2012 Jeep Wrangler, an Autoweek Flash Drive Car Review - Autoweek | Catalog-cars

2012 Jeep Wrangler, an Autoweek Flash Drive Car Review – Autoweek

24 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2012 Jeep Wrangler, an Autoweek Flash Drive Car Review – Autoweek
Jeep Wrangler

2012 Jeep Wrangler, an Autoweek Flash Drive Car Review

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This is the 2012 Jeep Wrangler, redesigned in perhaps the most significant area that matters–under the hood. Jeep finally dropped the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 used in the Charger, the Grand Caravan, the 300 and seemingly everything even halfway important the company makes. In simple terms, this engine is a big deal–and it has a big impact on this, the most iconic of Jeeps.

The engine makes 285 hp and 260 lb-ft in the Wrangler, easily eclipsing the 202-hp, 237-lb-ft ratings of the old 3.8-liter engine. This completes a two-year makeover that saw the interior redone for the 2011 model year, transforming the Wrangler into a rather premium entry that maintains its still affordable $22,845 base price–despite the gains in power and fuel economy. Rest easy, hard-core Jeep faithful, the Wrangler looks exactly the same as last year#8217;s model, except for the rectangular headlights (just kidding).

What is it like to drive?

On road, the potent Pentastar shines through, easily blowing the detachable doors off the old engine. On test roads in Northern California, there was little debate: The new engine is simply better and executes its mission in a more demonstrative manner. It makes less noise and doesn#8217;t labor nearly as much the previous engine.

The cabin is reasonably quiet, and for the price, this well-appointed small ute is very comparable and competitive in this segment. It would be more than up for Sunday brunch or taking the retriever to the vet.

That being said, once we hit the famed Rubicon Trail, the Wrangler showed its teeth. We exchanged our auto-shifting grocery-getter for a manual, military-green four door#8212;with no doors. What a hoot. We crawled over rocks, forded creeks and generally tackled the most treacherous of terrain without breaking a sweat. Well, we did, but the Jeep was universally composed.

The two-door version was equally capable.

Really, on-trail experiences don#8217;t show off the Pentastar#8217;s capabilities. It#8217;s a stronger engine that#8217;s most evident when darting around town. Still, the trail is more fun.

Do I want it?

Absolutely. If you liked the old one–and it#8217;s still selling at a brisk pace, even with the new V6 looming–you#8217;ll like the 2012 Wrangler. The looks, the drive character, the price–they all strike the right chord for Jeep faithful.

Plus, rocks will tremble when they see you coming.

Jeep Wrangler

2012 Jeep Wrangler

DRIVETRAIN: 285-hp, 260-lb-ft V6; 4WD, six-speed manual

BASE PRICE: $22,845

CURB WEIGHT: 3,760 lb

0-60 MPH: 8.4 sec

FUEL ECONOMY (EPA): 19 mpg

Jeep Wrangler
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