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2015 Jeep Wrangler: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo October 2016

A 2015 Jeep Wrangler is the perfect all-purpose vehicle. As daily transportation, the Wrangler is civilized enough to coddle its passengers in comfy seats and offers such upscale amenities as air conditioning, navigation radio and protective airbags. Meanwhile, an easy-to-operate soft-top and removable doors allow for the kind of open-air driving no convertible can ever match, and the Wrangler's off-road ability is the stuff of legend.

The Wrangler's most attractive attribute, however, is that it remains affordable at the lower end. Even the more extreme versions, such as the off-road-ready Rubicon, are still attainable by anyone cross-shopping the Nissan Xterra. Unlike other SUVs and off-road pickups, opting for the lowest-price model doesn't sacrifice any of the Wrangler's impressive off-road prowess.

For 2015, Jeep expanded the Wrangler lineup with an improved Rubicon Hard Rock edition and a 31-inch wheel/tire package for the Sport. A 9-speaker Alpine audio system was added to the Wrangler's lengthy options list.

What We Like

Rugged off-road credentials; powerful V6; numerous configurations, including a 4-door model; Freedom Top 3-piece removable hardtop; trail-ready Rubicon trim; many convenience options

What We Don't

Larger proportions than previous Wranglers makes maneuvering in tight spots more difficult; poor side-impact crash-test ratings; so-so repair and reliability; average fuel economy

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2015 Wrangler is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which is good for 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Fuel-economy figures are 17 miles per gallon in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual is standard, while a 5-speed automatic is optional. Fuel economy remains identical regardless of transmission choice.

The larger Wrangler Unlimited gets slightly lower fuel economy at 16 mpg city/20 mpg hwy with the automatic and 16 mpg city/21 mpg hwy with the manual. All Wrangler models come standard with 4-wheel drive and a 2-speed transfer case.

Standard Features & Options

There are two Wrangler models: the 2-door Wrangler and the 4-door Wrangler Unlimited. Both are offered in Sport, Sahara or Rubicon trim, with five special editions: Altitude, Freedom, X, Willys Wheeler and Rubicon Hard Rock.

The Wrangler Sport features a 6-speed manual transmission, a Command-Trac 2-speed part-time transfer case, an enhanced Dana 30 front axle, a heavy-duty Dana 44 rear axle, 16-in painted steel wheels, a manual-folding soft-top, full-metal removable doors, dual manual outside mirrors, a folding windshield, fog lights and a Full Gauge package that includes temperature, oil-pressure and voltmeter readings. Also standard is a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack, a sport bar with full padding and two speakers, air conditioning (on the Unlimited), manual windows and locks, a tilt steering wheel and skid plates for the fuel tank, a transfer case and an automatic-transmission oil pan.

The Wrangler Sahara adds 18-in painted aluminum wheels, body-color fender flares, heated mirrors, a body-colored hardtop, a 368-watt 6-speaker Alpine audio system with a powered subwoofer, power windows, power door locks, keyless entry, tubular side steps, air conditioning, a 115-volt air-conditioning outlet, cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The Wrangler Rubicon features the same equipment as the Sport and then adds heavy-duty black-painted steel rock rails, Jeep's Rock-Trac 2-speed transfer case with a 4:1 low-range gear ratio, Tru-Lok front and rear electronic remote-locking differentials, a Dana 44 heavy-duty front axle, an electronic disconnecting front-sway bar, air conditioning, a 115-volt outlet, Alpine audio, cruise control and auto headlamps.

Optional equipment for the Sport and Rubicon 2-door model includes power windows, power locks and keyless entry (standard on Unlimited models). Other options vary by trim and include navigation radio, 32-in tires, front seat side-impact airbags, the Freedom Top 3-piece removable hardtop with a rear wiper/washer, a rear defroster, Bluetooth and USB/iPod connectivity, 9-speaker Alpine audio, remote starting (for the automatic only), leather seating, heated front seats and, on 2-door models, half doors with plastic zip-in windows.

Pricing

The 2015 Wrangler holds fairly good resale figures, although the Sport model's numbers are not as high as the Rubicon and Sahara trims. It might be a good idea to have a mechanic perform a thorough inspection, as many Wranglers are taken off-road and may experience body and suspension abuse. To get a good idea of the Wrangler's price range, we suggest checking the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the following recall for the 2015 Jeep Wrangler:

A recall was issued regarding a possible problem with the steering-wheel clock spring becoming contaminated with dust. The dust may interfere with the airbag circuit, preventing the driver's airbag from deploying.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, they'll fix the car at no charge to you. You can also check the NHTSA website; simply enter your vehicle's identification number for a list of performed recall repairs.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2-door Wrangler ratings of Good in its front-crash test, Moderate in the small-overlap and head-restraint tests and Poor in the side-impact crash test. The 4-door Unlimited had its side-impact crash-test score upgraded to Moderate. It should be noted that neither the Wrangler nor the Wrangler Unlimited was tested with the optional seat-mounted side airbags.

The Wrangler left the factory with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with roadside assistance and a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Jeep certified pre-owned (CPO) cars must be less than 5 years old with no more than 75,000 miles on the odometer. The vehicles come with a 3-month/3,000-mile Maximum Care all-inclusive warranty, plus a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty beginning from the time the vehicle entered service. Also included are 24-hour towing and roadside assistance, a car-rental allowance, a Carfax vehicle-history report, a 3-month subscription to SirusXM radio and lifetime CPO-warranty upgrade options.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Nissan Xterra -- The Xterra's V6 is not as powerful as the Wrangler's, but the Nissan offers a more comfortable rear seat and an enclosed steel cabin. Like the FJ, the Xterra's ability to rock-crawl is hampered by its limited suspension travel and basic 2-speed transfer case.

2015 Toyota Tacoma -- When properly outfitted, the Tacoma is a capable off-road warrior with the added advantages of better fuel economy from its 4- and 6-cylinder engines, a more comfortable cabin and a big open bed for carrying gear.

Autotrader's Advice

If you're simply seeking fun-in-the-sun cruising and the ability to tackle moderate off-road challenges, a Wrangler Sport model with the Freedom Top hardtop would be our first choice. Those looking to tackle more difficult off-road courses will want the Rubicon, but be prepared to pay a higher premium.

Find a Jeep Wrangler for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
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Used 2015 Jeep Wrangler 4WD Unlimited Sport
Used 2015 Jeep Wrangler
$26,699
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Used 2015 Jeep Wrangler 4WD Unlimited Sport
Used 2015 Jeep Wrangler
$27,550
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Used 2015 Jeep Wrangler 4WD Unlimited Sport
Used 2015 Jeep Wrangler
$26,690
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Used 2015 Jeep Wrangler 4WD Unlimited Rubicon
Used 2015 Jeep Wrangler
$33,977
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Jeep Wrangler: Used Car Review - Autotrader