The newest Wrangler remains clearly an off-road machine that some customers choose to drive on-road. The 2007 Wrangler Unlimited - the four-door version - earned a score of 17 out of a possible 100 in Consumer Reports' on-road handling tests. While much better than the 5 earned by the old Wrangler, it's still the lowest score for any currently available car the magazine has tested.
The new Wrangler has standard electronic stability control and room for five adult occupants. But the doors still come off, the windshield still folds down and the headlights are round. As ever, there is not a single part, other than paint and decals, that does not serve a definite purpose. Nothing is for show.
On a recent visit to the Toledo, Ohio, Jeep factory - Jeeps have always been built in Toledo - workers and robots could be seen putting together almost 700 Wranglers a day to meet demand. Every one, the factory manager said, was being built to meet an existing customer order.
Despite recent introductions of more street-worthy Jeep crossovers like the Compass and Patriot, the Wrangler remains remarkably popular.