Overview

Overview

Perhaps the most recognizable vehicle in the automotive industry today, the 2013 Jeep Wrangler continues a history of unique body design and off-road excellence. The JK platform is still being used for the 2013 Jeep Wrangler, after debuting with the 2007 model. It comes in the standard short-base two-door version and the long wheelbase four-door model.

The 2013 Jeep Wrangler breaks no molds and sets no barriers. It offers only what it has always offered - simple, straightforward functionality. Power is adequate, as has been the case for many generations of Wrangler now, and it maintains its stature as an off-road trendsetter. For those enthusiasts who crave the adventure trail, the 2013 Jeep Wrangler is still one of the best.

Expert Reviews

It seems that most experts agree that the Wrangler is best suited to off-road use. "Although it is larger and safer than past models wearing the CJ and Wrangler nameplate, the 2013 Jeep Wrangler is still true to its heritage as America's best-loved off-road escape artist." (Kelley Blue Book)

"Although the Jeep is better than it has ever been, it's seriously outdated for everyday use. The ride rocks and jiggles constantly, and handling is very clumsy. Wind noise becomes very loud at highway speeds. Getting in and out is an awkward act. The interior is uncomfortable. Off-road performance is still impressive, but the Rubicon performs better than our tested Unlimited Sahara did." (Consumer Reports)

"The 2013 Jeep Wrangler proves you don't have to follow trends to achieve sales success. Today's SUV class is populated by car-based, city-friendly crossovers, but back when the segment first launched, those first models were rough-and-tumble rock climbers ready for anything. The Wrangler remains a rare holdout that still ascribes to this original formula, and its uniquely rugged personality has won it a consistent and fiercely loyal following." (Edmunds)

"Despite major improvements to its interior over the years, this Jeep remains a limited-purpose machine. Off road, it's a finely honed tool. On road, it's best considered a fun-in-the-sun runabout." (Consumer Guide) Experts love the visibility and power of the Wrangler, but complain of its ride on the road and basic utilitarian interior.

Owner Reviews

"I bought a 2013 Sahara Unlimited, and have had nothing but great times so far. We had a couple very rough snow storms, and it was a blast driving in the deep snow. I even tried my best to spin it in a parking lot, but the stability control wouldn't budge; it was cruising the snow with ease. Gas mileage beats my 2007 [Pontiac] G6, and the drive is responsive and quick, not sluggish at all. I recommend this to anyone looking for a fun total package vehicle." (Owner review from Canadian owner, KBB)

Some do complain about visibility issues with this year's Wrangler. "I find it to be very difficult to see out when backing up. The rear head rests are blocking a great deal of view and add that to the rear windshield wiper motor package, and of course the tire, and you pretty much take out 80% to 90% of your rear view for general driving and trying to see while backing up. [It] does not give me a safe feeling." (Owner review from Washington owner, KBB)

Still, it does work well for a certain class of consumer. "I have had probably 5 Jeeps in my life... This one is one of the best! I have almost 10,000 miles on it now and haven't had any problems at all. The build quality is equal to if not better than my previous car (Acura TSX). The new engine is perfect; I use the Jeep to tow my 20-ft. boat to and from the lake with no lack of power." (Owner review from Breal3, Edmunds)

Lineup

The 2013 Jeep Wrangler comes in three different trim levels as well as three separate model levels. It is available as both a two-door and four-door version, as well as a very nice Unlimited version. All three of those models are available in three different trim levels - Sport, Sahara, and Rubicon. Each of these models and trims provide its own unique abilities, and the technology of the Wrangler has definitely come a long way in 26 years.

The first trim level is the Sport class. This comes with most of the standard Wrangler features, such as front and rear tow hooks, foglamps, cruise control, a removable soft top, and a six-speaker sound system with CD player and auxiliary audio jack. Even though the Wrangler remains a classic of off-road ability, it has managed to step into the 21st century in many aspects and now even offers steering wheel radio controls on even the base Sport class.

If you should opt for the Unlimited model of the Sport class you'll also receive a larger gas tank, four doors instead of two, air conditioning, and additional trunk space. There is an available Convenience package that adds power accessories, heated power mirrors, and keyless entry. The Sahara trim level adds 18-inch alloy wheels, an upgraded suspension, side steps, fender flares, and an Alpine sound system.

The Rubicon is the top-of-the-line when it comes to the Wrangler options. It features special 17-inch wheels, 32-inch tires, heavy-duty axles and transfer case, electronic front and rear locking differentials, a disconnecting front sway bar, rock rails, air-conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite radio.

Interior

Although it is much more technological than its ancestors, there is no denying the priority of function over comfort in the cabin of the 2013 Jeep Wrangler. There are some padded surfaces but most of the cabin is made of hard, rigid plastics and sharp corners. The cockpit features a four-gauge panel with two main gauges and two smaller gauges just outside of them. The center console is about as basic as it gets. Buttons and knobs are all clear and well placed.

Contrary to popular belief, the cabin is actually quiet. There is ample headroom and leg room, but don't expect a great deal of comfort from the seats; they are firm and lack support in the lumbar areas. Of course, we're talking about the front seats here. If you opt for the two-door Wrangler you won't get much in the way of comfort from the rear seats in any aspect. The four-door is much better in the way of roominess but the seats remain firm and unsupportive.

The two-door Wrangler manages 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats or 55 cubes with the rear seat folded. The usefulness of the cargo space is curiously ponderable though as the rear seat does remove but it is both heavy and cumbersome. Folding it down really only improves space if you're hauling large objects, as it doesn't lay totally flat. The four-door version offers 31.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 70.6 folded forward.

Performance

The 2013 Wrangler comes standard with a 3.6L V6 that pushes out 258 horsepower and 260 ft.-lbs. of torque. Four-wheel drive is also standard, as is high- and low-range transfer case gears (though the Rubicon adds an extra-low gear to the upgraded transfer case it offers). The V6 engine comes coupled to a six-speed manual transmission with hill-start assist, though you can opt for a five-speed automatic if you so choose.

The EPA estimates fuel economy at 17/21 mpg (city/highway) with a slight drop for the Unlimited model. But honestly, who really buys a Wrangler for the fuel economy? Let's get to what Wrangler lovers really want to know. As with all of its predecessors, the 2013 Jeep Wrangler is a chiseled performance machine when it comes to off-roading. Power is ample and the ride remains rugged over a rocky trail.

There is quite a bit of body lean on hard corners, but the steering is so slow to respond that it may be difficult to get it into a sharp turn to begin with. The suspension reacts well to the rugged terrain but leaves something to be desired on the open road. Braking power is the one major weakness on this year's model. The pedal feels soft and the Wrangler is slow to respond. It's fair to say there are still some kinks to be ironed out in future years.

Safety & Reliability

Don't expect the scores to be off the chart here; but again, most consumers aren't going into a Wrangler purchase with the idea of getting a secure family traveler. The side doors of the Wrangler are not built for protection in the event of a side collision. Needless to say, this poses quite the red flag to crash testers. Without side airbags, the two-door Wrangler earned an IIHS score of Poor, while the four-door received only a step up from that at Marginal. It did earn a top mark of Good, however, in frontal-offset crash tests.

There are currently no major recalls but reliability is only average. Some issues that Wranglers have seen in the past few years include problems with steering components, interior switch malfunctions, and a knocking noise from the undercarriage. The 2013 Wrangler comes with the standard 3-year/36,000-mile manufacturer's warranty, along with the 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. MSRP ranges from $22,195 for the base model two-door, all the way to $34,095 for the Unlimited Rubicon.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
SUV - 4WD
Sport 4WD 2dr Sport V6 4WD 22395
Freedom Edition 4WD 2dr Freedom Edition *Ltd Avail* V6 4WD 22295
Sahara 4WD 2dr Sahara V6 4WD 27995
Moab 4WD 2dr Moab *Ltd Avail* V6 4WD 27795
Rubicon 4WD 2dr Rubicon V6 4WD 30695
Rubicon 10th Anniversary 4WD 2dr Rubicon 10th Anniversary V6 4WD 30695

Comparison of 2013 Jeep Wrangler with Similar Cars

2013 Jeep Wrangler MSRP Invoice
2013 Jeep Wrangler $22,295 $21,715
Similar Cars to Consider MSRP Invoice Compare
2013 Ford Escape $22,470 $21,178 2013 Jeep Wrangler VS 2013 Ford Escape
2013 Honda CR-V $22,795 $21,413 2013 Jeep Wrangler VS 2013 Honda CR-V
2013 Toyota RAV4 $23,300 $21,786 2013 Jeep Wrangler VS 2013 Toyota RAV4
2013 Kia Sorento $23,150 $22,370 2013 Jeep Wrangler VS 2013 Kia Sorento
2013 Subaru Forester $21,295 $20,166 2013 Jeep Wrangler VS 2013 Subaru Forester

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2013 Jeep Wrangler ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2013 Jeep Wrangler rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

Jeep Wrangler SUVs for Sale

Similar SUVs for Sale

Powered by Chrome