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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

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Expert's Rating


MPG 16 City / 21 Highway
  • Impressive off-road ability
  • Plenty of head room
  • Rugged good looks
  • Ample passenger space
  • Versatile cargo area
  • Questionable reliability history
, Automotive Editor -
The Wrangler launched in 1987 as a compact SUV with huge off-road capabilities and became an immediate cult classic. Two decades later, the Wrangler underwent a huge change and that was the addition of two additional doors to its body. We know this four-door variant of the utilitarian as the Wrangler Unlimited.


Coming into the 2013 model year, Jeep made very minor revisions to the Wrangler unlimited. The most noticeable of these modifications was installing an easy-to-remove soft top made from premium materials. Jeep also made some creature comforts, like auto-dimming rearview mirror, Alpine speaker and LED reading lights, available for the first time on a Wrangler. The final addition for 2013 was the Moab Edition package, which features gloss-black 17-inch wheels wrapped up in 245/75R17 Goodyear Silent Armor tires, Trak-Lok, 3.73-to-1 axle ratio, 45-to-1 crawl speed, power dome hood, rock rails, black fuel filler door, black wheel arches, matte black Jeep grille, Moab decals, and taillight guards.

See our picks for best SUVs in the CarsDirect SUV Buying Guide.

The 2013 Wrangler Unlimited comes in four main trim levels: Sport, Sport RHD, Sahara and Rubicon. Sport acts as the base level, giving buyers the legendary off-road capabilities of the Wrangler with an extra pair of doors. The Sport RHD tosses in a removable hard top and a few extra creature comforts. The Sahara trim level adds a touch of class to the inside and outside of the wrangler. The Rubicon maintains the Sahara’s class on the inside and pairs it with a more rugged-looking exterior. All three trim levels share the same 285-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine and four-wheel drive.

Few SUVs can match the Wrangler’s off-road capabilities and cult-like following, but there is a handful of SUVs that are close competitors. The Wrangler’s most formidable foe comes in the form of the Toyota FJ Cruiser, which boast styling just as rugged as the Wrangler Unlimited, a 4.0-liter V-6 engine with 260 horsepower and a 5,000-pound towing capacity. Next up in the list is the 2012 Nissan Xterra, which features a 261-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6, a 5,000-pound towing capacity and a standard automatic transmission. Next up is the 2013 Honda Pilot, which hauls up to eight people and a 4,500-pound trailer, features a 250-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine and an automatic transmission.

As you can see, the competition ranges widely, as the Wrangler Unlimited really doesn’t have many direct competitors, only SUVs that are somewhat similar. With the shift toward people hauling and away from off-road capabilities in the SUV realm, can the Wrangler Unlimited keep up with its competitors?

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Starting price

2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon

Recommended for: Buyers that want the premium interior features of the Sahara model with a more classic Wrangle look

The Rubicon trim level of the 2013 Wrangler Unlimited is simply a more rugged version of the Sahara model, as it deletes the body-colored fenders in favor of black ones and eliminates the side steps. Also added to the outside of the Rubicon trim level are more rugged-looking polished aluminum 17-by-7.5-inch wheels wrapped in LT255/75R17 all-terrain tires and a “Rubicon” hood decal. On the inside, the Rubicon trim level carries over all of the standard features that the Sahara model has. The Rubicon has one additional advantage over the other trim levels, and that is its extra towing capacity, which is rated at 3,500 pounds.

2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Starting price

2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara

Recommended for: Buyers want the ruggedness of a Wrangler with some additional features

The Sahara trim level takes the features found on the Sport trim level and adds more premium features. On the outside, the Sahara trim level adds in: 18-by-7.5-inch polished aluminum wheels wrapped in P255/70R18 outlined-white-letter tires, automatic headlights, power heated mirrors, body-color fender flares, and black side steps. On the inside, the Sahara trim level adds in: power door locks, keyless entry, power windows with express-down, on household-style AC plug, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel, embroidered seats, vehicle information center, AM/FM/CD/MP3/SiriusXM radio with seven Infinity speakers, illuminated entry, and front reading lamps.

2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Starting price

2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport

Recommended for: Buyers that want the ruggedness of a Wrangler with four doors

The Sport trim level on the 2013 Wrangler Unlimited is its base format. On the outside, the Sport trim level features: six-speed manual transmission, 2,000-pound towing capacity, fog lights, manual side-view mirrors, 16-by-7-inch styled steel wheels withP225/75R16 tires, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, intermittent wipers, black fender flares and manual convertible top. Inside the cabin, the Sport features: air conditioning, cargo tie-downs, two 12-volt outlets, tilt steering wheel, five-person seating capacity, six-way manual driver seat and four-way manual passenger seat, cloth seats, plastic steering wheel, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and cruise control, compass, thermometer, and trip computer.

2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Starting price

2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport RHD

Recommended for: Buyers that love the Wrangler, but want a removable hard top

The Sport RHD trim level carries over the vast majority of the Sport’s standard features, but adds in a few extra minor features, most notably a removable hard top. On the outside, the Sport RHD trim adds in a five-speed automatic transmission in place of the six-speed manual, heated power mirrors, rear wiper, manual sunroof, and a convertible hard top in place of the soft top. Inside the Sport RHD, it adds in: power door locks, keyless entry, four-way manual driver seat, and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

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