2011 Jeep Wrangler Review

Pros & Cons

  • Superior off-road capability
  • surprisingly fun to drive around town
  • rough-and-tumble image
  • availability of two- and four-door versions
  • it's a convertible.
  • Gutless, thirsty engine
  • noisy cabin
  • long braking distances
  • poor side-crash ratings
  • security issues with zippered windows.
List Price Range
$14,990 - $24,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

While a bit more civilized for 2011, the Jeep Wrangler remains a no-nonsense American icon. Its quirky character and unique off-road abilities continue to hold appeal.

Vehicle overview

In the realm of modern wheeled conveyances, the 2011 Jeep Wrangler seemingly ranks only a few rungs higher than a Jamaican jitney bus. This is a vehicle that proudly boasts of solid axles, removable doors, exposed hinges and a fold-down windshield. Yet these symbols of antiquated automotive engineering remain strangely appealing because the Wrangler is still the world's most iconic off-road adventure vehicle.

See, those doors have straps because they can be completely removed from the hinges. Ditto the folding windshield, which also comes in handy for hunting the occasional water buffalo. And with 10.2 inches of available ground clearance, solid axles and a steep approach angle, you'll be able to track down that water buffalo on just about whatever terrain it may choose to hide.

The big news for the 2011 Wrangler is its revised interior; it's part of Jeep's attempt to become more appealing to mainstream drivers. There's certainly a cognitive dissonance associated with adding new luxury features like heated leather seats, automatic climate control and a steering wheel with audio controls to a cabin that you can clean out with a hose, but then not everyone uses a Wrangler to its most rugged, dirty potential.

The 2011 Jeep Wrangler is a unique experience to be sure. This isn't to say it's the only game in town; if you'd like something more civilized that retains much of the Wrangler's off-road talent and visual machismo, the 2011 Nissan Xterra and 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser are worthy alternatives. Yet for better or for worse, nothing matches the Wrangler's array of unique talents, foibles and quirks.

2011 Jeep Wrangler models

The 2011 Jeep Wrangler can be had in two-door regular and four-door Unlimited body styles with Sport, Rubicon and Sahara trim levels available with both.

The Wrangler Sport comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, manual folding soft top, foglamps, cruise control, height-adjustable driver seat, tilt-only steering wheel, a one-piece flip-and-fold removable rear seat and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and steering wheel controls. The Unlimited Sport gets air-conditioning, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a bigger fuel tank.

The Rubicon (regular or Unlimited) adds 17-inch alloy wheels, special tires, off-road suspension, an electrically controlled antiroll bar that can be disconnected for more wheel articulation while off-road, electronically locking front and rear differentials, a stronger front axle, a special low-range transfer case and rock rails. The Rubicon also features equipment unrelated to its hard-core off-road abilities, including acoustic insulation under the hood, automatic headlamps, air-conditioning, leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite radio (optional on Sport). The Power Convenience Group (standard on Rubicon Unlimited, optional on both Sport models and the two-door Rubicon) adds keyless entry, power locks and windows, and heated mirrors.

The Sahara adds to the Sport equipment 18-inch alloy wheels, the Rubicon's non-off-road items and the Power Convenience Group, plus special exterior and interior trim, side steps and a six-speaker Infinity sound system.

The Connectivity Group adds an iPod/USB audio interface, Bluetooth and on the Sport, a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Optional on all trims is the so-called "Freedom Top" three-piece modular hardtop that includes a rear defroster, rear window washer/wiper and tinted glass windows. The Freedom Top is body-colored on the Sahara and unpainted black plastic on Sport and Rubicon models. The two-door Sport can be equipped with special half doors that feature plastic windows, although this eliminates the option of power accessories. The Rubicon and Sahara can be optioned with a fully integrated touchscreen navigation system and a two-tone leather-upholstery package that includes heated front seats.

2011 Highlights

The Jeep Wrangler receives a new interior for 2011, with improved materials, increased acoustic insulation, larger rear windows and new available features like power mirrors, automatic climate control, heated seats, a USB audio port, Bluetooth and steering wheel controls. Stability control, hill start assist and trailer stability control are now standard, while the optional hardtop is now body-colored on the Sahara.

Performance & mpg

Every 2011 Jeep Wrangler is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 202 horsepower and 237 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual (with hill-start assist) is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional. Most Wranglers come standard with four-wheel drive (includes high- and low-range transfer-case gears), though the Unlimited can be had with rear-wheel drive. Rubicon models have a specialized transfer case that provides extra-low gearing for enhanced off-road ability.

In Edmunds performance testing, a Wrangler Unlimited with the automatic took a leisurely 9.7 seconds to reach 60 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 15 mpg city/19 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined. Opting for the rear-drive Unlimited nets you 1 additional mpg on the highway.

Safety

All 2011 Jeep Wranglers feature antilock brakes, stability control and hill start assist. Front-seat side airbags are optional.

The Jeep Wrangler has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash-testing procedure. Its 2009 rating (which isn't comparable to 2011 ratings) was a perfect five stars in frontal-impact protection.

Similarly, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Wrangler its highest rating of "Good" for frontal-offset impacts. However, without the optional side airbags, the Wrangler's side-impact crashworthiness was deemed "Poor" for the two-door (the IIHS's worst rating possible) and only "Marginal" for the four-door Unlimited (the second-lowest rating).

In Edmunds brake testing, the Wrangler Unlimited came to a stop in a long 137 feet.

Driving

The 2011 Jeep Wrangler is pretty much unstoppable in off-road situations, especially in Rubicon guise, thanks to its specialized hardware. The Wrangler Unlimited four-door isn't as maneuverable on tight trails as the two-door model, but its roomier interior means you can carry more gear.

The Wrangler is also surprisingly fun to drive around the city. Although certainly tippy through turns and short on grip, the Wrangler provides a commendable amount of feedback through its wheel. The Wrangler's biggest dynamic downfall is its thirsty V6, which is gutless both on the highway and when trying to accelerate quickly. Excessive wind and road noise are two additional drawbacks for highway use.

Interior

Despite the increase in available niceties, this is still a vehicle meant to drive through dust, dirt and muck and then be easily cleaned afterward. Interior materials and switchgear are improved this year, and the design now has a rounder, more organic look.

While the two-door's backseat can host only two passengers, the Unlimited has room for three. The four-door also offers 86 cubic feet of cargo space when the second-row seats are folded. With its soft top, however, storing cargo inside the Wrangler can be a risky situation since only the glovebox and center console can be locked. The optional hardtop is a smart solution, but you'll need somewhere to store it should you wish to drive al fresco.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Jeep Wrangler.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Know what to expect and you will love it!!
thomm99,04/14/2011
If you want a Wrangler you know there isn't anything else that will do. I love my 2011 unlimited. The changes that were made to the interior have made a world of difference in the comfort of a daily driver stuck in traffic, but haven't taken anything away from what it can do off road. Be prepared for extra attention when you take the top and doors off. A wide open 4 door gets a lot of appreciative looks at stop lights!! As long as you know what to expect in terms of comfort and performance you will be very happy with a Wrangler. Having kids I highly recommend the Unlimited. Plenty of room for everything. The power is reasonable, mileage is decent for what it is, exterior is iconic!
Red Wrangler
osucowboy1,01/26/2011
This is my fifth Wrangler in 10 years, the last being an identical 2010. We upgraded to the 2011 from the 2010 because of the interior changes and the need to take a 3,500 mile trip over Christmas break. The interior changes in the 2011 made for a very comfortable trip. Armrests are better placed and padded. Trim is rounded rather than squared. Seats are more comfortable and access to the rear seat is improved. The acoustics are better and the 2011 had less wind noise. Gas mileage was 21 mpg overall with a difference of about a mile to the gallon noted when using 10% ethanol. We love the Jeep and just helped our daughter buy an identical black sport. Nothing like the "Jeep" wave.
It's a Jeep thing....NOW I understand :)
uber,06/29/2011
70th Anniversary Unlimited Auto - Bronze Pearl. I had pretty much decided on a Dodge Journey based on reviews and my requirements. So....I hiked off to the dealerships...drove the Journey....it wasn't bad.....good in fact....but....there they were....all those Wranglers....looking cool and iconic....made the Journey look pathetic....then I found out about the rebates and I was sold....$11k off sticker incl tax!! Three weeks in and I can't stop smiling... a bit more power would be OK but, when you are in a Jeep you don't care if you go a bit slower. It's not a sports car...point it in the general direction you want and it will go there....over almost anything! So much more than I expected.
Comfort without giving up Jeep nature
Happy in TN,10/04/2010
We purchased this 2011 Jeep Wrangler Sahara last week and couldn't be happier with our choice. The traditional Jeep crowd may be put off by the heated seats, navigation system with HDD audio, climate control, and power windows. For us, it's a great way to give us the comfort and convenience of a luxury vehicle during the weekly commute combined with a capable off-road fun vehicle on the weekends. The family hasn't stopped smiling since our purchase.

Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 19 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
202 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
15 city / 19 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed manual
Gas
202 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
15 city / 19 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
202 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
15 city / 19 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
202 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 2011 Jeep Wrangler features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover25.6%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Poor
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2011 Jeep Wrangler
More About This Model

The past decade has fostered much hand-wringing among Jeep enthusiasts about the brand's evolution. At one end of the model lineup, the Grand Cherokee aims upmarket at Land Rover, and at the other are pavement-friendly models pulled primarily by the (gasp) front wheels.

Jeep fans can be forgiven for thinking the badge that stood for toughness had gone soft trying to cover too many bases. Yet they can take solace in the enduring Wrangler, the brand's anchor. It remains an important vehicle for the company; last year it surpassed the Grand Cherokee as the brand's top seller. Simple transportation with all-terrain capability still sells.

No wonder, then, that a four-door Wrangler is such a good idea. You wonder why it took until 2007 for Jeep to come up with one. After all, Jeep offered four doors on many of its iconic all-roaders like the Wagoneer, not to mention the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. The 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon not only opens up more room for five passengers, it makes some concessions to modern-day convenience, including navigation, Bluetooth, a nice audio system, even heated leather seats. And in its steadfast refusal to embrace whimsical styling trends or compromised mobility, the Wrangler Unlimited has actually expanded the unique niche of the traditional Wrangler.

Competitors like the Nissan Xterra and Toyota FJ Cruiser also offer impressive off-road function and are better suited to everyday detail. But the Wrangler beats them both with the scope of its abilities. Quite simply, nothing offers the ability to climb rocks, ford streams, clamber over fallen timber and even ride topless (and doorless) under a jungle canopy quite like the four-door Wrangler Unlimited.

Used 2011 Jeep Wrangler Overview

The Used 2011 Jeep Wrangler is offered in the following submodels: Wrangler SUV. Available styles include Unlimited Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 6M), Sport 2dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 6M), Unlimited Sahara 4dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 6M), Unlimited Rubicon 4dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 6M), Sahara 2dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 6M), Rubicon 2dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 6M), Unlimited 70th Anniversary 4dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 6M), 70th Anniversary 2dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 6M), and Unlimited Sport RHD 4dr SUV 4WD (3.8L 6cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Jeep Wrangler?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Jeep Wrangler trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Jeep Wrangler Sport is priced between $14,995 and$21,900 with odometer readings between 74635 and131277 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport is priced between $14,990 and$18,000 with odometer readings between 73010 and122670 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara is priced between $17,388 and$24,995 with odometer readings between 76655 and123101 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon is priced between $18,995 and$22,950 with odometer readings between 90644 and104193 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is priced between $18,990 and$18,990 with odometer readings between 88720 and88720 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 70th Anniversary is priced between $19,950 and$19,950 with odometer readings between 89539 and89539 miles.

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Which used 2011 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) 2011 Jeep Wrangler for sale near. There are currently 19 used and CPO 2011 Wranglers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $14,990 and mileage as low as 73010 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 2011 Jeep Wrangler.

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Find a used Jeep Wrangler for sale - 8 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $8,949.

Find a used Jeep for sale - 4 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $25,652.

Find a used certified pre-owned Jeep Wrangler for sale - 8 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $19,452.

Find a used certified pre-owned Jeep for sale - 6 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $10,517.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 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.

Check out Jeep lease specials
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