Looking for a great go-anywhere, do-anything vehicle? The 2017 Jeep Wrangler might be a good fit. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
SPEAKER 1: I'm Travis Langness, Edmunds' editor, and this is the Expert Rundown of the 2017 Jeep Wrangler. For 2017, the Wrangler gets a few new items like optional LED headlights and fog lights, and a cold weather package that has remote start and heated seats. We expect to redesign Wrangler in 2018, but for now this is the drop top Jeep we've got. It's got subpar crash test scores, long braking distances, unimpressive fuel economy, stiff seats. It's loud on the inside. It's missing a lot of safety equipment that you'll get in other SUVs. And the soft top is hard to operate and makes it even louder on the inside, but somehow that just doesn't matter. This Jeep Wrangler is just super fun. It can pretty much go anywhere off-road. That's its key selling point, thanks to its elevated ride height, short wheelbase and hardcore trail-tested hardware underneath. The model we're looking at here is the hard top, but there's also a manually operated soft top version available. Our favorite trim level is the two-door Rubicon version. It's the go anywhere Wrangler. The interior of the Wrangler isn't exactly a great place to be. Much of the materials quality is subpar, especially up against class leaders. But honestly, it just doesn't matter. That fun experience of bouncing over sand dunes, going on the beach, taking any trail you can find-- that's the best part of owning a Wrangler. Larger competitors like the Toyota Forerunner and the Dodge Durango can do some damage off-road, too, and they have a few more creature comforts. But they have a hard time outperforming the Wrangler in tight spaces. The bottom line is, owning a Jeep Wrangler is a truly unique experience. And although it may not seem super appealing, we can't avoid loving it. For more reviews of key competitors, go to YouTube and check out more of the Edmunds' Expert Rundowns.
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While most SUVs try to emphasize sleekness and sophistication, the 2017 Jeep Wrangler makes no bones about its old-fashioned, bare-bones character. Whether in the two-door, four-passenger or four-door, five-passenger Unlimited configuration, the Wrangler is the first Jeep we think of when the brand is mentioned. It represents tradition like few other vehicles presently found in showrooms, but it's also a beast in the bushes that's forever itching to turn off the beaten path and cross a stream or crawl up a trail. And yet it still offers a modicum of modern conveniences, including Bluetooth connectivity and satellite radio. As with any big personality, however, the trade-off is that it isn't always easy to live with while driving around town.
Unlike most other modern vehicles, the Wrangler is simply out of its element in the daily city grind or on the highway. It has a rough ride, ponderous handling and some of the lowest safety ratings on the road today. What's more, the seats aren't very comfortable, the infotainment system is relatively unappealing (because you can't get the Jeep brand's top-of-the-line 8.4-inch touchscreen in the Wrangler like you can in the Grand Cherokee), and it's just plain loud at elevated speeds, making it a real handful on long road trips.
Fuel economy figures are also underwhelming, ranging from the Unlimited's 18 mpg combined (16 city/20 highway) with the six-speed manual transmission to the two-door Wrangler's 18 mpg combined (17 city/21 highway) with either the manual or the six-speed automatic. In other words, you'll develop a close relationship with the local gas stations if you opt for one of these Jeeps.
With all that said, we somehow still recommend the Wrangler. It has undeniable charm and holds its value surprisingly well. If you're looking for a throwback vehicle that stays true to its history of uncompromised off-road performance, there's still only one Jeep Wrangler.
Both the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited are available in three main trim levels. The basic implement is the Sport, which is capable but simple. The Sahara adds appearance and convenience features, while the top-of-the-line Rubicon attempts to spoil the occupants with upgrades and even more capable off-road performance, plus distinctive styling that makes the Wrangler look like an American G-Wagen. Let Edmunds help you find the perfect 2017 Jeep Wrangler with our objective evaluations, rich data and unparalleled shopping tools.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.