2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Review

Wrangler Unlimited

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Based on 44 reviews

2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Overview

Now in its second year as an offshoot of the 2-door Jeep Wrangler, the 4-door Wrangler Unlimited carries over into the 2008 model year with relatively minimal changes. The entire Wrangler lineup received a major redesign in 2007, a fairly big deal for a vehicle that is known for its traditional looks and minimal luxury features.
The Wrangler Unlimited is built on a 116-inch wheelbase, substantially longer than the 2-door Wrangler’s 95.4-inch wheelbase. The additional length makes room for the rear doors, of course, but also for a 3-passenger rear bench seat that increases total passenger capacity to 5, as opposed to the 2-door Wrangler’s 4-passenger 2+2 seating arrangement. Although all Wrangler trims come with standard 4-wheel drive (4WD), the Wrangler Unlimited is available with both 4WD and rear-wheel drive (RWD), a concession of sorts to folks who might prefer the Wrangler Unlimited for its style or additional passenger capacity, rather than the Wrangler’s famed off-road prowess. The Unlimited comes in three trim levels: the base X, the Sahara, and the Rubicon. Note that adding 4WD to either the X or the Sahara also adds a couple thousand dollars to the price tag; 4WD comes standard on the Unlimited Rubicon.
Powering the 2008 Wrangler Unlimited is a 3.8-liter V6 producing 202 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, a 4-speed automatic optional. Fuel economy is not particularly good: 15 mpg city/20 highway/17 combined with the automatic and RWD, 16/21/18 with the manual and RWD, 15/19/17 with the automatic and 4WD, and 15/19/16 with the manual and 4WD.
With an approach angle of 44.4 degrees, a departure angle of 40.5 degrees, and 10 inches of ground clearance, the Wrangler Unlimited’s strong body-on-frame construction is clearly designed to tackle rough terrain. Heavy-duty Dana 30 front and 44 rear axles (Dana 44 axles both front and rear on the Rubicon), an electronic-disconnecting front stabilizer bar, and either a Command-Trac part-time 2-speed transfer case (on the X and Sahara) or a Rock-Trac 2-speed transfer case (on the Rubicon) provide added mechanical support during harsh off-road driving. The Rubicon also includes electronic front- and rear-axle lockers and 32-inch BF Goodrich off-road tires. A Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential is optional.
The 2008 Wrangler Unlimited is outfitted with a standard Sunrider soft top (making it the only 4-door convertible on the market), and a “Freedom Top,” 3-piece modular hard top is available as well. Interior features are limited, but there is 46.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 83 cubic feet of cargo space with those rear seats folded down. Plastic surfaces and drain holes in the floor make it easy to wash out the Wrangler Unlimited’s interior.
The Wrangler’s safety focuses on off-road driving, and not too much more than that. Dual front airbags and antilock brakes come standard, but side-impact airbags remain optional. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave the 2008 Wrangler Unlimited scores of Good on the small and moderate frontal-overlap tests and a score of Marginal on the side-impact test.
The 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited does, however, remain affordable. X trims equipped with 4WD start just north of $20,000, and you can get a standard Rubicon for under $30,000. Although owners complain of cabin noise and poor fuel economy, the Wrangler Unlimited continues to give them a fun driving experience and a unique vehicle to call their own.

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Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Questions

2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X, 2wd

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I don't go off-roading but I'd like tires that look somewhat aggressive, but not so much that they'll be noisy or get bad MPG as I use this car daily on normal pavement/highways. Any recommendations...