Regardless of the body style, all Wranglers come with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that makes 202 horsepower and 237 pound-feet of torque delivered through either a 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Although the automatic has fewer gears than most modern transmissions, it works well because of the engine's torquey, responsive character. A new Interactive Decel Fuel Shut-Off (iDFSO) system cuts fuel to the engine during deceleration, which increases gas mileage.
The Wrangler looks the part of off-road vehicle, with exposed hinges, full-framed doors, angular sheetmetal and a hinged, fold-down windshield, along with several top options. A SunRider soft top includes a partial-open "sun roof" position as well as the full open-air experience, and the 3-piece Freedom Top brings a quieter, more weatherproof interior for those in cold-weather states.
Wrangler X and Sahara models come with standard 4-wheel drive, but Wrangler Unlimited X and Sahara models can be specified with rear-wheel drive. The 4WD system offered here is the Command-Trac part-time system, with a low-range transfer case and available Trac-Lok limited-slip differential. Working with this setup are a Dana 30 front axle and heavy-duty Dana 44 rear axle.
The Rubicon model is outfitted for extreme off-roaders, at slight detriment to on-road comfort, and includes a host of extra equipment such as heavy-duty front and rear Dana 44 axles, a Rock-Trac transfer case with low-range creeper gear, electric front and rear lockers, and big 32-inch BF Goodrich off-road tires. An electronic sway-bar disconnect allows the Rubicon to handle acceptably on the road in between off-road outings.
Sahara models slot between the base X model and the Rubicon, including heavy-duty shocks, machined cast-aluminum wheels, on/off-road OWL tires and tubular side steps.
On the entire Wrangler lineup, electronic stability control, which helps prevent the loss of control that could lead to a rollover, is standard, and it includes full-off and partial-on modes to help in situations where some wheelspin is useful. Hill Start Assist helps prevent rollback on steep, slippery grades, and Trailer Sway Control is integrated with the system to assure stability while towing. Anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist are also standard, but seat-mounted side airbags are optional.
Base versions of the Wrangler come modestly equipped--the way many buyers want them. The base X comes with manual-wind windows, and air conditioning is optional. Jeep knows that its buyers want a good sound system, though; a 6-speaker CD/MP3 unit is standard. In addition to the functional and appearance extras, the Sahara adds upgrades such as cruise control, keyless entry, an alarm, air conditioning and Infinity speakers with a subwoofer. Options include a remote start system and a MyGig hard-drive entertainment system. A navigation system with Bluetooth is also optional.