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#25

in 2009 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $16,290 - $24,467
Original MSRP: $20,710 - $32,090
MPG: 15 City / 19 Hwy
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2009 Jeep Wrangler Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The Wrangler's interior has long been a point of criticism due to its rugged -- rather than comfortable or luxurious -- nature. Even with some advances in quality, it still doesn't measure up to the competition. However, some reviewers appreciate the simplicity of the cabin amidst the technology overload in other SUVs.

  • "Though the cabin is devoid of padded surfaces, the weight and texture of most panels imparts a rugged, sporty ambiance." -- Consumer Guide
  • "We get that the Wrangler is supposed to be rugged, and we understand that the Rubicon's off-road talents mean that on-road comfort gets compromised, but we'd like a more inviting cabin. The Wrangler doesn't need leather seats or soft-touch materials, but comfortable seats, a better arm rest and more visual appeal than the inside of a tool box shouldn't be too much to ask." -- Autoblog
  • "The Wrangler's role as the rugged one makes a great excuse for de-emphasizing the details. Watch for the manual locks and crank-up windows, the tyranny of hard plastic, limp levers here and there, and doors that feel molded from petrified cardboard." -- Automotive.com
  • "The Unlimited's cabin is built for simplicity with big, easy-to-see, reach and use controls to adjust climate and audio systems along with power windows/mirrors. Missing are the dozens of buttons that tell the weather next week or the number of road barricades a mile ahead." -- Chicago Tribune
  • "Another surprising fact, when equipped with the optional Freedom hard top, a Wrangler is pleasingly quiet inside." -- The Auto Channel

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Seating

The front seats receive praise from reviewers, but test drivers find the two-door model's rear seats cramped and difficult to access. Even the backseat in the four-door Unlimited model gets a few complaints.

  • "The [rear] seat is hard, uncomfortably upright, and short of thigh support. Foot space is stingy in both body styles. Knee space is tight in the 2-door. Unlimiteds have 1.6 inches more rear legroom, but overall room is still not generous. Entry and exit is tough in the 2-door." -- Consumer Guide
  • "This is probably a good place to point out that although the Unlimited's rear seat, and access to it, is improved, no one will confuse it with a La-Z-Boy, especially if you sit back there during off-roading." -- Orlando Sentinel

Interior Features

The base Jeep Wrangler's cabin is one of the most spartan on the market, and lacks such basics as air-conditioning and power door locks.

  • "The gauges are unobstructed, but some testers find them slightly undersized. Climate, audio, and navigation controls are easy to reach and use, though the switches for locking differentials and other off-road aids are set too low for easy operation." -- Consumer Guide
  • "I understand this is intended as an off-road vehicle, so there are no cruise controls or radio controls on the steering wheel. But the Unlimited does have a trip computer and stereo, yet it's hard to use or get at some of those buttons." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • "Radio controls are small but set high to facilitate usage. Climate controls are large, but switches for off-road driving such as for the locking differentials and other off-road aids are too low on the dashboard for easy use." -- MSN
  • "Our Sahara test model is Jeep's high-content model, though don't expect too find too much in the way of luxuries here. In fact, for a top-end model, we didn't think there was enough to set the Sahara apart from its X brother." -- Left Lane News

Cargo

Reviewers have mixed opinions on the Wrangler's cargo capacity, which has 17.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats for two-door models and 46.4 cubic feet for four-door models. However, most agree that there's not enough storage space for smaller items.

  • "Swing-out tailgate's hinges lack detents to keep it open on slanted surfaces. Interior storage is limited to a somewhat large glovebox." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Even with adults in back, cargo room is ample for gear or groceries." -- Chicago Tribune

Next Steps: 2009 Jeep Wrangler

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