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2011 Jeep Wrangler

Overview
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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 735 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

Good vehicle.

By on Monday, May 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Offroad capabilities"

Cons: "Cheap bumpers"

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

"The bumpers are my biggest complaint. Very cheap for an aggressive off road vehicle. The finish work on the interior carpet and pouches behind the seat are poor quality. Very good off road vehicle. Performs extremely well off road."

excetional ride for 4 wheel drive

By on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "love this car, it does everything"

Cons: "the back view is limited"

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

"the exterior coating is excellent. it rides really well, especially for 4 wheel drive. good utility car and the hard top is quiet. The soft top is more noisy"

Best decision I've ever made

By on Saturday, April 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun and my smiles per mile"

Cons: "not great on gas"

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

"I bought a 2015 rubicon unlimited on an impulse and it is the best decision I've ever made. I like most have always wanted a jeep but thought it was a stupid unpractical vehicle that I would regret immediately. Let me just tell you that owning this suv is amazing. Taking the top down after a long work day putting on your favorite music and taking the long way home has become the absolute best part of my day. I say this but if you want a jeep you must realize you give up somethings when owning one. No its not the most comfortable, no its not quiet, no its not really that convieniant but all of that doesnt matter when driving it just makes you smile. If you think you want one or have always wanted one or it sounds fun buy one now and you wont regret it. If you you arnt exactly sure and are comparing multiple "normal" cars then this may not be for you. You do have to want a jeep and everything that comes with jeep ownership. I say all that to finish with I had always wanted one but made "smart" decisions instead (honda accords) but after buying this I'll never own anything else."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great Change of Pace

By on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Pure fun - its a jeep thing."

Cons: "Back seat is a little hard to get into."

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

"Wanted something different after a succession of 4 door family cars. We have the two door hardtop with automatic in natural green pearlcoat. Driven mostly by my wife who absolutely loves the vehicle. No squeaks or rattles after 4 years. Air and heat are fantastic. Has the basic refinements with power windows, mirrors and locks, and interior is very nice and reasonably quiet. Gas mileage is about 18 or 19 mpg in mixed driving and 22-23 on the highway - not great but pleased that it is above what was advertised on the window sticker. Engine runs smooth and acceleration is adequate. We get a lot of complements on this vehicle , and of course other Wrangler owners wave at you on the road. The car has been very reliable. The only repair is replacement of transponder sensor that communicates with the key - taken care of under warranty. Towing and loaner were provided free of charge. The car is also easy to service, plenty of room in the engine bay and because the vehicle has a lot of ground clearance oil changes can be done without even jacking the vehicle car up."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

great all around car...practical, comfortable, eas

By on Friday, April 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good price...very enjoyable to drive"

Cons: "None"

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

"Sit up high with a full view of traffic. Love the more vertical windshield. Nice job on the interior. Flip up rear window allows more options in hauling stuff. Solid build. Without the knobby tires the freeway ride is fine."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Performs as expected

By on Saturday, April 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "High level of view, 4x4 quality"

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

"Purchased the jeep wrangler for my wife to be safe if there was bad weather after she got off work at the hospital late at night. It gives her a higher view of the road and no worries in the snow and ice. However, I still have reservations to the quality of Jeep or Chrysler/Fiat products in general. But, the Sahara offered more of the upgrade comforts such as heated leather seats, hands-free phone use, navigation etc. The wife likes it so, as long as it brings her home safe, I like it too! Last of the true 4x4 vehicles until Fiat gets its hands on it."

18 people out of 29 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

Buying this car?