2011 Jeep Wrangler – Click above for high-res image gallery

According to The Toledo Blade, citing ordering guides sourced from Chrysler dealerships, the Jeep Wrangler will finally get the automaker's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 for the 2012 model year. Since 2007, the Wrangler has been fitted with a 3.8-liter V6 engine (which replaced the venerable 4.0-liter inline six) that has met with less than stellar reviews. The new engine may have been a foregone conclusion, but it's a welcome one nonetheless.

Equally as important is news that the Jurassic-age four-speed automatic will be replaced with a five-speed unit. That's nice and all... but why go with a five-speeder when six (or more) is the current standard?

In any case, the report claims that the 2012 Wrangler's powertrain will be identical to the units in the 2011 Grand Cherokee. That means we should expect 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Those are much-needed improvements of the old 3.8, which offered up 202 horses and 237 lb-ft. Fuel mileage will reportedly improve to 16 city, 23 highway from 15/19.

In other Jeep news, Allpar.com reports that the 2012 Grand Cherokee will get a six-speed automatic to replace the five-speed unit in the 2011 model. (Guess we know where those older gearboxes are headed, eh?) In a further bid to improve fuel economy, the Pentastar-equipped Grand Cherokee will also be getting electrically driven power steering in place of the current hydraulic unit.


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  • 35 Comments
      D57H
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is great news! Now where is the diesel and the gladiator we all want/need????
      Justin
      • 3 Years Ago
      They should've shifted the powerband back a little and focused more on low end torque/power than 290 peak hp. The low end power is more important for daily driving and the Wrangler's general purpose.
      Geoffrey Beasley
      • 3 Years Ago
      The only thing keeping me from owning a JK is that piece of crud 3.8 liter boat anchor. I've been waiting for a turbodiesel or the Pentastar. As long as I can still get it with a manual transmission, it looks like I know what my next vehicle will be. Way to go, Jeep! Thanks for not castrating the Wrangler with independent suspension!!!!
      PJA48142
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good deal... Just took the wife's '08 on the holiday weekend road trip, and got reminded why I hate driving it on the highway. Damn thing has to work so hard to keep 75 miles an hour. Don't get me wrong, it's a whole lotta fun when we get to the campsite, but up til then, not so much. Lease is up this fall, looks like a mango tango '12 will take its place.....
        sirjaysmith
        • 3 Years Ago
        @PJA48142
        Mango Tango is gone for the 2012 model year, so say the rumors.
      john m
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wait a minute...... This thing did'nt even have a 5 speed auto???? REALLY???? I can't believe it still had a 4 speed auto. I guess Chrysler couldn't afford it earlier with all the financial problems they had.
      PM
      • 3 Years Ago
      2012 Grand Cherokee only gets a 6-speed auto with the V8 Hemi. Pentastar V6 continues on with the 5 speed as it currently does
        Goody
        • 3 Years Ago
        @PM
        To be more specific for 2012 : The 6.4L Hemi SRT8 JGC will get the a 8-speed auto. The 5.7L Hemi JGC will get the 6-speed auto. The 3.6L Pentastar JGC will get the 5 speed. Sources: http://www.roadandtrack.com/future-cars/spy-photos/caught-before-new-york-debut-2012-jeep-grand-cherokee-srt8 http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2011/05/jeep-to-get-six-speed-automatic
      JKRubicon
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't see why they just don't offer a hemi package. I would love to have a big V8 compared to my little mini van engine, especially for when I offroad and need all the torque I can get at low RPM's. The JK isn't light and when you start adding bigger tires, bumpers, etc you would have wished you went with the hemi (trust me). But then again that's just my opinion.
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      It still had a 4 speed? Wow. An ex bought one - I had to teach her how to drive the stick. I was amazed at the low hp, and awful gas mileage. I showed her the Consumer Reports 'Worst' ratings on that vehicle, but she had to have it. Not only did not make it off rode, she didn't even like driving it on the highway.
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        What do I get voted down for? It is rated worst in consumer reports, it has poor hp, mileage, and reliability, I did teach the ex how to drive it, and she never took it off road or on the highway. Consumer reports put it in a special 'do not buy' category.
          sirjaysmith
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          because consumer reports are idiots. The Wrangler compromises to be the best offroad, so of course it wont drive like a honda CRV, and they ignore that fact. Most owners find them perfectly reliable to boot. You got down ranked for listening to the idiots at consumer reports.
      billfrombuckhead
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wrangler has the highest resale value of SUV's and the 2nd highest of all vehicles according to KBB.
      jnbcressy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Back in the 60's you could plow snow with a Wrangler. All it had was a four with less than 100 hp. Who needs 290 hp to ride around on dirt roads, profiling? I know, nobody uses it for what it was intended for anymore.
        Blake
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jnbcressy
        Wrangers didn't exist back then. It was the Willys/Jeep CJ-5, and part of the reason 100 hp was barely sufficient was because of how spartan the ting was. I can't believe you're actually complaining about a vehicle having more power than in used to. Most people who buy a Wrangler don't need one. In all honestly, a Tata Nano would cover the needs of most people. The thing is, most people want their cars to be more than just another basic appliance.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        SaabStory
        • 3 Years Ago
        Agreed. Bring on the diesel. I have been asking/waiting forever for Jeep to give us a Wrangler diesel. They would've had my money long ago (probably repeatedly by now) if they'd just release the diesel stateside!!
        jimmyt505
        • 3 Years Ago
        I don't think a direct injected four would be enough for this car considering it needs low end torque. No one wants to rev a four cylinder to 6,000 rpm while rock crawling.
          CuriousG
          • 3 Years Ago
          @jimmyt505
          Why would you assume that you would rev it to 6,000? It depends on the tuning of the engine and the gearing. A four cylinder does not automatically mean a Honda 1.6.
      72CJ5driver
      • 3 Years Ago
      Curious, They didn't mention if hte pentastar will be available with a manual trans. That doesn't bode well. I'd have to (like to) think that the wrangler probably has one of the highest take rate for manual transmissions of any new car on the market, but its probably still less than 30%. And those buyers would probably settle for an auto since their only recourse for a manual trans off-roader would be the toyota FJ cruiser or tacoma TRD. I bet chrysler wouldnt lose many sales if they did drop the stick. Especially since this jeep would be the ONLY application where the pentastar is avail with a row-your-own box as far as I know. That's alot of engineering costs for a minority or one model's sales.
        jtav2002
        • 3 Years Ago
        @72CJ5driver
        I'd be surprised if they did actually axe the manual option for it. Also, the Xterra still offers a manual as well. Atleast for the time being who knows how long of a life that has left.
        sirjaysmith
        • 3 Years Ago
        @72CJ5driver
        nothing was mentioned probably because the pentastar will continue to use the NSG370 6speed, which is a great transmission, no need to announce anything if there's no change.
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