Jeep Wrangler Unlimited —Go anywhere with four doors

By David Finkelstein

Manufactured here stateside (that's a BIG deal now, more than ever) the 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited four door “go anywhere” vehicle is produced in Toledo, Ohio. It has an unmatched off-road aptitude, regardless of the various terrain you might be negotiating.

Jeeps tend to have that cunning knack for creating their own pathway due to their legendary four-wheel drive chassis set-up together with more than seven decades of 4x4 engineering experience.

Wrangler continues to offer a latter type steel body-on-frame underside platform, front and rear five-link suspension system, unique live/beam drive axles, electronic wheel lockers, and is one of the few mid-size SUVs that offers a six-speed manual transmission. A five-speed automatic transmission is optional.

You can easily operate this SUV in 2 or 4 wheel drive high mode or 4 wheel drive low range, when conditions dictate. It also comes with 16, 17 or 18-inch tires and wheels, depending on the trim choices. With fuel economy on the minds of most, Wrangler is available with several axle gear ratios as well, thus allowing customers to optimize fuel usage and vehicle capability.

Select axle gear ratio options also help to make your Jeep more personalized for your precise driving needs. And depending on how it's ordered from the factory, it has the capability to tow up to 3,500-pounds.

Terms such as limited slip rear differential, two-speed transfer cases and Dana axle housings may sound unfamiliar to most car buyers but for Jeep owners, this is routine everyday conversation that they thrive on! Jeep purchaser's tend to look at things such as approach, breakover and departure angles when cross-shopping for an all terrain vehicle.

They'll be delighted to know that Wrangler is out in front in off-road traits. All of this adds up further to make Jeeps a sought-after vehicle by consumers of varying ages and social backgrounds. This includes “Jeepers” (Jeep owners) that might consider a night out on the town or taking in the theater.

Wrangler Unlimited's interior combines welcomed styling, versatility, comfort and intuitive features. Some of the more notable highlights include available automatic temperature controls, heated premium leather seats, power mirrors and steering wheel controls for various systems.

The large rear windows are engineered for good visibility, however the rear door exterior mounted spare tire and rear windshield wiper motor housing does impact rearward view slightly. The Wrangler's USB port connects to the vehicles media center. and 12-volt accessory outlets are located throughout. An optional 115-volt AC outlet is offered to power-up select personal electronics.

The signature classic round headlamps, seven-slot grille, trapezoid wheel flares, removable doors with exposed hinges and innovative removable tops allow Wrangler to retain the brand’s iconic appearance.

The Unlimited model seats five and retains the crown as the only four-door 4x4 open-air vehicle on the market. Powering this Jeep is the company's 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine. Its received a number of awards including the prestigious Ward’s 10 Best Engines achievement. It produces 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. It's engineered to provide a broad torque band with a focus on low-end torque, which is an essential for extreme off-roading.

Engineers also designed the oil lubrication system to provide critical oil pressure throughout the motor, even during extreme rock crawling or when hill climbing at severe angles. This sequential/multi-port fuel injected Michigan built engine is designed to operate on regular grade, 87 octane unleaded fuel. As an average, the EPA numbers reflect 16-mpg city/21-mpg highway.

An array of safety and security features are also standard on Wrangler for 2017. This includes electronic stability control plus their electronic roll mitigation feature. The factory also offers trailer-sway control, hill-start assist and brake traction control, which happens to be among two dozen available safety and security extras.

Safety systems were developed to improve handling and accident avoidance while providing occupant protection, yet remaining totally seamless to the driver and passengers. The drive experience overall is somewhat “truck-like,” however it's to be expected with a sport utility produce such as this.

To further help make those Jeep experiences more interesting, customers can stay connected with their Uconnect safety, security and convenience system. This also includes voice recognition, Bluetooth streaming audio, navigation and SiriusXM radio. Steering wheel intuitive controls mounted on the front as well as the back side of the steering wheel allow the driver to keep his hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Subtle, newfangled  changes over the years  help to make this brand instantly recognizable, but with somewhat contemporary and vogue updates of which reflect the classic heritage of its roots from years ago. The base entry level pricing for the 2017 Jeep Unlimited is $27,895.