On the Rocks or On the Street—Jeep Wranger Is a Fun, Go-Anywhere, Solution

Jeep Wrangler is a mid-size sport utility vehicle category with an emphasis on “utility.” That is, if you define “utility” as fun and adventurous anywhere you want to take it. 

Retaining traditional body-on-frame construction, the Wrangler remains unmatched in its capability off-road.  Other features preserved from Wrangler’s classic Jeep heritage include its round headlamps, removeable doors, fold-down windshield and removeable top.  While retaining all this, the big difference in late Wrangler modelsis how far they’ve come in being driver-friendly for urbanites who might never venture off the pavement, albeit the ride is still noisier and stiffer riding than other crossovers utilizing car-like unibody construction. Those who haven’t been in a Wrangler for a while, will be impressed, nevertheless, with a greatly improved ride over past models and in finding all the latest–including touchscreens with fourth-generation Uconnect with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Jeep offers its Wrangler loyalists lots of customization options from the factory, and the cult-following also appreciates the after-market opportunities.  We drove the four-door Unlimited Sahara 4X4 which came pretty loaded up already at the base price of $38,645. Sahara 4×4 features a Selec-Trac two-speed transfer case with full-time four-wheel drive and a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio that allows the driver to set it and forget it, while constantly sending power to the front and rear wheels.

Our tester’s  3.0L V6 turbo diesel engine with engine stop-start (rated at 260 hp and 442 lb.-ft of torque) added $4,000 to its price tag, 8-speed automatic transmission with hill descent control added another $2,000, and the Sky One-Touch power top was $4,000. roughly.  Add a leather package, keyless entry, LED lighting package, premium audio, a trail rail system, and several safety group features and its final price tag was $56,750.

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