SOMETIMES form outperforms function. But that’s okay, if the end result is justified and you can live with the inadequacies of the overall package.
Car design is subject to a variety of factors. From performance to look and conformity, you’ll see constant evolution as brands go through the process of staying ahead or keeping up. Trying to keep function in step with form.
So, it’s nice to see a vehicle that is confident enough to hold its position over time.
If you want a vehicle with presence, the Jeep Wrangler delivers with a style that is a mix of vintage and contemporary cues, and which certainly has more character than most SUVs.
The boxy shape is still part of the Jeep DNA (although some models show Fiat Chrysler Automobiles bending to the trends), and with the new Wrangler, it helps to anchor it.
The Wrangler stands well above the ground and you’ll make good use of the grab handles to haul yourself into the cabin. And those in front will get a good view of what’s around thanks to larger windows. The windscreen has been tilted and the grille swept back for enhanced aerodynamics.
Lighter materials let the Wrangler continue with the hardy metal look.
For those who want the feeling of being in the open, the top comes off, the doors, too, thanks to new lightweight, high-strength aluminium. The doors now feature the Torx bit tool size stamped onto the hinges, so you can grab the right tool to do the needful.
The aluminium roof can be dismantled and stored, but you may want to reconsider that in wet weather. But the folks at Jeep have thought through their utilitarian vehicle, and have included a drainage system to let any water flow out of the cabin.
Most materials in the cabin are waterproof, though I wouldn’t want to put the electronics to the test. But under normal conditions, the connectivity is effective and you can get your mobile devices up and running without too many hassles.
And if you’re carrying sensitive or tempting items in the boot, you’ll want to figure out a fix for the lack of a privacy screen for the large space. But it’s great for hauling loads on long trips, especially if they take you over bumpy terrain and you need loads of gear to haul yourself out of a trick situation.
The Wrangler is intended for those who like to take things off the tried and proven. It’s equipped to take you down inclines, up tough slopes and over uncertain terrain.
Having swopped things from left-hand to right-hand drive, there are some awkward inconveniences. The offroad selector and handbrake are on the passenger’s side, though there are right-hand models with the equipment properly placed. And there isn’t a footrest for the driver.
There are two engine variants. The 2L turbocharged powertrain does an equivalent job as the previous 3.6L engine. It’s not the fastest thing on wheels, though doing the century sprint in under 7 seconds isn’t too bad.
Able to ford water levels of up to 76cm, and haul up to 1.5 tons, the Wrangler is designed to tempt you off the beaten path. It’s probably more comfortable there, given its slightly skittish handling, requiring constant micromanagement of the steering wheel. Apparently thats’s one of the charms of the Wrangler. It won’t be noticable when you’re busy navigating uncertain terrain.
For anyone who wants to push his/her Wrangler further, the Rubicon option costs $20,000 more and comes ready to tackle the great wide open. And there’s a diesel option priced between the Sahara and the Rubicon, for those who want that in the garage while it’s still available.
For all its macho posturing, the Wrangler is loaded with more than 75 advanced safety and security features to ensure, no matter how tricky the terrain, you’ve got your back covered.
RATING JEEP WRANGLER SAHARA 4DR 4X4 2.0 TURBO
Overall: 7 /10
Engine: In-line 4 cylinder turbocharged
Max Power: 200kW@5,250rpm
Max Torque: 400Nm@ 3,000rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
0-100kmh: 6.8 seconds
Top Speed: 199kmh
Retail price: *$239,999
Please reconfirm price with dealer.
Read more STORM car reviews HERE.