For drivers who see roads as nothing more than an obstacle to nature, the Jeep Wrangler remains a solid and iconic vehicle choice. Still boasting its traditional silhouette, the Wrangler is a fun and capable off-roader. But, unfortunately, it demands a lot of sacrifices.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2017 Jeep Wrangler is available as a two-door or in a four-door Unlimited trim (listed separately), with four main trims to choose from. The Base Sport model starts at around $24,990, and comes with very few amenities. In fact, it's kind of annoying that buyers have to upgrade to the $27,990 Sport S in order to get air conditioning.

However, opting for a Sahara trim at a staring price of $31,440 will yield a decent amount of features. These include:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Upgraded cloth upholstery
  • Heated mirrors and locks
  • Keyless entry
  • An auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Satellite radio

The range-topping Rubicon comes with absolutely brutal off-road ability. Upgraded axles, detachable sway bars, off-road tires, and a spate of other details give it the ability to conquer virtually every obstacle owners can conjure up from the factory. The Rubicon is also available with premium features such as leather seats and automatic climate control. But the top-end Wrangler starts at $34,640 and can crest $45,000, which may be a little steep for an off-roader.

All Wranglers come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that’s rated at 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. And both the five-speed automatic and the six-speed manual versions do just fine both on and off road.

Performance Pros

Jeep Wrangler
  • The Wrangler continues to offer extraordinary off-road capabilities, especially in its Rubicon incarnation.
  • The Rubicon's trick electronic sway-bar dramatically increases wheel articulation – how far an individual wheel can move vertically – allowing the driver to instantly switch to epic trail mode when the terrain gets more interesting.
  • Any Wrangler can be started in gear, which we found to be useful when on an incline with no desire to roll backward.

Performance Cons

  • The Wrangler is deeply uncomfortable on paved roads, bouncing up and down over bumps and generally making a lot of noise while doing it.
  • The steering comes with a “dead zone” that offers virtually no feedback or road feel.

Interior Pros

  • Interior updates have yielded a cabin with a softer feel all-around.
  • There’s plenty of cargo room and the backseat is spacious enough for adult passengers.
  • Even after all of the updates, the Wrangler’s interior can still be easily hosed down after a day in the mud.

Interior Cons

  • Even with the top on, the cabin is still extra noisy. The optional removable hardtop helps, but only slightly.
  • While the interior upgrades have helped, in many ways, the Wrangler still feels like a military vehicle. But for Jeep purists, this may be the opposite of a problem.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Sure, the Jeep Wrangler has changed a little with the times, but it’s still a down and dirty holdover from simpler days. And we’re still shamelessly in love with its traditional shape, no frills design, and devil-may-care attitude.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

In spite of the nostalgia it inspires, the Wrangler is a noisy, sloppy drive with abysmal safety ratings and poor EPA-estimated fuel economy.

The Bottom Line

The 2017 Jeep Wrangler is the perfect rough and tumble vehicle for the outdoor enthusiast who wants a wild and rugged ride over the toughest terrain. But be prepared to sacrifice a lot for its abilities.