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2008 Jeep Wrangler Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Jeep Wrangler was new.

The 2008 Jeep Wrangler offers superior off-road capabilities in a rugged package. However, it sacrifices on-road handling and comfort, which lands it in the bottom half of its large class.

7.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.4
Performance: 7.1
Interior: 6.1
Safety: 8.3
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Class-leading off-road capabilities
  • Features three convertible top options
  • Available as a spacious four-door model
  • Offers unimpressive handling on the pavement
  • Rear-seat comfort is sub-par
  • Poor gas mileage for its class

2008 Jeep Wrangler Overview

The Wrangler is a rugged SUV designed to be most comfortable and capable off the pavement. Consequently, the Wrangler's weaknesses are in its on-road performance, but that may not matter to some buyers. U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman explains: "People put up with it, because Jeeps represent freedom and nonconformity. In a Jeep, you're not like other people." Since the Wrangler was completely redesigned for 2007, the 2008 model remains virtually unchanged, with the exception of a few new features and options. In 2007, Jeep added a four-door model, the Unlimited, to the Wrangler line. It competes with rugged midsize SUVs such as the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Hummer H3. However, it still ranks in the bottom half of its class when compared to other off-road SUVs. The 2007 model is a Best in Class winner for SmartChoice Retained Value and was named 4Wheel & Off-Road's 4x4 of the Year.

Those considering the Wrangler as a daily driver will no doubt take note of its fuel economy.  The Wrangler's 15/19 mpg rating is currently the lowest in the small SUV class.

The Wrangler comes in three trim levels -- the base X, the Sahara, and the top-of-the-line Rubicon -- in either a basic two-door or an Unlimited four-door version.

  •  "Whether you spend your time in the African jungle or the asphalt jungle, if you're a Wrangler fan, you'll like the new machine." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Unlimited is pretty good by Wrangler standards, but holds little appeal if you're not a Jeep fan." -- USA Today
  • "...the Wrangler Rubicon's strengths constitute its primary weaknesses in routine city-suburban commuting, where it is least efficient, least comfortable, and generally less than enjoyable." -- Washington Post
  • "We can't forget that most of the Wrangler's wrongs are necessary to make other things right. Of the 77 vehicles calling themselves 'SUV,' try finding even one that the Wrangler won't walk all over when the pavement ends." -- Automotive.com
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