It has been over 20 years since I last drove a Jeep Wrangler and I was glad to see (and feel) that the new Wrangler hasn’t lost any of its charm.
I drove the new version – the Wrangler Overland 4 door. The starting price is £48,365 which puts it squarely with all the other 4×4 SUV’s.
What I like about previous Wranglers are that they are just solid and brilliant off road.
I took this Wrangler for a quick drive in the countryside and around town. Unfortunately I didn’t have much time for a bit of off-roading though. In reality I do wonder how many of the new Wranglers go off road anyway? Driving on the British A and B roads would be a good test for it anyway.
I love the rugged off road look and feel to this vehicle, you can’t miss its big wheel arches, huge wheel clearance, exposed door hinges and its square windows. It gives me the feeling that this Jeep can drive anywhere on any surface and why shouldn’t it? It’s a Jeep! I opened the narrow driver’s door and I am immediately greeted with a high sill that I had to step over. In the driver’s seat I got to really appreciate the raised driving position. Personally I think it is brilliant looking out of the windscreen and viewing that flat long iconic Jeep bonnet.
Inside is very much all up to date and everything you would expect in a modern day vehicle. Gone are the days of being able to wash the interior out with a hose pipe like you could with the old Jeep CJ7. This model has leather seats, 7 inch TFT instrument cluster, a touch screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, USB ports, automatic dual-zone climate control, cruise control, electric seats and a “banging” 552-Watt 9-speaker with Subwoofer Alpine audio system.
If you like me are used to driving modern day cars you will have to forgive the Wrangler for its steering feel. Initially I had to get used to the rather light and dead steering feel. I had to put a lot more steering input just to avoid obstacles in the car park. After a couple of minutes my mind readjusted itself and the Wrangler and I were most happy out on the open road.
The diesel engine pulls well and the 8 speed automatic gearbox did quite a good job of smoothing out the gear changes. I found the ride comfortable and nothing like the bouncy ride of the first Wrangler I drove many years ago. The only downside to this vehicle would be the occasional bit of wind noise coming from the roof. This is because you can take the roof completely off, then remove the doors and push the windscreen forward flat if you so wish. It was a wet September morning, so I wasn’t going to test this part. Another part that may annoy me is that the rear boot lid/door is hinged on the righthand side. This means that it opens from the left side. This could be a bit of a pain if you need to put something in the boot and someone has parked behind you. But really that’s the only 2 negatives (or things to think about) if you are thinking of choosing one.
Something that I did notice while driving around in the new Wrangler is that other road users really respected me. Negotiating narrow roads and lanes I found that other motorists coming towards me would pull in and let me pass. I think they must’ve thought… I’d better give way or he will just drive over me in his armageddon looking vehicle!
Here is the thing (and I know that it is a bit left field) but by choosing one of these you are really not going with the rest of the 4×4 SUV crowd. This is a vehicle that is really fit for purpose both on and off road. If you own or have the pleasure of driving a Wrangler I am sure you would look forward to driving it on the road, in the mud, on snow and through fords (as in the river not the car brand)!
As you can probably tell, I enjoyed my short time with the Wrangler!
We Blog Any Car stats:
- 2143 cc 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine
- 200 bhp
- 450 Nm of torque
- 8 speed automatic
- 9.6 seconds 0 to 62 mph
- 112 mph top speed
- 202 CO2 emissions
- £48,365.00 starting price on the road (£49,140.00 car tested here with optional extras)