The 2005 Jeep Wrangler classifies as a subcompact, four-wheel-drive SUV and off-road vehicle manufactured by Chrysler and sold under the company’s Jeep marquee. The Wrangler’s history can be traced back to the iconic World War II Jeep, the Willys civilian Jeep, or CJ. The CJ began production in the 1950s, but the first instance of the Wrangler nameplate being used can be traced to the Jeep YJ, the second generation that replaced the CJ in 1987 after the latter suffered years of slow sales. The 2005 Jeep Wrangler now belongs to the third generation and therefore receives the TJ designation.
Body Styles: two-door convertible, two-door truck
Engines: 4.0-liter six-cylinder, 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: six-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Jeep Wrangler SE, Jeep Wrangler X, Jeep Wrangler Sport, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
The 2005 Jeep Wrangler offers a new trim, called the Rubicon. Moreover, all Wranglers from this model year get a new six-speed manual gearbox, with the older five-speed gearbox phasing out. The addition of the Rubicon version comes with the dropping of the Sahara version. Apart from these minor changes, the 2005 Jeep Wrangler remains largely unchanged.
The 2005 Jeep Wrangler retains the classic styling seen in its ancestors. The upright vertical grille recalls the Word War II Wrangler, and the windshield and convertible soft top can be folded down, just like in the old Wranglers. Other classic design cues include the half-steel doors with zip-out plastic side windows. Simply put, the 2005 Jeep Wrangler offers the same rugged appearance that has been its hallmark since its introduction. While some people might call the design outdated, truthfully the Wrangler’s design makes it unique and sought after.
The soft top of the 2005 Jeep Wrangler uses a four-ply design and provides the standard version of the vehicle. A hardtop version also remains available as an option, along with full steel doors and roll-up side windows. This particular version gives the Wrangler a more civilized look. The 2005 Wrangler also comes in its regular size and an extended Unlimited size, which measures 15 inches longer.
The 2005 Jeep Wrangler uses bucket seats in front and a split-folding bench in the rear. The Add-A-Trunk option adds a lockable storage space in the cargo section that comes fitted with thumbscrews for sliding forward and removing easily. Elbowroom in font seems like just enough for comfort, but the Wrangler offers ample headroom. The bucket seats feel supportive and firm, although they may be too low for short drivers. Entry and exit can be a problem since it requires a big step over the doorsill. The rear bench proves wide enough for two average adults to sit without touching shoulders, but the seat does not feel too comfortable and knee room remains sparse. With the 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, legroom only gets a little better. Of course, entry and exit proves difficult at the rear as well.
Performance & Handling
Except for the Wrangler SE, all Jeep Wrangler models get a 4.0-liter, six-cylinder engine that delivers 190 horsepower. The 2005 Jeep Wrangler SE gets a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that generates 147 horsepower, although the 4.0-liter engine remains available as an option. Irrespective of the engine under the hood, the Wrangler comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as a standard feature and a four-speed automatic transmission as an option. The four-cylinder engine is a smooth worker and provides acceleration adequate for decent passing and merging response, even though it suffers from a sluggish start.
The six-cylinder engine seems preferable because of its decent acceleration, even though it sounds noisier than the four-cylinder. Nevertheless, Jeep enthusiasts understand the level of refinement that has been added over the years to the Wrangler. The 2005 Jeep Wrangler feels quick and nimble off and on the road when compared to its previous models. Of course, it goes without saying that the Wrangler offers a lot of fun to drive, even though it gets a little noisy.
The 2005 Jeep Wrangler comes with anti-lock brakes as an option, but only for the Sport. Side-impact airbags remain absent from all models. Nevertheless, the Wrangler gets four out of five stars in terms of driver and passenger safety during frontal-impact collision tests conducted by the NHTSA.
EPA Fuel Economy
Jeep Wrangler 2.4-liter: 16/20 mpg city/highway
Jeep Wrangler 4.0-liter: 13/17 mpg city/highway
- Very low cost
- Lots of fun to drive
- Classic Jeep styling
- Excellent off-roading abilities
You Won't Like
- Difficult to use the soft top
- Difficult to get in and out
- Bouncy ride on smooth roads
- Slow steering response
Rugged dependability from a classic brand.
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