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WranglerWrangler Unlimited Review
Posted by mike on 2004/6/25 0:00:00 (1813) reads

Car and Driver reviews the latest Wrangler variant

From caranddriver.com:

The Unlimited’s box-section frame adds 10.0 inches to the standard Wrangler’s wheelbase, extending it to 103.4 inches. There’s also an additional five inches of rear overhang, which pulls its overall bumper-to-bumper dimension to 165.1 inches, or 15.0 more than the abbreviated model. The additional space is unequally apportioned in the interior. Leg and knee room in the back seat are expanded by just under two inches. But a whopping 13.0 inches is allotted to the area behind the rear seat. Cargo volume goes from 9 to 29 cubic feet. Out-of-sight cargo space has about doubled, not a bad thing to have in a vehicle that can easily be entered by villains with a box cutter—at least in the fabric-topped version.

Detail improvements to the Unlimited include a “tip and slide” driver’s seat for easier rear access; more padding under the hood, behind the dash, and beneath the cargo area to reduce noise; and the so-called Sunrider softtop, which manually flips back to open a 45-by-23-inch sunroof above the front seats. There’s also an optional hardtop ($795), which would be a prudent buy for people in the Frostbelt states.

...snip...

But a relatively rough ride on the road is the price of agility off the road, and there is no out-of-the-showroom SUV that can match the Wrangler in the rough stuff. And that’s true for either wheelbase version. The longie does yield a few degrees of breakover angle—21.4 versus 28.1—to the shortie and doesn’t turn as tightly (39.2 feet versus a 36.7-foot turning radius). But in practice—negotiating rocky grades steep enough to ground the skid plates and make a sound like razor wire being dragged across a tin roof—these were not noticeable disadvantages. One thing the Unlimited does have to offset what little it gives up to the short-wheelbase, 4.0-liter model is a greater towing capacity—3500 pounds versus 2000—thanks in part to the added strength of an additional rear crossmember.

Be sure to check out the entire review.

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Billy B
I like the extra room the unlimited version of TJ has to offer. The only drawlback is entry/exit for rear seat passangers. It seemed easier for me to climb into the back of my 83 CJ then it is to get into the back of the 05.
The doors openings should have been made larger if possible or perhaps the unlimited should have been designed with 4 doors (which I heard might be coming).

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Peter Finch
I ordered mine on Monday. $195 over invoice. Flame Red, gray top, 6-speed. Woo-hoo!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: 4x4Fool
We ordered ours on wednesday, Gold with kacki hard top, Auto. Wifes driver.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: 4x4Fool
2005 Brouchure's have it listed.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jeep Sales Manager
Just to let you guys know. I work for a Jeep dealer and I have already seen in our computer for next year's systems a Rubicon (LWB).

So no question's any more we'll definitely be getting it!!

But you're right, if a customer asked, I'd say,
"I don't know, and how about buying one of these that I have in stock."

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: 4x4fool
here is my comment Having just returned from Camp Jeep Ca. I have seen the non existant Rubicon Unlimited. Also in this months Four Wheeler mag they have a pic. Dealers do not have any ordering ability yet, however their locater page lists the Lbw Rubicon on that page. I've heard that ordering may be as soon as October.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bill
Does anyone know how to tell DC / Jeep they need to to add the half door as an option to the Unlimited? I am about ready to order one but I really like the feel of the haft doors. I have tried Customer Service but that was not the best use of my time. Any ideas out there?

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: jeff
I have actually placed an order for an Unlimited with 6-speed manual (german tranny). Kinda 'limited' on options, but this looks like a great replacement for my '88 AMC Cherokee with 275k miles (and Peugot tranny). IMHO, the Cherokee was REALLY the vehicle that saved AMC and eventually Chrysler.
BTW, my I-6 has had zero problems, running orginal alternator and starter to boot! Fabulous engine, but I think the emission standards are killing it off.

I am hearing about common-rail-diesel (10k psi injection pressure) in jeeps. Sounds like a a good low-end-grunt replacement (instead of an icky V6).

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: bbeaswarrior
I've been waiting since the day the Unlimited's appeard on the lots to get my hinny in the seat of an "Unlimited Rubicon". Looks like my day is coming soon. I currently have an 85' CJ-7 Laredo in tip top shape with only 104,000 original miles. I will be sad to see her go. I've owned her for 10 years and she's a bute. I hear the LWB rubicon will be availabe with this new 6-speed manual. Is it a good tranny ? My CJ has the stout T-176 4-speed. I've kinda gotten used to it's strong abilities.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Douglas
Well that sad day is finally around the bend.....The American Icon Jeep has finally caved to the safety zealots who run the world...I am the owner of a 95 YJ Rio Grande..in my eyes the last "true" Jeep.. 2.5 AMC (remember them?) powerplant..What airbags?...What ergonomic dash design?...And WHAT?..Leaf-sprung front & rear?..Crazy?...No; just love a JEEP that's a JEEP....She's my 1st Jeep..and my last...because DC is unable to produce a simple,rugged and greatly affordable (I paid less than 6K for her) utility vehicle. Now I understand what the CJ heirarchy went through when the CJ closed production in '86 Just like what GM has done to Hummer..(H2,H3 and the rest of the ilk)..DC is doing to our American Icon..Since 1941..May you rest in peace..great lady. As Enzo Ferrari once quipped: " Jeep is America's only true sports car"....very true..very true.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: XJameson
ScramblerKen - thanks for the good info!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Allrighty Then
Here is alink to the Jeep Icon Concept, its nice looking. Im suprised they have not produced a new wrangler sooner....

http://www.weismann.net/icon.html

Scramblerken, thanks a bunch for the insight its appreciated.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: ScramblerKen
I too will hate to see the classic I-6 engine go, but it's days are numbered. Now that the Grand will no longer be sold with the I-6, this leaves only the Wrangler using that engine. DCX is still condensing on the number of engines they produce, so my guess is once the TK goes into production, we will see the end of the I-6. The cost to keep making this engine, as well as the cost to meet emission standards will probably be the demise of the old I-6.

As far as the Unlimited Rubicon, I still have not gotten any dealer to admit it will be produced. Of course many of these dealers have over 10 Unlimiteds sitting on their lots that they wanted me to buy instead. Also, the build date is pretty far in the future and subject to change.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Yireriwer
The Unlimited is a nice addition to the jeep lineup. The article did not mention a reduced noise level due to extra insulation. I wonder if its not really noticeable? I would like to purchase one but would like to see some incentives on this line as all the others have incentives.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bill
I have heard some stories about them putting a five speed in the Unlimited soon, Anyone heard a real date for this?

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: jason
The rubicon ulimited would most likely be a 2005.5 model like the unlimted and will be a short production since the new tk will be out around september/october 2006 as a '07 model year. The "wrangler replacement is most likey the jeep "icon" concept from '97.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: skramblewishes
Great comments and insight ScramblerKen; thanks for the information. It certainly appears that the replacement for the exisiting Wrangler will take a significant step away from the original CJs that have been sold for the past sixty years. The present version was the result of front air bag rulings and the next version will be built for side impacts. It will be interesting to see to what degree DC will be able to hold on to the heritage of the original CJs.

As for exisiting versions and sales it certainly seems to me that Jeep can grow the brand in a cost effective way by adding a pick up version of the Unlimited. With only a two year run left on the existing platform I am beginning to doubt this will happen. We can still hope.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Allrighty Then
Well Ken thanks for the heads up. I was seriously thinking of buying an unlimited since it can accomodate the family but really wanted a rubicon. Now im going to wait a little longer and keep driving my 98 grand with the I-6. I definately want the I-6 as it has been totally trouble free for 82K and a work associate has 120K on his and still running great. Now why would DC be dropping an engine this reliable?

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: James Hash
Seemed like a pretty fair review to me - at least compared to some others I've read. I liked the "18th century French Arisocrats" line, too!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: YES
If the jeep unlimited rubicon come out im ordering one if the price is reasonable. I dont really want to wait on the new model and for all the bugs to get worked out, i would not have a wrangler until 2008, LOL.....

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: ScramblerKen
All indications are that the Wrangler replacement (code named TK) will be for model year 2007 (coming in late 2006). Jeep has been talking about this for a while. Take a look at this article in the Toledo Blade:

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artikkel?SearchID=73176166776544&Avis=TO&Dato=20040526&Kategori=BUSINESS02&Lopenr=405260320&Ref=AR

here is a snip from the article:

Unlimited Wrangler highlights efficiency at Toledo Jeep plant

The automaker expects to move Wrangler production in 2006 to new shops on the Stickney Avenue property, including two to be run by suppliers, and shutter the Jeep Parkway factory. Today, workers assembly the bodies and paint Wranglers at the Parkway plant, and then do final assembly and final trim at Stickney. Jeep Libertys are made next door at the Toledo North factory.

Chrysler officials are in talks with suppliers, and plans should be revealed to Toledo Jeep this summer, Mr. Gonzalez said.

Nick Vuich, Local 12's Jeep unit chairman, said he is not concerned that Chrysler has pushed back the April construction start for new supplier-run paint and body shops for the Wrangler's 2007 model-year replacement. Ground likely will be broken in August or so, he said.

end -snip



The replacement Wrangler is supposed to have the body built by a supplier, not Jeep. The reason to replace the TJ is mainly due to passing crash tests. If you notice, many new models from all manufactures have been appearing recently. For model year 2007, there are new side impact rules, and you probably notice a lot of the new cars are touting side air bags.

Unfortunately, the TJ can not be retrofitted with side bags. Jeep engineers have been working on the redesign for some years, and I suspect we will see test mules in a year or so.

The rumors on the next generation Wrangler (but definitely NOT confirmed) are:

IFS (use the suspension from the Liberty for cost savings)

Use the V-6 from the Liberty and '05 Grand

A new top system. Possibly non-removeable.

Uni-body construction instead of body on frame

There has been talk of a four door model, but my guess is that will not happen. A four door model is too close in cost/size to the Liberty, and there are definite plans for a next generation of the Liberty. There is also talk of another small SUV built off the Liberty platform as a new Dodge SUV.

Talk also indicates another vehicle built off of the 2007 Wrangler platform, but possibly for use on a non-Jeep vehicle. Hints have been to make the small Power Wagon concept pickup truck that was shown several years ago. There are also rumors that this platform might be used to build a ‘scrambler’ type truck for Jeep around 2009.

Now this brings some interesting issues. What happens to the Unlimited? The Unlimited was built as a quick way to boost Wrangler sales to the 100,000 unit level. The goal was to find a way to build a low cost addition to the Wrangler that could be built at the same plant. Projections are to build 20,000 Unlimiteds per year. Once the TK goes into production, the Unlimited might disappear.

Another interesting tid bit is if you notice, there are 2 models of the Unlimited for 2005. Model E (which is like the current 2004 model), and the new model package H. The H package includes a 'decor group'. Hints are that the decor package is like the Sahara edition. Since the SWB Sahara is gone for 2005, this might make sense. Many insiders thought the Unlimited was being used as the luxury/high end model like the Sahara, hence many believe the Rubicon edition will not happen.

Who knows for sure what Jeep has up their sleeve? Maybe the pickup version of the Unlimited will show up as well. Time will tell.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Alrighty Then
ScramblerKen,

Have you heard what year the redesigned wrangler is expected.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: ScramblerKen
Nice article, but I wish they would give some more insight to the 2005 model.

I've driven both softtop and hardtop versions. The Unlimited does seem a bit quieter than the SWB Wrangler, but I'm not sure its 30% quieter. I wonder if they plan to change the SWB models and add the extra insulation to make them quieter as well?

As far as an Unlimited Rubicon edition, none of my dealers admit that it is coming, but take a look at:


http://www.arifleet.com/production.html

And there is mention of TJJS78 LWB Rubicon with job #1 starting on 11-18-04. Job #1 means first full production versions for dealers, so it does look like there will be a Rubicon Edition of the Unlimited. Looks like we just have to wait a bit.

For Liberty fans, Diesel builds start 10-25-04.

I doubt we will see a diesel in the TJ Wrangler, but if the diesel is successful in the Liberty, maybe by the time the TK (next gen Wrangler) comes out, they will consider a diesel option. I still think there is some work ahead to convince U.S. consumers to buy diesel based vehicles.

Still wish Jeep would produce the pickup truck (or do you like to call them SUT?) version of the Unlimited. I've tried to see if Bestop would make a version of their halftop for the Unlimited, but still no answer. Sure would be fun to put that on an Unlimited and add wood siderails. Maybe by the time the Rubicon Unlimited becomes available, a halftop would also be available. Sure is fun to dream.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: jeeper
If DC were to act prudently and provide a 2.5 diesel and 5 or 6 speed manual transmission, I would bet they would be unable to meet production demands.
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