2005 Jeep Wrangler Overview The 2005 Jeep Wrangler lineup includes a new Unlimited model. This stretch version not only increases the amount of room for people and cargo, but also improves handling and ride quality on the pavement where most of us spend most of our time. Yet it still offers no-nonsense, world-class off-road capability at affordable prices. Introduced late in the 2004 model year in Sport trim, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is also available in Rubicon trim for 2005, bringing added creature comfort to serious off-roaders. Jeep Wrangler remains an icon, a symbol of go-anywhere adventure. Although it's been re-engineered at least a half-dozen times over the past 60 years, the Wrangler is still as close as you can get to a direct descendent of the World War II-era Jeep. Today's Wrangler is far more civilized than those early models, though it still resembles them. A four-speed automatic is available on all models. Four-wheel disc brakes are available for much better stopping ability. The side mirrors have been massaged for less wind noise and a better view over your shoulder, and many convenience features are available. This still isn't the most practical everyday vehicle, however, and may not be the best choice for someone drawn to it simply because it's cute. (And it is cute.) Getting in and out is awkward. The interior is Spartan. The ride quality is rough by today's standards, though many young people won't mind that. And it doesn't handle very well, so care should be exercised, particularly in the rain. The reason for all this discomfort is that the Wrangler is designed primarily for performance off the road. For the ultimate in off-the-shelf off-road capability, Jeep offers the Wrangler Rubicon. Jeep looked at the aftermarket modifications off-road enthusiasts were making to their Jeeps, and engineered many of those features into a turn-key vehicle you can buy (and finance) right off the showroom floor. Built along Jeep's "Go anywhere, do anything" design philosophy, the Rubicon is a 4x4 gem. We found it performed admirably on Hell's Revenge, Cliff Hanger, and other challenging trails around Moab, Utah. Front and rear Dana Model 44 axles with locking differentials and a transfer case with a stump-pulling 4:1 low-range give the Ruby trail capabilities far beyond those of the average SUV. 2005 Jeep Wrangler models come standard with a new six-speed manual gearbox that replaces last year's five-speed manual.
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