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2009 Jeep Wrangler

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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
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 774 Ratings for the 2007 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

A Very Strange Dichotomy

By on Sunday, May 08, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, will go anywhere - anytime"

Cons: "Poor gas mileage, rough ride, noisy, no power"

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

"I have owned my 2 door Wrangler for 6 years now. As you can see from my review I gave it low marks for driving dynamics, comfort and convenience; however i gave it an overall rating of 10. It rides rough, it is loud, it gets poor gas mileage, the engine has no power, the interior is sparse, etc., etc.,etc. HOWEVER, we love our Jeep and have no intent to trade it for any other vehicle. I can't really explain it."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

My Wranglers my best friend

By on Thursday, May 05, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "super fun to drive, powerful engine, rugged, jeep"

Cons: "build quality could be better, highway drving"

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

"The Wrangler is a strange cat. It's sloppy on road but still fun when you want it to be, except on the highway. Taking it off road is an amazing experience, it will practically go anywhere. It's expensive as he!! for what you get, but sells like hotcakes, and usually without much of a discount. After the sale they hold their value unbelievably (in spite of average build quality). Many owners are city-dwellers, who proceed to max them out with large tires, lifts, winches and trail lights, but never take the truck farther than the suburbs. I've owned two, and will own another. Unbelievable."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

I love this Jeep Wrangler JKU

By on Monday, May 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

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
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Super fun to drie"

Cons: "awwww...you get tennis elbow from shifting"

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

"I never want another car....this is it...bury me in it! it does not have power windows, doors, locks, etc. FINE!! Give me the freedom to work with the machine....I LOVE IT!!If I get another car it will be a Jeep Wrangler JKU or Jeep pickup."

9 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Love this Wrangler

By on Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun, sturdy, safe, reliable, turns heads"

Cons: "back seats uncomfortable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is the 4th Wrangler Unlimited that I've owned and this is my favorite so far. It's comfortable, stylish, sporty and turns heads. Value is 8 of 10 only because these Jeeps are not cheap but they do hold their value. So you will pay more but you will also get more. Design & Comfort are 9 or 10 because there is not a lot of space to put things up front like a purse when you have a passenger. The backseats are not comfortable (I wish they would recline a bit) and can feel cramped when you have 3 passengers in the back. Also the a/c & heat does not reach the back seat very well but this is a Jeep and not a Cadillac either and is made for safety & fun. I love the feeling of being able to just go where ever I want - on or off the road. There is a feeling a freedom with a Jeep Wrangler that no other vehicle can match. Gas mileage is actually not too bad. This is the vehicle that I prefer to drive, I love driving it!! I love the navigation, stereo with the hard drive space and the bluetooth works excellent. The interior look is very sharp with the white trim and mountain scenes. The leather seats are comfortable and I love the seat heaters in winter. The black trim on the exterior and special decals are sporty and I like the unique look of the hood, wheels and grill. All around - the Wrangler is the best vehicle on or off the road and this Polar Edition is always a conversation starter."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

My first Jeep and I love it!

By on Friday, April 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,400

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Accessories, convertible & off-road capabilities"

Cons: "Price to purchace Jeep & road handling"

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

"I always wanted a Jeep and I finally bought one. I traded in my 2014 GMC Terrain Denalli for it. I got a 2015 brand new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude. I am in love with it. Many Jeep owners wave as they pass by and I get it. "It's a Jeep thing" LOL I just love everything about it, the only thing I need to change is the handling. It's kinda all over the road. Especially when it's windy outside. I know I can fix this as there are so many accessories out there. I already changed the headlights, fog lights, tail lights, put on a new bumper with a winch. The accessories are endless. I have so many things that I am going to do to it. I really want to lift it and get bigger tires with different rims. I would totally recommend getting a Jeep to anyone!"

Love my Jeep!

By on Monday, February 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,093

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "A quality American made vehicle."

Cons: "Removing hard top has to be done by two people."

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

"I have had my Jeep MOAB for 3 years and I still love my jeep. The MOAB came with every option that I wanted and then some. Ride is better then I expected and I try to get stuck but she just keeps on going. Eventually I will add some accessories, but for now extremely happy with my Jeep MOAB."

15 people out of 27 found this review helpful

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