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James Flammang
Contributing Editor - November 22, 2016

2017 Jeep Wrangler OVERVIEW

Hardly any vehicle is as iconic as the two-door Jeep Wrangler, or as immediately recognizable. Clearly qualifying as the original adventure SUV, the Wrangler is a modern-day descendant of the military Jeep that saw service in World War II. Now part of Fiat Chrysler, Jeep offers a variety of affordable customization options for the Wrangler. Each version is intended to remain true to the core of its all-American “go anywhere and do anything” essence. Considered a midsize model, the current Wrangler uses body-on-frame construction and “live” axles, and comes with either a manual or automatic transmission.

What's New for 2017

Not much has changed for the Wrangler, apart from new LED headlights and foglamps. They’re standard on Sahara and Rubicon models, and optional on the Sport and Sport S. A Cold Weather Group, available on the Sport S and Rubicon, includes 17-inch wheels, an engine block heater, heated seats, remote start, and a Power Convenience Group.

Jeep Wrangler

Choosing Your Jeep Wrangler

All Wranglers have four-wheel drive and the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine delivering 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The six-speed manual gearbox and optional five-speed automatic transmission come with hill-start assist. Command-Trac part-time four-wheel drive is standard, except on the Rubicon, which gets Rock-Trac with a lower low-gear ratio.

Standard exterior details include a pallett of 10 body colors, three of them new for 2017. Each Wrangler gets “classic” round headlights, a seven-slot grille, trapezoidal wheel flares, removable doors, exposed hinges, skid plates, a fold-down windshield, a Sunrider soft top with sunroof, and front and rear tow hooks. Removable half-doors are available. Wranglers offer a choice of several axle gear ratios that emphasize either economy or capability. Trailer sway control is standard.

Four trim levels are offered:


The basic Wrangler comes with cloth seat upholstery, eight-speaker audio, black fender flares, halogen headlights, foglamps, roll-up windows, a removable rear bench seat, and 16-inch wheels. Mechanical features include Dana front and rear axles, and Command-Trac part-time four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case and a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio. An optional Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential can provide extra grip in low-traction environments.

Sport S

The Sport S adds standard air conditioning, 17-inch Moab cast aluminum wheels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.


The midlevel trim features LED headlights and foglamps, automatic headlights, body-color fender flares, heated power mirrors, tubular side steps, satellite radio, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and 18-inch polished aluminum wheels.


Building on the Sahara and Sport offerings, the Rubicon concentrates on off-road capability with heavy-duty Dana 44 front/rear axles and a Rock-Trac two-speed transfer case with a 4.01 low-range gear ratio. Also included are electronic front and rear locking differentials, and a front sway bar that can be disconnected. Black-painted steel rock rails are included, and 17-inch wheels hold BF Goodrich Mud Terrain LT255/75R17 BSW on/off-road tires.

Jeep has been offering several limited editions, including:

Rubicon Hard Rock: Features high-gloss black exterior accents, front and rear winch-ready steel off-road bumpers with removable end caps, a power dome hood, red tow hooks, Mopar rock rails, taillamp guards, and heated black leather seating.

Willys Wheeler: Includes a Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential, 3.73 gearing, high-gloss black 17-inch aluminum wheels, BF Goodrich KM Mud Terrain LT255/75R17 tires, rock rails, a Jeep Trail Rated Kit, and a Connectivity Group.

75th Anniversary Edition: Gets bronze-colored interior and exterior details.

Additional option groups include:

  • Connectivity: Adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a tire pressure monitor, Uconnect hands-free communication with voice commands, and a vehicle information center.
  • Dual Top Group: Includes a black or body-color three-piece hardtop and a premium black Sunrider soft top.
  • Mopar Premium Chrome Group: Includes a chrome grille.
CarsDirect Tip

As its name suggests, the Wrangler Rubicon is the ultimate four-wheel-drive vehicle, whereas the Sahara model is a well-balanced choice for everyday driving and weekend off-roading. Plenty of Wrangler fans will be happy with the Sport, despite (or because of) its lack of amenities.

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Jeep Wrangler

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