2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4X4 Review


2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4X4 (select to view enlarged photo)
2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4X4

SEE ALSO: Jeep Buyers Guide

THE AUTO PAGE
By JOHN HEILIG

SPECIFICATIONS: 2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4X4

Model: 2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4X4
Engine: 3.8-liter V6
Horsepower/Torque: 202 hp/237 lb.-ft.
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 116.0 in.
Length/Width/Height: 173.4 x 73.9 x 70.8 in.
Tires: LT255/75R17
Cargo volume: 46.4/83 cu. ft. (behind rear seats/front seats)
Fuel economy: 15 mpg city/19 mpg highway/16.2 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 22.5 gal.
Curb weight: 4,430 lbs.
Sticker: $37,780 (includes $750 destination charge and $4,980 in options) Five reasons to buy this car 1. A more practical Wrangler 2. If you must have a 4-door convertible 3. Comfortable seats 4. Roomy 5. Ample cargo capacity

The Bottom Line: If you just must have a rugged off-road vehicle with outstanding real off-road capability, then this is the vehicle for you.

Okay, it's a Jeep thing and I'm unable to understand it. It could be age-related; maybe I'm just too old to understand the "Jeep thing."

For example, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited offers a rough ride. It's choppy on just about all road surfaces. I know this isn't something you worry about when you're challenging the Rubicon Trail, but 99 and 44/100ths of anybody's driving is on road, even for die-hard off-roaders, so ride quality is important. On the right road, ride quality isn't all that bad, but you have to search far and wide for decent roads in Pennsylvania. This is a very rugged vehicle and ain't no Grand Cherokee.

My other problem with the Wrangler is that I felt the 3.8-liter V6 was underpowered for the task. I had the constant feeling that the engine was laboring, even on straight flat roads. It has 202 horsepower, which should be enough for a vehicle that weighs 4,340 pounds, but perhaps the 4-wheel drive mechanics sucked too much power away.

Along with the ruggedness, our tester was equipped with rock rails, a skid plate and electronic roll mitigation.

My wife's complaint was that the Wrangler was hard to get into. It needs a running board. However, this would cut down on the road clearance that's so important for off-road applications.

Chrysler/Jeep's styling department didn't have to work overtime on this one. The Wrangler is straight-sided, just like G.I. Joe's WWII Jeep. It's extremely non-aerodynamic, but this is part of the charm of the vehicle.

The addition of 20.6 inches in wheelbase over the two-door Wrangler adds enough exterior room for the second pair of doors. it also created excellent rear-seat legroom.

In addition, the cargo capacity is also excellent, whether you have the rear seats up or down. In our tester, however, the cargo area was mitigated somewhat by the presence of the soft top and its mechanicals (it has to be stored somewhere), that made access to the cargo area difficult.

The tailgate (with its mounted spare tire) swings out easily to provide access to the rear. There's also an unframed glass that lifts up for even easier access (without the soft top).

There's a solid feel to all the mechanicals that is inspiring. For example, even the turn signal has a nice feel when you engage it.

The Wrangler has its own quirkiness, created in part because the doors are removable. The power window switches are located in the center of the dash. Most of the time I remembered they were there, but of course at night all I had to go by was a small red light to find them.

Other creature comforts include cup holders that are large enough and with rubber inserts so they'll hold almost anything. It has a good audio system (with Chrysler Corporation uniqueness) and a navigation system that's easy to understand.

I confess to not being a Jeep person and therefore not understanding the Jeep thing. The Wrangler Unlimited is a Jeep for families, with extra room in the rear seat for passengers and tons of cargo capacity.

That doesn't make it a bad vehicle.

2010 The Auto Page Syndicate

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