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