Following a complete redesign in 2007, the Jeep Wrangler enters 2008 with few changes. Both Sahara and Rubicon come standard with a Sunrider soft top, and the black Freedom Top modular hard top is available on the Wrangler X. Remote start becomes a new option on Sahara and Rubicon.
The 2008 Jeep Wrangler is yet another descendant of the legendary military Jeep that evolved into the CJ series built from the 1950s to the 1980s, and then the first Wrangler after that. These days, the tried and true two-door Wrangler is also available as a four-door Wrangler Unlimited model, with a back-seat designed to hold two adults or fold forward for increased cargo space.
The Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited are available in three trim levels--X, Sahara, and Rubicon--and all models are powered by the same 202-horsepower 3.8L V6, mated either to a standard six-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic. All Wranglers are four-wheel drive, while Unlimiteds are available in either rear- or four-wheel drive.
Wranglers feature rugged recirculating-ball steering, removable doors with exposed hinges, a fold-down windshield, and removable soft tops, yet it has modern safety features like seat-mounted side air bags, ESP stability control, traction control, and four-wheel anti-lock braking.
The Wrangler is available in many different configurations, appearances, and equipment levels, and can be everything from a reasonably comfortable road cruiser to a serious rock crawler. The Wrangler's off-road ability benefits from 8.8 to 10.2 inches of clearance, depending on trim, and all Wranglers and Unlimiteds feature a heavy-duty Dana 44 solid rear axle.
Wrangler X and Sahara models get the second-generation version of Jeep's Command-Trac system, a part-time 4WD system with two-speed transfer case. A limited-slip differential is available. The especially rugged Rubicon model gets a Rock-Trac transfer case with a crawler 4:1 low range, along with front and rear axle lockers, and serious 32-inch B.F. Goodrich off-road tires.
Wrangler interiors offer a fair amount of room, and plenty of convenience features are available. Standard amenities across the range include air conditioning and a CD stereo with MP3 capability, while popular options include power windows and locks, a full-screen navigation system, and a six-disc in-dash CD/MP3 sound system with Sirius satellite radio.
Several top arrangements are available, including a three-piece Freedom Top hard top that can be removed and installed by one person, as well as a Sunrider soft top that features a fold-back, 52-by-30-inch "sunroof" position in addition to the top-down position. The Sunrider comes standard on Sahara and Rubicon Wranglers.