The Sum - 2012 Jeep Wrangler Long-Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Wrangler Long Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Wrangler: The Sum

October 21, 2011


By the time I got back to my house after a five day loop around California, I was ready to not be driving anymore. I was tired, my dog was restless, and I just wanted to take a shower.

I had romped through the Mojave, cruised up the Eastern Sierras, over them to Tahoe, and down through the Central Valley to Los Angeles. The sight of a dirty Jeep in my driveway the next morning made me smile.

I wasn't sick of the Jeep. I wanted more.

I think it's a good sign in any vehicle that after a lot of seat time, you want more. It might be a little crude, a little loud and short on creature comforts, but I overlook all of those detractors because it's so much fun.

At the core of improvements for our 2012 Wrangler is the engine. Does the new Pentastar V6 make a big difference? Jeep claims 40 percent more horsepower, 10 percent more torque, and 26 percent faster 0-60 mph. The 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine delivers 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

If you read my "Alamo" blog, you'd know I met up with a bunch of 4-wheelers. Ron, the owner of the 2010 Rubicon, took our Wrangler for a spin. Right away he noticed the horsepower "which would make it really nice for the highway" and the ability for our Jeep to crawl up hills in 4-lo without throttle and not stalling. Granted the hill climb might be due to a timing retard or some other kind of engineering. In Ron's estimation, the new engine wasn't bent just towards folk who would keep it mostly on blacktop, but gave it a nice nod to the dirty birds too. I would concur with Ron as to the freeway power. It had strong acceleration from a stop and plenty of power to pass trucks at freeway speed. I never felt like the Jeep was a dog in any sense.

In total I drove 1,174 miles during which time I had a good mix of terrain and surfaces. During my Mojave off-roading, I averaged 14.7 mpg. During a long stretch of freeway from Tahoe back to LA, I got 21 mpg. My best tank range was 315.2 miles. For a vehicle that's shaped like a brick, and a tall one at that, I think that's pretty good. I think the new engine does make a big difference

The future is bright for our Jeep. We might have plans to mod it, but at it's core it remains a solid, inexpensive ticket to adventure. I can't wait for the next trip I can take in it.

Scott Jacobs, Sr. Mgr, Photography @ 3,666 miles

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