2006 Jeep Wrangler Review

The 2006 Jeep Wrangler is a spectacular vehicle under certain conditions, such as navigating dirt roads, but many consumers may find it a noisy and costly ride that’s difficult to enter and exit. With gas prices at all-time highs, fuel efficiency has become a major selling point for many vehicles. The Wrangler offers poor fuel economy, costing upwards of $40 to fill a tank at the pump. Overall, the Wrangler can be a great joy, but that depends chiefly on the type of driver and where the vehicle’s going to be driven.

Prior to my recent move from the east coast to the Hawaiian Islands, I sold my silver 2004 Honda Civic EX and replaced it with an impact orange 2006 Jeep Wrangler SE with soft top. I had always dreamed of owning one, but didn’t think I’d look very cool sitting in Manhattan traffic with the top pulled down on a bright orange sport utility vehicle. But the Wrangler seemed perfect for Hawaii. And in a lot of ways it is, helping me navigate vicious dirt roads to find Hawaii’s hidden treasures such as Oahu’s Hidden Beach. However, in some practical ways, the Jeep Wrangler is a disappointment.

I purchased the six cylinder automatic SE. The Wrangler offers fair acceleration and a 1,000 pound towing capacity. Although a bit sluggish off the line, it demonstrates a good merging and passing response, although the movements aren’t all that smooth. Its standard fifteen inch tires allow relatively uneventful passage over bumps, but the ride isn’t all that smooth even on apparently smooth roads.

The vehicle is adequately maneuverable at moderate speeds, but I wouldn’t suggest going too much faster than sixty-five as body lean becomes prevalent as your speed increases.

If you like quiet, the Jeep Wrangler isn’t for you. Even with the soft top up, there’s lots of wind noise. At least it drowns out the tire noise. And you could turn on the stereo. The controls are simple enough, grouped logically and highly visible.

The head clearance is above-average, perfect for taller consumers. The seats are comfortable enough, firm and supportive. The rear is large enough for two adults, but their knees may be uncomfortable if you have an above-average sized driver or passenger up front.

If people are seated in back, there’s not much room at all for storage. Storage capacity is more than adequate if you can roll the backseat forward.

As mentioned earlier, the Wrangler is a gas-eater. It’s a heavy vehicle, not at all aerodynamic. The island of Oahu isn’t all that large, but I find myself filling the tank at least once a week. In the city, you get 14-18 mpg; highway, 18-21.

My biggest complaint is the soft top. The zippers, fasteners and struts are a time-consuming adventure of their own. For such a laid back vehicle, I was hoping for much more ease in the soft top’s operation. Instead, I find myself traveling with the top up more often than not, despite Hawaii’s beautiful climate, just out of sheer reluctance to work my fingers the extra fifteen minutes required to put down the soft top.

The off-roading is great fun and can make the Wrangler well worth its price tag by itself. Of course, you need to live in an area where off-roading is an option.

With outstanding off-road ability and strong resale value, the 2006 Jeep Wrangler is a safe bet. The 2007 Wranglers are going to be completely different, so if you’re in the market for the traditional compact SUV, now’s the time to shop.

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