Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler traces its origins to World War II, when it was the first military jeep. The Jeep company first used the Wrangler name in the 1980s, and it is still produced today.

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Jeep Wrangler Origins

The earliest Wranglers were not the user-friendly vehicles on the market today. The interior was noisy and drafty and the performance of the engine was disappointing. The newest Wranglers still exhibit traces of some of those problems, especially the noisy cabin. Mechanics are still a worry as well. Braking distances are long because of the vehicle build, the ride is uneven, and the vehicle is not safe in side-impact crashes.

The styling of the car is slick, however, and the Jeep Wrangler continues to sell with a public hungry for throwback basic vehicles. The Wrangler also has a lot of offroad ability, making it popular with people fond of outdoor adventure.

About the Jeep Wrangler

The 2012 Wrangler continues to be a fun offroad vehicle. The new Pentastar V-6 engine cranks out an impressive 285 horsepower, doing away with the weaker engines of older generations. A new electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission makes using the new engine a breeze.

Unfortunately, some of the other old faults are still present. The soft top is flimsy, hard to use, and presents a serious security issue by being easy to break into.

The new Wrangler is available in a two-door and four-door version, both of which come in Sport, Sahara, and Rubicon trim variations.

The Sport has 16-inch wheels, front and rear tow hooks for pulling, fog lamps, and the problematic soft top. Inside the vehicle are manual locks, cruise control, and a tilt-only steering wheel.

The four-door Unlimited has a bigger gas tank than the Sport, as well as a larger backseat and cargo area. The rear seat is in a 60/40 split as well.

The Sahara has all the options of the other trims but adds 18-inch alloy wheels, better suspension, side steps, automatic headlamps, body-colored fender flares, and an improved Infinity entertainment system.

Test-drive the Wrangler before purchasing. It can be a fun vehicle, but totally impractical for day-to-day use.

Jeep Wrangler Evolution

The earliest Jeep Wranglers were produced in 1986. The first generation ended in 1995. The design was fairly extreme, with square headlights and a monochromatic trim. The engine options on the earliest models were a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 4.2-liter six-cylinder that produced a weedy 112 horsepower. The engine was paired with a five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission.

A new engine was introduced for the 1992 model year, which was a 4.0-liter engine that produced 180 horsepower.

Several trim lines of the original model were available: the S, Islander, Sahara, Laredo, and Renegade.

The second-generation Jeep Wrangler was introduced in 1997 after a year hiatus. The funky square headlights were replaced with the classic Jeep styling. The second-generation models were sold until the end of 2006.

By this time, a modernized cabin was introduced, although it was still noisy and drafty. A new spring suspension made the ride more comfortable. A safer vehicle was Jeep’s intention as airbags and antilock brakes were finally added to the options list.

Three initial trim lines were offered: the base SE, the Sport, and the Sahara. The Base model had a 2.5-liter incline four-cylinder that produced 120 horsepower. The Sport version had a bigger 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that produced 190 horsepower. The top-of-the-line Sahara had the same engine as the Sport. Five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmissions were available.

The Sport had special sporty wheels and sport graphics, whereas the Sahara boasted air-conditioning, which was missing from the other models, as well as a CD player.

Two more trim lines were introduced in 2003: the Wrangler X and the Rubicon. The Wrangler X was just above the base model and added a few new accessories. The Rubicon had better offroad equipment, such as 31-inch tires, low-range gear settings, and locking axles. A four-speed automatic was also introduced in the 2003 model year.

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