The Jeep Wrangler has always been one of my all-time favorite vehicles.
To me, the Wrangler has always been the ideal off-road vehicle. It goes anywhere. And, how can you not like a vehicle that you can take the top off, remove the doors, hit the trail and when you get back to town just take a hose and wash the dust out of the interior?
While I still think the Wrangler is the perfect off roading vehicle, it did have its limitations, especially if you had a lot of friends.
Enter the four-door, five-passenger Wrangler Unlimited.
While providing easy access to additional rear seating the Wrangler Unlimited retains the modelís legendary Trail Rated capabilities, while also providing more of the creature comforts that on-road drivers have come to expect.
Donít get me wrong, the Wrangler Unlimited will never be confused with a luxury SUV model, but it does provide a more appealing ride on highway, making it a much more attractive model for consumers using it as their primary vehicle.
Available in Sport, Sahara and Rubicon trim levels ó as well as several special edition packages ó the 2014 Wrangler Unlimited is an extremely popular option for those wanting the best of both worlds.
Powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine (285 horsepower/260 lbs. ft. torque), the Wrangler Unlimited is mated to either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission and equipped with Jeepís award-winning Command-Trac four-wheel drive system. Requiring regular unleaded gasoline, it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 17 mpg city, 20 mpg highway when equipped with automatic transmission (17/21 mpg respectively when equipped with manual transmission).
Manufactured at Jeepís Toledo, Ohio Assembly Plant, the Wrangler Unlimited provides outstanding clearances, making it well suited for consumers who actually use their sport utility vehicle for the purpose it was created ó driving it where there are no roads.
With a base price starting around $27,000, itís also a practical, affordable choice.
Thatís not to say you canít get your Wrangler Unlimited deck out with everything under the sun.
You most certainly can, with features such as Uconnect, which includes a premium audio system with Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, GPS navigation and 6.5-inch touch screen display, heated leather seats and steering wheel as well as hundreds of Mopar off-road accessories.
While Iím still partial to the Jeep Wrangler, I really like the Wrangler Unlimited.
For those in the market for a fully capable four-door, five-passenger SUV convertible, the Wrangler Unlimited is an absolute must for the test drive list.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.
The Nuts and Bolts
2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
5-seat, 4-door SUV †
Sport, Sahara, Rubicon
3.6L V6 (285 hp/260 T)
EPA: 17/17 mpg city, 21/20 mpg highway (MT/AT)
FUEL: Regular unleaded
Command-Trac or Rock-Trac 2WD high; 4WD high; 4WD low
LENGTH: 152.8 inches
WHEELBASE: 116 inches
WIDTH: 73.7 inches
HEIGHT: 70.9 inches
WEIGHT: 4075-4340 lbs.
FUEL TANK: 22.5 gallons
TIRES: 16-, 17-, or 18-inch
TOWING: Up to 3,500 pounds.