The iconic has been around for many decades, with a lineage that traces back to the original military Jeep some 60 years ago. In all its history, the Jeep Wrangler has been hailed as the king of the off-road vehicles.
If you’re looking for a good used Jeep Wrangler, what are some of the features you absolutely should consider? Here are five of the best features to be on the lookout for in any used Jeep Wrangler.
Higher-Quality Cabin – Prior to 2011, the interior of the Jeep Wrangler was constructed with lower-quality materials and its design was less visually appealing. Even if your main intent in purchasing a used Wrangler is for its off-road capability, the fact is that you and your passengers will spend a fair amount of time in the cabin. You want to be comfortable and to have access to the latest technology, infotainment, luxury and convenience features and options you so desire. Speaking of comfort, the seats of all Wranglers were much improved in 2013 models. Sahara and Rubicon can be outfitted with leather seats, heated front seats, automatic climate control, a navigation system with touchscreen interface, real-time traffic and digital music storage.
Electronic Stability Control – Also, prior to 2011, electronic stability control was not standard, so look for this in 2012 and later Wrangler models. Other standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, as well as traction control and hill start assist. Front-side airbags are optional and may be something you want on your Wrangler.
More Powerful Engine – The model year 2012 brought, finally, a more powerful engine in the form of a 285-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 that produces 260 pound-feet of torque. Four-wheel drive is also standard and includes high- and low-range transfer case gears. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, however, has an upgraded transfer case with extra-low gearing. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a five-speed automatic transmission is an available option. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the two-door is 17 mpg city/21 mpg highway/18 mpg combined (manual or automatic transmission). The four-door Unlimited is 16/20/18 mpg with the automatic, 16/21 mpg with the manual.
Two- vs. Four-door – If you’re looking for the most maneuverability possible off-road, a two-door Jeep Wrangler would be your first choice. But four-door models are roomier inside and allow you to carry more gear. A four-door Wrangler also feels a little more stable on the highway and around corners, but all Wranglers have somewhat of a rough ride and wind and road noise can be obtrusive.
Removable Hardtop – A multi-piece removable hardtop with a rear defroster and wiper is available across all Wrangler trims for 2013, optional with or without the standard soft top. This is an important feature because the standard soft top is cumbersome and presents security issues.
What about older models? Go for the redesigned 2007 Jeep Wrangler, although you’ll have to make do with a 202-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine and either standard six-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic. Most models are four-wheel drive, although there is a rear-drive version of the Unlimited that’s available.