Everyone recognizes the Jeep Wrangler. But despite its classic status, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t still room for a few improvements. With 2011’s new design, the Wrangler has become less like a tractor and more like something you’d want to show off.
The biggest change for both the two-door and four-door models is the inside. The steering wheel now has radio controls and automatic climate switches. There’s also substantially more soundproofing, which quiets the cab significantly—something your lady will appreciate during long drives.
Outside, a new optional body-colored hardtop is sure to get you noticed. It makes the Wrangler look more finished and a lot more expensive—comparable, in fact, to the $105,000 Mercedes-Benz G550. The top remains removable, which makes the Wrangler Unlimited the only four-door convertible SUV on the market. For purists, the doors still come off, too, and the windshield can still be folded forward.
Longtime Wrangler fans will also appreciate that the off-road ready suspension system is unchanged and capable as ever, as is the 202-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 under the hood, so you can still fling mud and climb rocks with the best of them.
The 237 pound-feet of torque is respectable, but for those looking for even more guts, hang on for the 2012 model when the Wrangler moves to a new 3.6-liter V-6 that will likely deliver better fuel economy (the 2011 gets 15 mpg in the city and 19 on the highway) and around 280 horsepower.
Prices for the ’11 model start at $20,045 for the two-door and $25,545 for the four-door Unlimited. With that kind of minimal damage to your wallet, both should be a tempting—and far cooler—alternative to compact SUVs and even some midsize family sedans. Best of all, the Wrangler offers something few other vehicles will ever get: respect.