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.

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
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 755 Ratings for the 2007 - 2015 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

For camping, dune-buggy, around town, but leaks

By on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun, sun-worshipping, styling"

Cons: "door seals leak - cannot be corrected"

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

"Got the ocean blue pearl 4-door unlimited sport. I love the jeep. Love the look, the handling, the convenience of the soft top. Took it to the outer banks this summer and it did superlative in the sand dunes, never a worry about getting stuck. I did the 1" body lift so far and plan to do a 3 and 1/2 suspension lift with 35" tires soon. We take it camping and with the front seats pushed forward, my husband, my bulldog, and I sleep very comfortably with a memory foam mattress we cut to fit the back. We leave the top down and put a tarp over to keep the bugs and sunrise out, but allow plenty of fresh air in. My only complaint is the door seals leak. It is not a visible drip. It seeps in and the floor gets sopping wet. I have had it to the dealership twice so far for modifications (they put silicone in the rubber seals around the frame, but they always tell me it will never be perfect. ??? The floor will eventually rust out if this isn't corrected. For $35,000 they better be able to get it right or it will be a lemon. I know two other people with the same complaint."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

I love my Jeep!

By on Monday, August 17, 2015

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
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great resale, Great for Off-Roading"

Cons: "Gas Mileage is so, so. Rough ride"

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

"I bought my Jeep almost 2 years ago and love it! Whether it's driving to and from work everyday or taking it on an off-road trip...I love my Jeep. It's a bit of a rough ride at times and the gas mileage could be better but overall it's a great vehicle. I purchased the Sahara for the leather & navigation and I'm happy I did. The leather is much easier to keep clean and remove dust and dirt from off-roading."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Love my Jeep!

By on Monday, August 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "FUN to drive! Great off road and snow."

Cons: "gas mileage but it can be reasonable."

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

"Not a cozy ride, but a very good. Have taken it on long trips and it was fine. Great Summer and Winter fun. It's always ready to go someplace, and it doesn't care where. Great for parking in large cities, especially with the awesome turn radius. Gas mileage could be better, but I've gotten 24 mpg on the highway."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Nothing but trouble

By on Monday, August 10, 2015

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

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun vehicle, great in snow"

Cons: "poor quaility and terrible electrical problem"

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

"Had to get a new manual transmission because it would pop out of 4th and grind...shifting forks were bend from the factory. Rusting out in the engine compartment, paint bubbling on the hinges...all in all a fun vehicle to drive, poorly made and a general piece of junk. Steering column buttons don't work, multiple pushes to get them to work...try cancelling cruise control without hitting the breaks..."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

ITS EVERY JEEP LOVERS DREAM JEEP

By on Thursday, August 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

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
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "NEW LS1 V8 AND 6 SPEED TRANSMISSION,SOUND SYSTEM,"

Cons: "30,000 IN CUSTOM ACCESSARIES. NO EXPENSE WASSPARED"

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

"I JUST GOT A CHEVY LS1 V8 WITHA 460LE GM 6 SPEED ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION PUT IN IT. IT HAS A 3INCH SUSPENSION LIFT ON IT WITH 34.8X11.9 NITTOTRAIL GRAPPLERS ON IT.THE FRONT HAS A SMITTYBUILT STUBBY,STINGER BUMPER WITH A SET OF LED LIGHTS ON EACH SIDE.THE INTERIOR HAS BLACK/RED NEOPRENE SEATCOVERS THAT MATCH THE EXT.CUSTOM GRAPHICS. IT HAS RUBICON RAILS DOWN THE SIDES FOR PROTECTION AND BLACK 18INCH RIMS.IT HAS A 8INCH SONY TOUCH SCREEN DVD WITH DVD PLAYER,SURROUND SOUND,POLK AUDIO 6.5INCH MIDS AND TWO KICKER COMP R 12INCH SUBS. SOUND CLARITY IS EXCELLENT WHILE THE BASS IS TIGHT,INT.RED LEDS.DUAL 3INCH BLACK EXHAUST EXITING THE BACK BY MAGNAFLOW. THE LS1 SMALL BLOCK 5.3 PRODUCES 300 H.P.AND THE 6SPEED IMPROVES FUEL ECONOMEY BETTER THAN THE STOCK 3.8 V6 WITH 4SPEED AUTOMATIC.ITSBEEN MY MONEY PIT TOY NOT AMISUSED MUD MACHINE.SELLING MY JEEP AND 2014 CHEVY SILVERADO 4DOOR TRUCK TO BUY A NEW CORVETTE STINGRAY.IM GOING THROUGH A MIDLIFE CRISIS!"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Good buy

By on Wednesday, August 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Motor, 4x4, gas mileage"

Cons: "Sound system , hard seats, side view mirrors"

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

"So far so good. AC is excellent,cools down very fast. the V-6 is an excellent motor. No problems in the snow season 2014-2015. It went through snow that was up to the bottom of the doors with no problem. No sway or skidding in snow. The 3 piece hard-top is a great idea, on and off in minutes. The automatic transmission is smooth. If you want it can mimic a five speed by pushing the shift lever to the right. Has cruise control. The speaker system is fair at best. The tweeters on the dash look awful. Seat is a bit hard. Standard side view mirrors are awful. At night light reflections are much too strong."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
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?

Advertisement