“A champion of the un-paved path, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited allows owners to pack more gear and share their outdoor adventure…”

2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

In 2007, Jeep introduced a new longer wheelbase, 4-door version of its iconic “Wrangler” utility vehicle that it called “Wrangler Unlimited”.

It must have been a “Why didn’t we think of this before?” moment for the Jeep organization, as Wrangler Unlimited quickly widened the market appeal of this outstanding off-road vehicle.

See: Jeep’s Wrangler Unlimited (Jeep.ca)

Yes, a longer wheelbase sacrifices a degree of agility, but adds much needed interior space and utility. The stretched body not only allows Wrangler Unlimited to tote more people and/or stuff around, the rear seat is mounted ahead of the rear axle, which gives rear passengers a less bumpy ride. When the seats are folded, they present a completely flat extended cargo floor and 2,353-litres of storage space.

Fast-forward to the 2011 model year and Wrangler Unlimited may still look the same on the outside but it came with an all-new interior. Heated seats, climate control, new audio inputs, Bluetooth connectivity, power-heated side mirrors and a 115-volt electrical outlet, make roughing it outdoors just a tad more comfortable.

Wrangler Unlimited is the only four-door convertible currently on the market and its standard Sunrider soft top has a clever sunroof feature, in addition to a full top-down position. Classic Jeep features include its round headlights, a flat fold-down windshield, exposed door hinges and doors that are easy to remove and available in both full or half frame.

An optional Jeep Freedom Top is a three-piece modular hardtop, which fits over a retracted soft top. In addition to providing a higher level of security, it has three removable panels. There are two Targa-like removable roof panels up front and a larger panel over the rear seats.

Wrangler Unlimited originally came with a torque-rich 3.8-litre V6 coupled either to a six-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. It’s not a light vehicle and tips the scales at a robust 1896 kg (4180 lb), so gas consumption is also heavy.

Expect gas consumption at 15.6/11.8 L/100 km (city/highway – new five-cycle rating) with the automatic transmission. So, to provide its wilderness-wandering customers the extended driving range they expect, Jeep fits an Unlimited with an extra large (85-litre) gas tank.

The base Sport and Sahara trim levels came with a second-generation Command-Trac part-time four-wheel-drive, with a two-speed transfer case and a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio. A Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential was optional.

Aimed at serious out-door enthusiasts, the Rubicon edition is probably more Jeep than most buyers need. This off-road-ready machine comes with beefier suspension and steering components, protective skid plates, a roll cage and higher ground clearance. It also has an Off-Road Rock-Trac two-speed transfer case, a 4.0:1 low-range gear ratio, electric front- and rear-axle lockers and an electronic sway bar disconnect.

The 2012 Wrangler Unlimited got a new 3.6 litre V6 engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission. Power output and fuel economy, however, are both roughly the same as the 3.8 litre V6 / four-speed automatic combo they replaced. No significant changes were made to Wrangler Unlimited for its 2013 or 2014 model years.

A champion of the un-paved path, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited allows owners to pack more gear and share their outdoor adventure.

Price Check: 2011 – 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (April 2015)

Year                    Edition                                                 Expect to Pay Today

2011                    Sahara                                                       $24,000 to $28,000

2012                    Sahara                                                       $27,000 to $32,000

2013                    Sahara                                                       $30,000 to $35,000

2014                    Sahara                                                       $33,000 to $38,000

Prices vary depending on a used vehicle’s condition, mileage, usage and history. A complete mechanical check should always be performed by a reliable auto technician prior to purchase.

Safety Recalls: 2011 to 2014 Jeep Wrangler:

2011 – 2013: An electrical connector within the door may corrode and potentially result in an electrical short, on vehicles equipped with power heated mirrors. Dealers will modify electrical wiring and install a water shield.

2012 /2013: The power steering return line may wear against the automatic transmission oil cooler line, causing a transmission fluid leak. Dealers will either add a protective sleeve or replace the transmission line.

2011: A missing or incorrectly installed steering column pivot rivet may not perform as intended in a crash and increase the risk of personal injury. Dealers will inspect for steering column rivet presence and alignment, and repair as required.

2010 / 2011: Fastener torque for various front and rear axle attachments may degrade over time, due to variability in the axle painting process. This could result in noise or cause a degradation in the vehicle’s steering and handling characteristics. Dealers will re-torque nineteen fasteners to specifications.

Contact: bob [dot] mchugh [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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