Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000
  • 12 Best Family Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Midsize SUVs
  • 10 Best AWD Cars & SUVs Under $25,000
Go

2011 Jeep Wrangler

Overview
Share this page
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?

2011 Jeep Wrangler Review

By

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.
Favorite Features

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)

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?

2011 Jeep Wrangler Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 657 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Awesome Jeep for tooling around.

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

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
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Holds it's value extraordinarilly well."

Cons: "Tough for a 5'6" female to climb into."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"My second Wrangler. The full doors are great in the winter, but for summer, half doors would be better. A little difficult to get in as it is higher than the older Wranglers. No room inside for anything but sitting behind the wheel. Still, the Wrangler is for fun-the shore, the mountains, camping or hiking. Getting it muddy and sloppy is what it is made for. Definitely not recommended as an everyday car-can't get in wearing a dress (don't know if a guy is wearing a dress whether it is easier)"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Awesome advancements great jeep

By on Tuesday, April 01, 2014

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
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fun,exciting off-road monster"

Cons: "None for what I wanted"

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

"I had TJ prior to this and had done almost everything possible to it. I bought the 2012 Unlimited and it was like daylight to dark, the new jeeps have amazing power and off road they are equally surprising( nothing extreme) I added a full lift, detachable end links, dual steering stabilizer, exhaust, snorkel, front and rear bumpers. Control arm skid plates, front diff guard, neoprene seat covers, lights etc, too many ad dons to list. BLUF would buy another in a heartbeat, decent ride on the highway and also decent gas mileage compared to the old jeeps. If your looking for a Cadillac ride and interior comforts this is not your vehicle however if you like the outdoors and having the wind in your hair with a feeling of freedom, Jeep Wrangler is the way to go!!!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Almost perfect

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "ENdless versatility"

Cons: "Very thirsty, poor mileage"

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

"I own a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport. I have owned it for almost a year. PROS: Endless versatility, can go just about anywhere as is, Very comfortable ride, plenty of room for cargo, Lots of power. CONS: Gas hog (18 mpg on freeway), you have to gun it to pass slower traffic (torqie), heavy rooftop, need at least 2 people to remove. back seat sits too straight (common complaint from most passengers, noisy cockpit. SUMMARY: I kept my pros and cons short but overall I love it. I have never had more fun in a vehicle that I didn't have to alter myself. I recommend everyone own a Jeep at some point in their lives."

It's a Jeep

By on Saturday, March 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Looks, fun to drive, and not a status symbol."

Cons: "Noisy, a little rough, and not great mileage."

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

2011 sahara tan Wrangler with after market wheels...

"I love the look and "fun to drive" aspects of the Jeep Wrangler. Nothing on the road can match the rugged look and utility of a Jeep. It is not a "class" vehicle, meaning you are not projecting a status of any kind when driving a Jeep. You can be rich, poor, or anywhere in between, and if you want a Wrangler, you have one. I appreciate that about a Jeep. Bought new in 2011, removed all of the factory applied decals (Wrangler Sport, etc). There is no need to have these. Everyone knows you have a Jeep. Placed some after market wheels and black accents throughout. It looks great, and is personalized as mine. So far, not one issue!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

2011 sahara tan Wrangler with after market wheels...

Wrangler 4 door Sport FUNFUNFUN

By on Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great ride, fun in the sun and snow!!"

Cons: "Why did they get rid of the old straight 6"

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

"This is our 3rd Wrangler, (first 4dr) and cant say enough about how improved this Jeep is. The longer wheelbase makes for a great ride, and handles very well. This one is used around town mostly. Not happy about getting rid of the bullet proof straight 6, they sure didnt improve the MPG!!! But if you want to have a fun convertible, and the most reliable 4WD for bad weather then this is the APV(all purpose vehicle) for you! Have the 3 piece hard top and safari soft top, both easy on and off. Have even used this jeep to tow the 3700lb boat, and it does so with ease, yes i know its only rated for 3500, i'm just saying. Regular maintenance always done, no major problems in 40k miles. If we get rid of this Red Jeep it will only be to get one in another color, the wife likes yellow. haha"

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Off road beast

By on Sunday, March 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,200

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: "Off-road capability, fun to drive, convertible"

Cons: "Fuel inefficiency , wind noise"

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

"The vehicle is fun to drive. It meets and exceeds my expectations. In the region of Fort a Drum, NY, harsh winters are a common occurrence and the Jeep Wrangler has become the official vehicle for those that live or work here."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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?