The Jeep Wrangler is a more modern take on a 1940s icon – a US equivalent to the UK’s discontinued Land Rover Defender.
With it gone, only the small/cheap Suzuki Jimny and large/pricy Mercedes G-Class offer the same old-school, rugged appeal as the Jeep, but most people will be better served by a modern crossover such as the VW Tiguan, Skoda Kodiaq or Peugeot 3008.
The Jeep Wrangler is a car which, in the current climate of fuel efficiency and safety, shouldn’t really exist anymore. Its square stance, chunky off-road tyres and big bumpers hint at this car’s off-road potential and give it great road presence.
However, presence is the only thing the Wrangler has going for it when it comes to its on-road handling. This generation is better than the old version, whose ride was rough enough to warrant a trip to the chiropractor after every journey, but it is still no Rolls-Royce.
This is a car is an irrational purchase you buy with your heart, not your head
When the Tarmac ends, however, the Wrangler really comes into its element. The Rock-Trac 4×4 system has three differential locks to ensure drive goes to all four wheels no matter the terrain. The Rubicon even has a system that allows for extreme axle articulation – letting it traverse huge dips with all four-wheels staying safely on the ground.
There is a choice of two engines, the most popular being the 2.8-litre diesel unit with 197hp and 339Ib ft of torque, which pulls well enough, especially off road, but is a little on the agricultural side, even in this application. There is also a 3.6-litre petrol V6, but we would advise sticking well-clear of that because fuel economy drops from 31.4mpg to a frankly scary 25mpg. Any modern crossover will run rings around the Wrangler in this department.
As far as practicality is concerned, there are both three and five-door body styles available and the latter version is decently spacious inside – even if cheap plastics and dodgy build quality dominate the interior theme.
In terms of trim levels, you get Sahara, Overland, and Rubicon models to choose from. All come with cruise control, a premium sound system and alloy wheels. Satellite navigation is standard with the Overland model.
For more in-depth information on the Jeep Wrangler, read the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. Or, to see what sort of offers are available on the Wrangler, click through to our deals page.