More room for better off-road adventures
Introduction">They made their list. And then Chrysler’s designers and engineers took care of it, eliminating each and every unpleasant driving experience that Wrangler owners have long tolerated – but barely. Best of all, they left intact most of what people adore when the topic turns to Jeep – and off-roading – which may have surprised a few people. The 2007 Jeep Wrangler is better in every way.
After all, the way Jeep is going – it may have built a crossover Wrangler. Whew – it didn’t, instead putting together the 2007 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimitied, with a longer and wider wheelbase, improved interior materials, much more room inside and – according to Jeep – better than ever off-road and on-road driving manners. With four doors on the Unlimited, it’s quite a sight to see – especially, we’ll bet, on the Rubicon Trail.
Say you’re a designer at DaimlerChrysler, and, as luck would have it, you get a shot at redesigning the new 2007 Wrangler. Here’s a hint: leave it alone. Especially the grille, which has been fought over and jealously protected. In fact, you probably just want to make what looks good better. It’s simple: a Wrangler can only ever look like a Wrangler, meaning that fancy styling or cute creases just don’t play here. Indeed, except for the wider track and longer dimensions, it’s hard to notice the difference. Perhaps the biggest improvement to the exterior is the three-piece modular and removable hard top.
Style – what style? The 2007 Jeep Wrangler doesn’t have a style, it has a seven-slot grille, which is a prominent fixture on the new Unlimited version. Most notable about the Unlimited’s design is the four doors and larger size. What’s cool about this newest Wrangler is that all four doors come off on the Rubicon model, leaving, perhaps, more open spots than sheet metal. Let’s go climb a mountain!
The new 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited looks very much like the 2007 Jeep Wrangler, except, wait a minute – the darn thing has four doors! That’s how much longer the Unlimited is than the regular Wrangler, a full 20 inches. The Unlimited’s wheelbase is 116 inches, while the 2007 Jeep Wrangler measures out at 95.4 inches. According to Jeep, the extra room is most noticeable in the back, with a larger rear seat and more leg, hip and shoulder room.
What used to be a big pain is now, according to Jeep, an easily managed task. The 2007 Jeep Wrangler’s three-piece modular and removable hard top has been designed to provide better noise reduction inside, but, mainly, to come down and go up without causing tea-pot sizzle frustration. Depending on which Wrangler you choose, open-air options include a fold-down windshield, removable tops and doors, available full-framed or half doors, and both hard and soft tops.
More open air
The 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited’s three-piece modular hard top features three removable panels that reportedly come off in 30 seconds. There’s also a standard soft top, which includes a “sun roof” feature. You can fold the soft top back completely over the first- and second-row occupants, creating a 55 x 60-inch sunroof opening – an opening 30 inches longer than offered by the standard 2007 Jeep Wrangler soft top.
Stretch your legs
The 2007 Jeep Wrangler makes good use of its extra interior room, improving the back seat thanks to an extra 3.9 inches of shoulder space, an inch more legroom, and 1.6 inches more hip room. Front seat occupants will enjoy 4.8 cubic feet of added space compared to the previous generation model, including more shoulder room and hip room. Cloth seats with YES Essentials fabric are standard on the Sahara and Rubicon models. YES Essentials is a soil-repellent fabric that protects seats from stains, odor and fading. Should you wish to take the back seats out, Jeep says that it’s now easier to do, courtesy of a new “fold-and-tumble” feature.
Stow your stuff
Built on a 116-inch wheelbase (added onto the standard Wrangler’s 95.4-inch wheelbase), the 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited’s extra room is most noticeable in the back, with a larger rear seat and more leg, hip and shoulder room. There’s also a standard 60/40 split fold-flat rear seat. According to Jeep, there’s 46.4 cu.-ft. of room behind the second-row seat, and 83 cu.-ft. with the second-row seats folded flat. The additional length also allows for a larger rear seat with three seating positions, as well as more hip, leg and shoulder room.
There’s more elbow room in the 2007 Jeep Wrangler along with a new instrument panel, center stack and high-back front bucket seats. The front-seat area provides 54.6 cu.-ft. of space, with 5.1 inches more shoulder room and 4.6 inches more hip room compared to 2006 Jeep Wrangler models, and there are also new interior materials. Buyers of the Sahara and Rubicon model now get cloth seats with YES Essentials fabric, which is soil-repellent and protects the seats from stains, odor and fading.
Clearly, miles of room is that you can expect to find in the 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited – though most of it is in the back. Other changes include a new instrument panel, center stack and high-back front bucket seats. The front-seat area provides 54.6 cu.-ft. of space, with 5.1 inches more shoulder room and 4.6 inches more hip room compared to 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited models, and there are also new interior materials. Buyers of the Sahara and Rubicon model now get cloth seats with YES Essentials fabric, which is soil-repellent and protects the seats from stains, odor and fading.
On the rocks
Jeep engineers toiled to take the 2007 Wrangler’s increased size and make it work better on boulders, in ditches and on gravel – you know, the places where a Wrangler belongs. The result, according to Jeep, is a Wrangler that is better on the road and off, thanks to a wider track and a longer wheelbase, and improved breakover angles. Overall, the 2007 Jeep Wrangler has better ground clearance, larger wheels and tires, is about five inches bigger front to back and side to side, and is powered by an improved 3.8-liter V6 engine.
At the lake
The 2007 Jeep Wrangler is equipped with a departure angle of 40.4 degrees, a breakover angle of 25.4 degrees, and an approach angle of 44.3 degrees. Three skid plates for the fuel tank, transfer case and automatic transmission are also included. The 2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara and X models offer a part-time, two-speed transfer case. Rubicon models have a more intense four-wheel-drive transfer case with a 4:1 low range, as well as 32-inch wheels, and heavy-duty Dana 44 axles with locking differentials.
Don’t worry. Jeep promises the same sort of off-road capability out of the Unlimited as you’d get from the standard 2007 Jeep Wrangler. According to Jeep, it’s just as capable when it comes to off-roading, despite an additional 20 inches in length. As with the 2007 Wrangler, the Unlimited features superb ground clearance, approach and departure angles. Depending on the model, you also get enhanced Dana front and rear solid axles, available Command-Trac and Rock-Trac transfer cases, new electric axle lockers, and an electronic-disconnecting front sway bar.
In the desert
Standard on the 2007 Jeep Wrangler is a stability control system, and the four-wheel-disc antilock brakes provide wheel lockup on soft surfaces – that should set true off-roaders at ease. It’s time to go exploring, and this time, we can bring the beer cooler, thanks to the Wrangler’s increased dimensions. Better yet, you’ll feel nice and comfortable on the pavement, driving a Wrangler that features more mannerly ride and handling characteristics plus a more powerful engine. Yeah!
For 2007, the Wrangler Unlimited gets four doors and more power, from a 3.8-liter V6 engine that makes 205 horsepower and 240 lb.-ft. of torque. Last year’s standard four cylinder engine is gone. A six-speed manual transmission is also new for the 2007 Wrangler and Unlimited, though a four-speed automatic continues as an option. Perhaps the most notable change to the Wrangler, however, is likely to be improved performance on pavement with a stiffer frame, stiffer body, improved suspension, a two-inch longer wheelbase, and a 3.5-inch wider track. Jeep has also claims sound reduction by more than 20 percent.
Photos courtesy of DaimlerChrysler