2008 Jeep Wrangler SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Jeep Wrangler SUV

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Jeep Wrangler Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.8 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 202 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Jeep Wrangler

  • The 2008 Jeep Wrangler firmly maintains its heritage, image and off-road ability while also being more refined, versatile and feature-laden than previous models.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Superior off-road ability, surprisingly fun to drive around town, rough-and-tumble image, availability of two- and four-door versions, upscale navigation system.

  • Cons

    Noisy with standard soft top, finicky soft top operation, mediocre acceleration and on-road handling, no power mirrors, too many hard plastic contact points.

  • What's New for 2008

    After setting a new trail with a complete redesign last year, the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited travel into 2008 with only minor equipment changes. These include a standard Sunrider soft top on Wrangler Sahara and Rubicon models, optional remote ignition and a new Sahara appearance package for both two- and four-door versions.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (7 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Don't buy this car

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Vehicle: 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 6M)

I bought this car almost three years ago and it operated fine until four months ago. First the car developed a starting problem. I have taken the car in five times for this problem and they still have not fixed it. Then the car developed another problem this time all the cars alarms went off at the same time then the win shield washer turned on and then the transmission began to kick. Apparently according to my dealer the problem was caused by my car's radio which came with the car. Then my cars AC gave out when I took it to the dealer they kept the car for four days and said nothing was wrong. Then a few days later the AC broke down so I took it to the dealer and showed it to the manager.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Disappointed

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 6M)

Bought this 2008 used with 13k miles. I have had an issue with a leaky soft top since I bought it. Taken it to the dealer 3x's to fix it and every time it rains, the floor boards in the back are soaked. Had to replace one of the tie rides already. Transmission line is leaking. Death wobble happens all the time, dealer can't fix it. The vehicle lacks power, should have stuck with the 4.0. Factory stereo is horrible with the top off. I used to have a 79 CJ7 witch was a mistake to get rid of. I think I will be trading the 2008 in for some sort of SUV and maybe buy an older jeep again. Jeep needs to get back to thier roots.




Second jeep i'm in love!

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Vehicle: 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 6M)

Got a fantastic deal. Love the choice in colors and models. The X with the power pack is darn close to the Sahara without paying the Sahara price. Get the hard top 3 piece. No leaks, yet. Gas mileage is ok 18.5 avg. I'm going to put a cold air intake and spacer to improve fuel consumption. Its fun to drive looks great and can go anywhere offroad i need it to go. Plenty of room in the back seat and cargo area. The stereo rocks. Those who want more zoom should by a car, hello it's a Jeep




Smile from ear to ear.

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 6M)

This is by far my favorite vehicle. It puts a smile on my face every time I see it. The fuel economy has been surprisingly good 21 MPG. I have had zero problems with this Jeep. I love it and hope it lasts forever. I can’t imagine driving anything other than a wrangler now. I’m so glad I traded in the BMW!




My 2008 wrangler unlimited x

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Vehicle: 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 6M)

I just got my first Jeep Wrangler X and so far I'm lovin' it! Traded my 2006 Expedition and no regrets, It drives, rides and handles real nice. It's a head turner and my friends are impressed.Love the sporty 4 door style. Good cargo room and seats 5 comfortably. Fuel economy? Much better! I see a long happy driving future with my Jeep




Fun for any age

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Vehicle: 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 6M)

This is simply a fun vehicle! It has good room, comfort and good safety features. Can't wait for the warm to take the top off but the Atlanta inch of snow was pretty fun too. Nope, not a little Hummer.



Full 2008 Jeep Wrangler Review

What's New for 2008

After setting a new trail with a complete redesign last year, the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited travel into 2008 with only minor equipment changes. These include a standard Sunrider soft top on Wrangler Sahara and Rubicon models, optional remote ignition and a new Sahara appearance package for both two- and four-door versions.

Introduction

The 2008 Jeep Wrangler is not so much an SUV as an experience. It's slow and loud, handles poorly, gets bad gas mileage, has crummy interior materials and features doors that provide virtually no crash protection. Oh, and breaking into the trunk requires nothing more than undoing a zipper.

Under normal methods of evaluation, all these borderline-absurd negatives would seem to add up to a vehicle barely worthy of cab duty in Bangladesh. And yet the Wrangler is strangely attractive -- so much so that it's one of the 10-best-selling SUVs on the market. It exists for people who want something decidedly different -- particularly a macho image and serious rock-crawling capability that few SUVs still offer in this crossover age.

Part of the Wrangler's image comes from features and attributes that no other vehicle on the market can boast. Some are fanciful -- with considerable effort, the windshield can be folded forward onto the hood (to aid the occasional water buffalo hunt, perhaps), and the doors can also be removed. Why? Because it looks cool that way. But others, such as the 10.2 inches of ground clearance, the steep approach and departure angles, and the two-door's short wheelbase make the Wrangler the go-to vehicle for serious off-roading and canyon tours. Quite simply, if the Wrangler can't get you there, you're going to need a Sherpa or a helicopter.

Finally, the Unlimited model is the only four-door convertible on the market. Of course, that convertible soft top takes two people, several pages of manual reading, some muscle and practically an engineering degree to raise and lower, but hey, nothing else can do it. With the optional hard top, the Unlimited's four doors, impressive cargo capacity and relatively spacious backseat make it the first Wrangler that can be considered practical. If you love the prototypical Jeep image and capability but need something that can journey to Costco or pick folks up from the airport, the Unlimited answers the call.

Just don't expect anything nearly as comfortable or quiet as other Jeeps and SUVs. To its benefit, the 2008 Jeep Wrangler's character and heritage haven't been watered down by new creature comforts like power windows, four doors or a hard-drive-based navigation system. But the Wrangler remains a niche vehicle with major drawbacks that potential buyers should be aware of. And given that, you might want to also consider the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Nissan Xterra, as they offer much of the same off-road capability and macho image without as many compromises.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Jeep Wrangler is a small (in two-door form) SUV with a convertible top. It's offered in three trim levels (X, Sahara and Rubicon) and two body styles (regular two-door and the extended-wheelbase, four-door Unlimited). The X comes standard with removable half doors with plastic windows, while the Sahara and Rubicon come with full doors and glass windows. Customers can opt for the half doors if they wish on either body style's Rubicon trim and the two-door Sahara.

The basic Wrangler X is very spartan, though a CD player with an auxiliary audio jack is standard. An optional "C" Package adds air-conditioning, upgraded cloth seats and a full-length center console. The "S" Package has those features, plus 16-inch alloy wheels, tow hooks, cruise control and a compass/temperature display. Also optional is a modular three-piece hardtop (Freedom top), a sunroof-equipped soft top (Sunrider top), a limited-slip rear differential, power windows and locks, keyless entry, remote engine start, an Infinity audio system, a six-CD/MP3 changer and satellite radio.

In addition to having many of the Wrangler X's optional features as standard (including the Sunrider top), the Wrangler Sahara also features 17-inch alloy wheels, body-color fenders, a heavy-duty suspension and upgraded seat fabric. Options for the Sahara include 18-inch alloy wheels and a navigation system featuring "bread crumb" off-highway tracking. A 20GB hard drive can also be added to the system to store music and pictures. Lastly, there's the trail-busting Wrangler Rubicon. This model's equipment level falls in between the X and Sahara, but features special drivetrain upgrades, an electronically disconnecting stabilizer bar and special BFGoodrich off-road tires.

Powertrains and Performance

All 2008 Jeep Wranglers are powered by a 3.8-liter V6 attached to a six-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic. The engine produces 202 horsepower and 237 pound-feet of torque. Most Wranglers come with four-wheel-drive, complete with high and low gears, although the Unlimited can be had with rear-drive only. The Rubicon trim has heavy-duty axles, a Rock-trac transfer case with extra-low gearing, and electronically locking front and rear differentials. In testing, we've found that a Wrangler Unlimited takes a longish 9.7 seconds to reach 60 mph -- and that was the good time. Another Wrangler Unlimited we tested did it in a glacial 10.4 seconds.

Safety

All Wranglers feature antilock brakes and stability control with a rollover sensor. Front seat side airbags are optional. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Wrangler a perfect five stars in frontal-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Wrangler its highest rating of "Good" for frontal impacts; however, without the optional side airbags, the Wrangler's side-impact crashworthiness was deemed only "Marginal."

Interior Design and Special Features

Much like the rest of the Wrangler, its interior is of the rough-and-tumble variety. Although niceties like power windows and a navigation system can be added, this is still a vehicle meant to withstand dust, dirt and muck, and then be easily cleaned. We're not sure if there is a cause and effect relationship at work here, but plastics are subsequently hard and unwelcoming -- particularly those that make up the armrests. It's best to throw out any normal interior expectations when buying a Wrangler, otherwise you may find yourself regretting purchasing something so spartan.

While the two-door Wrangler's backseat can fit only two, the Unlimited has room for three. The four-door also offers 86 cubic feet of cargo space when the second seats are folded. With its soft top, however, storing cargo inside the Wrangler can be a risky situation. With exterior-mounted zippers keeping the plastic rear windows in place, car thieves can access the cargo area with ease. The only lockable areas in the Wrangler are the glovebox and decently sized center console.

Driving Impressions

The 2008 Jeep Wrangler, especially in Rubicon guise, is pretty much unstoppable in off-road situations. This is also true for the Unlimited, although its size and weight prevent it from being as maneuverable on tight trails as the two-door model. Although the Wrangler was bred for mountain trails, it is surprisingly fun to drive around the city. Its steering is light, but provides plenty of feedback through its excellent thin-rimmed wheel. The V6 engine provides plenty of torque around town, but it's completely gutless on the highway and when trying to accelerate quickly. The Wrangler's brakes also leave much to be desired, with long stopping distances.

Read our Jeep Wrangler Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

Talk About The 2008 Wrangler

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 16
  • cty
/
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs