2008 Jeep Wrangler Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Superior off-road ability, surprisingly fun to drive around town, rough-and-tumble image, availability of two- and four-door versions, upscale navigation system.
- Noisy with standard soft top, finicky soft top operation, mediocre acceleration and on-road handling, no power mirrors, too many hard plastic contact points.
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.
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.
2008 Jeep Wrangler models
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.
Performance & mpg
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.
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."
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.
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.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover3 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
Used 2008 Jeep Wrangler Overview
The Used 2008 Jeep Wrangler is offered in the following submodels: Wrangler SUV. Available styles include X 2dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 6M), Unlimited X 4dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 6M), Unlimited Sahara 4dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 6M), Sahara 2dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 6M), Unlimited X 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 6M), Unlimited Rubicon 4dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 6M), Rubicon 2dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 6M), and Unlimited Sahara 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 6M). Pre-owned Jeep Wrangler models are available with a 3.8 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 202 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2008 Jeep Wrangler comes with four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual. The Used 2008 Jeep Wrangler comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a unlimited yr./ unlimited mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2008 Jeep Wrangler?
Price comparisons for Used 2008 Jeep Wrangler trim styles:
- The Used 2008 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is priced between $14,750 and$18,995 with odometer readings between 106000 and139620 miles.
- The Used 2008 Jeep Wrangler Sahara is priced between $15,951 and$19,900 with odometer readings between 119506 and134323 miles.
- The Used 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X is priced between $14,341 and$18,000 with odometer readings between 133431 and149442 miles.
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Which used 2008 Jeep Wranglers are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Jeep Wrangler for sale near. There are currently 6 used and CPO 2008 Wranglers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $14,341 and mileage as low as 106000 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2008 Jeep Wrangler.
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Find a used Jeep Wrangler for sale - 8 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $12,388.
Find a used Jeep for sale - 10 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $17,387.
Find a used certified pre-owned Jeep Wrangler for sale - 1 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $10,503.
Find a used certified pre-owned Jeep for sale - 8 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $21,019.
Should I lease or buy a 2008 Jeep Wrangler?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.