2007 Wrangler Unlimited JK 4 Door Test Drive and Review

The dealer had 3 JK’s. I had the opportunity to drive the black X. It was equipped with the standard equipment plus an automatic transmission, upgraded radio, power windows, and power locks with keyless entry.


rear seat

rear door open

cargo area

looking back from the front seat

Interior

I liked the feel of the interior. It still feels like a Jeep…cozy, but a bit wider and deeper. The controls were easy to reach and laid out in the right places. It was very unusual looking rearward from the driver seat and seeing so much space behind me. The new Jeep is long, not quite as long as I though it would be from all the pictures I have seen. The interior room is impressive. The storage space behind the rear seat is plentiful. I’d say it easily rivals the Liberty. It was cool to see the power window and lock controls. I checked out the whole removable sections from the new Freedom Top. A few latches and some sliding locks and off the panels come! This Sahara was equipped with a dual top and a 6 speed. The X and the other Sahara were automatics.


sound bar

Cargo

The cargo area behind the rear seat is a milestone for the Wrangler. There is plenty of room to spare and cargo capacity greater than a Liberty. The rear 60/40 seat folds down easily and extends the cargo area for storage of extra long items.

Chassis

Naturally I had to lay down and check out the underside. I was happy to see all the things that make a Jeep a Jeep in place. The Dana 44 rear axle with disc brakes and heavy fuel tank skid plate complete the Jeep’s underside. An interesting thing I noticed was the fuel filler was on the driver side and the tank was on the passenger side. There is a long tube that the fuel flows through to get to the tank. Probably not an issue just strange. See picture below.


front steering knuckle

looking rearward

driver side control arm

gas tank skid – heavy!

muffler – where gas tank used to be!

looking forward

Dana 44 rear, see the gas tank filler

rear disk brakes

rear tow hook


rear driveshaft

Driving, stopping, and handling

As we hit the road I could immediately tell the new suspension and longer wheelbase made for a pleasant ride. The manners of the Jeep were stable and predictable. There was a familiar feel to past Jeeps but more refined. Braking was solid and sure. I did find the engine capable but a bit under powered. It seemed to need to shift gears often to accelerate or pull a steeper hill. There was a noticeable lack of torque that we enjoyed so much with the old 4.0L. I think the new engine is a good balance for the Jeep, after all, it is not a sports car. Low range off road driving will not suffer with this new engine.

Conclusion

The new JK was a pleasure to drive and will be both a capable off roader and grocery getter. The 4 door is a little too long for aggressive off road driving but in my opinion it will be a perfect vehicle for a family or outdoor enthusiast that requires 4 doors or increased cargo area. I think Jeep did a great job with the Unlimited, I resent the comments “It looks like a hummer” and “a real Jeep has 2 doors”. We all know most Jeeps see more pavement than the trail and we cannot fault DCX for this revision. Personally I can see one of these in my future.