Nostalgic, rugged, all-terrain fun for up to five is what draws car buyers to the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, which is the larger Wrangler model. Last year, the Wrangler Unlimited was rumored to be nearing its demise because it would be unable to comply with future fuel economy and safety regulations. However, Fiat Chrysler has released a 2017 model, again similar to the regular Wrangler, but with four doors instead of two. The current Wrangler Unlimited continues to use body-on-frame construction and “live” axles, and comes with either a manual or automatic transmission.
What's New for 2017
Little has changed for the latest Wrangler Unlimited, 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 for Sport S and Rubicon models, includes 17-inch tires, an engine block heater, heated seats, remote start, and a Power Convenience Group.
Choosing Your Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Wrangler Unlimited buyers face quite a variety of choices, as reflected by four trim levels and a variety of additional option packages. All Unlimited models have four-wheel drive and contain a 285-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine that develops 260 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and you can opt for a five-speed automatic. Command-Trac part-time four-wheel drive is standard, except on the Rubicon, which gets Rock-Trac with a lower low-gear ratio. Fuel economy is estimated at 16 mpg in city driving and 21 mpg on the highway (20 mpg with automatic).
Standard exterior details include a range 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/rear tow hooks. Removable half-doors are available. Wranglers offer a choice of several axle gear ratios to emphasize either economy or off-road capability. Trailer sway control is standard.
Specifications and equipment are similar to comparable versions of the regular two-door Wrangler. Four trim levels are offered:
Jeep has been offering several Limited Editions, including:
Rubicon Hard Rock: Features high-gloss black accents to the grille, wheels, and trim; 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: Gets the 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: Carries bronze-colored interior/exterior details.
Additional option groups include:
- Connectivity: Adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, tire-pressure monitoring display, Uconnect hands-free communication with voice command, 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: Includes a chrome grille.
- Max Tow Package: Includes a Class II hitch receiver.
Regardless of trim level, the beauty of the Wrangler Unlimited is its gritty, nostalgic design, which makes it unique in today’s marketplace. If classic, all-terrain styling and peak all-terrain talents stimulate your enthusiasm, and you like getting down to the elements, the basic Unlimited Sport should provide everything you need.