Jeep Wrangler Hard Top 1996 - 2005

Jeep Wrangler Hard Top 1996 - 2005

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016


  • Iconic 4x4
  • It has superb off-roading ability


  • Lacks refinement
  • Uncomfortable ride


The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most iconic 4x4's ever built. Its looks clearly indicate its heritage to the Willy's Jeep that can be seen in almost all World War II movies. It was designed as a workhorse and this means it will excels in off-road conditions as it is able to tackle almost every terrain and obstacle you point it towards. Unfortunately, it's not as good on the road with the ride feeling choppy, the steering vague and there is plenty of body roll in the corners.

Exterior and Interior

The Wrangler was originally released as a hardtop in 1993, but was joined a few years later by a soft-top model. It has quite clearly descended from the classic Willy's Jeep. The interior is quite clearly that of a work horse with the minimal amount of kit possible, but on the plus side it makes it easy to wipe clean after heavy off-roading sessions. There is a good amount of space for the front and rear occupants, but the back seat passengers may find it hard to get into their seats. The seats are by no means the most comfortable though making longer journeys extremely uncomfortable. The boot is also tiny, barely being able to accommodate a weeks worth of shopping. Getting the top down on the soft-top model is an arduous affair, as is putting it back up. When it comes to choosing a trim level there isn't much choice coming with only Standard or Sahara trim levels. The Sahara adds a few extras such as air-con, but not much more.

Performance and Economy

The 4.0-litre is the engine to go for as it is both quicker and more economical than the smaller engine reaching 60mph in 8.8 seconds. It officially achieves 29mpg in the Extreme Sport model, but a more realistic fuel efficiency will be around the higher teens and lower twenties. As for insuring them it will prove to be more expensive than most of its rivals falling into group 14.

Like to Drive

The Wrangler was designed as an off-road vehicle and it is there that it excels being able to tackle anything with ease. On the road it's a different story though with the ride being choppy, the steering vague and there is plenty of body roll in the corners. If you want a vehicle that will attract some attention then this may be a good choice for you. Many people will recognise the iconic styling and will not be able to help but stare as you drive past.

Faults and Repairs

The Wrangler has had a couple of recalls over the years with the fuel gauge giving false readings causing a recall in 1999 and cars built between 2001 and 2002 were also recalled over fears of a potential fire risk. One good thing that can be said about the Spartan look is that not much is likely to go wrong inside. However, the suspension will need regular work as will the steering components. Services and repairs will cost a lot too thanks to Jeeps scarily high hourly rates, taking into the same price bracket as for larger 4x4's such as the Land rover Discovery.