2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Reviews
This off-roader emphasizes rock crawling over highway comfort, and when it comes to hardcore trailblazing, it's rarely matched. Trim levels include the base X, midlevel Sahara and Rubicon. Competitors include the Nissan Xterra and Toyota FJ Cruiser. The Wrangler was redesigned for 2007.
New for 2009
All models now get standard Hill Start Assist, which temporarily maintains brake pressure after pedal release to prevent rollback.
An available three-panel hardtop has removable sections above the driver, front passenger and rear passengers. Regular cab models are 162.9 inches long and 73.7 inches wide. An extended-wheelbase model (named Unlimited) adds two more doors and 20.6 inches to the Wrangler's wheelbase. The side doors, available as full or half-size, are removable, and the windshield can be folded down for those who like to catch bugs in their teeth.
The thin-spoke steering wheel has a circular hub, and a vertical center control panel features a high-mounted radio with circular air vents underneath.
Total passenger volume measures 102.9 cubic feet in the regular-length Wrangler and 103.9 cubic feet in the Unlimited. The rear seats fold, leaving a maximum of 56.5 cubic feet of cargo volume in the regular-length Wrangler and 83 cubic feet in the Unlimited. Lockable storage spaces include the center console and a compartment integrated into the rear load floor. For 2009, a drop-in bin and some nets were added to the center stack for increased storage.
Under the Hood
A 3.8-liter V-6 is the sole drivetrain for the Wrangler. Offroad 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 offroad features include underbody skid plates, an available tow package and an available electronically disconnecting front stabilizer bar for increased ground clearance. The Wrangler X uses a standard four-wheel-drive system incorporating a two-speed transfer case for part-time use. Jeeps with 17-inch wheels add monotube shock absorbers in place of the X's twin-tube setup, and Wrangler Rubicons get a four-wheel-drive transfer case with a 4:1 low-range gear ratio plus heavy-duty Dana 44 axles, each with a locking differential.
The Wrangler has a standard electronic stability system with Chrysler's new rollover mitigation technology, which can pulse individual brakes in an attempt to prevent impending rollovers. Side-impact airbags are optional for the front seats. Side curtain airbags aren't offered.