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2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Moab Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Roads>

It’s true, it’s a Jeep thing and most people don’t understand. The 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Moab 4×4 isn’t some tricked out SUV; it’s the real deal, built to go off road, over the river and through the woods. Forget grandma’s house, we’re going in search of Sasquatch. The fact that the limited edition Wrangler Unlimited Moab is also a pretty good daily driver speaks volumes about the Jeep lifestyle.

And it is a lifestyle. Driving the 4-door Wrangler Unlimited Moab earned me more thumbs up from other drivers than any other test vehicle I’ve driven. And not just from other Jeep drivers either. Maybe it was the outrageous color; the bright Rock Lobster paint job means always obeying the speed limit, it’s so bright I would not be surprised if it can be seen from the International Space Station. Or maybe it’s about the dreams of independence and adventure. After all, I did have the Wrangler Unlimited over the 4th of July holiday.
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But the 2013 4-door 4×4 Wrangler Unlimited Moab isn’t about looks, it’s about performance. Not sports car 0 – 60 times, but the kind of off road performance Dana solid front and rear axles, Command-Trac Shift-on-the-Fly 4WD , a 3.21 rear axle ratio and fuel tank and transfer cases skid plates provide. The available Tru-Loc locking rear axle is activated by an instrument panel mounted switch, engaging the rear differential and evenly distributing power between the two rear wheels. Talk about locking in traction! Even the stock tires are serious stuff, the 17-inch Goodyear Silent Armor tires contain Kevlar, the same material used in bulletproof vests.
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All this serious off-road capability is powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine rated for 285 hp and the more important 260 lb-ft of torque. You need all that low end muscle off-road. A 5-speed automatic transmission got the job done, though a sixth gear would have been welcome on the highway. Fuel economy was a respectable 18.7 MPG combined driving, with a fair amount of time spent on dirt roads and in the woods.
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Everything under the hood is up high, designed to stay dry when splashing around in wet and mud. Even though the Wrangler Unlimited Moab Edition stands tall, the standard powder coated Rock Rails make climbing in and out of the Wrangler fairly easy, though I would not recommend it in a skirt and heels. Standard electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, traction control, hill start assist and 4-wheel disc brakes help keep the Wrangler Unlimited firmly planted both on and off road, adding to the overall feeling of safety and security. A fully padded integrated roll cage is standard, with speakers built into the overhead rail.
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Now about that roll cage. One of the cool things about the 4-door Wrangler Unlimited is its flexibility. Top off? Sure. Doors off? Of course. Rear roof off, door on, soft cargo cover in place? No problem – if you are prepared to do some heavy lifting. The Wrangler Unlimited Moab isn’t really intended for the apartment dweller with limited storage, you need a place to stash all the removable body parts. And going topless in the Moab is no small feat. You’ll need a few friends to help you strip off the doors and large rear body panel. The two-piece targa style roof can be managed by one person, though it goes easier with two. On the up side, the longer wheelbase of the 4-door Wrangler models makes for better ride quality on road and easier access to the second row and rear storage.

There’s no need to trade off daily driver creature features for weekend fun with the Wrangler Unlimited Moab Edition. Equipped with heated leather seats, power windows, remote start and Unconnect technology with voice commands, Bluetooth and steering wheel-mounted controls, the Moab is a very posh off-road ride. GPS Navigation comes in handy around town; SiriusXM satellite radio and a 40 GB hard drive really adds to the bonfire experience.

And with Jeep, brand identity is everything. There’s the classic WWII-era Willys Jeep graphic on each 17-inch black painted aluminum wheel, there’s the hill climbing Jeep decal on the windshield and the Jeep grill graphic behind the rearview mirror. Even the floor mats get in on the deal, with their deep tire track tread design.
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With a base price of $31,295, the 2013 Wrangler Unlimited Moab Edition 4×4 offers a lot for the money. Our fully tricked out test vehicle weighed in at $43,195, with $1,125 for the automatic transmission, $1,500 for the Tru-Lock locking rear axle, $155 for AC with automatic temperature control, $1,395 for the three piece hard top, $1,035 for the UConnect technology suite, $495 for remote start and a $995 destination charge.
Limited only by your imagination and the laws of physics, the 2013 4×4 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Moab Edition is for the adventurer in all of us. Forget Dora, you are the explorer.

Copy by Eve R. Pickman with Editor Christina Selter and images by Ingo Rautenberg