2012 Jeep Wrangler

MSRP $22,045 - $33,770

Ranked #13 in Suv

7.3

Overall Rating

2012 Jeep Wrangler Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 5, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The third-generation Jeep Wrangler has evolved since its launch and gets a lot better with the 2012 model year. This mighty off-roader is a stunner for all-terrain performance and by that, it gets a newly improved 3.6-liter V6 engine which produces more power and is better in delivering power to all four wheels. However, there are some serious concerns about this mad machine, like the soft-top variant being tricky to operate. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Mighty off-roader in the segment 

More refined and powerful engine

Impressive handling off the tarmac

Rugged look

Cons

Cabin insulation for noise is poorly done

Unimpressive braking performance

Ride quality is poor with upright sitting posture

The soft top is tricky to operate and has a major security flaw

What's New?

A new 3.6-liter V6 engine makes a little more power

An optional 5-speed automatic transmission is available


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$22045

bodystyle

2dr SUV

passenger capacity

4

top speed

95 mph

drivetrain

four wheel drive

engine type

displacement

220 cu.in.

horsepower

285 hp @ 6400 rpm

torque

260 lb.-ft. @ 4800 rpm

transmission

6 speed manual w/OD

chassis

suspension front

solid live axle front suspension

suspension rear

Dana 44 rigid axle rear trailing arm suspension w/anti-roll bar

dimensions

wheelbase

95.4 in.

length

163.8 in.

width

73.7 in.

height

70.9 in.

curb weight

3879 lbs.

ground clearance

9.1 in.

capacity

passenger volume

93.8 cu ft.

cargo volume

55 cu ft.

towing capacity

2000 lbs.

payload capacity

1000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.7 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.2 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

17/19/21 mpg

highway range

390.6 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 100000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr./ 100,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./100,000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Sport$22,045 onwards

Unlimited$25,545 onwards

Sahara$27,970 onwards

Unlimited Sport RHD$29,435 onwards

Rubicon$29,995 onwards

Unlimited Sahara$31,045 onwards

Unlimited Rubicon$33,770 onwards

Colors and Styles

2012 Jeep Wrangler in Crush color
Crush

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Feature

6.0

Features

7.0

Engine and Performance

9.0

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

8.0

Safety

7.0

Competition

7.0

7.3

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.3

Overall Rating


The ruggedness continues to exist with no design changes both on the exterior as well as the interiors. The cabin of the 2012 Jeep Wrangler is not that comfy but has a lot of room for up to 5 people and up to 4 people for the 2-door variants. All-wheel-drive comes standard across the trims and has an optional 5-speed automatic transmission. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler competes with the other off-roaders found on the market like the Nissan Xterra, Subaru Outback, and the Toyota FJ Cruiser.


7.0/10
Features

9.0/10
Engine and Performance

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

8.0/10
Exterior

7.0/10
Safety


2012 Jeep Wrangler Features

7.0/10

The 2012 Wrangler is offered in three main trims - Sport, Sahara, and Rubicon and as standard, they all come with 2 doors. Starting at $22,045, the features on offer are quite basic. The Unlimited 4 door variants cost around 3 grand more than the 2 door variants but increase the seating capacity by up to 5 people. 

As standard, the SUV comes with a soft top, cruise control, 16-inch steel wheels, and misses out on the single-zone climate control which the Unlimited 4 door inherits. The top-of-the-line Rubicon starts at $29,995 and is more of a hardcore off-roader with electronically controlled front and rear differential, and tuned suspensions. There is a separate right-hand-drive Sport trim which comes with 4 doors only and 5-speed automatic transmission as standard, costing you a dearly $29,435.

Trim

Sport

Sahara 

Rubicon

MSRP (2dr)

$22,045

$27,970

$29,995

MSRP (Unlimited 4dr)

$25,545

$31,045

$33,370

Key Features

Cruise control

Adds/upgrades over the Sport

Adds/upgrades over the Sahara

 

Power steering

7-speaker Infinity audio system

17-inch alloy wheels

 

Heated mirrors

Satellite radio

Front and rear locking differential

 

Cloth mirrors

Leather steering wheel

Chrome/leather-wrapped shift knob

 

16-inch steel wheels

Power mirrors

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

 

Single zone front air conditioning (Unlimited)

Keyless door locks

Fog lamps

 

6-speaker audio system

18-inch alloy wheels

Front door tinted glass

We Recommend

If Jeep Wrangler is what you crave for then the base trim would not satisfy you and choosing the Sahara would be a great choice with the 4 door variant as it will eliminate the soft top and will add an extra seating capacity. Apart from these, the leather steering wheel, 7-speaker Infinity premium audio system, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a lot more. 

2012 Jeep Wrangler Engine and Performance

9.0/10

The 2012 Wrangler gets powered by a single powertrain throughout the trims and is a fresh new 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6 which is capable of pumping 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of maximum torque. You get a 5-speed manual transmission and an all-wheel drivetrain as standard. This engine is more refined and produces around 40 percent more power and about 10 percent more torque than the engine it replaces. 

The engine accelerates quite quickly with a happy 60 miles an hour in just 6.7 seconds and does a standing quarter-mile in under 15.3 seconds which is pretty fast considering it is an SUV. These numbers come in handy when you take the Wrangler off the tarmac and make the growling engine show its power where it belongs.

Models

2012 Jeep Wrangler 

2012 Nissan Xterra

2012 Subaru Outback

2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser

MSRP

$25,545

$27,530

$28,295

$27,295

Engine 

3.6-liter Naturally Aspirated V6

4.0-liter Naturally Aspirated V6

3.6-liter Naturally Aspirated Flat 6

4.0-liter Naturally Aspirated V6

Drivetrain

4WD

4WD

4WD

4WD

Transmission

6-speed manual

5-speed automatic

5-speed shiftable automatic

6-speed manual

Power 

285 hp @ 6,400 rpm

261 hp @ 5,600 rpm

256 hp @ 6,000 rpm

260 hp @ 5,600 rpm

Torque

260 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm

281 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

247 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

271 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

0-60 MPH (sec)

7.1

6.6

6.8

7.1

Quarter mile (sec)

15.1

14.9

13.4

15.4

Top Speed (MPH)

112

N/A

146

110

The Jeep Wrangler has the most powerful engine in the segment with not just raw power but in acceleration too. However, the top-end power is not as sufficient as the Subaru Outback and FJ Cruiser are fast in the quarter-mile timings despite packing underpowered engines. Nissan produces similar power to the other Japanese rivals but offers a sluggish acceleration in real life. 

2012 Jeep Wrangler Fuel Economy

8.0/10

Not a gas guzzler, but the higher engine power produced by the 2012 Wrangler and coupled with the 4-wheel drive system, it is something that will set you back but you cannot help. The EPA rates the same with 16 MPG in the city, 21 MPG on the highways, and as low as 18 MPG as combined. Although Jeep has equipped the Wrangler with a big 22.5-gallon gas tank the range is the highest with 360 miles in the city and 472.5 miles on the highway.

Models

2012 Jeep Wrangler 

2012 Nissan Xterra

2012 Subaru Outback

2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser

MPG (City)

16

15

18

15

MPG (Highway)

21

20

25

18

MPG (Combined)

18

17

20

18

Fuel Capacity (gallons)

22.5

21.1

18.5

19

Range (City/ Highway) (miles)

360/472.5

316.5/422

333/462.5 

285/342

Subaru does a good job in making the Outback return a few more miles than the competition but the range suffers due to it packing a smaller gas tank. The Wrangler, Nissan Xterra, and the FJ Cruiser are somewhat similar in delivering average fuel economy but the Wrangler has an edge in the overall driving range. 

2012 Jeep Wrangler Interior

8.0/10

The interior of the 2012 Wrangler gives a bittersweet feeling and is biased towards off-roading capabilities. The outgoing model year of the Wrangler gets significant interior design changes in 2011 to make it look modern like the redesigned dashboard which now looks like it is in the 21st century. The cabin comfort is not adequate with firm cushioning and upright sitting posture. The cabin gets really noisy and is accompanied by a lot of jerkiness which is not at all appropriate for highway riding. The seats come cloth-covered as standard and do not have the option of upgrading them to leather ones which is a bummer. 

 In terms of cabin space, the Unlimited variants are the best and are always suggested for better practicality and roominess. The elongated wheelbase helps the rear row to move backward and that helps increase the rear legroom. Overall, both the front and rear rows have enough room. The seating capacity is maxed out at 5 people and the cabin can accommodate taller individuals without much of an issue. The cargo capacity is impressive too. At 46.4 cubic feet of space behind the rear row, makes it the most practical SUV in the segment and can easily accommodate your luggage along with a full-size spare tire.

Models

2012 Jeep Wrangler 

2012 Nissan Xterra

2012 Subaru Outback

2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

41.3/55.8/41.0

39.9/58.3/42.4

40.8/56.3/43.0

41.3/58.4/41.9

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

40.4/56.8/37.2

39.3/58.3/34.4

39.3/56.1/37.8

40.3/53.9/31.3

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

All four SUVs are spacious and have similar front row dimensions. Considering both the front and rear, the Outback and the Wrangler have more balanced dimensions with a lot of rear legroom on offer, unlike the Xterra and Toyota FJ Cruiser. However, the cargo space of all these cars is not available. Now, let’s have a look at the standout interior features of the Jeep Wrangler:

  • Single zone climate control
  • Leather steering wheel with tilt and telescopic adjustability
  • Leather and chrome-trimmed shift knob
  • Cruise control
  • Dual vanity mirrors
  • Power steering

How intuitive is the 2012 Jeep Wrangler’s infotainment unit?

The infotainment system on offer in the 2012 Jeep Wrangler is pretty straightforward being an off-roader. As standard, the features are down to just a 6-speaker audio system, auxiliary audio input, CD player, etc. On the higher trims, there is an Infinity premium sound system and satellite radio feature. 

Jeep has provided an option to upgrade the infotainment system with Connectivity Package and that includes a lot of features like Bluetooth connectivity, an upgraded trip computer, an iPod interface, and the option to opt for a touchscreen display to monitor real-time navigation services. Standout infotainment features include:

  • 6-speaker Infinity audio system
  • CD player
  • Touchscreen interface with navigation services (Optional)
  • iPod interface (Optional)
  • Bluetooth connectivity (Optional)
  • Digital music storage 

2012 Jeep Wrangler Exterior

8.0/10

With the iconic Willys Jeep design language, the 2012 Wrangler thrived in all perspectives when it comes to build quality and exterior appearance. The front has circular halogen headlights and indicators with the signature seven-slot grille and the wheel arch extending to the front which gives the SUV a muscular attire. The rear has the jerry can-style tail lights with a spare wheel and a rear bumper.

 The boxy appearance does not contribute to the drag coefficient. The dimensions are quite on par with the competition with a long 116-inch wheelbase, a rather short 173.4-inch length. The ground clearance is impressive too at 8.7 inches and is ideal for hardcore off-roading. The Wrangler weighs 4,075 pounds and is slightly lighter than the competition. 

Models

2012 Jeep Wrangler 

2012 Nissan Xterra

2012 Subaru Outback

2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4,075

4,354

3,544

4,290

Length (in.)

173.4

178.7

188.2

183.9

Width (in.)

73.9

72.8

71.7

75.0

Height (in.)

70.8

74.9

65.7

72.0

Ground Clearance (in.)

8.7

8.1

8.7

9.6

Wheelbase (in.)

116.0

106.3

107.9

105.9

The Outback is the lightest and longest in the segment while the FJ Cruiser is wider, has the highest ground clearance. The Wrangler on the other hand has the longest wheelbase in the competition. The Xterra has the lowest ground clearance in the segment which results in less off-road capabilities. Some other standout features you can find in the Jeep Wrangler are:

  • Heated and powered mirrors
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Rear defrost (Optional)
  • Convertible hardtop (Optional)

2012 Jeep Wrangler Safety

7.0/10

Jeep has not compromised on build quality and made the Wrangler tough to last with time. But there are a few major concerns with the 2012 Wrangler for which it does not perform impressively in the crash tests. The NHTSA has not crash-tested the 2012 Wrangler but the IIHS did and has rated “Good” in the frontal crash prevention but “Marginal” for the side crash results. Standout safety features:

  • 4-wheel ABS with traction control
  • Emergency braking assist
  • Post-collision safety system
  • Electronic brakeforce distribution
  • Tire pressure monitor

2012 Jeep Wrangler Final Verdict

With a powerful V6 engine on offer and a much better off-roading personality than the competition, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler is a great buy for the enthusiast crowd who has off-roading as their main priority. If you want an SUV in this segment that could be a good road-going option then the Outback would be a good choice but if you are a hardcore off-roading lover, there is no better option than the Jeep Wrangler.

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