I will admit to never being a personal fan of the Jeep Wrangler. I like the way they look and if I were in terrain that required a serious 4-wheel drive system, I would certainly give it serious consideration, but as a daily driver in North Texas, it just doesn’t seem practical to me. With that said, the 2012 Wrangler could make me think a little harder about that.
I had the Sahara 4×4 model this week and was eager to see what Chrysler had done with the interior, and I was also interested in the Pentastar engine in the Wrangler and how it performed. The engine is much improved from the last Wrangler I had a few years ago. This 3.6-liter V6 has 40% more power than the previous six-cylinder in the Jeep and it gets better fuel economy. I’ve driven the Pentastar in other products, but it had a huge impact on the performance of the Wrangler. My test vehicle came equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission.
The interior changes were substantial and impressive. The leather seating looks rich and is very comfortable. The dash layout is well done, the brushed aluminum accents inside give the interior a rugged, yet rich feel. The other thing that was noticeable about this Jeep was the quietness of it, it is much improved from the last Wrangler I had.
You can now get some nice creature comforts with the Wrangler that were not always available, like automatic headlights, a much-improved stereo system with satellite and Blue Tooth. It even has a 115-volt power point that could come in really handy.
I have the two-door model Wrangler which looks awesome on the outside in a beautiful bright silver monotone paint scheme and some really good-looking 18” wheels. It has chrome tubular step and fender flares that give the Wrangler Sahara a clean, yet rugged look. It has fog lights integrated into the front bumper that look great too
Perhaps the best change I see to this Wrangler is the top. It has an optional 3-piece hard top that allows extreme flexibility. In fact, you can completely change the look and function of the Wrangler with this top depending on the weather. If it’s nice, take off the entire top, the doors, and fold the windshield down for the ultimate open-air experience.
Since the U.S. Government ordered the first Willys-Overland General Purpose vehicle 70-years ago, much has changed with the Jeep and this one is the most pleasurable I have ever driven. The downsides of this particular model are the shorter wheelbase has a bit of a bouncy ride, and the back seat is small and hard to get to. It is easy to see why the 4-door version sells so well and is so popular. Between the Pentastar engine and the greatly improved interior, although it is not for me, I have a much better feeling about recommending the Jeep Wrangler to listeners.
What I liked most: The Pentastar engine and interior
What I would change: A smoother ride without loss of 4-wheel drive capability.
Fuel Economy: Rated at 17 city and 21 highway, and is doing it.
2012 Jeep Wrangler Sahara in a few words: Most impressive Wrangler ever.