As you read our first drive story, Jeep's engineers anticipated that, with the new 3.6-liter engine, the Wrangler would be 2-3 seconds faster than when it was equipped with the 3.8-liter. It turns out they were right. The fastest time our test crew ever got in the Wrangler with the 3.8 was a 9.8-second 0-to-60 time, and a quarter-mile time of 17.1 seconds at 77.7 mph. (That was in a 2008 two-door Rubicon, so as you can imagine, the 2008 Sahara or X would've been faster.) For reference, the 2007 non-Rubicon Unlimited we tested reached 60 mph in 10.2 seconds.

The 2012 Wrangler Sport we tested is the lightest, fastest combination you'll be able to buy. It has the soft top, six-speed manual transmission, short wheelbase, and very little in the way of interior goodies. It turns out the new engine is just as good as Jeep anticipated: Our 3918-pound Sport hit 60 in 6.7 seconds, finishing the quarter mile in 15.2 seconds at 89.1 mph. During our work commute, a mix of freeway and street driving, we also measured fuel economy, and learned that the Wrangler produced 18.0 mpg. Between the improvements in performance -- it's the fastest Wrangler we've ever tested -- and fuel economy, this is the best daily driver Wrangler yet.


2012 jeep Wrangler Sport
BASE PRICE $24,250
PRICE AS TESTED $27,760
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front engine, 4WD, 4-pass, 2-door SUV
ENGINE 3.6L/285-hp/260-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3918 lb (51/49%)
WHEELBASE 95.4 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 152.8 x 73.7 x 70.9 in
0-60 MPH 6.7 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.2 sec @ 89.1 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 135 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.70 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON 17/21 mpg
CO2 EMISSIONS 1.04 lb/mile