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Car reviews - Jeep - Wrangler - 3.6 petrol range


Decidedly new-school engine does not detract from Jeep Wrangler’s old-school charm

2 Mar 2012

JEEP has installed Chrysler Group’s acclaimed Pentastar 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine into its iconic Wrangler off-roader with the result of significantly improved performance and slightly reduced fuel consumption.

Available with a five-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual, this high-tech powerplant has occupied the annual Ward’s 10 Best Engines list two years on the trot.

A better engine and transmission combination is always a good thing, so we travelled to Tasmania’s wind-swept King Island on a quest to sample how the extra power, torque and refinement fit into their rough-and-ready Wrangler surroundings on a mixture of bitumen, gravel, sand and rugged coastal tracks.
Model release date: 1 March 2012

Previous model

Jeep JK Wrangler

Released: March 2007
Ended: current
Family Tree: Wrangler

THE JK-series Wrangler was released in Australian in 2007, when it introduced the four-door, five-seat long-wheelbase Unlimited body style alongside a comprehensively revised two-door four-seater.

Although retaining the styling cues and proven Jeep formula, the design was subtly changed to bring it into the modern era in terms of chassis, suspension and drivetrains, with big gains in space, performance, safety, refinement and on-road driveability.

In addition to the 3.8-litre V6 petrol, Australia also became one of the world’s first markets to receive a diesel Wrangler, powered by a 2.8-litre four-cylinder unit.

The diesel was upgraded in February 2011 with more power and fuel-saving idle-stop technology on manual variants.

Jeep simultaneously gave the Wrangler a comprehensive interior refresh with a more upmarket look that replaced the utilitarian set-square styling with a chunky, curvaceous but still rugged-looking design featuring silver-coloured highlights, chrome-ringed instruments and fewer areas of exposed metalwork.

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