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The Wrangler has entered the modern era, with more creature comforts, updated safety gear, and an available four-door model. Its off-road performance is very impressive. While on-road ride, handling, and refinement are improved, they are still not competitive.
Alerts
There are 8 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 (sec.) 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

The Wrangler has entered the modern era, with more creature comforts, updated safety gear, and an available four-door model. Its off-road performance is very impressive. While on-road ride, handling, and refinement are improved, they are still not competitive.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
4WD , Rear
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
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 4-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 3.8-liter V6 (205 hp)
  • 3.8-liter V6 (202 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2009 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

“Mechanic could not get alignment corrected. This may have been related to the failed shock but he did not detect the shock failure at that time”

Anonymous, NE (2009 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 3.8-L V6)

“Front passenger side shock failed”

Anonymous, NE (2009 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 3.8-L V6)

“I was driving on US-31 @ 70MPH & the suspension started shaking badly & I had to pull over on the shoulder til it stopped. When I took it to the dealer they called it the Jeep Death Wobble!”

Norman K., MI (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)

“I had to replace the steering stabilizer”

J G., AR (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)
Tie rods

“Had to replace them”

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

“steering shock absorber worn out. Experienced significant wheel wobble at moderate to high speeds”

James S., KS (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Master cylinder

“Failed. I had a lifetime powertrain warranty and dealer repaired at no cost- but they had the vehicle for 7 working days”

Gregg A., FL (2009 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 3.8-L V6)

“Parking brake mechanism broke, rendering it inoperable”

Chris W., NE (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)
Rotors

“all the problems I've had are PRIMARILY due to the fact that I live on the beach(OBX of N.C.). we live on sand only roads. I must travel 8+ miles, every time I leave my house, on the actual ocean beach. so it's sand and salt water or salted sand in the works of my braking systems, even though I regularly hose the bottom and undercarriage of my vehicles”

Anonymous, NC (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

“Normal brake pad replacement”

Anonymous, FL (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)

“From the time I bought the Jeep, the brakes seemed imperfect despite testing fine at regular maintenance checks. The more the Jeep was driven the longer stop time was needed”

Anonymous, IL (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“All Jeeps will leak air and water after use, but the main water and wind leaks are caused by Jeep using a plastic header bar which they replaced in later models with a metal one, however FCA will not replace the $100 part for cars out of warranty”

Nancy G., MI (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)

“My top is plastic, so when it rains I often get a bath in cold rain water that leaks through the roof”

Joyce S., TX (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)

“Water leaks into the cabin on both sides of the front area. Water can be found on both floor mats after a rain”

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 3.8-L V6)

“Water runs into the front seat from the roof. Water also appears on the passenger seat floor mats frequently. Not sure where it's coming from”

Anonymous, NH (2009 Jeep Wrangler Unsure 3.8-L V6)

“The cabin noisre level is unacceptable when driving at highway speeds”

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 3.8-L V6)

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

“A rock flew up and struck the transmission cooler and caused the leaks”

Joyce S., TX (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)
Gear selector or linkage

“sometimes transmission would pop out of first gear”

Anonymous, NV (2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 3.8-L V6)
Rough shifting

“FIRST GEAR HAS BEEN POPPING OUT OF GEAR ON STARTUP, CAUSING THE CAR TO STALL UNTIL I CAN RE-ENGAGE THE GEAR. DEALER HAS REPLACED A "BOOT" TWICE TO ELIMINATE IT. NEVER DID ANYTHING. COST $250 FOR NOTHING. I'VE USED THREE DIFFERENT DEALERS TO ADDRE”

Bob A., IL (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)
Slipping transmission

“The clutch jumps out of gear when its in first and I start up. This often happens. Loud bang occurs when it happens and the car ends up in neutral. Very dangerous when starting out to enter traffic. Dealership couldn't find problem, but continues”

Anonymous, NH (2009 Jeep Wrangler Unsure 3.8-L V6)
Transmission leaks

“Transmission Pan Rusted Hole In It”

Anonymous, ME (2009 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 3.8-L V6)

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

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“Keep getting check engine light coming on indicating that the egr valve is failing”

Bradley D., NM (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)

“1) evap. canister valve needed replacement, covered under warranty. 2) manual transmission would sometimes pop out of first gear”

Anonymous, NV (2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 3.8-L V6)

“The EGR sensor had to be replaced after the check engine light was on”

Anonymous, IL (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

“clutch replacement at 135000 miles”

Anonymous, CO (2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 3.8-L V6)

“Throw out bearing failure”

Anonymous, NE (2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 3.8-L V6)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

“It would constantly pop out of gear”

Melissa W., GA (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)

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

Headlights

“headlight plug broke at dealer and they replaced it at no cost to us”

Anonymous, KY (2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 3.8-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“FOG LIGHTS GO OFF WHEN TURN SIGNAL IS ENGAGED AND TURNS ON AGAIN AFTER TURN. LED LIGTS ABOVE WINDOW SWITCHES HAVE FAILED AND DEALER WANTED $350 TO FIX THEM. FOG LIGHTS DON'T REALLY HELP ILLUMINATE THE ROAD AS THEY ONLY LIGHT IMMEDIATELY IN FRONT FO”

Bob A., IL (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)

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

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

“Out of warranty, died”

Anonymous, NM (2009 Jeep Wrangler Unsure 3.8-L V6)
Electronic ignition

“sensors for timing failed”

Anonymous, NM (2009 Jeep Wrangler Unsure 3.8-L V6)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“Unit failed out of warranty. Was very expensive to fix”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

“Hose broke loose from condenser”

Jeffrey L., NJ (2009 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 3.8-L V6)

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

Driveshaft or axle

“Broken drive shaft. Fixed by dealer under warranty”

Nancy J., FL (2009 Jeep Wrangler X 3.8-L V6)

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.

What Owners Say

Convertible top

“Top does fit snugly and rear window zipper is defective”

Cofrancesco R., CT (2009 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 3.8-L V6)

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.

What Owners Say

Display screen difficult to see

“Film on touchscreen started to peel off”

Jeffrey L., NJ (2009 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 3.8-L V6)

Engine Major

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

Engine Minor

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

Paint/Trim

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

Exhaust

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

Engine Cooling

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

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