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Jeep Wrangler Review | CarMax

Are you all about hitting the road and taking adventures?

Just about any car lets you do this, but when you own a Jeep Wrangler, you’ve always got a ready and willing accomplice.

Whether you want to hit the trails or just head out to catch a sunrise at the ocean, this legendary vehicle is built to tackle nearly any journey. With the Wrangler’s versatility, smooth ride, 4WD ability, and innovative features at your command, the drive could be the best part of your trip!

In this 2016 and 2017 Jeep Wrangler review, you’ll learn all about the top reasons to buy this 4x4 vehicle.

Reasons to buy a Jeep Wrangler

  1. Time-honored styling. The design of the 2016 and 2017 Wrangler has remained faithful to the Jeep’s roots, which go all the way back to the 1940s. The 2016 and 2017 models have kept the vehicle’s iconic round headlights, seven-slot grille, squared-off body style, and a full-sized spare tire bolted to the tailgate. The removable top and doors let you take full advantage of its historic, off-road-ready aesthetic in just a few minutes. You can even fold down the windshield on all late-model trims, just like you could on the original Jeeps.
    Jeep Wrangler Review: #1 Time Honored Styling | CarMax
  2. Higher-performance V6. In 2012, Jeep made a big change for the Wrangler by equipping all trim levels with the 3.6L Pentastar® V6 engine by Chrysler. This engine makes a good balance of horsepower and torque, which give the Wrangler plenty of ability to tackle almost any terrain. The smooth throttle response pairs well with either the five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission options available on models like the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
    Jeep Wrangler Review: #2 V6 | CarMax
  3. All-terrain capabilities. All trim levels come with a tried-and-true four-wheel drive system, strong solid axles, and on-road/off-road tires to help the 2016 and 2017 Wrangler handle rough roads confidently. While all Jeep Wranglers keep it old-school with a truck-like, body-on-frame design, there’s independent suspension at all four corners to help keep the ride as smooth as possible.
    Jeep Wrangler Review: #3 All Terrain | CarMax
  4. Towing ability. The 2017 Jeep Wrangler Sport can tow an estimated 2,000 pounds when properly equipped over the hills and through the valleys along your route1. Plus, all 2016 and 2017 Wrangler trims have a payload capacity between 880 and 1,000 pounds. With these capabilities at your disposal, you can load up your gear and hook up a small boat or RV to kick off your journey.
  5. Great standard features. The high-output V6 engine and sophisticated four-wheel drive system come standard on all 2016 and 2017 Jeep Wrangler vehicles. There are ergonomically-designed seats and plenty of head and leg room for up to four passengers in the 2016-2017 Wrangler, and up to five passengers in the Wrangler Unlimited. This combination lets you set out on your adventures without sacrificing passenger comfort.
    Jeep Wrangler Review: #5 Standard Features | CarMax
  6. Open-air top. Some Wranglers come with a soft top — and we suspect these Wranglers make hard-top Wrangler owners jealous. Why? Because after a couple minutes of unsnapping, you can open up models like the 2015 Jeep Wrangler Sahara to the world and take in the beautiful scenery around you. Along with the top, you can remove the doors on this vehicle to further show off the Jeep’s unique open-air aesthetic.
    Jeep Wrangler Review: #6 Open Air Top | CarMax
  7. Innovative storage options In the cargo area of some trims, like the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, there’s a large locking console with two 12V DC outlets and a single AC outlet. If you need to carry long or bulky items, you can create more cargo room by folding the rear seats flat. And if you’re driving a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, you’ve got more cargo space — the 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara gives you up to 70 cubic feet of space in the cabin, depending on your seat configuration.
    Jeep Wrangler Review: #7 Storage | CarMax
  8. Smart driving systems. Smart driving system features, like Hill Start Assist and Descent Control, are found on all 2016 and 2017 Jeep Wranglers. These systems give drivers the opportunity for better control on steep grades and slippery slopes.
    Jeep Wrangler Review: #8 Smart Driving | CarMax
  9. Two or four doors for your Wrangler. The iconic Jeep, going back decades, had just two doors. Then, around 10 years ago, the four-door Wrangler Unlimited became available to families who need more space. The Wrangler Unlimited model uses the same running gear as the Wrangler — the same engine and same transmission choices (for example, the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon lets you choose a five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual).
    Jeep Wrangler Review: #9 Electronic Vehicle Info | CarMax

What trim options are available for the Jeep Wrangler?

For the 2016 and 2017 model years, the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited are available in three trim levels: the Sport, Sahara, and Rubicon.

  • Sport: Two-door Wranglers and four-door Wrangler Unlimited vehicles are available with the Sport trim package, which allows for air conditioning, power windows and door locks, and stain-resistant cloth seats.
    Jeep Wrangler Review: Sport Trim | CarMax
  • Sahara: The Sahara trim package brings another set of features to the Wrangler platform. Power windows and door locks plus a seven-speaker Infinity® entertainment system make you feel like you’re riding in style. Color-matched fenders and Sahara decals highlight this trim level.
    Jeep Wrangler Review: Sahara Trim | CarMax
  • Rubicon: The Rubicon trim option prepares the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited for extreme off-road adventures. It’s got heavier-duty Dana 44 axles, a “releasable” sway bar for more up-and-down front axle travel at low speeds (this feature is for really rough terrain, and helps your front tires stay in full contact with uneven stuff like big rocks), and mud-conquering, 32-inch all-terrain tires. Graphics on the hood proudly declare that this Jeep is a Rubicon — the toughest of the available Wrangler trims.
    Jeep Wrangler Review: Rubicon Trim | CarMax

What’s new for 2018?

While we don’t have any 2018 Wrangler’s on our lots yet, we expect to have some in the next year or two. For 2018, Wrangler models will come sporting either a hard top, the iconic soft top, or the new Freedom Top, which looks like a hard top and boasts quick removal and replacement times. There will be numerous trim options to choose from, from the basic Sport model to the trail-dominating Rubicon Recon. At all trim levels, these 4x4 vehicles will undoubtedly demonstrate their prowess both on and off the road, just as their predecessors did before them.

Jeep Wrangler features

Jeep Wranglers have a ton of features that make them a blast to own, but there are a couple that stand out from the rest.

Fun color options

Jeep Wrangler Review: Fun Color Options | CarMax
With nearly a dozen color options to choose from, you’re likely to find a 2016 Jeep Wrangler in your favorite hue. Two of the newest colors added to the lineup in 2017include Xtreme Purple and Gobi, which can help your Wrangler look right at home in the desert. Classic red, black, and dark grey colors are also available to help your Wrangler embrace its historic utilitarian roots.

Bright lights ahead

Navigating dark trails and pathways can be snap when you’re piloting a 2017 Jeep Wrangler. This 4WD vehicle features halogen headlamps and front fog lights as standard features. As an option, these Jeeps can come with LED headlamps that help further boost your visibility and nighttime driving confidence.

Jeep Wrangler NHTSA Safety Ratings

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited three stars in their rollover tests. This Wrangler also underwent front driver side and front passenger side tests, and scored three and two stars, respectively. If you’re interested in specific, safety-related information about these vehicles, please refer to third party sites including the NHTSA website, IIHS and manufacturers’ websites. Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

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Used 2016 and 2017 Jeep Wrangler average prices from CarMax

At CarMax, the average price as of November 2017 for a 2014-2016 Jeep Wrangler was less than $34,000.2 The average price in November 2017 for 2017 Wranglers was less than $37,000.2

Fuel economy estimates

The 2017 Jeep Wrangler Sport comes equipped with the standard (and only) engine for this model, the 3.6L Pentastar V6. Under normal driving conditions, this engine delivers an estimated 17 mpg in city driving. On the highway, estimated mpg jumps to 21.3

Vehicles that compare to the Jeep Wrangler?

Ready to shop? Check out our Jeep Wranglers and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited models. Want more choices? Take a look at the thousands of used SUVs and used trucks on our lots now.

1Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
2Based on prices on carmax.com in November, 2017. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, title, and any applicable fees.
3Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
Unless otherwise noted, information relating to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.