Chrysler Unveils Updated Jeep Wrangler SUVChrysler Group has taken the wraps off the latest iteration of the Jeep Wrangler sports-utility vehicle. But it will take a discerning eye to spot the subtle differences between the soon-to-be available 2011 model and those of its predecessor -- and that's the point.

The Wrangler, whose roots reach back to the original Jeep vehicles introduced in the early 1940s, has long been the symbol of the Jeep brand. To that end, the refreshed vehicle maintains the familiar round headlights, seven-slot vertical grill and simple rectangular taillights.

The biggest changes can be found on the inside, Chrysler says. An all-new interior features a redesigned instrument panel, new storage areas and upgraded materials. In addition, the steering wheel features controls for cruise control and hands-free phones, as well as redundant tuning and volume switches for the audio system. Heated power mirrors are a new option, as is a new body-color hardtop. Five new exterior colors will be offered, too.

More importantly for Chrysler, the new Wrangler will give its dealers another fresh product to showcase on showroom floors. Chrysler has had a dearth of new models in recent years, making it difficult to attract customers. A newly redesigned 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee went on sale last month and has helped to boost foot traffic at dealerships.

Earlier this month, Chrysler said overall sales rose 5% in July, compared to year-ago levels, with those at its Jeep division rising 19% to a total of 26,466 units. Jeep sales were helped in large measure by stronger demand for the new Grand Cherokee, sales of which rose 54% from July 2009 levels, but those of the existing Wrangler model rose 121%.

Chrysler said production of the 2011 Wrangler began last week at its plant in Toledo, Ohio, and the new models will begin appearing on dealers lots before the end of the quarter. Prices have yet to be announced, a spokesman said. The sticker price for 2010 models starts at about $22,000.

The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based automaker, now run by Italy's Fiat, has committed to revamping three-fourths of its vehicle line-up by year's end. But Chrysler, which emerged from bankruptcy about a year ago, still has a long way to go before it can be said to viable once more. The automaker reported a net loss of $172 million in the quarter ending June. New models, however, could go a long way toward improving the company's chances of succeeding in the competitive U.S. auto market.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Finding Stock Ideas

Learn to do your research and find investments.

View Course »

Small Cap Investing

Learn now to invest in small companies the right way.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

47 Comments

Filter by:
swoboda

Great off road vehicle but be sure to get a trailer to haul it around. Horrible on pavement and dirt roads. Will need to crawl along moderately rough dirt roads or be turned into bobble head. Make sure you have your rearview mirror in the right position so you can see everyone behind and let them pass. Don't ever license this for legal road use or the whole world will know you're stupid!

August 20 2010 at 3:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
brennemanbelkin

Insanely expencive and it rides like a lumber truck. These are the issues Chrysler should address if they want to sell more Wranglers.

August 20 2010 at 10:13 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
joanne

maybe jeep should consider a larger model that would seat 7-9 passengers like a suburban....people need room to be comfortable....between kids, dogs, sports equipment shopping etc.... no wonder jeep sales have dropped... years past jeep was one of the bigger cars- now they downsized so have their sales...its a shame because it is by far a really good car

August 20 2010 at 9:51 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
Tim

why would jeep owners care if the seats are heated? why not come back with the jeep scrambler from the 80's or a jeep wagon that is longer. Jeeep should of stayed Jeep now with being with chrysler lord knows what parts are going on them now. Bumpers even made out of steel anymore? or that good looking plastic that doesnt hold up in a accident!

August 20 2010 at 9:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hoytville

Chrysler needs to bring back the Pacifica. I am now driving an 08 and have had a 04 also. Great touring car. You see them on the road alot and everyone really likes them. Lots of room and 3 row seating. AWD and lots of options. Bring em back Chrysler !!

August 20 2010 at 9:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Darin

If Chrysler is betting on the new Jeep then their going to be in a world of hurt. This vehicle has looked to same for the past 30 years with little improvements..Sorry Chrysler but if this is the best you can do you deserve to go belly up.

August 20 2010 at 9:43 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
buttweet17

I LOVE MY JEEP! but...........until they can improve the overall gas mileage, I would never buy another. It is not necessary to improve the overall look as a JEEP is a classic, but improving the mileage would be a big PLUS.

August 20 2010 at 9:32 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
jerryjeeper

The big promise for the Wrangler was a Diesel engine and a new Phoenix V-6 gas engine. Until they deliver on those actions we Wrangler buyers will not be impressed. The new interior is nice but the rest of the changes are no-functional "gingerbread". Not what Jeep needs.

August 20 2010 at 9:28 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
OMALLEYS12

just another forein car company, you americans keep buying them and contiue wondering why yous don,t have jobs

August 20 2010 at 9:21 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to OMALLEYS12's comment
walters474

GM is also foreign. 96 Corvette wheels are made in Japan. 2002 Silverado rear leaf springs and brake cable are made in Mexico. Just noticed those working on them lightly. American cars are considered international cars.

August 20 2010 at 9:33 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
David

A new Chrysler "HEEP" Stand by and watch the slow death of Chrysler. They came out with the "Hemi" while Toyota came out with the Prius, Honda another hybrid electric/gas, Nissan the Leaf. Chrysler, you just don't get it. Look around open your eyes and see what is going on around you.

August 20 2010 at 9:16 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply