2013 Jeep Wrangler Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jul 20, 2013
  • New trim level for 2013: Wrangler Moab Special Edition
  • Limited-edition Rubicon trim level includes premium red interior
  • Additional exterior paint colors
  • Upgraded soft tops include an optional Easy-Lift convertible top
  • Wide cabin provides 62.7 cubic feet maximum cargo space
  • Sahara and Rubicon trim levels feature upgraded wheels
  • New tire-pressure monitor displays individual tire pressures


The 2013 Jeep Wrangler is a compact 4-wheel drive (4WD) SUV, now in its third generation. It has been available since 1986. Unlike modern crossover utilities, the Jeep Wrangler features a separate body on frame design and rigid live front and rear axles. It can be driven with the top down, without doors, and with the front windshield folded flat. It has a distinctly military-looking profile, since it descends directly from the Jeeps that were used by the U.S. Army in World War II. Its main competitors include the Ford Escape, Subaru Forester, and Mitsubishi Outlander. The 2-door Jeep Wrangler has seating for 4; the 4-door Wrangler Unlimited is an extended-length model with seating for 5. The 2013 Jeep Wrangler is available in Sport, Sport S, Sahara, Freedom Edition, Moab Special Edition, and Rubicon trim levels, plus the limited Rubicon 10th Anniversary edition.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Jeep Wrangler is available in a wide variety of exterior colors, although not all colors are available on all trim levels. Standard equipment on the base Wrangler Sport includes Dana front and rear axles, 16-inch painted slot-spoke wheels, and fog lights. The Sport S trim level adds 17-inch Sparkle Silver painted wheels and Goodyear Wrangler 255/75 AT tires. The Sahara includes 18-inch Sparkle Silver painted wheels, body-color fender flares with available matching hard top, and tubular side steps. The Freedom Edition adds special appliqués to the bumper, wheels, and grille, rock rails, and optional side steps. The Moab includes off-road bumpers, Trac-Loc differential (or available locking rear differential), special 17-inch black painted wheels, premium tires, and distinctive fuel-filler door and taillamp guard. The Rubicon trim level features 32-inch BFGoodrich mud terrain tires, a heavy-duty transfer case, TruLok front and rear locking differentials, Dana 44 front and rear axles, rock rails, front and rear tow hooks, and gas-charged shocks. The Rubicon 10th Anniversary edition offers many premium styling touches, plus a 4.10 rear axle ratio (standard with manual transmission and optional with automatic).

Interior Features

The base Wrangler Sport includes new upgraded interior lighting, media center with AM/FM radio and CD player, cruise control, and audio controls mounted on the steering wheel. The Sport S adds air conditioning and a chrome/leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel. The Sahara features standard embroidered cloth seats and available embroidered leather seats, Electro Chromatic rearview mirror with LED lamps, premium tire-pressure monitoring system, premium sound system, and deep-tint sunscreen glass. The Freedom Edition adds distinctive cosmetic touches and badging, slush mats, and the Power Convenience and Connectivity option packages. The Moab trim level provides standard heated leather seating, and cosmetic touches. The Rubicon employs standard embroidered cloth seats or available embroidered leather seats. The Rubicon 10th Anniversary edition features a black dash and red leather seats embroidered with "Rubicon 10th Anniversary," plus a black leather-wrapped steering wheel with silver accents.

Optional Features

Many of the features that are standard on the upper trim levels are available as options on the lower trim levels, usually as part of a package. All Wrangler trim levels can be equipped with seat-mounted side-impact air bags, Bluetooth, a 3-piece modular hardtop, engine block heater, and a Trailer Tow package that adds trailer sway control, receiver hitch, and a 4-pin connector. Sport, Sahara and Moab Special Edition trim levels offer an optional 3.73 axle ratio and a Rock-Trac heavy-duty transfer case. Automatic climate control, navigation system, two-tone leather upholstery, and remote start are other options.

Under the Hood

Every 2013 Jeep Wrangler features a 3.6-liter V-6 engine generating 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard, with a 5-speed automatic transmission available. The automatic features a lower first-gear ratio for improved off-road capability. Dana 30 front and Dana 44 rear axles are standard on Sport, Sahara and Moab Special Edition trim levels, along with a Command-Trac part-time 2-speed transfer case. A Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential is optional on Sport and Sahara but standard on the Moab Special Edition. The Wrangler Rubicon features 4.10 gearing and Dana 44 axles front and rear. A Rock-Trac 2-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio is standard; so are electronic front and rear locking differentials, disconnecting front sway bar, and 32-inch light-truck tires.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Jeep Wrangler are:
  • Wrangler with manual transmission: 17/21/18 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Wrangler Unlimited with manual transmission: 16/21/18 mpg
  • Wrangler with automatic transmission: 17/21/18 mpg
  • Wrangler Unlimited with automatic transmission: 16/20/18 mpg


The 2013 Wrangler is equipped with driver and front passenger frontal-impact air bags. Additionally, the Wrangler standard safety equipment includes driver and front-passenger frontal-impact air bags, traction control, stability control with roll-mitigation technology, hill-start assist, and 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with on- and off-road calibration and brake assist. Seat-mounted side-impact air bags are optional. The Trailer Tow package option includes a trailer sway control system.

In testing conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2013 Wrangler SUV receives 3 (out of 5) stars for rollover resistance; the NHTSA has not published results of frontal or side crash tests. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited received a rating of "Good"--the Institute's highest--for front-impact crash protection and "Marginal" for side-impact protection.
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