What makes the Wrangler so appealing is definitely the uniqueness in its design. It stands out on the road, it stands out in the bush and this is because since Jeep came onto the scene during the Second World War, they have done very little to change their formula. The formula woks and people respond well to familiarity. Yet Jeep haven't let the Wrangler go completely unchanged, having evolved the exterior design to keep up with modern trends, but it’s under the bonnet (or hood as the American's would say), where this Jeep stands apart from the competition.
The massive diesel engine does everything with purpose. It drives aggressively, it climbs hills with vigor and it cruises the open road effortlessly. However, all that purpose means the engine gets very thirsty and the consumption is unbelievably high. A full tank, which will set you back upwards of R1 000, will only get you 600km of open road diving. We took the Wrangler from Johannesburg to the Natal Midlands, and on our trip home we filled the tank to the brim and had to refill it once we cruised back into town. Astronomical fuel consumption aside, the Jeep is actually a fantastic car to drive. Despite the bulk, it moves rather quickly, even off the line. It sits comfortably at 120km/h and is comfortable on a long journey. The diesel engine is very loud, tractor loud even, which is strange considering the advancement in diesel technology recently, but with a booming sound system, you barely notice the roar of the engine.
When you look at the Jeep, it doesn’t strike you instantly as a car that is built for the road. The World War II pedigree means it was initially design to go off road, to lay a new path into the unknown. It has all the equipment to take you to places some 4x4s wouldn’t be capable of going. And when we were able to take it off the beaten track, we were surprised at how effortless the bush whacking was. Because the Wrangler is not all chrome and shiny, you feel at ease driving it and want to push it to it’s perceived limits. The great thing about those limits is you can’t imagine what they are and whenever you push the Jeep to the edge of your comfort zone, it always feels like it can do more.
If we judged the Jeep Wrangler purely on how much everyone talks about this particular Jeep, then we can only imagine that the Wrangler would win car of the year every time it enters. Although, it isn't perfect, it has elements that make it great and the off-road capabilities would astound even a fool-hardy 4X4 nut.
Even with the fantastic drive, the Wrangler is more than just a rugged 4x4. The interior of this car is well laid out and well finished. Everything is just a mere button push away and you can set the climate control, satellite navigation and check the drive system in operation all from the onboard control centre and the sound system, Bluetooth telephone and cruise control can all be operated from the steering wheel. The leather seats with cloth trim are elegant, yet practical and the space for five passengers is ample. The luggage compartment is awkward, but large, so with creative packing you should be able to get the family down to the coast with no worries at all.
The Jeep is a great looking car and let’s people know that you have taste and brains. One is often lost on the other as many people substitute style for practicality, or power for comfort. The Wrangler is a mix of all of it. It is spacious, good looking, powerful and practical. The Wrangler is a brilliant accessory to anybody looking to make a statement. It costs between R450 000 and R544 000. It’s a 4x4 that is fun to drive and great to own.
Engine Sizes: 2.8l - 3.6l
Top Speed: +- 160km/h
Colour Choices: Silver Metallic, Crush (Orange), Flame (Red), Dozer (Mustard), White Chill Pearl, Cosmos Blue, Deep Cherry Red, Bright White, Black Forest Green, Sahara Tan