Jeep solved one of the primary complaints against its popular Wrangler a few years back when it introduced the four-door Unlimited. Riding on a wheelbase that's even longer than the original Unlimited, the addition of an extra pair of doors took Jeep's most iconic model from lifestyle vehicle to viable family mover.

Pricing and Equipment

The Wrangler line has never wanted for optional extras and special edition trims, and 2017 is no different. We won't be breaking down the differences between all seven special edition trims, because each is largely based on one the top three of four mainstay trim levels – at the bottom is the Wrangler Sport at $28,890 (including $995 destination charge), followed by the Sport S at $32,090, Sahara at $35,240, and the range-topping, off-road ready Rubicon at $38,440.

As with the two-door Wrangler, we expect the Sahara to be the most popular model. Standard equipment includes:

  • Air conditioning
  • A canvas soft top
  • Automatic headlamps
  • Body color grille and wheel arches
  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • Cruise control

We know, that's not a lot to go on. It's worth adding a few optional goodies, like the $495 heated seats, the $695 Connectivity Package (Bluetooth streaming and a USB input), and the $2,185 Dual Top Group (adds a removable hard top to cut down on wind and road noise).

All Wranglers use a 3.6-liter V6 with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. While owners can spend $1,400 on a ho-hum five-speed automatic, we recommend the purist's choice – an old-school six-speed manual with long throws and notchy gates.

While the Sport, Sport S, and Sahara build on each other with increasingly civilized levels of equipment, it's worth mentioning that the Rubicon is a different beast entirely. Fitted with upgraded axles, disconnectable sway bars, huge off-road tires, and the ability to conquer virtually any trail it's faced with, it's a far more enthusiast-oriented vehicle. That comes at the expense of its off-road manners, which are mostly nonexistent.

Performance Pros

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
  • The six-speed manual really is a delight to use.
  • Power from the 3.6-liter V6 is adequate, although we wouldn't say no to more low-end torque to help the Wrangler scoot off the line.
  • While every Wrangler is a capable off-roader from the factory, the Rubicon is truly in a class of its own. Whether we're talking on- or off-road performance, there are few vehicles that are so capable from the factory.

Performance Cons

  • That six-speed manual takes a lot of getting used to – expect to grind some gears while adjusting your timing to the long throws. The five-speed feels slow to upshift.
  • The on-road ride is abhorrent – rough, loud, and uncivilized. Walking would be more comfortable.
  • The soft, off-road suspension gives the Wrangler the agility of an aircraft carrier.

Interior Pros

  • Like all Wranglers, owners can hose the cabin down after a day in the mud.
  • The seats are comfortable and supportive.
  • You can remove the doors.

Interior Cons

  • Road noise is deafening.
  • Wind noise is deafening unless you go for the optional hardtop, in which case it's just really loud.
  • There are an extra pair of doors, but second-row legroom still isn't abundant.
  • Cargo space is disappointing no matter how you slice it.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

How enjoyable the act of driving with no roof and no doors is. Really, even if you don't count yourself among the Jeep enthusiasts, yanking the doors off and folding the roof back on a sunny summer's day is guaranteed to generate a smile.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The Wrangler Unlimited has just 1.6 inches more than the 35.6 inches of second-row legroom in the standard Wrangler. While the addition of an extra door does wonders for accessibility, it's still not the comfiest seat for longer-legged adults.

The Bottom Line

The Wrangler Unlimited brings a dose of versatility to an extremely capable SUV, but it doesn't do anything to civilize it. Whether you think that's a good or bad thing will likely determine whether a Wrangler is right for you.