This off-roader emphasizes rock-crawling over highway comfort, and when it comes to hard-core trailblazing, it's rarely matched. Body styles include the two-door four-seat Wrangler and four-door five-seat Wrangler Unlimited. Competitors include the Nissan Xterra and Toyota FJ Cruiser.
New for 2012
The 2012 Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited get a new 285-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine that teams with a newly available five-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual is still offered. The changes yield better on- and off-road performance; the Wrangler accelerates quicker and the automatic transmission's lower first-gear ratio results in a lower overall crawl ratio.
Wrangler special editions include the Arctic and Call of Duty: MW3, the latter a video-game-inspired version. Building on the Wrangler Sahara model, the Arctic features a body-colored hardtop and fender flares, Arctic badges and decals, a black hood decal and fuel door, and taillight guards. Cabin features include Arctic logos on the heated front seats, which are finished in black and white upholstery with orange stitching.
Special features on the Call of Duty: MW3 Wrangler include 32-inch tires, a power-dome hood, rock rails, taillight guards and a winch-ready front bumper. The cabin includes unique black seats, Call of Duty logos, special gauge graphics and a dashboard plaque.
An available three-panel hardtop has removable sections above the driver, front passenger and rear passengers. The hardtop is body-colored on Sahara and Rubicon models, black on others. The side doors, available as full or half-size, are removable, and the windshield can be folded down. Exterior features include:
- Standard 16-inch steel wheels
- Optional 17- or 18-inch aluminum wheels
- Standard full-size matching spare tire mounted on rear gate
The vertical center control panel sports a high-mounted stereo, circular air vents underneath and climate controls below. The Wrangler also has a floor console with front and rear cupholders and a locking storage bin. Interior features include:
- Standard cloth or optional two-tone leather seats
- Optional heated front seats
- Standard CD stereo with MP3 jack
- Optional 110-volt electrical outlet
- Optional air conditioning
- Optional cruise control
- Optional power windows and locks
- Optional navigation system
Under the Hood
The Wrangler's new 3.6-liter V-6 engine makes 285 hp and 260 pounds-feet of torque. Off-road mainstays include a non-independent suspension (solid front and rear axles) and a part-time four-wheel-drive system with available dual locking differentials.
Other features include underbody skid plates, an available tow package and an available electronically disconnecting front stabilizer bar. Mechanical features include:
- Standard six-speed manual transmission
- Optional five-speed automatic
- Three available axle ratios
- V-6 uses regular gas
- Four-wheel-disc brakes with vented front and solid rear rotors
The Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited have a standard electronic stability system with Chrysler's rollover mitigation technology, which can pulse individual brakes in an attempt to prevent impending rollovers. Front-seat side-impact airbags are optional. Side curtain airbags aren't offered. Standard safety features include:
- Antilock braking system with on- and off-road calibrations
- Brake assist
- Smart key that immobilizes the engine in a theft attempt
- All-speed traction control
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