Superb off road ability, rugged retro styling, road presence
Very crude, woefully out of date, awful to drive on road, cheap and nasty interior
Despite its iconic shape and heritage that stretches back to World War II, the Jeep Wrangler has never really caught on in the UK. Buyers have been put off by an eye-watering price tag, thirsty engines and only three doors.
This replacement solves those problems – for the first time there’s a four-door model – and it manages to retain much of the style that’s associated with Jeep. It’s also still more than capable when it comes to off-roading . But buyers looking for on-road comfort, refinement or an upmarket practical interior will find a better alternative elsewhere.
Any car bearing the Jeep name has to have some off-road credibility, but the Wrangler is the car the American firm’s reputation hinges on. Like the Land Rover Defender that is the only natural rival to the Wrangler, it’s all about being able to cope with terrain that would have other 4x4s scuttling for a cappuccino.
The 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine is the preferred offering in the UK and it’s more than up to the job of hauling the hefty Wrangler over any rough stuff. The superb ground clearance and all-wheel drive take care of the rest, aided by a low-ratio transfer gearbox for when the going gets really sticky.
The downside to all of this iconic off-roader ability is the Wrangler is pretty woeful to drive on the road, but it’s no more basic or bumpy than a Land Rover Defender and buyers will most likely view this as part of the experience.
Jeep Wrangler buyers have the choice of three- or five-door models and both can be turned from SUV estates into open tops if you have the time and patience to remove the hard top roof.
Interestingly, the Wrangler Unlimited five-door is the only five-seat convertible on sale in the UK. However, the cabin is a basic place to be, with dull plastics, drab build quality and little in the way of comfort. This is compounded by the large amounts of road, wind and engine noise the Wrangler suffers from at anything about town speeds. For more read the full Jeep Wrangler review that follows.