Review: 2007 Jeep Wrangler
This 2007 review is representative of model years 2007 to 2013.
By Dan Jedlicka of MSN Autos
The Jeep Wrangler finally moves into mainstream SUV market with a 4-door version, modern engine and comfort and safety features found in cars.
The tough little Wrangler 2-door model was the only two-door SUV available for 2006 and is still offered for 2007. It dates back to the open-bodied 2-door, 4-wheel-drive Jeep that earned iconic status in World War II.
More Doors Needed
Both trim levels retain goat-like off-road abilities with 4-wheel drive.
Called the Unlimited, the Wrangler 4-door is not to be confused with the longer- wheelbase Wrangler 2-door introduced in mid-2004. That trim level is gone for 2007.
Both the Wrangler 2- and 4-door versions have a 202-horsepower V6 engine, which replaces a 190-hosepower inline six-cylinder that seemingly dates back to the era of vacuum-tube radios.
Average Highway Acceleration
The engine is linked to a 5-speed manual transmission or responsive 4-speed automatic.
Estimated fuel economy is lackluster: 17 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway for the Unlimited rear-wheel-drive version, which gets 16 and 19 with the automatic. The Wrangler 2-door, which comes only with 4-wheel drive, gets comparable 4-wheel-drive figures.
Base prices range from $18,105 for the Wrangler 2-door to $28,235 for the Unlimited 4-door. There are X, Unlimited X, Sahara, Unlimited Sahara, Rubicon and Unlimited Rubicon versions.
New Power Windows
There are also new standard anti-lock brakes and an anti-skid system with rollover sensors. That's a good feature because younger Wrangler drivers who considered the vehicle a sports car could land on their heads. New options include front-seat side airbags that protect the torso and head.
The power steering is quick but overly light with a numb on-center spot that lets the Jeep wander a little in lanes. Lower spring rates provide a softer, more comfortable on-road ride, and the Unlimited's longer wheelbase also helps here. But the ride becomes jittery on some freeways at cruising speeds. The brakes are OK, although the pedal feels a bit soft.
The new instrument panel has slightly undersized gauges, but they're fairly easy to read. Radio controls are small but set high to facilitate usage. Climate controls are large, but switches for off-road driving such as for the locking differentials and other off-road aids are too low on the dashboard for easy use.
Hardtop for Quietness
The Unlimited's front bucket seats are supportive, but the backseats are stiff, upright and need more thigh support. There isn't much surplus legroom back there, and rear doors are smaller than the front ones. However, all doors open wide, although extra effort is needed to get into the Wrangler.
Cargo room is especially impressive in the Unlimited and can be greatly expanded by flipping the rear seats forward. Their headrests automatically fold out of the way to clear the front seats.
Awkward Spare Tire
Large outside mirrors enhance visibility, but can only be manually adjusted.
The Unlimited 4-door is the most comfortable Wrangler ever for on-road driving, but both 4-wheel-drive versions retain impressive off-road prowess.