2012 Jeep Wrangler Rated at 21 MPG Highway

2012 Jeep WranglerWe reported earlier that the 2012 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited would shed their old pushrod V-6 engines and four-speed automatic transmissions for Chrysler’s more modern Pentastar V-6. Today, we learned that the new setup earned a 17/21 mpg city/highway rating from the EPA. It also gets 18 mpg combined city/highway. That EPA rating is for the traditional two-door Wrangler, with either a six-speed manual or the new for 2012 five-speed automatic transmission.

While that score may not sound amazing in a world of 40 mpg compact cars, it’s considerably better than the 15/19 mpg rating of the 2011 Wrangler.

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited gets a rating of 16/21 mpg with a six-speed manual and 16/20 mpg with the five-speed automatic. Both models come with standard shift-on-the-fly, full-time four-wheel-drive system.

Jeep still hasn’t announced power ratings for the Wrangler’s new 3.6-liter V-6 engine, but we know it will be substantially more powerful than the anemic 202-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 found on the 2011. So far, Chrysler’s new V-6 has produced anywhere from 283 hp on the 2011 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Grand Caravan to 305 hp on the 2011 Dodge Challenger.

We already have 75 listings on Cars.com for the 2012 Wrangler, and there are plenty of window stickers and VIN codes floating around the internet for the 2012 model, which leads us to believe the model is or will soon be on sale.

Chrysler Details Future Upgrades to 2012 Jeep, Dodge, Fiat Vehicles

By Colin Bird | August 1, 2011 | Comments (39)


Doug G

Why do people buy these? Isn't there anything else better in this segment?

Innocent Bystander

It's one of the last true SUV's on the market. It has capabilities that the rest of the "mall crawlers" don't have and it's the only convertible SUV on the market. It's also an American icon that has global recognition. That's why people keep buying them.


They 'upgrade' to an obsolete 5 speed automatic. (where is the ratio spread at? 4.3:1 is a whopping 5% more ratio spread than the 4 speed automatic)
Please tell me this will get the ZF 8 speed automatic for 2013.

There is nothing 'full-time' about a rigid off-road drive transfer case. It is not to be used on pavement, there is no center differential.

and since this old Mercedes transmission has a very small overdrive (0.831 contrasted with 0.689 of the 4 speed), does this mean the standard axle ratio is now 3.21:1 (and 3.73/4.1 are optional)

Doug G

I'm just saying, if I'm buying something that gets 21 mpg highway it better be able to haul a camper or hit 60mph in 5 seconds. Incredibly underwhelming.

I bet the new engine has little effect on the sales of this vehicle. If you want a Jeep Wrangler you'd buy one regardless, and 2 exta mpg or even 100 hp probably won't change that either way.


@dougG: What else is in that segment?
Hummer? Gone
Toyota? FJ is hardtop only
Land Rover? Hardtop only

To tell you the truth, Jeep is still one-of-a-kind when it comes to the Wrangler.


I'd buy a Wrangler but I'm not a Tool and I have a college degree.


That better be a monster V6, because the 6.0L V8 with 360hp in my Pontiac gets EPA-estimated 24mpg highway. Though I've only got rear-wheel-drive so that could explain it a bit.



I've had a Wrangler Unlimited since 2008. I have an MBA and Masters Certificate. There is a large segment of educated people driving Wranglers.


....I still want one regardless

I'd personally buy a RWD Model since the 4WD won't be of any use to me if I can't use it on dry pavement.

Wranglers are not built for highway, these aren't desert racing raptors, these are low gear crawlers


@Doug G and Vulpine

I would buy a Wrangler. Know why? Because it's one of only a handful of cars to still have a standard manual transmission, which not only saves fuel, but also is more fun and keeps drivers from being distracted.

Outside of sports cars and cheap econoboxes, the only other cars with one are the Nissan X-Terra, Ram 3500, VW CC and Buick Regal, and the Wrangler beats them all when it comes to versatility and fun.


@Vulpine, Another vehicle in this segment would be the Nissan Xterra 4.0 V6 261hp/281tq and will follow Jeeps anywhere even with it's IFS


@Doug - Simply put, no. There is nothing better in the segment (or world, for that matter) at out of the box off-roading and utility than a Jeep Wrangler. You may not get it, but don't be an ass to everyone else. Keep driving your Prius.

@ George - I'm not sure the article is correct. In Jeep literate it is considered a Part-Time 4x4 system. When you're in 4wd, all 4 wheels get power. Perhaps that is the confusion in the article? Regardless, the name of the game with the transmission isn't the total spread, it's the ability to keep the Pentastar in the power band. More gears spaced closer together can do that. And despite its age, the WA580 is damn good transmission. AMG still uses it - that has to mean something. And, the 3.21 gears have been standard equipment since 2007. (3.73s were optional.) 4.10s were reserved for the Rubicons.

@Doug, again - The Wrangler can tow just fine, especially the Unlimited. In fact, it can tow a camper over rocks, through 34" of water, and still not complain. FYI, Jeep makes campers, too, you know. Google it.

@Chris - the 3.6l should make just shy of 300hp itself, but the Wrangler isn't light. It's got a full steel roll-cage and lots of heavy (strong) components. Also, too, bear in mind that these fuel ratings assume continuos 4wd usage. I don't know anyone who leaves their Jeep in 4wd to run around town in. Even the 3.8L jeeps got 21-22 mpg when cruising in 2wd. I imagine we'll see owners report 24-26mpg on the highway in 2wd mode once the Jeep hits the real world. EPA figures are really just guestimations. Have you read how they do that testing anyway? It's a farce.

@Brian - How's that B.S. in General Studies treating ya, anyway?!?

@Matt - Not without major modifications. Out of the box, you've got to look at a Land Rover for comparable capability. And price gives the Wrangler a huge advantage there.


Wow, jeep fans are very sensitive.

You're right, I just don't get it. I understand a Jeep probably has one of the best off road setups in existence, but as a daily driver? No thanks.

Simcik - I drive a 2011 Subaru Wrx. How's it feel?


The 270-285 hp of the 3.6 V6 in the Jeep Wrangler application is plenty of power, but if the 'correct' tire size, 255/70 18, is coupled to 3.21 axle (for mileage), then performance will still be disappointing.
2nd gear will go to 80mph, 3rd gear would go to maximum power at 130mph (if you could get H speed rated tires)
The 3.73 axle ratio will improve performance, but at what cost to mileage?
That is why it needs more ratio spread (8 speed automatic), so you can get the performance you need, without a sacrifice in mileage.

The current 3.8 & 4 speed auto has the 3.73 axle standard. The 6 speed stick (with small overdrive 0.84) uses the 3.21


@Simcik out of the box Wrangler isn't going to get away from an FJ or Xterra. The Rubi is a $40k+ vehicle which most don't ever see dirt. Either way, Jeep still has the "meh" Chrysler interior.

Gary B.

Sissies drive four door Wranglers. Another sign that man has been metrosexualized.


Honestly, the only reason i haven't bought a wrangler is the mpg. However, they've up'd it a whole 2mpg, so my heart has convinced my head that is ok. silly yes, but hey, whatever gets you by lol


still have my '98 wrangler sport 2dr as a daily driver...looking forward to a 2012 wrangler rubicon 4dr...time for more room in my daily driver, nothing metrosexual here; my other ride is '08 H-D NightTrain!


Drive one and you'll understand. Here's why they are great. 4 doors, top comes off, 4x4 in winter, now a good v6 engine, decent mpg, great looks. And the best resale value out of any car on the market.

Best vehicle I've ever owned. So much more fun than the lexus suv that we traded in. I'll always own a jeep wrangler.


hi all, FWIW, my jeep dealer just called me and they have the 2012 jeep wranglers on the lot as of today 8/13/11 (Thornton , CO) . Cant wait to drive one. Tengo madera lol!


For the detractors of the Jeep Wranglers or even the Ultimate, not sure why you are spending time criticizing the Jeep or asking in a derogatory way why someone would want to drive a Jeep Wrangler?

There are lots of great SUV’s in the market but from my side there a major issue with all other SUV’s, no convertibles For those of us that enjoy having a drop top, and going into the wilderness while not worrying about damage to the paint, suspension or tires – the Wrangler is a great product (even though the 3.8L engine was anemic). They are fun to drive (manual) – even when commuting, go anywhere, and there are tons of customizations and aftermarket parts.

My wife traded in her VW Phaeton V8 for a 2011 Wrangler Rubicon, and SHE was driving on 4x4 trails the very next weekend.


Drove the 2011 Jeep Wrangler unlimited a few weeks ago and it was not as much a fun car as you may think. It is very bumby on an average road. Getting the feel of the road is one thing but this ride is pretty bad. Dont try an do coffee while you are in a Wrangler. I could see how you can get a backache from an extended drive on a paved road. The steering is not that good and seems to constantly understeer. MPG ok it is rated at 19 hwy...the 2012 is rated at 20. I get an average of 12mpg. maybe the 2012 will be a little better.
I have my Jeep in white. I love the color. Very easy to clean.

This Jeep has me constantly complying with the seat belt law. Drive this on any type of bumpy road without a seatbelt and you may bounce into the next seat.


I just picked up my brand new 2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport Unlimited last Wednesday. Dual tops, automatic, etc. Just one thing to say, “LOVE IT” I have been a Jeep Wrangler owner for 30 years and this is the BEST one yet. Power? you bet, even better than the old 4.0, 6 cyl high output. I just traded in a 2006 jeep wrangler and was a little nervous. But when I picked up my new 2012 and pulled out of the dearlership I new I had just made the best new Jeep decision I have ever made. I have been driving it for four days now and cannot find one thing I would change. Chrysler did a fantastic job on this one.


either you love or you hate it but it is still in true form and the most capable. on top of that the customization options are ridiculously vast


if you are looking for a something to drive that can go off road without a problem, get a jeep. Sure the ride is stiffer than most, because it is made for off roading! duh! Unlike the so called SUV's, this one is the original. If you are looking to drive something with a comfy ride that won't spill your coffee(though not good off road) may I suggest you get something that more fits your comfy style.


My first vehicle was/is a CJ5... after 21 years I still have it. I also own a Wrangler, yes I own TWO jeeps. I don't buy it for the ride, although I do prefer the ride to just about any car I've been in. I just don't like the feeling of most cars, I feel like my behind is about ready to drag on the pavement LOL... to each their own.


Drive the 2012 with leather. Such a HUGE difference in power & comfort. It gets to 60 in about 5.5 seconds.


ok, simply put, if you don't have a Jeep you don't understand... It's a Jeep thing! so everyone who doesnt have a Jeep should grow a set, and those who do, PLEASE don't let me hear you complain about ride on Pavement again (John) maybe you should catch a ride with degree boy in his WRX...
as to Matt, shoot me a note and bring your Xterra, maybe a FJ as well for a little friendly competative wheeling. i'll bring an extra grab strap so i can pull both at once...


Hey, Brian. I have a college degree and make damn good money and that is why I drive a wrangler. Life can't be all work and no play.


Love my 2012 Unlimited! Great daily driver and I know it can take me anywhere. Interior is one of the best I've seen - love the leather and the saddle brown/black scheme. Traded in an old Pathfinder, and there's no comparison.


"Drive the 2012 with leather. Such a HUGE difference in power & comfort. It gets to 60 in about 5.5 seconds."

.......Jane...it gets no where near that. It gets to 60 in about 8 seconds...which is a give improvement over the previous 11 seconds from the old 3.8


What is the largest tire I can put on the stock 17" rims of my 2012 wrangler?

Sammy the snake

My first Jeep was in the late 70’s and I was hooked. I buy one about every 10 years or so. I’m about due for another which is why I landed on this site. It’s not for everyone. If you’re just a poser who wants to have a jeep just to have a jeep, then there is nothing wrong with that other than you might not find it that comfortable. I’m surprised people complain about the ride. It’s a Jeep!
What some people don’t realize is that much of this country live in areas where we use off road vehicles for actually going off road or in extreme weather conditions. I have never owned a Jeep that didn’t get a load of accessories and bigger better suspension. It’s the ultimate vehicle to customize and the fact that the top comes off makes it in a class of its own. Right now I have a Hummer Alpha, but when I heard I can get leather on the Jeep, I started looking. Last real 4x4 in existence that you can get for a reasonable price!


I bought a 2012 Wrangler after driving everything else for 50 years...it's my daily driver, is comfortable, and is like a modern stagecoach with high leather seats, square windows, pull straps, and a high step-in...plus lots of cargo room. I get 19 mpg in the city...haven't taken it on a long road trip yet.


What you drive definitely does define who you are, I now drive an 08 JKUX, it's my first Jeep, my second Chrysler, I can say I will never drive anything else. It IS my DAILY DRIVER, I've driven it through a river course STOCK no problem. A Jeep is a Jeep. The Wrangler is definitely one-of-a-kind. I've driven a Nissan, as well as the GM version of Saab. Let me tell you. When it comes to ICE, gas mileage is the LEAST OF MY PROBLEMS. Buy a Chevy Volt. Guess what? The backup engine is still gasoline powered. Forget gas mileage... You'll have to worry about it with every single car on the planet. Might as well drive a Jeep

Are they going to stick some decals on it? I’m excited to see the transformation.


Well I've had a 2005 jeep cherokee hemi and 2007 Hummer H3. Between the two, the Cherokee had more power of course but also had better handling with its four wheel drive system. Also Hummer did not have heat vents in the back seats, so my kids were complaining. My spouse sells Wranglers and everytime one of those demos come home, it does not matter, the keys to the hummer, or whatever is in the driveway at the time is what he gets left with, which would be a chrysler 200 S convertible with winter tires on it, when needed, because Wrangler's ride is one of the best in the winter with the 4 wheel drive and in the summer with the top off and the tight ride is just fun in the sun. Haven't purchased one yet, but I am ready now due to the new V6 installed which would make it equivalent to the Hummer that I drove in 2007 and that gas mileage wasent bad at all with the high price crunch that occurred in 2008. Try it first before you judge it!!! Jeep Lover and they have great resale value!

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