2008 Jeep Wrangler

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2008 Jeep Wrangler Review

A great vehicle for off-road fun but the handling and fuel economy are mediocre.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2008 Jeep Wrangler comes in a wide variety of models. The models available for Jeep Wrangler are the X, Unlimited X, Sahara, Unlimited Sahara, Rubicon, and Unlimited Rubicon. The security on the Wranglers is bad because all someone needs to do to break into the vehicle is unzip a zipper. The Wrangler is not a fast vehicle and does not handle well on the road when it’s up to speed. The windshield can be folded forward, and the doors are removable. The Wrangler has more than 10 inches of ground clearance. The best use for the Jeep Wrangler is for off-road fun. This is the environment in which the vehicle was designed and manufactured to perform the best. The Wrangler models of the Jeep brand have been known for being able to go places most other vehicles could never get close to because of its off-road prowess.

The Range

Body Styles: two-door SUV convertible, four-door SUV convertible
Engines: 3.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed manual and four-speed automatic
Models: Jeep Wrangler X, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X, Jeep Wrangler Sahara, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon

What's New

The Jeep Wrangler and the Unlimited models move into 2008 with very few changes after a complete redesign in 2007. The Wrangler Sahara comes with a soft top and so does the Rubicon. A remote ignition is optional, and the new Sahara appearance package in both the four-door and two-door versions.

Exterior

The exterior body has skid plates and steel wheels. The steel wheels come in various sizes ranging from 16 to 18 inches. An outside-mounted full size spare tire comes with each model. Privacy glass is available on some models as well as tube running boards. The rear door is side-hinged and cargo tie downs help the driver and passengers load up for any variety of outdoor experiences. Rear drive and four-wheel drive are both available. Although not the most secure vehicle, everything about the Wrangler’s exterior beckons for the off-road trails.

Interior

The interior is roomy on all available models, and the seats are available in a range of materials, from vinyl to high-quality cloth. The front seats are bucket seats, and the rear seats have a folding rear seatback. The Jeep Wrangler’s audio system ranges from a 66-watt six-speaker system to a 368-watt seven-speaker system equipped with Sirius satellite radio capability and a subwoofer.

Performance & Handling

All of the 2008 Jeep Wrangler models come with a 3.8-liter V-6 engine with the standard six-speed automatic or optional four-speed manual transmission. Most of the Wrangler models come with four-wheel drive that has both high and low gears for maximum off-road performance. However, rear drive is also available. The Jeep Wrangler’s acceleration is not exceptional considering that it goes from zero to 60 mph in between nine to 10 seconds. All the Wrangler models are equipped with anti-lock brakes, stability control, and a roll-over sensor to help them stay on all four wheels. Even though the Jeep Wrangler was designed and manufactured for trails in the mountains or desert, it is still fun to drive around town. The Unlimited sub-model is larger and heavier, making it less maneuverable on smaller trails. The Wrangler doesn’t have respectable highway performance, because it is not designed for high-speed highway handling. However, it handles better than almost any other SUV on the market when taken off road. With the bad handling at high speeds and long stopping distances, travelling above the speed limit in Jeep Wrangler is not advised.

Safety

The four-wheel anti-lock brake system has ventilated disc brakes in the front and solid disc brakes in the rear. Equipped with stability control and traction control, these two systems help the Wrangler models stay balanced as long as the driving terrain allows it. The electronic brake force distribution helps prevent sliding during emergency braking but doesn’t help with the long stopping distance. A tire pressure monitoring system is included as well.

EPA Fuel Economy

Jeep Wrangler X, Rubicon, Unlimited Rubicon, Sahara: 15/19 mpg city/highway
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X, Sahara Unlimited: 16/19 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Great off-road experience
  • Fun to drive
  • Can go almost anywhere
  • High dependability rating
  • Variety of models
  • Convertible top

You Won't Like

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Poor handling at highway speed
  • Long stopping distance at highway speed
  • Easy to break into
  • No extensive safety features

Sum Up

A great vehicle for off-road fun but the handling and fuel economy are mediocre.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Hummer H3
  • Land Rover Range Rover
  • Mercedes-Benz G550
  • Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG

See the New 2014 Wrangler.

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