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2013 Jeep Wrangler Overview

Anyone familiar with this nation’s history knows that Jeep’s rugged Wrangler has essentially been around since our grandfathers were storming the beaches in Europe and the Pacific in WWII. The 2013 version, of course, bears little resemblance to those nimble beasts of military burden, but remains basically unchanged from 2012 editions. Certainly not the most comfortable or the quietest SUV out there, this 4-passenger terrain-busting beast maintains its tradition as one of the most off-road-capable vehicles available, and again should be delivered in three trims, the base Sport, midlevel Sahara and the mountain-taming Rubicon. Look for all three trims to be delivered in the standard 2-door configuration, with all three again also offered in a 4-door Unlimited model, which is covered separately.

Although the present generation of this terrain-crawling beast resembles its forbears only in its distinctive front fascia, all trims continue to boast a stick-shift transmission and part-time 4-wheel drive (4WD), as well as a removable roof, removable doors and a removable windshield. Expect the 2013 Wrangler to be delivered with redesigned wheels for the Sahara and Rubicon, as well as a trailer sway-dampening system that’s standard throughout the lineup. Also, those who’ve wrestled with the removable top over the years will be happy to hear that a new spring lift-assist mechanism should make this often frustrating chore a bit more bearable.

Yes, Jeep has come a long way since its debut helped keep the world safe for democracy. Face it, though: If a refined ride, civilized appearance and comfy amenities are absolute necessities, Nissan’s nifty Xterra or Toyota’s terrific FJ Cruiser, though lacking the Wrangler’s heroic past, might be far more suitable.

In any case, for 2013 the base Sport should continue to boast skid plates, 16-inch steel wheels mounting all-terrain tires and that cool removable soft top outside, and cloth upholstery, split-folding rear seats, cruise control and tilt-wheel steering inside. Standard entertainment features are expected to remain a hefty 66-watt audio system with an MP3-capable single-CD player and 6 speakers.

The Wrangler Sahara, meantime, is expected to include 18-inch alloy wheels, tubular running boards, an upgraded suspension and a 368-watt audio system that boasts 7 Alpine premium speakers (also new for 2013), satellite radio and an auxiliary MP3 audio input.

Though carrying most of the standard comfort and convenience amenities found in the Sport trim, the 2013 Wrangler Rubicon can again be expected to flaunt such terrain-busting features as 17-inch alloy wheels, a heavy-duty transfer case and axles, electronic locking front and rear differentials, rock rails, a sway bar that can be disconnected for serious off-road use and standard air conditioning.

Options for this rugged all-terrain crawler include a trailer towing package, beefier axle ratios, and various chrome appearance enhancements. Additionally, while the Sport is expected to remain eligible for several items that come standard on higher trims, the Sahara and Rubicon trims will likely be offered with available remote engine start, Chrysler’s touted Media Center (including a navigation suite), heated front seats, leather upholstery (late availability), air conditioning with auto temperature control, a removable hard top and, for the Rubicon, full power accessories.

The 2013 Wrangler lineup is expected to stick with the 285-horsepower variable-valve-timed (VVT) 3.6-liter V6 that debuted in the 2012 edition. The standard transmission is a 6-speed manual that will pound out 260 lb-ft of torque, but a 5-speed automatic should once more be available on both the Sahara and Rubicon in each of their variations. Finally, look for towing to again max out at 2,000 pounds with the proper equipment, while mileage is expected to remain 17 mpg city/21 highway in stick-shift trims, and 16/20 in automatic-equipped trims.

The part-time 4WD system standard on all 2013 Wranglers ought, once again, to boast manual hi-lo gear selection, auto locking hubs and a rear locking differential. The Sahara and Rubicon trims, additionally, should retain the standard descent control that’ll continue as an option in the Sport trims.

Safety-wise, look for the 2013 Wrangle lineup to carry 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, and front fog/driving lights. Front side-mounted airbags ought to remain optional across the line, while a remote antitheft alarm will likely remain optional on the Rubicon and Sport editions.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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