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This version of the Wrangler was introduced in 1997 and it became quite dated. Our Unlimited has a 10-inch wheelbase stretch over the standard model, resulting in more rear-seat room. Its strengths are solely off-road; it may be hard to live with every day. Its thirsty engine performs just adequately, handling is clumsy, and the ride is sloppy.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
NA
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
NA
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
NA
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2007. Side air bags available from 2007. ESC standard from 2007.
Road Test

This version of the Wrangler was introduced in 1997 and it became quite dated. Our Unlimited has a 10-inch wheelbase stretch over the standard model, resulting in more rear-seat room. Its strengths are solely off-road; it may be hard to live with every day. Its thirsty engine performs just adequately, handling is clumsy, and the ride is sloppy.

Seating
2 front, 2 rear
Drive Wheels
4WD
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
2-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2.4-liter 4 (147 hp)
  • 4-liter 6 (190 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2006 Jeep Wrangler owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Springs or torsion bars

“Bushings worn, creating further wear on suspension and alignment (forward), "shimmy" aft”

Anonymous, ME (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Axle side front tracbar bushing went bad. This resulted in the infamous death wobble”

Dane F., AZ (2006 Jeep Wrangler X 4.0-L 6 Cyl)
Shocks or struts

“all items are related to the front end wobble”

Jim N., CA (2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4.0-L 6 Cyl)
Steering wheel vibration

“Death or bump wobble in the front end, requiring all of the wear items to be replaced including track bar mounts”

Jim N., CA (2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

“When accelerating past 40 mph the steering wheel shook uncontrollably. I looked it up on youtube and it is called a death rattle. The manufacture will not acknowledge the problem. We had purchased a warranty for 1600 and it covered the repair”

Anonymous, ID (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Due to the tracbar bushing becoming defective, the wobble of the from axle caused massive steering wheel vibrations”

Dane F., AZ (2006 Jeep Wrangler X 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Just bought last week. Experienced the classic "death wobble". Dealer is checking it out. Vehicle purchased for 20 yr. old son. and he has no experience when the jeep goes into a fit”

Anonymous, FL (2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“The car's external non metal parts (farings,hard top and running boards) have all faded to something approaching grey chalk color from black”

Bruce M., MD (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4.0-L 6 Cyl)
Rust

“For a "trail" vehicle you would have thought there would have been more attention paid to corrosion protection”

Bruce M., MD (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

“We purchased then jeep in 2015 from a dealership. they fixed the rust on cheaply. then rust reappeared in less than 6 months. We had the rust fixed properly and there has been no rust since”

Anonymous, PA (2006 Jeep Wrangler X 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Top center of both front fenders. Any one who had an older Jeep knows exactly where this is. It's always been a "weak" spot for CJ's and Wranglers”

Robert O., VT (2006 Jeep Wrangler X 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Coolers and lines

“Transmission cooler failed which caused overheating in transmission”

Anonymous, AZ (2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4.0-L 6 Cyl)
Slipping transmission

“Normal wear on clutch since it is not an adjustable clutch. Will need to get it fixed in maybe another 10k miles. Not so serious. But have to hold stick shift in gear for first and second gear to prevent slipping out of gear at stop signs and during slow downs”

Anonymous, UT (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4.0-L 6 Cyl)
Gear selector or linkage

“Selector cable attachment to transmission lever broke due to worn plastic parts. Fixed by drilling out link and using nut and bolt to repair. Plastic "string of pearls" inside selector handle broke. Repaired by inserting wood dowel into handle”

Mark R., TN (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Heater system

“air direction system broken levers”

Anonymous, WA (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4.0-L 6 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

“Loses refrigerant”

Royce H., TX (2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4.0-L 6 Cyl)
A/C compressor

“condenser 2 times, leaks and freezing up multiple times, switch and electrical multiple times...I have had the A/C serviced at least 15 times”

Anonymous, KY (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“The hatchback door leaks when it rains causing anything on the cargo floor to get wet”

Skip P., AZ (2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Weatherstrip around windshield shrunk and leaks rain water occasionally”

Ron Q., FL (2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4.0-L 6 Cyl)
Wind noise

“You cannot ride with the windows down without getting beaten by incoming air”

Skip P., AZ (2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

“Engine and components are sound, but the oil level indicating rod fixture welded on the oil pan has broken off before 100,000 miles were reached, requiring the entire dip stick and tube it sets in to be removed as one unit to check the oil level. The resulting weld break at the oil pan, where the tube mounts into the pan just below the flange causes an annoying weeping of oil out and along the bottom of the engine. For an engine that otherwise, even after over 130,000 miles doesn't use any signi”

Anonymous, ME (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Engine mounts

“Engine mounts broke”

Anonymous, CO (2006 Jeep Wrangler X 4.0-L 6 Cyl)
Fuel leaks

“When filling the tank, it will overflow instead of kicking off, also I can always smell gas outside of vehicle. No one can find a leak”

Anonymous, KY (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“Check engine light. Replaced 1 oxygen sensor”

Anonymous, MA (2006 Jeep Wrangler X 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Regularly get code 456 with check engine light. Replaced sensors three times”

Anonymous, CA (2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

“intermittent check engine light even after replacing sensors”

Anonymous, NM (2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

“sensor failure”

John S., TX (2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4.0-L 6 Cyl)
Differential

“Had to replace the pinon seal”

Mike L., CO (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

“Both front calipers locked up on my Jeep while driving down the interstate. No real idea what caused it, though I have recently been taking it off-road more than previously”

Andrew W., TN (2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4.0-L 6 Cyl)
Normal routine brake wear

“Replaced pads and rotors on front”

Anonymous, FL (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

“Burning oil. 4 qts every week. I think Catalytic converter went bad due to sludge being spewed out the exhaust from oil burning”

Mary-Alice F., IN (2006 Jeep Wrangler SE 2.4.0-L 4 Cyl)
Head gasket

“Damage to head gasket ultimately came due to the sequence of events following having mice nesting under the hood”

Anonymous, OH (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport Unsure)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

“had to replace after engine was rebuilt. Guessing oil burning caused converter to get gunked up”

Mary-Alice F., IN (2006 Jeep Wrangler SE 2.4.0-L 4 Cyl)
Exhaust leaks

“Small exhaust leak in muffler with 36000 miles seems premature”

Jim F., CA (2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Distributor or rotor failure

“Distributor failed at 1,200 Miles!!!”

Anonymous, CO (2006 Jeep Wrangler X 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Warning lights

“Seven years ago, I did hit a deer and the front right fog light was broken off. Did not replace it, but did tape up the harness to the missing light. During one of the auto shop stops for minor repair, that harness was removed without my knowledge. I was having switch problems later on where the fog lights kept turning on. I checked the harness and realized it was removed. I taped up the exposed connector with electrical tape. I have not had problems since then. But will keep watching fo”

Anonymous, UT (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4.0-L 6 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Thermostat

“Damages incurred from mice nesting under the hood damaging the cooling system which subsequently impacted the thermostat and ultimately the head gasket from over heating”

Anonymous, OH (2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport Unsure)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

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