Mon | Sep 20, 2021

Wrangler impresses with design and power

Published:Sunday | May 2, 2021 | 12:06 AMKareem LaTouche - Automotives Coordinator

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport.
2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport.
Toyota 4Runner.
Toyota 4Runner.
Land Rover Defender.
Land Rover Defender.
Subaru Outback.
Subaru Outback.
There are 17-Inch Aluminum Tech Silver Metallic wheels.
There are 17-Inch Aluminum Tech Silver Metallic wheels.
The vehicle has an eight-speed automatic transmission, paired with a 2-litre engine.
The vehicle has an eight-speed automatic transmission, paired with a 2-litre engine.
Jeep’s Uconnect 4 has a 7-inch Touchscreen.
Jeep’s Uconnect 4 has a 7-inch Touchscreen.
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The Jeep silhouette is an iconic one that was made famous in World War II for its practicality and durability.

To relive this glory, the brand decided to start the Wrangler series, in the ‘80s, which in essence took its design theme from the Willys Jeep from decades past.

For the historians and the purists, this was a master move by Jeep, as it was an instant hit, especially for the adventure lovers. Everything about this vehicle screams offroad journeys, from the rugged exterior to the phenomenal approach and departure angles of the wheel.

The version I tested was the Unlimited Sports Edition, which is painted in Hella Yella, a bright yellow hue, that complements the black hard top. It adds an extra flare to the vehicle and serves as eye candy to the already attractive vehicle.

Sticking to its roots, the vehicle can be stripped down for a more intimate driving experience. The doors and the roof can be removed with a Torx tool set, and this takes about 10 to 15 minutes. If you are going to do this, make sure to check the weather app to ensure it will not rain. Even though it can withstand the elements, you will have to leave it in the sun all day to dry.

Luckily, the company thought about many of these situations and made the relevant design adjustments. As such, a lot of the material is made of rubber and breathable fabric that is easy to dry.

The first things that persons want to remove are the doors/ As a result of this, the side mirrors are mounted on the body of the vehicle. Also, the controls for the windows are on the centre console and the speakers are embedded in the bottom of the dashboard. There are also two speakers in the roof bar to complete the eight-speaker sound system, which stays in the mid range by default but has the option to get bassy if needed. This comes in very handy when the removable parts are taken off, as the wind noise from the road is much louder and can drown out the music.

The interior of the vehicle feels like no other. The only other vehicle that had a similar aura for me was the Mini Cooper. While it has updated technology, such as a 7-inch dial cluster and Uconnect touchscreen, with Bluetooth and voice command, the core of this vehicle stays true to its heritage. The gear knob is chunky with a Jeep emblem on the top and a bold red button to move the lever. To the left of this is a traditional gear lever for the four-wheel-drive options. This reeks of nostalgia, as most pick-ups nowadays use knobs to activate four-wheel-drive, and the more sophisticated ones have a designated button.

The vehicle comes with a 2-litre turbo engine that puts out 270 hp in an aggressive manner, so I had to temper my acceleration. Ergonomically, this vehicle was not designed to drive like a race car, nor was it built on a car’s chassis, like most other SUVs. So there will be body roll if it is not handled properly. The power and the 400 Nm of torque is best used for off-road experiences.

Jeep does its best to make this vehicle as multipurpose as possible, by giving it useful features for its corporate clients. This includes a reverse camera with one of the best screen resolutions on the market, and a surprisingly good turning radius that can be used to get out of tight spots.

Driving a vehicle like this says something about the driver’s character, he is serious about his profession and he is equally serious about having fun.

This is not a regular SUV that is intended to be driven passively or parked on weekends. This vehicle wants to go to the Blue Mountains and any other challenging terrain you can find.

Price of tested model: $11.170 million,

Engine: 2 Litre Turbo

Torque: 400 Nm

Transmission: Four wheel drive

Fuel tank: 81 Litres

Gas consumption: 8.1 l/ 100 km out of town, 16 l/ 100 km in town.

Body Type: mid-size SUV

Competition: Land Rover Defender, Toyota 4Runner, Subaru Outback