Reviews

2017 Jeep Wrangler Walk Around

No question the Wrangler looks unique. Millions of them have looked unique since WWII. One thing that makes it unique as a vehicle today is its aerodynamics, which resemble the factory in Toledo where it’s built. Same factory where they built those WW2 Jeeps. True.

Speaking of true, the Wrangler is true to its roots, with a seven-slat grille, trapezoidal fender flares, and door hinges that are still exposed after all these years. And you can still take off the top and drop the windshield flat. The sheetmetal is also flat (sculpted would be sacrilege); it’s easier to fix that way, after you rub a tree or boulder.

The designers had some fun with the details. Look closely and you might find little Jeeps here and there. A Willys silhouette in the edge of the windshield., little Jeeps in lighting elements, and there’s that Willys silhouette again in the wheel pockets.

Interior

The 2017 Wrangler is still a bit crude inside, made so you can still spray it with a hose after a day in the mud with the windshield dropped. But it’s businesslike and livable, and compared to the past it’s downright luxurious. The modern instrument panel is contoured while remaining upright, with bezels that have a machined look, along with a lot of plastic. There are soft-touch materials around the dash and door panels, with ambient lighting under the panel and around the cupholders. Elbow rests are padded.

It’s a good thing you can remove the top, because the roof squeezes down on the upright windshield and cuts some forward visibility, especially if you’re tall. No vehicle offers so many roof options, with the Freedom T-top, Sunrider flip-back top, and soft tops that are a pain in the butt. It’s kind of difficult to explain how each works here, and what might be inconvenient to buyers with different desires, so we suggest that you spend 30 minutes with your dealer trying the four options out, and thinking about your own situation and wants.

Whatever top you end up with, it’s going to be noisy inside. Jeep has put effort into reducing noise and vibration in recent years, so it’s better than it used to be, with surprisingly little wind noise given the boxy shape. But maybe that’s because you can’t hear the wind for all the mechanical noise, especially with the manual transmission.

Cargo space is generous in the four-door Unlimited and stingy in the two-door, with only 12.8 cubic feet behind the rear seat. It folds, but not flat, and that’s simply unacceptable in this vehicle. Jeep will tell you that if you want to load something big back there, take the back seat out, because you can. So the best way to use a two-door Wrangler is take off the roof, take out the rear seat, and keep it garaged and only drive it on nice days.

That’s why they invented the Unlimited, a few years ago. It has 31.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, and 71.6 cubic feet total inside. The tailgate swings out, or the rear plastic window zips with a soft top, or there’s a glass panel with a hinge on top with the Sunrider.

* The advertised price does not include sales tax, vehicle registration fees, other fees required by law, finance charges and any documentation charges.

* Images, prices, and options shown, including vehicle color, trim, options, pricing and other specifications are subject to availability, incentive offerings, current pricing and credit worthiness.

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