Strange as it may sound, Jeep’s stretched Wrangler is a pleasant place in which to spend time. A decent sound system, ample room, and moderate equipment levels are just the beginning. Visibility, paired with the Wrangler’s squared-off corners, makes maneuvering the Unlimited in tight spaces a breeze. Compared to many SUVs with this level of interior capacity, city life in the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is easy.
And don’t act as though interior capacity isn’t a reason to buy the Wrangler Unlimited. When contrasted with the regular-wheelbase Wrangler, it’s the only reason. Seats up, the Unlimited has 163% more capacity for camping gear. With the rear seats down, the Unlimited has 91% more cargo volume. Not that we’re submitting the Escape as a Wrangler Unlimited rival, but the Ford has three fewer cubic feet of cargo volume.
The Wrangler’s other attributes? It will take you through flooded valleys and up snow-covered mountain trails. This much you knew.
You also know that it looks like a Jeep: iconic, influential, memorable, and nearly mythical in its status as an off-roader. Perhaps it’s not your cup of tea, but factually speaking, it is a do-it-all SUV. To end up as a vehicle that’s capable of so much more than you need it to be, Jeep needed the Wrangler Unlimited to make some sacrifices. Some are more difficult to accept than others; none are insurmountable.
Engine: 285 horsepower; 260 lb-ft of torque from a 3.6L V6
Base USD/CAD Price: $25,695 / $30,045
City Fuel Economy: 16 miles per gallon
It’s Not Perfect: Highway stability isn’t the Wrangler’s forte. Maintaining the straight-ahead requires more concentration than in most vehicles. Fuel economy is better than it used to be, but the city figure still makes the Wrangler a difficult pill to swallow for a buyer who’s also considering a Kia Sorento or Nissan Pathfinder.
Sales Stats: The Wrangler is one of North America’s best-selling SUVs, not just in comparison to other rough-and-tumble bruisers like the Toyota FJ Cruiser (which sells once for every twelve Wranglers) but crossovers like the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot, too.
Viable Alternatives: For those who want to be different, the Toyota 4Runner is more costly, but it’s an awfully attractive proposition.