What Changed for 2009:
- Trailer Sway Control now available
- Hill Start Assist becomes standard
- Drop-in bin added to center console
- Storage nets added to side of center console
- MyGIG hard-drive radio and navigation system changes name to UConnect GPS and gets more memory
- Manual transmission models now rated for ULEV II emissions
The Jeep was created for American soldiers to use in World War II. After the war, the vehicle's rugged capabilities were offered for civilian use. The newest generation was launched for the 2007 model year. Standard Jeep Wranglers are offered as 2-door convertibles with seating for 4. A manual-folding cloth top is standard and a removable hardtop is optional. The rear seat can be removed for 61.2 cubic feet of cargo volume. All standard-length models have 4-wheel drive (4WD). The only engine is a V-6 with a manual or automatic transmission. Properly equipped, the Wrangler can tow up to 2000 pounds. The extended-length 4-door Wrangler Unlimited is covered in a separate report.
The 2009 Jeep Wrangler is available in three trim levels: base X, mid-line Sahara, and off-road-oriented Rubicon. Standard features on X models include a tilt steering wheel; vinyl upholstery; center console; split-folding rear seat; 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo; theft-deterrent system; skid plates to protect the transfer case and fuel tank; and P225/75R16 all-terrain tires on steel wheels. The Wrangler Sahara adds stain-resistant cloth upholstery; height-adjustable driver's seat; air conditioning; cruise control; power windows, mirrors and locks; remote keyless entry; 368-watt Infinity sound system with 7 speakers and subwoofer; Sirius satellite radio; leather-wrapped steering wheel; center console; side steps; tow hooks; fog lamps; compass; outside-temperature indicator; and P255/70R18 all-terrain tires on aluminum wheels.
To the X model, the Wrangler Rubicon adds amenities such as air conditioning; leather-wrapped steering wheel; cruise control; height-adjustable driver's seat; floor mats; compass; outside-temperature indicator; and a 368-watt Infinity sound system with 7 speakers and subwoofer. It also adds off-road equipment that includes front and rear tow hooks; rock rails; off-road suspension; electronic-disconnecting front stabilizer bar to enhance off-road capability; Rock-Trac heavy-duty transfer case; Dana 44 front and rear axles; 4.10 axle ratio; locking front and rear differentials; fog lights; and LT255/75R17 BFGoodrich all-terrain tires on aluminum wheels.
Options on the 2009 Jeep Wrangler include metal half doors; Jeep's UConnect GPS hard-drive radio with navigation system; towing package; the hardtop; 6-disc CD changer; remote engine starting; and a chrome package.
All 2009 Jeep Wranglers are powered by a 3.8-liter V-6 engine. In standard-length models it pumps out 202 hp at 5200 rpm and 237 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard and a 4-speed automatic transmission is optional. EPA fuel-economy estimates are 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway for a 2WD model with the manual transmission; 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway for a 2WD model with the automatic; or 15 mpg city/19 mpg highway for 4WD models with either transmission.
The base 4WD system is Jeep's Command Trac, which is a part-time system that the manufacturer says should not be used on dry pavement and includes low-range gearing. It can be driven in 2WD mode, 4WD Hi or 4WD Lo. The Rubicon's Rock Trac 4WD system is also a part-time system with the same driving modes. It has lower low-range gearing (4:1). It comes with front and rear locking differentials and an electronic-disconnecting front stabilizer bar, as well as other off-road equipment. The Wrangler can be started in low range without depressing the clutch, thus providing enhanced rock-crawling capabilities, Jeep says.
All 2009 Jeep Wrangler models are equipped with dual front air bags; anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes (ABS); tire-pressure monitor; roll bar; traction control; and electronic stability control with rollover mitigation. Torso-protecting front side air bags are optional. For 2009, the towing package adds Trailer Sway Control, which reduces engine torque and uses the ABS to apply braking power to individual wheels to counteract sway induced by trailers. Also new is standard Hill Start Assist, which holds brake pressure for a short time when the driver removes his/her foot from the brake pedal on hills to keep the vehicle from rolling backward.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the Jeep Wrangler 5 stars for both front occupants in front crashes, 3 stars for rollover resistance with 2WD, and 4 stars for rollover resistance with 4WD. It has not been tested for side impacts. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Jeep Wrangler has earned a \"Good rating\" (the Institute's highest) for frontal offset crash protection, a \"Poor\" rating for side-impact protection (without the optional front side air bags), and a \"Marginal\" rating for rear crash protection.
Jeep's MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System changes its name to UConnect GPS for 2009. It comes with a 6.5-inch touch screen; 30-gigabyte hard drive (up from 20 gigs); and a navigation system with voice control and real-time traffic information. The hard drive holds music, pictures and navigation map information. CDs can be ripped right to the hard drive, and music and pictures can be downloaded via a USB port. The system also comes standard with Jeep's UConnect Phone wireless cell phone link.