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2009 Jeep Wrangler

Overview
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2009 Jeep Wrangler Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

For off-roading Wrangler enthusiasts, the 2009 model's extra five inches in width over the previous generation may take some getting used to. Back in town, the more livable Wrangler still isn't as buttoned down as SUVs like the Nissan Xterra or Toyota FJ Cruiser.

What's New for 2009

Hill Start Assist (HSA) is made standard.

Driving the Wrangler

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.

Three-Piece Hardtop
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

2009 Jeep Wrangler Details
2009 Jeep Wrangler photo Interior

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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.

3.8-liter V6
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)

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2009 Jeep Wrangler Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 695 Ratings for the 2007 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

I absolutely love my jeep... It's so fun to drive.

By on Tuesday, November 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I'm a big guy and being that it's a jeep... I fit in there pretty good. The seats go all the way back to stretch and rest on long distances. Proud to own one finally !!! The new jk penstar seems to be plenty powerful enough and the 6 speed manual adds a lot of fun to the ride and drive. It's a jeep thing and it may not be for everyone for what their purpose is but it seems like you are seeing a lot more jeep jks as everyday driver , so perhaps that says something. I go camping and hiking a lot so I would eventually like to add a off road cargo trailer to the list and some of the accessories that , jeep , mopar, quadratech and the extended list of companies out there for customizing your jeep to your liking.... Lots of fun !!!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Amazing, rugged, durable, dependable, comfortable.

By on Tuesday, November 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,200

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Absolutely great vehicle. durable and stylish!"

Cons: "Poor gas milage and bad with highway wind."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is a great vehicle in so many ways. its a classic icon of american styling, fun to drive durable, dependable, i could go on and on!"

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

great multi-purpose auto

By on Tuesday, November 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,740

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Fun car, capable of quietly tooling about community or exploring primitive off-road environments. Some issues with rearward visibility in traffic while wearing the hard-top; gas mileage is poor due to the low-range gearing and power requirements necessary for off-roading. All-steel construction makes it very safe for experienced drivers, young and old."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great off road vehicle,

By on Friday, October 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Eats up off road work"

Cons: "Not so great at HWY speeds. stock shocks cheep.."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Great off road, not so great on road, these Wrangler Rubicons like the dirt more than the streets. Leaves something to be desired at high way speeds."

10 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Wrangler...It's a lifestyle choice

By on Thursday, October 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Value,Versatility,FUN factor,Reliability"

Cons: "Could get better MPG, but that's about it."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"When considering a Wrangler, you really need to list what your priorities are in a vehicle...are you looking for a smoooth ride? whisper quiet cabin? Hyper mpg? Utility/versatility? Fun factor? We've all heard over and over..."loud", "rough riding", " bad mpg". Is the Wrangler loud?...a little. But it's not like to have to shout at a passenger to have a conversation on the highway. The hard top cuts noise levels significantly over the soft top. Is it rought riding?...that's going to depend on who you ask. It rides like a vehicle built body-on-frame, so it may not ride like a Lexus, but it's not like the shocks were replaced with solid steel rods. It rides like a truck, which should be expected. MPG?...I've driven vehicles that got much worse mpg. Would it be great if it got 30mpg on the hwy? SURE! But it's not terrible. The change to the Pentastar V6 was the best move ever made for Wrangler yet. Do they leak? Not usually, but can, just need to take care when changing tops and take care of the seals. One big plus (if you plan to use the Wrangler as intended) is you can pull the carpets out, remove the drain plugs in the floor and hose out the interior. What other vehicle can do THAT? The Unlimited 4 door models have plenty of cargo space and the aftermarket has unimaginable options for more efficient utilization of available space. I like that almost every aspect of the vehicle can be customized to taste. Even the four door has a good turning radius and is quite manuverable in p-lots. Some say it's hard to see out of, but that's a matter of opinion, I've never had an issue. There are just so many things I love about Wrangler. It's a fairly practical, every day vehicle, but you also get a sweet "toy" to hit the trails, with the top down and the doors off. It's like getting multiple vehicles for the price of one. Go anywhere capability can't be beat. You'll never have to worry about getting snowed in again...unless perhaps you live in the arctic. Around the mountain, or OVER the mountain...OVER! In the end, if you think you can accept the Wrangler's minor shortcomings, you will love it, and likely never go back to living without one."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Life Size Lego

By on Tuesday, October 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun drive, comfort, aftermarket upgrades, roomy"

Cons: "gas mileage, brakes, technology options"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

removing hood ornaments

"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."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

removing hood ornaments

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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