2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 3.8L from North America
I enjoy it, but not as much as my old one
Since some folks seemed to believe one of the last reviews was possibly some sort of sales pitch I figured I'd post about my Jeep Unlimited Sahara.
Let me start by saying that I have a 1997 Wrangler Sport and I love that Jeep. I went out to test drive the new Wranglers when they came out and I have to say I wasn't impressed, in fact, I was disappointed. There were many reasons I personally didn't like it, it was mainly because it was nothing like my 1997. I couldn't hear the engine, they got rid of the 4.0L and put in what I feel is a less responsive engine, the throttle is now electronically controlled and is no longer a cable system, just to name a few things. It lacks the feel of any older model. I realize these things are considered "improvements" but to an old Jeep owner they personally turned me off.
A few months after my test drive, the wife decides she wants a 4X4 too so we go looking for something for her. After looking around for a while I suggested she test drive a new Jeep, since she was never a Jeep owner, just an occasional driver of mine. Well she loved the way it drove and she decided to get one.
I drive it every now and then and I have to admit that it has grown on me a bit. I'll list some other things now that I've had a chance to drive it and give it a better assessment.
1. It's a nice ride for a Wrangler.
2. The premium stereo system is decent, but not all that important when you have the top off anyway.
3. The Freedom hardtop is nice with the option to only remove the panels above the driver and passenger. Ours hasn't leaked yet, but I suspect it may be a problem down the road, time will tell.
4. The 4 door is a great option for those who have kids and still want the fun of owning a Wrangler. You won't fit a 260 pound man comfortably in the back seat, or through the door even, but an average size adult will fit comfortably.
5. The doors are a little harder to get in because they don't open as wide as the used to in an older model. Chrysler should fix this small thing.
6. With the 18" rims it sits well and looks good, although it's a little less comfortable to climb in and out of because of the height and because of #5 above. Jeep did a nice job with the styling.
7. The addition of factory driving lights is a pure plus, you can see everything now, the lights are very bright.
8. A Wrangler isn't for everyone, but they've made solid 4X4's for a while now. This one appears to be no exception, it's well built.
9. If you're looking for the comfort of other luxury four wheel drives you won't find it here, although Chrysler has improved the comfort of the ride a lot.
10. Don't buy one if you're afraid to get it a little dirty or take the top off, you'll probably be disappointed.
11. Wranglers have a lot of accessory options, if you like customizing a vehicle then you would probably enjoy owning one.
12. People in the newer Wranglers don't wave as much as the old Wrangler owners do, if you read this and fit the bill, please make sure you wave... It's a Jeep Thing. :)
The new Wrangler seems to target the 30 something crowd. I'm beginning to like the new Wrangler for what it is and not what it used to be, but I'm still very glad I own my old one and I'll most likely buy another 4.0L if this one ever dies, hopefully a Rubicon.
That's about as honest as I can be, thanks for reading.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th November, 2007
22nd Aug 2008, 11:08
Thanks for an honest, balanced and fair review.
I too feel that many people buy a Wrangler without properly accessing their needs.
A Wrangler is not for everyone, but it it suits your transportation needs it can be a fantastic vehicle to own.
Back in 1987 I worked at an AMC dealer and had a 1987 Wrangler with the old 4.2 liter six as a demo.
Since then I've owned 3 Wranglers:
A 1995 4.0 liter 5 speed, A 2003 Sahara 4.0 Automatic, and I currently own another 1995 4.0 Liter 5 Speed Sport.
I've also owned a 2004 Liberty Limited, and my wife used to own a 1998 Cherokee Sport.
That being said, I really enjoy the old AMC designed Wrangler equipped with the 4.0 liter engine. Sure, they are a lot more crude than the TJ's (introduced as 1997 models) and the newest models that Chrysler is building now.
I traded in my first 1995 Wrangler for a new 2003 Sahara but quickly realized that I preferred my old one.
The 2003 (TJ) certainly rode much better than the old YJ models, but it just didn't have the same feel to me. The coil spring suspension certainly wasn't as jarring as my old leaf-sprung YJ, but I missed having a Jeep that you could easily work on yourself. I like being able to change an instrument panel light in 5 or ten minutes using just a Phillip's head screw driver, I like the instrument panel being spread out across the dash, and I especially like having vent windows on the doors.
Yes, the TJ models that were introduced for the 1997 model year (actually began production in mid 1996) were more comfortable, quieter, and more car-like inside. But there is something about that old AMC design that I like.
After trading in my '03 Sahara for a Liberty, I still missed my old '95, so I sold the Liberty and found another 1995 Wrangler Sport in exceptional condition. I then decided to do a ground up restoration on the 1995, wanting to make it as close to brand new as possible.
I made some improvements by putting in a nice stereo and 6 speaker sound bar. I replaced the stock suspension with one lifting the vehicle 1 1/2 inches, put in a new clutch and transmission, and did much too much to list here.
The restoration took about six months - the end result was a 1995 Wrangler that I had invested over $20,000 in.
That was over 2 years ago. Since then I have spend virtually nothing on repairs to my Wrangler. It now has nearly 140,000 miles on it and it still looks and runs like a new vehicle. Even though I do own another vehicle, I use the Wrangler often as my daily driver. It's great for running errands in, it's fantastic in snow, (living in New England I appreciate having 4WD), and it actually isn't too bad on gas (15-20 mpg) considering it's a Jeep and has the aerodynamics of a barn door). Most of all - it is an absolute blast to drive!
If I wasn't able to own another vehicle, perhaps the Wrangler would not be the most practical vehicle for me, as I probably wouldn't want to take on a cross country vacation, but it's fine for a 150-200 mile trip, nor would it want to have to stuff my in-laws in the back seat to drive to a nice restaurant. But as a fun run-about or a second vehicle, I don't think there's any better vehicle out there.
One other thing, the new Jeeps look very interesting, but I wish that Chrysler was still using the 4.0 liter in-line six - it's a bullet-proof engine!
18th Jun 2012, 01:32
Yes, your review was very fair and accurate. We have a 2008 4-door and generally love it. Unfortunately we've had a lot of brake problems, even though we don't offroad much. Other than that, it's been reliable.
We had a 1995 Wrangler Rio Grande with a 5-speed and the 2.5L 4 cylinder. I don't think anything could ever be as reliable as that vehicle. Sold it after 260,000 almost trouble-free miles. The only things that ever had to be replaced were the Mitsubishi parts - the transmission and starter.