Wednesday, March 28, 2012

JPFreek Reviews the 2012 Jeep Wrangler

JPFreek is one of my favorite off-road publications, and I think they did a great job with their review of the 2012 Jeep Wrangler.
As with most of the media, it again sounds like their enthusiasm for the new Pentastar V6 is influenced by the huge improvement provided by the 5-speed automatic versus the old 4-speed unit.  When coupled with the 6-speed manual, the old 3.8-liter minivan motor is perfectly adequate, but there's no doubt the new 3.6 is a welcome improvement no matter which transmission you choose.

I've driven 3.8-liter Rubicon Unlimiteds on both stock tires and 35-inch tires with stock gearing, with both the 4-speed auto and the 6-speed manual;  it is my experience that a bone-stock Jeep with the 4-speed auto feels much more anemic than a lifted 6-speed manual Jeep with 35's and stock gears - that's how big of a difference there is in performance between the two transmissions.

My advice is that if you want a manual transmission Jeep, you might be better-off buying a used 2007-2011 model and saving thousands of dollars versus a 2012 with the new engine.  This is the route I went when I saved $14,000 buying a used 2010 versus a new 2012, and to this day I'm still pleased with this decision.  However, if you have the money for a 2012 model, I have no doubt that you will love the new powertrain and upgraded interior.

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