like

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Only practical for off-road driving
  • Soft top can be difficult to move up and down

Sum Up

The perennial off-road toy.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • AM General Hummer
  • Nissan Xterra
  • Ford FJ Cruiser

See the New 2015 Wrangler.

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