Driving the Pentastar-powered 2012 Jeep Wrangler
Written: September 15, 2011
As you probably know, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler is now coming with Chrysler's Pentastar V6 engine. This 3.6-liter engine now makes 285 hp and 260 ft./lbs. or torque vs. the previous 3.8-liter V6, which made 202 hp. and 237 ft./lbs. of twist. I got the opportunity to spend some time behind the wheel of a '12 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, and I must say, the new engine is a welcome addition to the vehicle.
Although I didn't get to do any off-road driving with the new Jeep, I did get to take it up through some mountain passes in Washington state and can assure you that the extra power is definitely welcome, especially when it comes to passing power and driving up steep grades (something that will translate well into off-pavement performance, too). The engine felt powerful and refined; the new five-speed automatic was quick to shift and was in the right gear at the right time. The Pentastar engine not only improves power, but throttle response and even fuel economy are also improved. The '12 Wrangler now gets as much as 17 city, 21 highway (two door models) vs. 15 city, 19 highway with the 3.8 liter. The six-speed manual transmission is also available.
It's great to see the Wrangler getting this engine, since many had griped about the lack of power from the previous 3.8-liter. With the addition of a revised interior in 2011, the Wrangler has stepped up its game yet continues to offer the off-road prowess its loyal fans demand. Assuming sales of the '12 Wrangler have been as good as the '11s as of late, I'm sure we'll be seeing plenty of the on the trail as well as on the road.
Filed under: Truck/Jeep/SUV