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2011 Jeep Wrangler

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2011 Jeep Wrangler Review

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In addition to being one of the parents of the Mustang and righting the financial shipwreck that was Chrysler in the 1970s, Lee Iacocca's most significant contribution to American motoring may have been the purchase - under his watch, as chairman of Chrysler - of American Motors Corporation. Not only did its purchase get AMC out of the hands of the French(!), but it secured a path to market for those Jeep products on the cusp of introduction, including the trendsetting Cherokee and its stablemate, the Grand Cherokee. The success of those launches has only enhanced the viability of the iconic Wrangler, now in its biggest, boldest and - in the guise of the Unlimited - most accommodating iteration. For 2011 the model news and marketing push may be with the all-new Grand Cherokee, but that shouldn't reduce the importance of some very credible enhancements to the established Wrangler recipe.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you have a real need for all-season capability, or simply a strong desire to depart the beaten path, the 2011 Jeep Wrangler is a tough recipe to beat. And with city streets and freeways providing an increasingly unfriendly atmosphere to standard, car-based suspensions, large tires and real ground clearance are increasingly handy for the committed urbanite.

You May Not Like This Car If...

In its most recent evolution the Wrangler has grown significantly and is currently some five inches wider than its predecessor. In combination with a heavy, overbuilt - yet strong and rugged - platform is an old-design 3.8-liter V6 engine that offers less power yet greater thirst than that provided by the Grand Cherokee's standard 3.6-liter V6. The new powertrain is coming to the Wrangler - projected for the 2012 model year - and for those wanting to maximize their automotive efficiency it may be worth the wait.

What's Significant About This Car?

If you believe beauty is on the inside, you'll love the modifications made to the Wrangler's interior for model year 2011. New seat fabric, available leather, an all-new instrument panel with revised air ducts, a redesigned center stack and revised radio lineup are just a few of the many changes wrought by Jeep's product team. Although "soft-touch" may seem like a less-than-dirty word to a committed off-roader, it perfectly describes these interior updates, in combination with improved ergonomics and a quieter ride.

Driving the Wrangler

Driving Impressions Truck-based, solid-axle platforms are perfect for boulder hopping, but less perfect for negotiating Boulder, Colorado. With that as the obvious, the engineering team at Jeep has done an amazing job...

enhancing the Wrangler's off-road credibility while improving its on-road prowess. You won't confuse the 2011 Jeep Wrangler - despite its open top - with any of the current crop of sport roadsters, but neither does it generate the on-road angst of Jeeps of early generations, where the steering sometimes seemed connected to the front wheels by a loose rope and applying the brakes did not necessarily bring things to a quick stop. As noted earlier, we're fans of the Rubicon for its aggressive off-road capability, and wish a Wrangler Sport had more in the way of standard rubber, but you can't argue with the success in crafting this oh-so-careful balance, and doing it for under $25,000. Credit a vastly improved structure for the improvements to its handling and the contributions those handling improvements have made to active safety - the all-important ability to avoid an accident before it happens.

Sunrider Soft Top
Lets the sun shine in when you want it, while keeping the elements out when you need it. And it's accomplished with the convenience of opening a sunroof.

Wrangler Unlimited
The four-door Wrangler allows you to share the goodness of "Jeeping" with more than one friend. And, if you just have one friend, the Unlimited allows you to pick the friend with a lot of stuff.

2011 Jeep Wrangler Details
2011 Jeep Wrangler photo Interior

As noted in "What's New," the news for model year 2011 is an inside story. The Wrangler has been through evolutionary improvements throughout its seven decades of development, but rarely has the interior displayed so much reinvention. Recognizing that, all of the cloth, leather and soft-touch upgrades in the world won't disguise the very real need to climb into the passenger compartment of a Wrangler and become engaged, whether - at the end of a long day in the office - you really want to be or not. In short, despite a concerted effort to broaden the Wrangler's appeal through a host of 21st-Century niceties (new cloth, leather, instrumentation, center stack and audio offerings), its furnishings remain much more closely aligned with the Greatest Generation than Generation Y.

Exterior

Few in the industry better understand their brand than those assigned to Jeep. (And we'll excuse - for the moment - the aberration that is Jeep's Compass). The functionality - in the guise of removable doors and foldable windshield - still remains in the 2011 Jeep Wrangler, as do those traditional cues that are sometimes found elsewhere (for example, the Hummer showroom) but will always refer to Jeep. However, today's Jeep is fully invested in the modern world, with proportions and capability that make it far more viable in current automotive environs. The bigger dimensions may marginalize it slightly on a tight trail, but work far better in the cut-and-thrust that is urban driving and, for that matter, dealing with the larger proportions of adjacent cars and trucks.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The beauty of the 2011 Jeep's Wrangler is, in large part, its utter simplicity. To be sure, standard Command-Trac shift-on-the-fly part-time 4WD is notable at a $22,000 base price but, then, who'd want a 2WD Jeep? And the continued availability of a standard six-speed manual for the U.S. is both notable and encouraging, suggesting that for the present time a small percentage of Americans can shift gears and talk on their hands-free cell phones at the same time. A Media Center may sound too sophisticated for Wrangler intenders, but it's included as standard equipment and located right next to the steering wheel.

Optional Equipment

Given the Wrangler's all-season drivetrain, the availability of a "Freedom Top" three-piece hardtop is not only notable, but viable. And, in the Sun Belt, A/C can be a lifesaver. We're most impressed, however, by not one option but a collection of them - all under the guise of the 2011 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. No carmaker offers such credible off-road capability for under $30,000, and it's unlikely that anyone ever will again. If your hope is to go beyond the Barnes & Noble adventure section the Rubicon is the best buy in or near the showroom.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Jeep Wrangler is still powered by a 3.8-liter V6; this despite the majority of Chrysler Corporation products now enjoying a much more modern 3.6-liter engine. Not only is this incumbent powerplant less powerful than the 3.6 - it's substantially thirstier, as well. With that, we'll admit that its torque - 237 pound-feet - is perfectly adequate for both off-roading and accelerating up to traffic speed. The power is distributed through one of two part-time four-wheel-drive systems, either of which offers a two-speed transfer case. In terms of drivetrain and suspension, the best Jeep of the bunch is the aforementioned Rubicon, where everything is beefier - and its overall capability is beastier. If you're opting for a Jeep, get as much "Jeep" as you can afford.

3.8-liter V6
202 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
237 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/19 (4WD, manual), 15/19 (4WD, automatic)

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2011 Jeep Wrangler Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 746 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

Jeep Legend- It is a ROUGH RIDE

By on Friday, July 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great price, perfect quality"

Cons: "bumby ride, hot, uncomfortable"

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

"I love my Jeep Wrangler. I think it is highly reliable. Very rare mechanical issues,and it is at 130,000 miles. The only problem which is really not a problem is the rough ride. It is not the most comfortable for family trips. I will always buy Jeep."

Love my Jeep Rubicon

By on Sunday, July 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Jeep fan through and through. Awesome vehicle, often berated for uncomfortable ride---my thought is that you don't buy a Jeep for a Cadillac-type ride or experience. It's a Jeep; you either love them for what they are or you shouldn't buy one. That being said, the ride is still very comfortable, and noise levels are the very quiet compared to earlier models I've owned. I've not had any issues whatsoever with my 2014 Rubicon 2-dr. I have taken it on several long distance trips (+700 miles/trip)...I am always very comfortable in my Jeep. Only minor complaint I had was that the stock headlights were very weak, and I had trouble seeing at night. This was easily corrected that problem by installing LEDs headlight bulbs."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

My 2nd Jeep Rubicon

By on Sunday, July 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,500

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
8/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"I don't understand the reviews stating that this vehicle is unreliable. Both of my Rubicon's have been used as intended on some of the roughest off-road trails in the states of Colorado and Utah. I have never had a single issue,mechanical breakdown, anything. It is an extremely capable off-road beast and a joy to fly down the highway in as well. Speak with owners of this type of vehicle and ignore the reviews you read on the internet such as MSN article putting it in a group of top ten least reliable, whatever!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Very fun driving and unique Oscar Mike vehicle

By on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "This is a happy and fun Jeep to drive anywhere."

Cons: "Sometimes the seatbelt retraction device is a pain"

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

"Our cherry red Oscar Mike edition has been very good to us. It never burns or uses any extra oil. The Targa Top roof panels have never ever leaked any rain, and winter driving has been smooth and fun. Oh the power of the engine is great for passing most everyone on the highway. Cruising at 70 mph, I have been getting up to 23.2 mpg, which is great for a Jeep. Fellow jeepers like our special edition model, and many people walking by, admire it. All in all, we never plan to sell this Jeep."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

I love my jeep

By on Monday, July 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "People love this jeep I get stopped all the time"

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

"I am 60 years old and just purchased my first wrangler sport. I am sorry I did not purchase a jeep early in my life. I love my jeep. Its a ruff ride that said it handles the road with ease. My neighbors are jealous of me and that all have told me so."

11 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Its a Wrangler; love it or hate it

By on Wednesday, July 01, 2015

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Convertible. Awesome"

Cons: "Utilitarian. Getting the top up/down is an ordeal"

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

"I bought my first Wrangler in '08 and fell in love. Living in the desert I wanted the opposite of a convertible; I didn't want the Nevada sun beating down on my head, but I wanted the openness of a convertible. The Wrangler lets you take off the doors and the sides while leaving the top on. Perfect! On those 100° days I don't get into an oven that's sitting at 150° or higher. On a 80-95° day it's pure joy. Of course, then you get to take it off road and have it perform like a champ. The downsides are the creature comforts; at least on the Sport. I have manual windows and locks, for example. But since the doors are off for half the year it's not like I'm missing anything. However, I just moved to San Francisco and I'm not sure how it's going to fit into my life here. Getting the top up or down is a 20 minute ordeal so it's not like I'm going to do one or the other on a whim. We'll see. At least the 2-door is short so it fits in small parking spaces."

12 people out of 27 found this review helpful

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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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