The 1998 Jeep Wrangler is designed to do one thing, drive off road, and it proves to be 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 day-to-day driving vehicle. It 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 clear design focus of the 1998 Jeep Wrangler is part of the reason for its charm, but it is not going to appeal to the broad range of buyers in the sport utility vehicle (SUV) market. Drivers looking at an SUV primarily for additional storage space or prestige are not going to find it to be a good choice. Any driver looking for an off-road capable vehicle should at least complete a test drive before making a final decision. It's a solidly built example of what an off-road vehicle should be like. If nothing else, it's a good standard to compare to other off-road vehicles.
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
The 1998 Jeep Wrangler received an overhaul, but it was on a design level rather than feature changes. Overall, it runs better than older models, even with the same specifications. Extras include an automatic transmission, a combination CD and cassette player, and a thief immobilization system.
The 1998 Jeep Wrangler is a two-door vehicle, which is somewhat unusual for an SUV. 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 1998 Jeep Wrangler is designed for performance not comfort. In addition, the standard options include a soft top. Not surprisingly, it was almost nothing in the way of internal features. Even features almost universally accepted as standard features such as air-conditioning, a rear window defroster, center console, and an audio system are optional features.
Performance & Handling
The on-road performance of the 1998 Jeep Wrangler is somewhat unremarkable. 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. But off-road driving is where it excels, and the engine provides enough power to keep it going on difficult terrain. Few vehicles can match the ease of usage.
The 1998 Jeep Wrangler comes equipped with dual-front airbags on all models. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are available as an option.
EPA Fuel Economy
Jeep Wrangler 2.5-liter four-cylinder, three-speed automatic: 15/17 mpg city/highway
Jeep Wrangler 2.5-liter four-cylinder, five-speed manual: 16/18 mpg city/highway
Jeep Wrangler 4.0-liter six-cylinder, three-speed automatic: 13/16 mpg city/highway
Jeep Wrangler 4.0-liter six-cylinder, five-speed manual: 15/19 mpg city/highway
- Four-wheel drive
- Decent handling
- Excellent off-road capabilities
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy
- Not overly practical if not used for off-road driving
The classic off-road toy.
If You Like This Vehicle
- AM General Hummer
- Nissan Xterra
- Ford FJ Cruiser