$24,027 - $35,409

2016 Jeep Wrangler Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Jeep Wrangler was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 6.7

The 2016 Jeep Wrangler has a rather Spartan interior that serves to reinforce its image as a vehicle for the adventurous and rugged. Most of the cabin surfaces are hard plastics, and while that may not be luxurious, it's plenty practical. Everyone knows the dread of having to clean their car out after a beach trip, but with a Wrangler, you can just take the top and doors off and hose it down.

If you're a fan of long trips, you may need to stop several times if you're driving a Wrangler; the lack of lumbar support makes the front seats uncomfortable on longer trips, and the back seats are pretty confining. There's also not a ton of technology to keep you engaged, though satellite radio and phone connectivity will probably be enough for the younger crowd.

Still, the Wrangler has a removable top and doors, giving it a convertible feel, which is unique to the class. If you're worried about security, the hardtop is a better choice than the fabric roof.

  • Even with the available leather, the 2016 Wrangler's interior does not qualify as plush. The main requirement is durability, which describes the Sport model's cloth seats and the hard plastic surfaces." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The 2016 Wrangler's interior actually has a modicum of style, particularly when the metal-look 'bright interior accents' are specified. But at the end of the day, function triumphs over form." -- Edmunds
  • "With the soft top, wind, road, and traffic noise intrudes. The hard top calms things a bit, but its hard-surface headliner leaves the cabin vulnerable to empty-drum echoing." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Seating and Cargo

The Wrangler isn't known as a people-mover, and the 2016 edition will reinforce that perception. Two-door Wrangler models seat just four people, making them the only vehicle in the class to seat fewer than five. Four-door Wranglers do have seats for five.

When it comes to comfort, the Wrangler lags behind many class rivals. It does offer a few upscale touches, like optional leather upholstery and heated front seats, but most people will notice the comfort – or lack thereof – provided by the seats.

The front seats have ample room, but when you're cruising down a curvy road or heading off road, you'll wish that they offered more support and side bolstering. The rear seats are even worse. They're cramped in both models to the point that even getting into the seats can be a challenge, especially in the two-door model. Once there, you'll find that the rear seats are hard and unsupportive and offer little in the way of legroom.

The Wrangler's expansive forward visibility is perfect for cruising the open road on a beautiful summer day. However, the large spare tire impedes rearward visibility considerably, which could pose a problem whenever you throw it in reverse.

You can't properly go on a weekend excursion without taking along your snowboard, surfboard, grilling equipment, or camping or fishing gear, depending on the trip. With the seats folded, the four-door Wrangler will do you proud in that regard, as it has one of the largest total cargo capacities in the class.

The two-door Wrangler has one of the smallest total cargo capacities in the class, but that can be expanded beyond folding the rear seats down. In two-door Wranglers, the rear seats can be removed entirely. They are heavy, but it's worth it to be able to fit all your stuff. You probably won't be putting people back there very often anyway.

  • "Rear passengers will face some challenges in the two-door Wrangler. There's room for only two back there, first of all, and the low bench with limited knee and foot room can make longer trips unpleasant, especially for adults. Access is also awkward unless the top's off, in which case nimble riders can just clamber over the sides. The Unlimited's backseat offers room for three and conventional access via its extra set of doors, though it's still not particularly comfortable or spacious." -- Edmunds
  • But there's plenty of versatility: The rear seat will fold flat for carrying gear and that in the 4-door Unlimited models will accommodate three people." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Lots of [front-seat] headroom and good cabin width. The seats are firm and generally comfortable, though they need more lumbar support. … The [rear] seat is hard, uncomfortably upright, and short of thigh support. Foot space is stingy in both body styles. Knee space is tight and entry and exit are tough." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Interior Tech

If you envision something as tough and rugged, you may assume that it doesn't possess any creature comforts. While that assumption may not always be correct, it's not far off in the case of the 2016 Wrangler, which has a shorter features list than most class rivals.

One of the iconic images of the Wrangler is driving it with the top off. A removable fabric roof is standard, and a removable hardtop roof is available. The hardtop offers more security (someone could cut through the fabric panels if they really want to break into your vehicle), but it is heavier and may require some help when you want to remove it. If you plan on driving with the top down often, then you probably want the fabric roof.

The Wrangler is on the short list of 2016 vehicles that do not come standard with power windows and door locks, though they are optional. This may be less of an issue in the Wrangler than in some other vehicles, however, as you may frequently take the Wrangler's doors off during the summer months anyway.

The Wrangler does feature Bluetooth and a USB port, allowing you to connect your smartphone when you want to charge it or make a call. Satellite radio (subscription required) comes standard, giving you plenty of stations to choose from when you're heading out on an adventure.

See a full list of features »

  • "The instrument panel is not necessarily stylish but does have the control functions within easy reach. And, as it has been for years, if the interior gets really dirty you can pull the handy drain plugs and clean it out with a garden hose." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Putting the soft top up or down on any Jeep Wrangler takes patience, which makes the separate foldable sunroof panel an appealing option when the top's up and you're short on time. Security can also be an issue with the soft top. The optional hardtop, which features removable T-top-style panels over the front seats, is a smart solution for those who don't intend to go completely roofless on a routine basis. Bear in mind, though, that the hardtop is heavy, so you'll need a friend to help whenever you want to remove it." -- Edmunds
  • Wrangler's cabin is very functional. The gauges are unobstructed and easy to read. The audio and climate controls are easy to reach and use. … The navigation system absorbs most audio functions, complicating what should be simple adjustments." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Safety Tech

If safety and driver assistance features are some of your primary concerns in a new vehicle, then you would do well to look past the 2016 Wrangler. It's designed as an adventurous off-roader rather than a family transport vehicle, and it is bereft of all but the most basic safety features, offering little more than air bags and basic cruise control.

While it's certainly better to have those features than not, many class rivals like the Honda CR-V offer modern driver assistance features that kick in when your attention (or your vehicle) drifts, such as lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control. The Wrangler has no such amenities, and it even omits common features like a rearview camera, meaning that when you throw it into reverse, you have to survey the area the old-fashioned way – by looking around you with your own eyes.

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