The 2012 Jeep Wrangler continues to pull on the heartstrings of American SUV fans who simply can't resist the lure of the open trail. Aimed squarely at off-road enthusiasts, the Jeep Wrangler is one of the most popular options for tackling terrain when the going gets rough. Its short wheelbase and excellent suspension design serve the sport-utility vehicle well, and the availability of the Wrangler Unlimited model has helped to introduce the automobile to an entirely new demographic who can appreciate its more useful side in an urban context.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2012 Jeep Wrangler.
1. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Comes In Two Body Styles
Almost everyone is familiar with the traditional style of the 2012 Jeep Wrangler, a vehicle whose open cockpit, prominent roll bar and removable side doors are instantly identifiable even to the most casual automotive fans. Sensing that there was a sizable contingent of drivers enamored with the Wrangler’s looks but seeking a more practical daily driver that would be better able to handle the requirements of family life, Jeep decided to add a new member to the Wrangler family - the Wrangler Unlimited. This SUV stretches out the Wrangler platform to add an extra set of rear doors and an expanded cargo area that can swallow up to 86 cubic feet of gear if required - a substantial upgrade over the standard Wrangler.
2. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Features A Fresh Engine
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler now offers drivers a much more potent engine under the hood - a 3.6-liter V-6 that replaces the previous 3.8-liter unit. Although smaller, the new Pentastar six-cylinder produces 83 more horses and 23 additional lb-ft of twist compared to the older motor, for a total of 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The Wrangler's optional four-speed automatic transmission has also been supplanted by a five-speed auto gearbox, while a six-speed manual remains standard for the SUV. The all-new power plant helps the Jeep Wrangler to boast a 26 percent improvement in the time it takes to accelerate to 60-mph (under nine seconds).
3. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Is Now More Fuel Efficient
In addition to offering much better acceleration, passing and mud-slinging power than was available in previous years, the new engine found in the 2012 Jeep Wrangler also sips fuel at a significantly reduced rate. The Jeep Wrangler features EPA fuel mileage of 17-mpg in stop and go driving and 21-mpg on the highway, which represents a boost of two miles per gallon for each respective measure. This additional efficiency is available regardless of whether the automatic or manual transmission are selected, and on top of the extra fuel saving technology crammed into the Pentastar motor the Wrangler has also been given a more slippery aero package to help it to better cut through the air at highway speeds.
4. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Provides Two Different Four-Wheel Drive Systems
Each and every version of the 2012 Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited comes with full-time four-wheel drive as a standard feature. The entry-level four-wheel drive system is called Command-Trac, and it offers a 50/50 torque split between front and rear axles and a low range setting that is suitable for plowing through off-road obstacles. The Rubicon trim level comes with Rock-Trac four-wheel drive, a design that offers a 4:1 low range gear ratio (as opposed to Command-Trac's 2.72:1 setup), as well as electronically locking differentials in order to help enhance the Jeep's ability to maintain forward momentum regardless of the terrain it is being asked to traverse.
5. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Features A Host of Off-Road Ready Gear
Industry-leading four-wheel drive systems are the centerpiece of the 2012 Jeep Wrangler's off-road capability, but certainly not the beginning and the end of it. The Wrangler also comes with skid plates to protect crucial underbody components, the availability of three different axle gear ratios (3.21, 3.73 and 4.10), an optional Trac-Lok rear differential and a rugged suspension system. The Rubicon trim also brings with it rock rails and the ability to electronically disconnect the front swaybar in order to dramatically improve the articulation of the front wheels, with the Wrangler Rubicon boasting a 22 percent increase in compression when this feature is activated.
6. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Is A Convertible
The list of convertible sport-utility vehicles currently available on the market is an extremely short one, but the 2012 Jeep Wrangler continues its tradition of letting owners take their tops off when the sun is beating down and the weather demands open-air driving. Both the two-door Wrangler and the four-door Wrangler Unlimited come with a soft top that can be easily removed and then reinstalled when rain threatens on the horizon. Jeep also makes a Sunrider soft top available (which offers an integrated sunroof) as well as a three-piece hard top that helps to keep the SUV that much warmer during the winter months.
7. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Is Offered In Three Trim Levels
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler starts out in Sport trim, which includes just the basics that drivers need to help them stay comfortable on the trail without over-complicating the SUV's approach. Manual windows, door locks and mirrors are part and parcel of the Sport's equipment list while the Wrangler Unlimited Sport sees the addition of air conditioning. Opting for the Wrangler or Wrangler Unlimited Sahara trim nets power accessories and keyless entry, as well as side steps, a few exterior tweaks and a louder stereo system. The Rubicon trim includes all of the previously-discussed off-road goodies as well as air conditioning and on the Unlimited power windows, door locks and heated power-adjustable mirrors.
8. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Can Be Had With Several Appealing Options Packages
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport can have its onboard niceties upgraded through the selection of the Power Convenience Group, which includes keyless entry, power windows, power door locks and heated power mirrors. All versions of the Wrangler can benefit from the Connectivity Group's Bluetooth integration, a trip computer and an iPod interface for the vehicle's stereo system. Stand-alone options are listed as heated leather seats, a navigation system, half doors and automatic climate control. It's also possible to install a hard drive in the Wrangler for storing digital music files. Opting for either the Sahara or the Rubicon trim allows buyers to choose a body-color hard top in place of the standard-issue black top.
9. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Makes Safety A Priority
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler's classic styling and off-road DNA may not have changed much over the years, but its ability to protect driver and passengers from harm in the event of an accident has grown considerably. The Wrangler can be had with both front airbags and optional side airbags, as well as a standard roll bar that helps to keep the structural integrity of the Jeep intact should a roll-over occur either on the road or out on the trail. The SUV also offers four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, a hill start assist feature and of course electronic driver's aides such as electronic stability control and traction control.
10. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Is The Last Of A Dying Breed
Simply put, there are not that many pure off-road vehicles like the 2012 Jeep Wrangler left on the market. For several years the Jeep Wrangler went head-to-head with SUVs like the Toyota FJ Cruiser and the HUMMER H3, but with the former running out the clock on an outdated chassis and the latter relegated to the dust bin of history, only options like the Nissan Xterra remain in true direct competition to the American icon. With the market shifting away from full frame sport-utility vehicles and towards unibody crossovers in an effort to improve fuel economy ratings, the Jeep Wrangler stands tall as one of the last of its breed.
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