Test Drive: 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 75th Edition

Jerry Reynolds | November 8, 2016
Test Drive: 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 75th Edition

The first Jeep ever produced came out in 1941, for military use.  It is thought the name Jeep came from the initials GP, for “general purpose” and the name Jeep stuck.  2016 brings the 75th anniversary of the Jeep, and to commemorate this milestone, Jeep has made some special edition models.

This is the 2016 Wrangler Unlimited 75th Edition.  This is the 4-door version, but you can still get a 2-door also.

The Wrangler Unlimited comes as a Sport, the Sport S, the Sahara and the top-of-the-line Rubicon.  No matter which Wrangler you choose, they all have the same engine and they are all full time 4-wheel drive.

I am a big fan of this 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine.  It puts out 285-horses and since it came out, it has a great reputation for overall quality and long-term durability.

You have a choice of transmissions, the 6-speed manual, or a 5-speed automatic like my review vehicle has.

The evolution of the Wrangler has gone from very basic to SUVs that have a lot of amenities.  This model has very comfortable leather seating, with attractive stitching.

Unlike days past, you now get power windows and door locks, keyless entry, automatic headlights, tilt wheel with finger controls, and much more, all as standard equipment. The gauge cluster is simple and easy to read and it has a nice center console with a USB connection inside.  You also get a 115-volt electrical outlet.

Options on this one include heated front seats, the painted hardtop, a terrific 9-speaker Alpine stereo that comes with a waterproof subwoofer, remote start, and Chrysler’s terrific UConnect system complete with navigation system.

With U-connect, you get a suite of apps, a 40-gig hard drive, Sirius XM radio, and Travelink, which gives you real-time gas prices, sport scores, movie information, stock prices, and weather.  Everything is operated from a vivid, easy to operate color screen.

You’ll find special 75th Anniversary badging around this Jeep, and it has a unique power dome hood with functional air vents.  This is one of the special colors for 2016, it is called Sarge Green.

On the safety front, you get some standard features that are needed on a vehicle with a high center of gravity, such as traction control, electronic rollover mitigation, hill start assist, and electronic stability control.

The Jeep Command Trac 4-wheel drive system is one of the best in the industry, and features shift-on-the-fly, which is engaged by using a shifter next to the automatic transmission.

Let’s talk about tops on the Wrangler since that seems to be one of the big decisions that Wrangler owners have trouble deciding on.  Wrangler can be bought with no top, a hardtop, a hardtop painted to match the exterior like this one, or a Sunrider soft top.   

I think what is fun about Wranglers, and the thing that makes people enjoy them, is that in short order, you can take this vehicle, remove the top, take all four doors off, and even fold the windshield down against the hood to transform this vehicle into something totally different.

As I say on the Car Pro Show often, a Wrangler is not for everyone, but the people who buy them really love them.  You have to accept a bit of a rough ride, some outside noise and road noise.  The hardtop with the headliner like this one does mitigate some of the interior noise, and gives the Jeep more stability.   

Jeep is one of the most recognizable vehicles on the road, from its 7-bar grill and round headlights, to the rear where the spare tire is exposed…you know at a glance it is a Jeep Wrangler.   

I’m getting right at 18 miles per gallon in mixed driving, which is OK considering this is one of the most capable off-road vehicles you can buy.   


2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 75th Anniversary Edition

  • What I liked most:  The looks and the painted hardtop.
  • What I would change:  Would like a 6 or 7-speed automatic in it.
  • MSRP: Base price $33,795, as equipped $48,630.
  • Fuel Economy:  Rated at 16 City/20 highway/18 Combined.
  • Official Color: Sarge Green.
  • Odometer reading when tested: 5200 miles.
  • Weight: 4294 pounds.
  • Length-Width-Height: 184.9” long/73.7” wide/70.9” high.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 22.5 gallons with the filler on the driver’s side.
  • Towing Capacity: 3500 pounds.
  • 2016 Wrangler in a few words:  Very capable off-roader!
  • Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, with roadside assistance, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty.
  • Final Assembly Location:  Toledo, Ohio.
  • Manufacturer’s website:  www.Jeep.com

 Photo Credit: Jeep

Tags: 2016, 75th anniversary, jeep, off-road, review, test drive, unlimited, Wrangler
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