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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
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 767 Ratings for the 2007 - 2016 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

This is my 4th Jeep - '87 YJ, '99 XJ, '01 XJ

By on Sunday, February 07, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

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
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Dependability/peace of mind"

Cons: "BFG Mud Terrains/Cheap plastic door hinge sleeves"

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

"3.6 has plenty of power in my opinion and ithe electric locking 44's are awesome. Can't beat F & R lockers. 2 weeks ago I encountered black ice while traveling at 60 mph on a MN highway. Several cars and a tractor trailer ahead of me ended up off the road and jack knifed respectively. My Jeeps Traction Control and Anti-Lock brakes allowed me to maintain control and steer around the carnage. It was a great story to tell that morning when I got into work. The only complaints I have had so far are 1) BFG Mud Terrains (I'm a Goodyear fan) wore terribly and 2) door hinge sleeves (plastic) disinagrated. I picked up quality, Dupont replacement sleeves from TJM."

Awesome for on and off road.

By on Friday, February 05, 2016

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

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Tunrns on a dime. Fun to drive . Great climber."

Cons: "Noisy on highway (with soft top)."

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

"I own this car. I use it for off road and city driving.I especially enjoy the retractable soft top in the summer."

Hot jeep, loaded, beautiful inside & out, t-tops.

By on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Perfect for City & off road driving."

Cons: "Seats five adults, comfortable!"

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

"2014 Jeep Wrangler. Removal tee tops, gunbarrel blue with black interior, large tires, mags,crome 4-ball utility tow & hook."

heavy oil consumption

By on Monday, January 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,200

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "absolutly nothing"

Cons: "uses alot of oil,, no costomer suport at all!"

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

"bought a 2010 jeep wrangler new in aug. of 2010. it has 48200 miles on it and is just out of warranty.. it uses 3-4 quarts of oil every 2000 miles. I took it to a machine shop ,very nice place and have know tem for years.. they told me the piston rings are stuck to the pistons allowing oil into the combustion chamber.. endless complaints and blogs on the internet about this issue butt when I called jeep/Chrysler they told me they have never heard of this."

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I have owned as of yet

By on Saturday, January 09, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,200

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "4wheel drive, removable tops, ability to customize"

Cons: "Do not have a truck version"

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

"I never really understood the jeeps until I drove one. It was a must have. Love taking the tops off and going off road. The best part of a jeep is the ability to customize it however you wish so it can be as unique as I want."

very comfortable for a jeep

By on Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000

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
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, especially the standard model."

Cons: "none."

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

"i bought my 2008 jeep 1 year ago, had 109,000 miles, previous owner took really good care of it, i now have 118,000, and still drives great, i put 35" mud tires on it, i can go 70 on hwy, and it is smooth, and i love the sound of the mud tires. I love that this jeep wont lose its value. the 2007 thru 2015 models are identical. people think its a new jeep. and i dont offroad. i just love the look."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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