The evolution continues.
Jeep’s legendary Wrangler has gotten quite refined in recent years. Despite an interior overhaul in 2011, Jeep has upgraded the seats, interior lighting, and soft top for 2013. Those changes might not be as impressive as the new-for-2012 Pentastar V-6 was, but small changes are much better than letting an aging model languish. There’s still a decidedly trucky feeling through the steering wheel, thanks to the Wrangler’s signature solid axles and relatively long suspension travel. Not many vehicles can haul five people and a respectable amount of luggage to virtually any destination you can imagine. And no other vehicle can do so while allowing passengers to enjoy the unique open-air experience of driving without a top or doors. Speaking of which, the Wrangler Unlimited’s soft top is now easier to operate by a single person, and an optional premium soft top reduces interior noise. The hard top offers additional flexibility and can now be had in body-matching colors. The Wrangler handles every situation, from cruising the beach to taming the Rubicon Trail, with equal ease. Previous Wranglers required sacrifices from owners and didn’t make much sense for daily use, but the 2013 Wrangler has managed to become civilized enough for the mainstream market without abandoning its off-road heritage or sacrificing capability.
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Jeep’s continued evolution of the Wrangler brings better front and rear seats, extra interior lighting, and a standard auto-dimming rearview mirror. Soft tops are easier for one person to manage on Unlimited models, and a premium soft top is easier to clean and keeps the cabin quieter. A limited-edition Moab model based on the Sahara adds off-road touches but doesn’t threaten the Rubicon’s top-dog status.
Front air bags, traction and stability control, roll mitigation, ABS, brake assist, and hill-start assist are standard. Side air bags and electronic trailer-sway control are optional. No fancy blind-spot detection or automatic parking system here.
Strong V-6 engine
Competition is more refined
Base Price Range: $23,120–$34,920
TRIM LEVELS: Sport, Sahara, Moab, Rubicon, Unlimited Sport, Unlimited Sahara, Unlimited Moab, Unlimited Rubicon
BODY STYLE: SUV, 4- or 5-passenger
ENGINE: 3.6L V-6, 285 hp, 260 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: 102.9–104.0 cu ft
CAPACITIES: Towing 2000–3500 lb; cargo (Wrangler, rear seats up/down/removed) 17.2/56.5/61.2 cu ft; (Unlimited, rear seats up/down) 46.4/86.8 cu ft