A history lesson
Jeep’s Wrangler has been one of the most iconic off-road vehicles in the world, ever since the first-generation model was shown many moons ago. As things stand today, the Wrangler is among the most popular SUVs you can buy. It harks back to a time when these rugged vehicles were supplied for the second World War, and the US military even gave Wills-Overland the responsibility to come up with a four-wheel-drive, hardcore vehicle for the war. This Willy’s model got its praises for performance, which eventually had the American brand manufacture a Jeep for the masses. The first model that donned the Wrangler name, was the one based on the design of the four-wheel-drive model; it was revealed to the world at the Chicago Auto Show in 1996.
In 2006, Jeep launched the JK: identical to models that came before it. The Wrangler features rigid live axles up-front and at the rear, with a separate body and fame. It also feature a windshield that could be fold flat. What’s more is, the door can be removed – and this was the first that came as a four-door model. Jeep had also stretched the wheelbase by 20 inches. The Wrangler slowly began getting updated with the latest tech and the four-door model came across as a stable SUV that maintained composure at high speeds. It also featured ABS, traction control and an electronic-limited slip differential.
The current model
In 2019, Jeep launched the new Wrangler in India – and while the basic silhouette remains the same – the product is clearly all-new. The skull grille remains and the seven-slat grille isn’t flat anymore; it has a nice curve to it. The Wrangler now gets cut-outs for the headlamps, which reminds us of the old CJ5 Jeep sold way back in the 1950s. Those fenders on the sides have now grown bigger to help accommodate bigger tyres. You will also notice that there are functional vents visible, giving way to cool air for the engine. What we also particularly like is the bulging and vented bonnet, giving the SUV its masculine look. The Jeep Wrangler also features a tyre diameter of 32-inches, for those keen on going off the road. You can even opt for a 35-inch tyre setup on the stock model.
There are multiple design elements that tell you it’s a product from Jeep Cars – like the removable doors, exposed door hinges and a manually removable three-piece hard-top. The windscreen can be fold onto the bonnet, like the originals. You’ll also notice a slight rake in the windscreen, which helps aerodynamics. At the rear, the Wrangler sports LED tail lights with cube-like light patterns. In keeping with its traditional design language, the tail lamps are mount on the body work. This SUV also features a parking camera above the rear spare wheel and a floating brake lamp.
Solid but simple
There are some pretty significant changes inside the Jeep Wrangler. Everything feels better built compared to its previous generation avatars. Firstly, the leather-wrapped dashboard is nicely shape, but remains flat on purpose, reminding you of the Jeeps from the yesteryear. It also gets a black leather and white-stitch pattern on the seats. Hard plastics are undoubtedly evident, but it also looks like it’s built to last. Some other interesting details include the Allen bolts that hold the central console in place and the red finish on a switch that helps engage the gear selector lever. The most prominent of updates is the high-resolution 8.4-inch touchscreen , which is bigger, more responsive and gets Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and in-built navigation. Off-Road Pages displays data on steering, pitch and roll angles, among a few other important engine gauges. We like the new instrument cluster, featuring a huge centrally-mounted LCD screen and, like always, it gets its power window switches on the central console. A few features include a 552W audio system, dual-zone climate control and cruise control.
The Jeep Wrangler is so much nicer to drive. It is power a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, producing 264bhp and 400Nm of torque, which is available lower in the rev range, making it more usable on the road. Pair to the engine is a new 8-speed transmission – it is quick and smooth. Put your foot down, and that’s when you’ll notice it takes a while to pick up pace. Acceleration is actually quite impressive. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming cars, only at autoX.
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