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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 682 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
    8.6/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Very reliable and easy to work on yourself.

By on Sunday, August 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,550

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
9/10

Pros: "Solid, dependable, American Made.""

Cons: "Uncomfortable seats, poor gas mileage.""

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

""Great vehicle that is incredibly versatile. The 4 door is a great option.Don't purchase this vehicle if you are looking for comfort.""

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Love my Jeep Wrangler

By on Sunday, August 24, 2014

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

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, lots of aftermarket available"

Cons: "Can't go back to a regular car ever again"

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

"I love my Jeep Wrangler. Is it the most comfortable car? Is it the most economical car? Is it the most practical car? No, not really. Is driving it with the top and doors off the most fun I can have with my clothes on? Absolutely! I owned a Jeep CJ7 back in the mid 80's and have always wanted to pick up a Wrangler, when the 4 door version came out it became practical to own with a family. I purchased the 2012 because of the engine upgrade and I have not been disappointed. The Jeep has much better power and acceleration than previous models. I really like the interior changes over previous years. It handles well for what it is and as far as I am concerned, it is like an erector set on wheels if you like to modify/accessorize your vehicle. There may be some reliability issues in previous years, but I have had nothing but good experience with mine, although I have not had it long term yet. A Wrangler is a lifestyle vehicle. In my opinion, it is like owning a Harley Davidson motorcycle. There may be better bikes out there, but you had better not tell that to a Harley owner."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Wanted One for Over 20 Years

By on Monday, August 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 600

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
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Sporty, Fun to Drive"

Cons: "head restraints/floppy back seat/tail gate"

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

"I have owned this vehicle for about three weeks. I love it for the most part. I absolutely hate the head restraints on the front seats. They are not adjustable angle wise and hit you in the back of the head all the time which is not comfortable. I also don't like the fact that the back seat (I have a two door model) does not fold down flat nor does it lock down when you fold it down. It flops around when you are driving the vehicle. I would just take it out but I don't have the room to store it. I also wish the back tail gate had a button to push on the inside so that you could lock it without having to have the key."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

i love my jeep

By on Friday, July 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

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

"A truck you can have fun with, depend on, feel safe in, and rely on. Sense i bought mine, 2 of my family member bought one. They to love there's."

17 people out of 37 found this review helpful

Fun, versatile, peppy, comfortable

By on Friday, July 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Best vehcile to enjoy Florida"

Cons: "Took me 25 years to be able to get one"

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

"The perfect Florida vehicle. Top on / off, back seat in / out. 4wd. Comfortable for two. Fun to drive!"

Love my Jeep

By on Sunday, July 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

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
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Powerful, fun to drive, removable top and doors"

Cons: "the base package sound bar rattles some with bass."

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

"I love the 2013 Jeep Wrangler 2 door soft top. The ride is much better than older models I have driven. It is still a little noisy on the interstate but I rather enjoy the wind noise. The new engine has lots of power and love the 6 speed manual transmission. It is very fun to drive. With the top down in the summer it is just amazing. You need to drive one if you have never driven a Jeep Wrangler it is not exactly like a car so it is hard to compare it to one. The one design issue I wish Jeep would update is to tilt the windshield just slightly to help avoid the big impact of rocks on the glass if you are unfortunate enough to have the truck in front of you on the interstate kick a big one up at the glass."

9 people out of 18 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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