The Jeep Wrangler is an iconic vehicle that has kept its look since the original models transported Eisenhower around Normandy shortly after D Day, and that is a good thing as it is what so many Wrangler owners buy into! From is distinctive headlights and grill to the removable doors and roof, this is still the toughest looking vehicle on and off the road barring none!
It looks, good, but how does it drive?
Although the technology that builds it has got better, the size of the Wrangler has got bigger (even more so when the Unlimited Model was introduced in 2007), and the convenience features have improved, the Jeep Wrangler is still the type of vehicle that will turn the wilderness and bushveld into your own personal playground. It’s a tough as nails 4×4 that is a far cry from the namby-pamby European and Asian SUV’s that have flooded the South African market of late; and although it is not exactly a luxury SUV, it was never built to be one.
We’re going to be honest, the older models that are powered by the 4.0-litre straight six might feel a little sluggish and underpowered on the road, but rest assured that the engine more than makes up for it once you leave the tar behind. The newer models, however, are powered by the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6, which performs exceptionally well both on and off the road, and even pushes this 2-ton beast from 0 to 100km/h in just over 8 seconds. The one drawback to both of these engines is the fuel consumption, however, because these engines are thirsty (and we mean REALLY thirsty). But then when you’re buying into the Wrangler lifestyle (because it is very much a love it or hates it kind of vehicle), fuel consumption is the least of your worries.
For interest’s sake you might want to know that the claimed fuel consumption figure for the older models (pre-2018) Jeep Wrangler is 11 litres per 100km, but when you’re driving the Wrangler Unlimited around in traffic you’re looking at more in the vicinity of 15 litres per 100km.
So should you buy one?
If you’re an avid off-roader, love the image of the vehicle or simply want to feel intimidating on the crazy roads of South Africa then this is most definitely the vehicle for you. The bigger 4-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is, of course, the more practical of the range, but the 2-door Wrangler is probably the better off-road option as it doesn’t have those extra inches between the axles that the Unlimited has to interfere with the break-over angle (a problem that can be alleviated in the Wrangler Unlimited by raising the suspension and using taller tyres). So if you fall into any of the above categories of driver, then yes, you most certainly should buy a Jeep Wrangler. It might cost you some petrol, but both the memories and the statement that you’ll be making will last a lifetime.