By KBB.com Editors
The 65-year history of what has become America's definitive off-roader---and an icon on the level of national treasures such as the Corvette and Mustang---began with a run of nearly 650,000 units built for use during the last world war. Distributed strictly for civilian enjoyment today, Jeep claims the percentage of Wrangler owners who take their vehicles off road is higher than that of any other brand. A short wheelbase, solid front and rear axles and renowned all-wheel-drive systems combine in a perennial favorite of rock crawlers, mudders and light off-roaders alike. Fresh from a complete overhaul in 2007, the 2008 Jeep Wrangler is both the most capable and the most livable ever.
Whether you're an off-road enthusiast, an occasional camper or just a city slicker with a back-country mindset, the rugged yet refined 2008 Jeep Wrangler is sure to please.
New features include a standard tire pressure monitor and an optional remote start. A right-hand drive Wrangler X is now available for the U.S and Canada.
Driving Impressions That the 2008 Jeep Wrangler so effortlessly delivered us from our starting point in the middle of the notorious, boulder-strewn Rubicon Trail back to the striped pavement of civilization did...not surprise us. The latest Wrangler is rich with new and improved hardware---and software---that renders it even more capable than its predecessor; and that's saying something, considering the previous generation was already one of the most accomplished off-roaders in the world. Still, we were impressed by the uncanny ease with which the Wrangler traversed massive rocks and by the sheer solidity of its three skid plates. One feature we appreciated most is the electronic throttle, which allows for smooth throttle application in low range. Owners of previous Wrangler models will notice a markedly smoother and quieter ride which, once off trail, transforms the Wrangler from a weekend plaything into a viable everyday vehicle.
Electronic-Disconnecting Sway Bar
When rocks on the trail turn into boulders, the Wrangler's front stabilizer bar disconnects at the push of a button for increased wheel travel.
The Wrangler's hardtop now features panels above the driver and front passenger that can be removed independently and stored in the vehicle, allowing for more spontaneous exposure.
If the addition of niceties like power windows, power locks and a navigation system has you worried that the Wrangler has gotten soft, you'll be happy to know that the changes inside are as evolutionary as the changes outside. They're big improvements to be sure---with higher quality materials and more contemporary styling than previous Wranglers---but the rugged, purpose-built feel remains. Unlimited (four-door) models offer seating for five, which is a first for any Wrangler. Interior color options include gray or khaki and the exterior color carries into the cabin via the door panels. The additional five inches of width make for a noticeably roomier passenger cabin.Exterior
In proper Jeep fashion, the 2008 Wrangler's doors (full-framed or half) are still removable, its windshield is still foldable and the hinges and latches are still exposed. The familiar signature seven-slot grille and round headlamps present a face as distinctive and recognizable as any on the road. Still, while the newest Wrangler's styling is instantly familiar and every bit as rugged as its decade-old predecessor's, it's also decidedly more contemporary. Wrangler veterans will appreciate the bigger tires and additional ground clearance, but may decry the extra five inches in width while negotiating tight trails---and the absence of easily replaceable bumper caps at the ends of those trails. Roof options include two soft tops and a nifty three-piece hardtop. The first-ever four-door Wrangler rides on a wheelbase that's 20.6 inches longer than that of the traditional two-door.
The least expensive Jeep Wrangler comes with Command-Trac shift-on-the-fly part-time four-wheel drive, a six-speed manual transmission, soft top, six-speaker AM/FM/CD/ audio system with MP3 capability, auxiliary audio input, vinyl seats, three skid plates, 16-inch steel wheels, full metal doors with roll up windows, front airbags and electronic stability and traction control systems including rollover mitigation. In addition to four doors, the base Wrangler Unlimited gets cloth seats with height-adjustable driver's seat and air conditioning.
Some of the Wrangler's more significant optional equipment includes a three-piece hardtop, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, MyGIG hard drive-based navigation and digital audio system, remote start, six-disc CD changer, front side-impact airbags and a variety of off-road hardware, the toughest of which come standard on Rubicon models.
All 2008 Jeep Wranglers are powered by a 3.8-liter V6 engine mated with either a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. From there, power is distributed through a two-wheel-drive system (available on four-door models only) or one of two part-time four-wheel-drive systems, both of which include a two-speed transfer case. The beefier Rock-Trac system features a 4.00:1 low-range gear ratio (versus 2.72:1 for Command-Trac) and is standard on Rubicon models, which also feature beefier axle sets and locking differentials front and rear. Electronic brake-lock differentials help get power to the loaded wheels by braking spinning wheels. A limited-slip rear differential is upgradeable to a locking rear differential. Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited models can tow up to 2,000 and 3,500 pounds, respectively.
205 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
240 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/21 (2WD, manual), 15/20 (2WD, automatic), 15/19 (4WD, manual), 15/19 (4WD, automatic)
By COG on Tuesday, October 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun drive, comfort, aftermarket upgrades, roomy"
Cons: "gas mileage, brakes, technology options"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"My reason for getting a Jeep was to have a vehicle that was versatile regardless of location of residency. Meaning - that in any season I wouldn't have to worry about being hindered in any way of my movement from point A to point B. Its not that I needed that option but that I wanted to have that option. Additionally, I could also have some fun with the Jeep finding some trails and driving with the doors off etc.. It wasn't until the interior was redesigned to what it is now and the engine upgraded that I decided to purchase the Jeep. Those were two areas that I felt needed much attention. Now, the interior is great with comfortable seating and nice leather if I might ad with complimentary stitching as well. At 5' 7' I have plenty of room all around for driving and find that the seats are well designed for short and long distance driving. There is plenty of power in the motor for passing other motorist on the road and for going down the less paved path. There are many things I would say that Chrysler has done well with the new model from the sunroof top and removable all together, the removable doors are an easy job, plenty of cargo room with the seats down or up, engine power and the audio system is good as well. Areas for improvement I would say are gas mileage - I just find it hard to believe that with most modern sports cars and trucks that the Jeep mileage still maintains to be so horrendous. Now, I did not purchase it for its MPG but it is definitely an area for improvement. At best I have achieved 22 highway and 10 city. The brakes have a bad tendency of squeaking and grinding pretty constantly. A few trips to the Jeep Dealership and I am told that it is normal and there is nothing that they can do to fix it. The engine has a bad habit of holding high RPMs during normal driving when going up hill or down hill and not shifting. Just seems odd; normal fix action is to either speed up or slow down to have it shift and lower the RPMs. Under normal driving conditions the engine is pretty quite but once you apply some gas then it becomes much noisier in the cabin. The rear window weather stripping failed some how and was leaking water in. The brake pedal was squeaking and was informed it was the brake booster that had to be replaced. The NAV unit could use an upgrade in terms of better quality for the resolution and menu navigation. Not inherently having Bluetooth in the NAV upgrade is a bit of a let down (especially at $42K). I did notice that there is a warning that interior weight of the passengers with cargo should not exceed 800lbs; I sure hope I read that wrong or it was a mis-print because that just seems awfully low. So just four 200lb individuals and no cargo. Conclusion - I know this is a Jeep and some people would just accept some of these short comings. Everyone has their own preference; for me this is still a vehicle that cost me $42K so some of these areas should be scene as areas of improvement since they were missed on this generation."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Bobby on Monday, October 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive and great for bad weather."
Cons: "Cheap interior, bad gas mileage, must watch oil."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"The wife wanted a Jeep Wrangler to enjoy the Florida weather. It is a fun car to occasionally drive, but not for long trips or everyday use. Not comfortable for long trips and bad gas mileage - about as much as a truck, but less useful. Recently learned that this car consumes about one quart of oil every 1,000 miles between oil changes! Jeep will tell you that this is normal. I have a Honda Accord with 197,000 miles and have hardly ever needed to add oil between changes. Unfortunately, it was too late and I had to repair the engine because I blew a piston. Also, the tire sensor is always on even if the pressure is okay. Fun car for occasional use, bad weather, or off-road but not every day commuting."
8 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Bow Wow 1125 on Monday, September 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Solid, Reliable, Multifuntional, Good for Michigan"
Cons: "It's tall. Older dogs and people have trouble."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have paid this car through and never had an issue. New battery and tires this year have been my only expenses. Winter 2013-2014 was brutal in Michigan and my Jeep handled it like a champ. I was blazing trails through the snow and towing cars out of drifts so other people could get where they needed. I have maintained land with it, hauled huge loads, towed boats (even off-road) no problem. Kbb.com is reporting it is worth more than I paid for it 5 years later."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By jeepguy79 on Saturday, September 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent Engine and off-road abilities."
Cons: "Ride quality if looking for luxury car feel."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Either you love a Jeep or hate a Jeep. I have owned other Jeeps in the past and this model (2012 and newer) is much improved. Best engine Jeep has ever used. Ironically for a Wrangler actually can overtake many cars on the road. Huge amount of power and acceleration with improved gas mileage. The ride quality is improved and still a little bumpy on the road but overall very good for a Jeep. Decent gas mileage averaging around 19mpg. The soft top is much improved being more quiet and airtight and easier to remove. Improved off-road abilities. Overall I would never own another type of vehicle. Can go anywhere in style."
32 people out of 59 found this review helpful
By TNG on Sunday, August 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,550overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Solid, dependable, American Made.""
Cons: "Uncomfortable seats, poor gas mileage.""
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
""Great vehicle that is incredibly versatile. The 4 door is a great option.Don't purchase this vehicle if you are looking for comfort.""
11 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Gert on Sunday, August 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, lots of aftermarket available"
Cons: "Can't go back to a regular car ever again"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love my Jeep Wrangler. Is it the most comfortable car? Is it the most economical car? Is it the most practical car? No, not really. Is driving it with the top and doors off the most fun I can have with my clothes on? Absolutely! I owned a Jeep CJ7 back in the mid 80's and have always wanted to pick up a Wrangler, when the 4 door version came out it became practical to own with a family. I purchased the 2012 because of the engine upgrade and I have not been disappointed. The Jeep has much better power and acceleration than previous models. I really like the interior changes over previous years. It handles well for what it is and as far as I am concerned, it is like an erector set on wheels if you like to modify/accessorize your vehicle. There may be some reliability issues in previous years, but I have had nothing but good experience with mine, although I have not had it long term yet. A Wrangler is a lifestyle vehicle. In my opinion, it is like owning a Harley Davidson motorcycle. There may be better bikes out there, but you had better not tell that to a Harley owner."
9 people out of 10 found this review helpful