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6 February 2024

Jeep Wrangler – A Friend For Life

Not so long ago I was lucky enough to join Jeep on the launch of the current Wrangler in the Lake District. It was a perfect place to enjoy the Wrangler with challenging green lanes only a stone’s throw away and beautiful scenery all around. 

We tested the off-road capability on some serious off-road sections, guided by a 4×4 events team, and witnessed first-hand how amazing the wrangler is off-road.

Recently, I was lucky enough to have one for a week, to see what they are like to live with in the real world. Spoiler alert, we’re big fans of the Wrangler and we weren’t disappointed. 

My test vehicle was the Night Eagle limited edition, which is a well-equipped model that sits below the all-conquering Rubicon. It’s fitted with the new 2.0-litre Euro6D final petrol engine that produces 272hp and 400Nm torque, combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission. I was a bit sceptical about a 2.0-litre petrol engine in a jeep, but it was a great choice. Fast if you needed it, but relatively economical too. 

The girls (15 & 11) and I went all over in the Wrangler. From school runs to days out with friends to jobs at the stables and much more. We really enjoyed it. In fact, I might even go as far as to say that of all the lovely cars I get to review, this is very near the top of the list of favourites. It just suits us so well.

It drives really well, has a great presence, is instantly recognisable, looks great and is a whole lot of fun. It’s very relaxing to drive and a comfortable place to spend some time, relaxing on the plush leather seats.

With the huge roof all the way back, sitting on the roof bars in the sunshine, watching the horses, telling stories and laughing, we were genuinely creating moments that will last forever.

These days cars are increasingly becoming white goods. Anonymous boxes that are little more than transport. The Wrangler became part of our family, we all fell in love with it. For that week, we had a new friend, the awesome Wrangler. 

Driving into a new town on a mini-adventure, roof back, stereo playing, my girls giggling, felt amazing. I would have one in a heartbeat over any other 4X4.

This incarnation of the Jeep Wrangler has evolved significantly from Wranglers of old. Technology and safety have taken a huge step forward. There are a host of enhanced additional safety features and driver aids that are now included as standard across the UK Wrangler range.  For example, adaptive cruise control (ACC) with stop and go, accident emergency braking (AEB) and auto high beam, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, Parkview rear back up camera with dynamic gridlines, front and rear parking sensors, electronic stability control with trailer sway control, antilock brake system (abs), brake assist, four standard airbags, and lots and lots more. In fact, Jeep Wrangler features over 65 available safety features.

Side-impact performance and vehicle stiffness have been improved through the use of high-strength steel, integrated into the B-pillar in the vehicle floor. Wide-spaced frame rails cradle the mid-mounted fuel tank between the wheels for added protection, and the fuel tank features a 2.5-mm skid plate designed for safer and more secure off-roading.

If you want to get dirty, the Wrangler has your back. This is a serious off-road tool if you want it to be. The big daddy, all singing all dancing off-road version is the Rubicon, but honestly, you’d have to be really pushing the limits of the Wrangler to need the extra off-road ability of the Rubicon. Having said that, it looks brilliant!

If you fancy trying some off-roading, all Wranglers have Selec-Speed control, an off-road cruise control that allows the driver to maintain a steady speed during rock crawling and low-speed manoeuvring. The Rubicon takes it up a notch with Rock-Trac® 4×4 System, which gives you more control and more torque, offering superior off-road performance. If you want to get technical, the Rubicon has an NV241-Off-Road transfer case with a 4:1 low gear ratio, Tru-Lok® electronic locking front and rear differentials and an electronic front anti-roll bar disconnect which allows up to 25% more axle articulation. That should do you.

The Wrangler we had was £49,850.00 plus a couple of options; Technology pack and sky one-touch power top. This took the on the road total to £52,050.00. Not bad at all.

Admittedly the LandRover Defender is the hot 4X4 at the moment, but to get a similar level of equipment as this Wrangler, you’d need to spend well over £70k. I’ll stick with the Wrangler.


Category: Supercars