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. The longest, widest and most livable design to date, the 2009 Jeep Wrangler continues to enjoy a wide and deeply loyal audience.
Whether you're an off-road enthusiast, an occasional camper or just a city slicker with a back-country mindset, the rugged yet refined 2009 Jeep Wrangler is sure to please.
Hill Start Assist (HSA) is made standard.
Driving Impressions That the 2009 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 Wrangler is rich with new and improved hardware – and software – that renders it even more capable than its predecessors; 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 2009 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, uconnect gps 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 2009 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.
202 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
237 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 (2WD), 15/19 (4WD, manual), 15/19 (4WD, automatic)
By Drgold on Sunday, February 22, 2015
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Newer model
Pros: "All around a fun vehicle at a reasonable price."
Cons: "Wish that both the back seat could totally fold down."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Over the years, I have owned two Wranglers prior to this vehicle. These were stick shifts because of the lack of response in the automatics. With the 285HP engine and new auto transmission, response is not a problem. Blending into traffic on entering the expressway is no problem, acceleration is all that is needed to blend in efficiently. Structural integrity: I hit a deer doing 72 MPH ($4300 damage). When the officer arrived he said, "I didn't know these vehicles were so well built." I'm glad they are! I was able to drive the vehicle until it was repaired. Recently took a 5500 mile trip to the West coast and back. Comfort was totally acceptable and soft off roading completely satisfactory. Milage: 21.5 MPG, much more than I expected, but then a lot of open road driving. Even at 70MPH limit I never went over 65MPH. Also, 4WD in winter is great."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Penny on Tuesday, February 17, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "This thing will go anywhere"
Cons: "Access to rear is limited and awkward ."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The Rubicon option is the only way to go with a jeep. I call this thing My Goat, because this Jeep will handle more than the average driver will ever put it through. Extra stiff suspension with gas shocks, skid plates underneath, Dana 44 axles front & rear, extra heavy transmission, extra heavy transaxle, front & rear locking differentials, sway-bar disconnect, side rock rails, & more. I occasionally need a rugged 4-wheel drive vehicle & this Jeep is beyond expectation & comfortable to boot! The dealer has been first class all the way. The only drawback is that this vehicle is with limited comfort on highway drives ----drives more like a truck (which I kinda like)."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By GENA on Tuesday, February 17, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,645overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "IT CAN HOLD A LOT OF FOLKS COMFORTABLY & CAN TOW ,"
Cons: "THE FIRST 2 YEARS IT PERFORMRD GREAT....THEN IT NE"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"I BOUGHT MY 2007 JEEP SAHARA..IN RENO FOR $38.000.00. IT HAS BEEN GREAT...NOW THAT MY CHILDREN ARE YOUNG ADULTS..THEY HAVE THEIR OWN CAR'S AND I FIND IT'S TOO BIG FOR JUST ME...SO IM LOOKING TO DOWN SIZE MY VEHICLE...WITH POSSIBLY A LIBERTY OR THE 2 DOOR MODEL..."
By FurryCrazer on Friday, February 06, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Goes anywhere and it holds a ton of stuff!"
Cons: "Back seat is a little tight on the 2 door"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've always wanted a blue jeep, and now I have the perfect one. The only thing...I should have gotten the automatic windows, but I can live without them :)"
12 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By Rodrex on Thursday, February 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great vehicle for on or off-road use."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My first Wrangler, and I love it. True offroad fun and no problem driving for everyday use. Just got to find a way to keep it away from the wife."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Trapper on Sunday, February 01, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Only a legend in my mind"
Cons: "Expensive. Try Toyota"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"So sad to see the Jeep turn into a TIN CAN. The outer shell dents even when you wash it, and it is marked as a trail vehicle. My old 1998 Cherokee was more a Jeep than this recycled beer can. Oh, by the way, the dash rattles like plastic."
10 people out of 25 found this review helpful