Tough, yet sophisticated – that’s the All New Wrangler
Whatever the terrain, drivers will be safe and in complete control
There’s nothing quite like the Jeep Wrangler. Produced in answer to a request from the US military for a “light reconnaissance vehicle”, the original design was developed from developed from the Quad prototype which became the Willys MA. To the US Army, and the rest of the world, it became the Jeep.
The name Jeep was perhaps derived from the acronym of an original government brief to build a vehicle with Just Enough Essential Parts,
although others say it was named after Eugene the Jeep, a character in the Popeye cartoon strip.
Whatever is the truth, the name became legend, recognisable the world over by car enthusiasts and indifferent motorists alike. The latest model continues the trend started way back in 1945, borrowing many of the design cues of the original, but bringing things bang up to date.
There’s the traditional seven vertical slots on the grille, flanked by round headlights. Trapezoidal wheel arches standing well clear of the wheels hint at the abilities of the Wrangler. It’s not all for show, as the Wrangler can handle virtually anything you throw at it.
While the regular Sahara and Overland models have comprehensive four-wheel drive thanks to the Command-Trac Full Time 4x4 system, the Rubicon goes further with Rock-Trac Full Time 4x4. That’s augmented by heavy duty axles, Tru-Lok electronic locking differentials front and rear, and a front anti-roll bar that can be disengaged electronically, allowing for spectacular articulation.
Grip is provided by huge 32-inch tyres with knobbly treads that find traction on surfaces where none really should be found. Choose the 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine and massive 450Nm of torque is sent to those tyres. That’s also enough grunt, on some models, to tow a trailer weighing up to 2,495kg.
With full-time four-wheel drive, a low range drive selector, and the electronic aids such as hill descent control helping to keep things stable, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is virtually unstoppable. Ground clearance of 252mm ensures almost every obstacle can be crossed, while terrain as steep as 36.4° can be approached with confidence. And if things get a little too damp, the Wrangler can wade through water as deep as 760mm. Removable carpets and a hose-down interior means it won’t wreck your ride, either.
Business buyers who need to cross fields, forests and fells will appreciate the hardcore benefits the Rubicon offers, but it’s also a pleasingly cost-effective model to run. Economy figures of up to 37.7mpg, measured using the tougher WLTP test, are realistic, and depreciation is among the best in class. The end result is that, over four years and 80,000 miles, the Wrangler Rubicon should cost just 62 pence per mile.
Those covering that 80,000 miles might appreciate the Sahara and Overland models instead. While still hugely capable off-road, there’s more of a focus to on-road comfort. With road tyres and a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol, the Wrangler can be a pleasingly relaxed car to drive, with every comfort you’d expect to find in a luxury car also fitted to the Jeep.
A touchscreen infotainment unit houses a digital radio, satellite navigation system, and even smartphone mirroring thanks to the inclusion of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There’s also dual-zone climate control, cruise control and heated front seats, among other premium features.
As well as being rugged and luxurious at the same time, the Wrangler is also a safe option for on- and off-road use. Available systems include ParkSense front and rear park assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection, making it easy for you to be fully aware of your surroundings, wherever you are.
You’d be mistaken for thinking it’s all function over form. Taking a lead from the historic Jeep range, the new Wrangler adds style in abundance thanks to the bold exterior design – some of which can be removed. Roof panels can be unclipped and stowed in the 548-litre boot of the four-door model, while those with a little more time to spare can remove the doors for true open-air action. Just six bolts need to be undone to fold down the windscreen too, leaving a look that’s reminiscent of the Willys original. Happily, Jeep has ensured there are secure slots to store every nut and bolt, ensuring reassembly is nothing more than a 15-minute job.
Built on more than 75 years of legendary heritage, Jeep’s reputation for building authentic SUVs with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility continues to this day, and the latest Wrangler embodies every element of that philosophy. Choosing a Jeep isn’t so much picking a car from another fleet options list, but choosing security to handle any journey, on tarmac or track, with absolute confidence.