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: 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: Not So Unlimited

October 29, 2007

2007 Jeep Wrangler -- Brent Romans

The redesigned Jeep Wrangler has been a big sales success for Jeep. Chrysler is reporting that it sold 92,549 Wranglers through September of this year. That's up by about 70 percent compared to last year and more than double what Toyota's sold for the FJ Cruiser.

Chrysler doesn't break down the Wrangler's sales by model, but the four-door Unlimited has no doubt been a large part of the new Wrangler's success. It's more livable and functional than any Wrangler to date. But having spent the past week and a half with our long-term 2007 Wrangler Unlimited, I'm left thinking that image is still the driving force behind Wrangler sales.

A four-door Wrangler really suffers when analyzed from a daily-driver standpoint. Compared to our long-term FJ Cruiser, another vehicle I spent considerable time with, I've found that the Wrangler is deficient in these areas:

Wind and Road noise: A Wrangler is noisy? That's crazy talk, Brent! Yeah, it's an obvious statement, but it needs to be mentioned. On highway drives, our Wrangler is noisier than anything I've driven since the previous-generation Wrangler. (In the Jeep's defense, it would presumably fair better if it were fitted with the optional three-piece hardtop.)

Interior design and materials: The bland interior design and cheap plastics I could live with – maybe. But not having any suitable storage space is a major hassle for daily or long-distance livability. No provisions are provided to house one's cell phone or MP3 player, for instance, and the cupholders are on the small side. Nor is there any real door-mounted armrest, as mentioned previously.

Power and transmission: Our Wrangler is slow. It weighs 4,342 pounds and takes 10.4 seconds to get to 60 mph. (The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited full-test had a slightly quicker time of 9.7 seconds.) Not helping matters is the four-speed automatic. Climbing grades, the 3.8-liter V6 is gutless until the transmission downshifts a gear. Then it's thrashy and noisy.

In my opinion, a regular two-door Wrangler can get away with a lot of this. ("It's a Jeep thing.") Just like a sports car, inherent design limitations are acceptable in return for enhanced (off-road) performance. But having a four-door implies more real-world usage. Personally, I would go with a more livable daily driver and then have a used and modified TJ on the side.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 9,990 miles

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