JEEP WRANGLER SPORT 4×4
- August 20, 2020
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The 2017 Jeep Wrangler is available in a pair of body styles: the two-door, four-passenger Wrangler and the four-door, five-passenger Wrangler Unlimited. Each is available in three core trim levels — Sport, Sahara and Rubicon — with additional special models that are based on those trims. A vinyl convertible roof is standard on both, but a hardtop with easily removable panels above the front seats is available.
Don’t expect many creature comforts in the base Sport trim level. It includes 16-inch steel wheels, on/off-road tires, a full-size spare tire, skid plates, tow hooks, foglights, removable doors, a fold-down windshield, manual mirrors and locks, full metal doors with crank windows, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, cloth upholstery, a tilt-only steering wheel, a one-piece folding, tumble-forward backseat, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The Unlimited version gets a bigger gas tank, air-conditioning and a 60/40-split folding, tumble-forward seat.
The Power Convenience Group adds power windows and locks, keyless entry, heated power mirrors, a security alarm and an auto-dimming mirror. The Cold Weather package adds the Power Convenience Group’s equipment plus remote start and heated seats. Also available for the Sport are 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning (for the two-door) and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The Sahara adds the Power Convenience Group items, 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED foglights, additional painted exterior body panels and trim, hood insulation for reduced noise, air-conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite radio. The Unlimited differs only with tubular side steps and grab handles for rear passengers.
Instead of adding a bunch of luxurious items, the Rubicon Wrangler gets a host of off-road goodies. It starts with the basic Sport equipment and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, special tires, a heavy-duty Dana 44 front axle (matching the standard-spec Dana 44 rear axle), shorter 4.10 axle gearing (standard with the manual transmission; optional with the automatic), an upgraded transfer case with a lower crawl ratio, electronic front and rear locking differentials, an electronically disconnecting front sway bar, rock rails, automatic LED headlamps and the under-hood insulation. Inside, you get standard air-conditioning plus the leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a 115-volt outlet and satellite radio. The above-mentioned Power Convenience Group is an optional extra on the two-door Rubicon, but it’s standard on the Rubicon Unlimited.
Even though you can only get the 4.10 gearing with a Rubicon, the Sport and Sahara are eligible for an upgrade to a 3.73 ratio, which gets you much of the way there. The standard ratio is a modest 3.21.
Also optional on Sport and Sahara is a limited-slip rear differential, and the Sport and Rubicon can be equipped with half doors that include plastic side windows and manual locks. The Sahara and Rubicon are available with automatic climate control and leather upholstery bundled with heated front seats.
Optional on every Wrangler is a nine-speaker Alpine sound system and the Connectivity Group, which adds a tire-pressure monitor display, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a trip computer, and an upgraded version of the Uconnect 430 touchscreen (available separately) that includes a USB port, media player interface, 28 gigabytes of digital music storage and navigation. All trims are also available with a higher-quality soft top as well as a black or body-colored hardtop.
On top of all the optional equipment to sort through, there are also special-edition packages. The Willys Wheeler is based on the Sport and includes a limited-slip rear differential, gloss-black 17-inch alloy wheels and exterior trim, special badging, privacy glass, mud terrain tires, rock rails, the 3.73 ratio, the Connectivity Group and satellite radio.
There’s also the Sahara-based 75th Anniversary Wrangler. The 75th Anniversary has special exterior paint and trim, 17-inch wheels, winch-ready steel bumpers and a Power Dome hood. Finally, the Rubicon Hard Rock is based on the Rubicon and has black 17-inch wheels and exterior trim, winch-ready steel bumpers, a Power Dome hood, red tow hooks, upgraded rock rails, black leather upholstery, heated seats, the Alpine sound system and special badging.
Every 2017 Jeep Wrangler is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Four-wheel drive is standard and includes high- and low-range gearing. The Rubicon features uniquely short gearing and an upgraded transfer case with an extra-low crawl ratio. A six-speed manual transmission with hill start assist is standard, while a five-speed automatic with both hill start assist and hill descent control is optional. Towing is rather meager at a maximum of 2,000 pounds for the Wrangler and 3,500 pounds for the Unlimited.
In Edmunds performance testing, a two-door Wrangler with a manual went from zero to 60 mph in a quick 6.9 seconds, which is pretty astonishing given the languid acceleration of past Wranglers. The heavier Wrangler Unlimited with the automatic needed 8.1 seconds. The last Toyota 4Runner Trail we tested made the same sprint in 7.8 seconds.
EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2017 Wrangler wasn’t available at publishing time, but last year’s Wrangler posted 18 mpg combined (17 city/21 highway) for either transmission. The Unlimited also had a 18 mpg combined estimate last year.