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Wrangler Hits Rock Bottom

mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
edited March 2014 in Jeep
It's a shame, but what I'm seeing in the execution of the current excellent Wrangler design is highlighted in this Consumer Reports article just released, making it the lowest of the eleven lowest vehicles rated :( :


"Score: 17 (out of 100)
Highs: Off-road ability
Lows: Ride, handling, braking, noise, fuel economy, fit and finish, visibility, frontseat comfort, access, reliability

Consumer Reports performs off-road testing at its Connecticut proving grounds, but off-road ability doesn't factor into the final scores.
That's part of the reason the Wrangler Unlimited gets the lowest score of any vehicle the magazine currently rates.

"We're rating these cars as most people would drive them in the SUV category," said Jake Fisher, a Consumer Reports auto test engineer.

While Jeep boasts that it sells to more owners who actually drive off-road than any other brand, the majority still spend most of their time on pavement.

A spokeswoman for Chrysler pointed out that the Jeep and Dodge vehicles in this list were fundamentally engineered for heavy-duty off-road use and the Jeeps, in particular, have been rated highly by other publications. "


  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    You have to wonder if it is CR bias towards a solid SUV like an Explorer or Tahoe or what. The Wrangler has NEVER been about the creature comforts, quietness, etc. Granted, it is BETTER in those respects than the TJ's and earlier models, but it is still a Wrangler.

    For what it is, it is a GREAT SUV. I don't know much about the quality, but reports of the leaky tops, transmission issues, tire pressure monitor issues on the 08's when offroad, etc, leads me to think that Jeep's parents didn't think things through. With Chrysler's sale from DC, I wonder if those issues will be addressed for the 09+ model years. 07 and 08 are looking rather taboo to me right now.

  • drmad7drmad7 Posts: 4
    For consumers who buy the Wrangler expecting a comfortable mallcrawler, they will be very disappointed and CR is warning them. For the consumer who KNOWS that the Wrangler is an impractical vehicle that is sooo much fun to drive and even repair every once in a while, its the right choice. They rated it based on SUVs in the market. The Jeep was around before their was an SUV market. Those who understand the Jeep are and will be happy with it. I just bought a Ford Edge last week (traded a '04 Expedition) to enjoy and save on gas. And in the next six weeks or so, I will be seriously looking to purchase Jeep Wrangler.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,637
    To be honest, I get really nervous when the geeky pocket protector crowd at CR actually recommends a car that I like. It brings to mind the Seinfeld episode where Jerry finds out that his new love interest had dated Newman. As a matter of fact, when I read how CR recently gushed over the Mazdaspeed3 it almost made me put my MS3 up for sale... :P
    CR used to really slam the TJ, complaining about the ride and the "uncomfortable" seats. My wife is far from a rabid off-roader, but she finds my Sahara's seats to be perfectly fine and the ride-even with Bilstein HDs-to be more than acceptable.
    And one more thing: the National Weather Service is calling for over 12 inches of snow tonight. I live at the end of a 1/2 mile gravel road and I'm extremely glad that there's a Wrangler TJ in the driveway; I sincerely doubt that any of CR's favorite SUV's could make it out.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • middleageguymiddleageguy Chicago areaPosts: 42
    I only saw the general rating, but the two door Jeep Wrangler was rated as better than average by CR. This compares to the Wrangler Unlimited which was rated as poor.

    My nephew bought a 2007 2-door Wrangler and he said it is the best Jeep he has owned. He had owned a 1995 YJ and a 1999 Cherokee. He also owned a Liberty for about three months, but traded it in because the transmission shifted poorly. This probably backs up the uneven QC at Chrysler.
  • In 1997 I bought a new Jeep cherokee. With less than 200 miles the transfer case went out. It was terrible on fuel mileage also. In 1998 I bought a jeep wrangler that my credit union delivered to me. When they pulled up in it the rear main seal was pouring fluid. (A brand new vehicle.) Needless to say I sent that vehicle back. I thought by now jeep would have fixed whatever problems they may have had. I get ep pricing so I thought I would give them another try. I have all of 93 miles on my new 2008 Wrangler Saraha 4 dr. and already have problems. The transmission is slipping in reverse, the stereo has gone out. This vehicle has absoultey no power. It struggles pulling my boat and for a vehicle that has no power it gets terrible fuel mileage. I haven't had had it long enough to see if the freedom hard top leaks, but what I've read this is a very popular problem. I came out of a Toyota Tacoma that never went back for anything except oil changes. So maybe I expected too much. I would discourage anyone from buying a jeep product. I should have looked into it a lot further than I did. I will get rid of this vehicle as soon as possible and would not recomend this product to anyone. I have learned my lesson. I will never own another jeep product period.......
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,637
    This vehicle has absoultey(sic) no power. It struggles pulling my boat and for a vehicle that has no power it gets terrible fuel mileage.

    How come you didn't test drive it before you bought it? Seriously. A competent evaluation would reveal that the V6 Wrangler is far from a powerhouse.
    And one more thing: there's a sticker on the window that lists the EPA mileage estimates.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    The Jeep ain't no luxury ute. To have anybody try to interpret it as such is either seriously deficient in mental capacities or something. To lump a Wrangler in the same category as an Explorer or Tahoe just doesn't work.

    Jeeps are not perfect. Neither is anybody else. You would think for a a $50k luxury car like my wife drives there'd be no problems. It is one of the most problematic cars I've EVER owned.

    I drive a 97 TJ - first year they were made. Other than a cracked manifold when I bought it USED and a messed up catalytic converter, the vehicle has had ZERO mechanical issues. I wheel it and I often wheel it hard. So to say Jeep doesn't get it doesn't hold water. Yeah I COMPLETELY agree that there are initial problems that should NOT happen (leaks, etc), but to criticize the vehicle for lack of power AFTER buying it is more like sour grapes.

    As mentioned, why not do a test drive? Even w/o a boat attached, you can get an idea of low end power (plus finding the power specs on that V6 is not hard to find on the 'net). There is no reason to go into a car purchase unprepared any more.

    I would HOPE that Jeep would at least read their feedback and offer something with oompf, like a diesel or a V8 in the JK. Perhaps offering it in certain trim levels (like the Rubicon) would be a solution.

  • garou89garou89 Posts: 1
    We own a 2008 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara and I absolutly love it. We havn't had any problems yet (knock on wood), except for the amp screwing up, but all it needed was to be reflashed. I don't find it underpowered at all for normal driving. If you plan on towing all the time with this thing, then get something else. I'm sorry about the problems you are experiencing with your wrangler, but I'm just saying, don't judge the vehicle by just one example. Sure other people have had other problems, but so far, my jeep isn't one of them and alot of other people also don't have any problems, or have only had minor stuff. And I know, beause I'm a member at jk-forum, where you can find many JK owners who love their wranglers and wouldn't trade them in for another vehicle. Anyway, I would recomend the wrangler 100% to those who don't expect it to ride like a caddy, accelerate like it has a hemi or have the creature comforts typical to other suvs.
  • Just purchased an automatic equipped 08 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. After 200 miles (highway mpg @19.1) installed cold air induction system and MagnaFlow low restriction muffler. Performance increased significantly w/ an indicated highway mpg of 24.5. I know, hard to believe (the mpg increase).
  • porscheagporscheag Posts: 3
    Im the proud new owner of a 2008 Rubicon Unlimited that I got about a month ago.
    I would NEVER go by ANYTHING that Consumer Reports says.

    Ride ...Rides just fine for the vehicle it is IMO
    handling ... Im not cutting corners or running laps at the Nurburgring. It handles just fine on public roads at posted speed limits and wonderful off pavement.
    braking ... Brakes are just fine. I wouldn't expect an SUV like this to stop on a dime anyway.
    noise ...I have the soft top on my and wind noise is evident at 50mph+. Not as bad as CR makes it seem. Besides, my Rubicon came with the upgraded audio system so I don't even notice it much.
    fuel economy ...I have to admit it isn't great. Then again your driving a two ton SUV with the aerodynamics of a chinese food take-out container. It all depends how you drive and how heavy your foot is. Like someone said before, EPA ratings are right on the window sticker so don't be suprised after you take delivery.
    fit and finish ...Your driving an open top SUV with the best off-roading capability current on the consumer market. Most people, like I, off road these. If you do this with the top off eventually your interior might get a bit dirty due to exposure of the elements(dirt,mud, dust,etc.). Nice thing about the jeep is all you need is a hose & towel for most cleaning. "YES" cloth seats are stain, water, dust resistant and there are even drain plugs under the carpeting. Best thing is that after you leave the car parked for a while in the hot sun, the seats don't get really hot as they would with leather/leatherett or other materials.
    visibility ... Great visibility IMO. Great view over the hood, windows are near shoulder level, and trucks sit high(especially on Rubicon), so I don't get what they're implying here.
    frontseat comfort ...Seats are good. Sure, they aren't as comfortable as the lazy boys you find on an Escalade or QX but they do just fine.
    access ...Don't know what they mean by that.
    reliability ...I've only had mine for almost a month and a half so I can't really say.

    Those are my views on the Wrangler. Just a little info about me and my history with cars so you can better understand where Im coming from on most of my opinions and what I'm used to.

    I work at a large dealership in New Jersey that sells Porsche, Jaguar, & Aston Martin. Next door to the building I work in we also carry other brands like Mercedes Benz, Infiniti, Maybach, & Smart.
    I drive fast luxury cars on a very regular basis. I've driven so many cars I can't keep count. Just a couple weeks ago I went for a spin in a new 530hp GT2. Yesterday it was a 500HP Cayenne Turbo. Two hours ago it was a XF. I've driven trade-ins that range anywhere from SRT-10 Vipers to 360 Modenas to M5s & Z06s & Maseratis etc.
    My cars of the past have all been of the sporty type.
    I've had an '86 Porsche 944(AutoX car), a 2004 Dodge srt-4, and just recently sold me '06 Mitsubishi Evolution IX MR edition.
    In other words I've driven almost everything out there. I know the difference between a $100,000 500HP Cayenne Turbo & and $33,000 202HP Jeep Wrangler.
    It is my first SUV and so far I love it. All my past cars that I've owned were fun to drive and this one isn't that different, just a different type of "fun".

    With my past cars, if I listened to everyone on every car I got and took their advice on why this car isn't good and why that one isn't recommended, I would've seriously regretted not getting them.
    Before I got my 944 people would tell me that It was a unreliable POS. I never had one problem with it and to date it is still my favorite car i've ever owned and I regret getting rid of it(high insurance cost reasons).
    Before I got my new SRT-4 people would tell me that it was a POS neon and it would have nothing but problems. It ended up being ANOTHER reliable car which was really fast(modified) and that I also regretted selling.
    Before I baught my new IX MR I noticed not much bad things was said or written on it. It was a great car with better performance than alot of $100,000+ sports cars on my market. Although other publications like Consumer Reports mentioned how it was an "unconfortable" car and that it wasn't an good every day car. I used it every day and loved it. Cut around traffic really well, got to work fast, had 4 doors, & the AWD meant that with a tire swap it could be driven all year.

    Sorry for the long post but what I'm trying to say is that you can't really go by everything some of these guys say because in the end most of it is false. It is very easy to badmouth something, it is another to experience it.
    I'm happy I didn't listen to those like Consumer Reports in the past.
    Sorry for the rant.
  • I just returned from the Ouray Jamboree and I have a new found respect for my Jeep. Not in it's offroad prowess, that much we knew, but how it handles the road. It was a 1,200 mile trip. My stock 06 Unlimited Rubicon never got below 18, yes that's right, 18 MPG. At one point it was over 22 - but I think that was mostly from coasting down the million dollar highway. To be fair, I never went about 70 on the freeway - even when posted was 75.

    The seats were supportive, the ride was fine and it actually cornered in the winding mountain highway better than I ever thought possible. I rand down other cars and trucks and even had to pass them - never exceeding posted limits, just so ya' know I was driving it civil. Windshield wipers are useless (thank you RainX).

    To this point my Jeep was a commuter; never took it on a road trip. Loaded with coolers, tools, luggage, etc.. it did just fine... and with better MPG than my Tahoe.
  • I purchased an 07 Unlimited Sahara in September of 06 an now have over 35k miles. I maintain a log of gas MPG and see a low of 16 and a high of 21. The 21 was during a long highway trip. Average MPG is about 17. My question concerns your choice of cold air induction. What brand did you choose? and why? Also I am not fimiluar with a MagnaFlow muffler.
  • starting to negotiate for an 09 wrangler do I make sure that I am seeing the actual dealers invoice?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Edmunds has invoice prices under the New Cars tab. Our numbers should correspond with Kelley and MSN and the rest.

    What the dealer actually pays for a car is another story. No one really knows, and the owner of the dealership may not even know until the accountants balances the books.

    Dealers get kickbacks, spiffs, hood money, bonuses, trips and cruises, free training, financing credits, and who knows what else.

    Check out Jeep Wrangler Prices Paid and Buying Experience.
  • To the owners of the Jeep brand whoever you are. Have a warranty, have a lifetime extended warranty. You took away my dealership. Three local dealerships, not one service writer or service person drives a wrangler. At the time of our purchase, our saleslady and the sales manager drove wranglers. Do you intend to turn jeeps into patiots and compasses. I know real men don't let anybody, unless they trust them, touch their machines but...
  • I purchased a 2007 in September of 2006. It was one of the first on the road in my area. Two weeks later my wife and I drove to North Carolina (over a 9 hour drive) . Even with a back problem I was able to get out and walk unhindered by cramps. These are great seats. Mileage is now at 50k and MPG is between 16 and 18 on average. Highway is always above 20.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I have a 97. No warranty and it hasn't seen a dealer since I had it inspected prior to purchase back in 03. :) Your point?

    As long as there is a good demand for Wranglers, I don't see Jeep killing off the golden calf...

  • "Your Point"
    Glad you had the knowledge, money, and a good '97 to never need to see the dealer. So far just the alignment, but it would have been nice to talk to dealer employees who love the wrangler they drive.
  • Ditto on the seating
    Although not nine hour, our little trips so far don't kill us or my bad back. I think some of it is the suspension/tires and the height of the seat from the floor pan. The seats don't seem to be extraordinary.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    That's exactly my point. I didn't have the money or the knowledge. I used Internet resources to learn, bought a Haynes and factory manual, and figured it out that way. Between the books and asking a LOT of questions, I got the information I needed to fix the issues I have had. The Jeep has literally been my learning and testing ground as I understand workings of the vehicles. I don't have the money to pay dealer prices at all - that's why I turned to the 'net.

    I wish Jeep employees drove Wranglers too, but I don't go there much, I don't worry too much about it. There are a LOT of Jeep resources out there to help you keep your Jeep looking and running great as well as resources to help you modify it. Edmunds is a great source, don't get me wrong, but there are sites that are more focused on the modification and DIY mechanic than Edmunds.

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910 would have been nice to talk to dealer employees who love the wrangler they drive.

    Nice yes, but not really a reasonable expectation, and even if each employee was issued his/her persolal Wrangler it's no guarentee they'd appreciate them like we do.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I didn't have the money or the knowledge. I used Internet resources to learn, bought a Haynes and factory manual, and figured it out that way.

    One of my pet peeves is that people will throw hundreds of dollars worth of parts at a problem in the hope that something might stick, rather than purchase the Factory Service Manual (FSM) and a code reader. You can even subscribe to the FSM for around $25 annually here:AllData.

    Doesn't mean I'm right though, just my point of view. :)
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,637
    Doesn't mean I'm right though, just my point of view.

    Nope; you ARE right.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

This discussion has been closed.