2007 Jeep Wrangler Long-Term Road Test

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2007 Jeep Wrangler: Tow Hook Meets Bumper

March 24, 2008

Photo by Caroline Pardilla

I just got the 2007 Jeep Wrangler washed and was waiting at a red light waiting to turn down the street to our offices in Santa Monica when I felt a shove from behind. You've gotta be kidding me! Rear-ended? With no thought to traffic, I immediately jumped out of the car (dumb move I know but I was in shock at this person's recklessness) and ran to the back of the Jeep.

The car that hit me was a first-gen Nissan 240SX. I had glimpsed him in my rearview mirror when I first pulled to a stop and he wasn't going that fast. It looked like he was slowing down as well he should have been. That's why I was really surprised he ended up hitting me anyway.

When I went to check out the damage and looked at the driver, he threw up his hands and apologized profusely from his seat and said that it was OK. But I looked at his front bumper that had a big gouge in it where it had met the Jeep's tow hook. "But you hurt your car," was all I could think to say. But he continued to insist that everything was all right saying that he just bumped me. So I jumped back in my car deciding that I would complete the turn and pull over to the side of the road so I could assess the damage to the Jeep and take down his information.

But when I had pulled over, he kept on driving and didn't even look back at me. I took down his license plate number and then returned to the back of the Jeep to see if there was any damage. Fortunately there didn't appear to be any. Even the hook that left the gouge on his bumper appeared untouched. No paint transfer at all, no bent metal. Oh well, at least the Jeep emerged unscathed.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 13,703 miles

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited: The VW Thing of Our Time

March 17, 2008

This past Saturday I spent the afternoon and most of my knuckle skin reinstalling the doors and top of our 2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited. Good fun. Ranks right up there with root canal and the musical stylings of Chikezie.

During the process I realized three things:

1) Reinstalling the doors and top of our 2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited royally sucks.

2) This Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is the VW Thing of our time.

3) I'm a wimp with soft, easily torn flesh.

Scott Oldham, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief @ 15,601 miles

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited: Open-Air Storage Solutions

March 14, 2008

Up to now, I haven't particularly enjoyed driving our long-term 2007 Jeep Wrangler. I think the Unlimited body style adds bulk without adding enough utility, and I don't like having an automatic transmission in a Wrangler.

However, I like our Jeep a lot more with the doors off. It makes our nav-equipped Sahara Unlimited feel much less serious -- and more like the adventure vehicle it's supposed to be.

In addition, it encourages resourcefulness on the part of its driver. I carry my lunch to work in a plastic bag. So I simply tie it to the grab handle to keep it from flying away.

My laptop bag? Well, that can ride in the cargo bay, which is now basically an open pickup bed.

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited: Look Ma No Doors

March 10, 2008

This weekend I learned that removing the doors from our 2007 Jeep Wrangler is actually easier than lowering or raising its top. Each door simply pops off after the removal of two bolts (I had to go buy a T-50 Torx head socket) and the unplugging of an electrical connection. Total operation took about 10 minutes.

Trouble is, I now have four huge doors taking up my back porch and of course there's no way to lock the vehicle.

Side mirrors aren't a problem, because there aren't any. They went with the doors. We're also getting a hard lesson in aerodynamics. Anything above 60 mph now requires goggles and a tucked in shirt.

Whatever. Sometimes you've just got to go for it. Just don't expect any of us to take the Jeep on any long trips until I put her back together.

Scott Oldham, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief @ 13,481 miles

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2007 Jeep Wrangler: "Don't forget to bring a towel!"

February 26, 2008

I got the jeep over the weekend thinking I might take off and do a solo night of camping. The girlfriend was out of town, a bunch of friends were out of town, and I had nothing to do. Even those plans got canceled since Mother Nature decided to swing a rain storm on through Southern Cali.

I mostly stayed indoors for the weekend, but on Sunday I had to scout out a new location for an upcoming shoot.

When I opened the door to the Jeep, I was appalled to see the drivers seat wet (again) and water dripping into the passenger foot well from underneath the door forming a nice little puddle there.

I did my scouting sitting on a towel.

After talking to some folk around here in the office Monday morning, I learned a leak from a soft-top Jeep is nothing new. I guess it's time for the super absorbent towels to be a new standard feature.

Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited: Weathering the Storm

January 28, 2008

Photo by Doug Lloyd

This weekend, I had great plans to head up the mountains to lovely Lake Arrowhead for some play in the snow. So I requested the off-road-capable Wrangler Unlimited. The long wheelbase gives it a decent highway ride, and the high ground clearance and 4WD would give it sure-footedness in the snow. In theory. The CHiPs didn't buy that theory (demanding snow chains on every car) and we were turned back and sent down the mountain.

Undaunted, we made our way across to Palm Springs. No, we didn't do any off-roading, but in the short course of about 24 hours, we encountered, sleet, thick fog, and heavy, pounding rain. The Wrangler was a champ. In hard wind and powerful rain, it was very loud, the top and vertical windshield performing the inclement-weather duet. But to be honest, I was grateful for the long throw of the headlights and the high ground clearance. The car was totally airtight and the heater and defrost blew as strong as I expected from the off-road legend.

At one point, we weren't going very quickly on the highway due to the tremendous downpour and limited visibility, but when I hit the gas, the Wrangler just wouldn't budge. It doesn't have a lot of pick-up anyway, but I think the high body simply fought the wind. To its credit, it felt totally stable the whole time.

Doug Lloyd, Senior Copy Editor @ 11,636 miles

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited: Trail-Rated, Not Rain-Rated

January 25, 2008

Jeep Wranlger's Wet Seat - photo by Warren Clarke

Uncharacteristically, we've been having lots of wet weather here in Los Angeles recently. "Storms of the century" and such. I had the Jeep Wrangler last night, and drove home in pouring rain. There were no problems with leaks on the drive home, but this morning -- after having parked the Wrangler outdoors to face yet more of the wet stuff -- I awoke to find that the Jeep's front passenger seat was pretty soaked... There was also some rain on the steering wheel.

I could see water still dripping from one leak near the windshield, but there must've been another one, or the seats wouldn't have been as wet as they were. The Jeep's soft top was zipped and locked pretty securely, by the way, so I don't think user negligence was to blame.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 11, 272 miles

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2007 Jeep Wrangler: Gas Mileage to Date

January 22, 2008

Photo by Caroline Pardilla

Eesh! I was just going to do an update on our 2007 Jeep Wrangler's fuel economy but it turns out we haven't done one for this car yet. So here it is. Much apologies to those who have been waiting for this.

Best tank: 21.6
Worst tank: 11.4
Average mpg: 15.9

FYI, EPA estimates for an automatic 2007 Jeep Wrangler is 17 mpg city / 21 mpg highway.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 11,158 miles

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited: Backseat Crabbiness

January 17, 2008

Over the past weekend, I drove myself and my daughter to the airport in the Jeep Wrangler to catch our plane to the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. After 20 miles on the freeway, she'd had enough. The constant freeway noise, coupled with the rough ride pushed her into a serious state of seven-year-old crabbiness which lasted until she saw our local Chrysler PR rep at the airport gate. Poor guy was also heading to Detroit, and had no idea he was about to be ambushed by a pint-sized automotive journalist.

"I don't like the Jeep," she told him straightaway. "It's too loud and too bumpy." I apologized for her attitude and bought her off with some over-priced Burger King fries.

At the other end of the gate area, I tried to convince her of the Wrangler's merits. I lauded its off-road capability, and reminded her that you could remove the soft-top for some fresh air fun. I told her she shouldn't judge the Jeep so harshly until after she had a chance to enjoy it in its true element.

Apparently, it didn't take. When we returned to the Los Angeles airport several days later, she opted to ride home with my husband in his Volvo S60 instead.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 10,866 miles

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2007 Jeep Wrangler: A Few Words From the Passenger's Seat

January 03, 2008

Photo by Caroline Pardilla

My friend Sara used to own a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, which she had for many years and which she still loves to this day so I thought she might have an appreciation for our 2007 Jeep Wrangler. But when we were driving back from the mall last night and chatting, a propos of nothing Sara would insert a comment about the Jeep into our conversation. She has ridden in our Wrangler many times before so I found it curious that she just made these observations now.

"It sure is a noisy car."

"These headrests are hard."

"It's bouncy."

OK, these might not be ground-breaking observations but I thought it was interesting that a former Jeep owner had them and seemed surprised that a Jeep has these traits... Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 10,570 miles

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