After a brief tour of duty in the Wrangler, executive editor Stone concludes: "It's amazing that it took nearly 60 years for the original Jeep to morph into a four-door, but it sure makes sense." What's even more amazing, though, is that in less than 10 minutes the Wrangler can be transformed from hardtop to drop-top. According to photog Vance, "All you need is a cordless Makita drill, a Torx head drill bit, and about eight minutes to remove eight bolts, unlatch four T-roof panel latches, and unscrew by hand two long butterfly-like anchors just aft of the front removable panels-then you're left with the perfect seaside scrambler."

At 6000 miles, we scrambled to our local dealer for the Wrangler's first service, only to learn that we didn't have a reservation, even though associate editor Harwood had made one online and confirmed it via phone. A bit annoyed, we got squeezed in and left $71.16 lighter.

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The Wrangler is a total time warp. It's as if Jeep refused to let go of the 1950s. I mean this thing is so archaic in so many ways-front and rear solid axles, totally Spartan interior (although the nav and power windows and locks are refreshing), high step-in, no side airbags-yet it is somehow endearing. I love history and in some ways the Wrangler is like an automotive history book that teaches you how cars used to be built. For what it's intended to do-conquer anything off-road-the Wrangler is a home run; however, for day-to-day driving, which most will likely use it for, it is an absolute strikeout. The ride is rough, bouncy, and loud. Bump steer is rampant. Changing lanes is often scary (I wouldn't want to have to try to avoid a collision in this thing). Interior comfort is an oxymoron. There are very few amenities, and the lack of modern safety equipment (side and curtain airbags) is a con in my book. What good is technology if we don't use it? -Ron Kiino


2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Months/miles 4/6241
Avg econ/CO2 15.3 mpg/1.29 lb/mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $71.16 (oil change, inspection, rotate tires)
Normal-wear cost $0