Choose the base Sport model and the 2014 Wrangler's interior will have cloth seats and a look and feel that can be described as functional. Move up through the trim levels and you will eventually get to such alternatives as a Sahara Unlimited with 2-tone leather and the touch of, if not outright luxury, at least plush comfort. In back, the rear seat folds flat to create a generous, handy and flat load space that's perfect for all the gear that off-roading sometimes requires.
Though the Wrangler has grown over time from the original Jeep, the family resemblance is unmistakable. The boxy shape (originally for ease and low-cost in war-time manufacturing) remains, with its no-nonsense form. The big upright windshield provides excellent visibility of the terrain, and the extremely short overhangs allow unmatched approach and departure angles. So, over the decades the size has grown and the weight has increased, but it's still distinctly a Jeep and has even more off-road capability than any Wranglers that have preceded it. Select trims boast their own flair, from the gloss black touches of the retro Willys Wheeler (based on the Wrangler Sport model) and Willys Wheeler W (based on the Sport S), to the power-dome hood on the Polar variant.
Notable Standard Equipment
Among the most valuable items of standard equipment is the 3.6-liter V6 engine and its 285 horsepower and ample torque. But it's more than just the terrific engine. Standard electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, Hill-Start Assist and Trailer Sway Control will be welcome by all drivers. Most important is the Wrangler SUV's awesome capability for dealing with life without pavement, and it's included as standard equipment. Compromises come in regards to conveniences, especially in base models, which lack power windows, power doorlocks and even air conditioning as standard equipment.
Notable Optional Equipment
The 2014 Jeep Wrangler is one of a very short list of vehicles that gives buyers a choice of final-drive ratios. Generally speaking, a lower-number axle ratio offers better fuel economy and lower engine rpm for a quieter ride, while a higher number enables better acceleration, as well as climbing and towing ability. Most of the extras are wrapped into trim levels, but other options include the Freedom III Package, the 32-inch Tire and Wheel Group, a Connectivity Group, Power Convenience Group, Premium Appearance Group, Rubicon X Package, Trail Kit and Trailer-Tow Package. There is also a variety of electronic conveniences and sound-system upgrades.
Under the Hood
The 2014 Jeep Wrangler is powered by a terrific 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 of 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque in a smooth delivery that makes easy work of highways or rock crawls. This is certainly the best engine ever in a Wrangler. It can be fitted with either a 5-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission and, in the 2-door Wrangler, there is no difference in fuel economy between the two transmission choices.
3.6 liter V6
285 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/21 mpg (Wrangler), 16/20 mpg (Wrangler Unlimited, automatic), 16/21 mpg (Wrangler Unlimited, manual)
Jeep's Wrangler for 2014 continues to be the most widely-affordable of off-road SUV choices, starting around $23,000. The larger Wrangler Unlimited 4-door version is some $3,800 more, and a fully-loaded Sahara or Rubicon can easily exceed $40,000. If you want your Jeep to look WWII-retro, the Willys Wheeler variants add about $3,000 to the price of a Wrangler Sport or Wrangler Sport S. Wranglers enjoy historically high resale values, with 3-year-old examples projected to return almost 60 percent of their original window sticker. Should you consider a Wrangler for aggressive off-roading, a fully-loaded top-of-the-line Rubicon, even with a window sticker around $40,000, is an absolute steal when compared to the cost of upgrading a more standard Wrangler by way of the 4WD aftermarket. To make your best deal, be sure to check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area typically pay for a Jeep Wrangler.
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