It should probably be number one on your shortlist if you want a car for the very roughest, toughest sort of off-roading! The Jeep Wrangler 2019, now in its fourth generation by that name and stretching its roots back even further, to the original Willys MB of 1941, probably has a stronger claim to that status than any other SUV.
Jeep’s first important claim is to have made a bit more space inside, both in the second row of seats and the boot, to the improvement of the Wrangler's credentials as everyday family transport. And you can tell that those efforts have yielded some success, although they haven’t totally transformed something that continues to demand a compromise or two on convenience.
The Wrangler’s interior ambience remains relatively functional, simple and plain. While some of the fixings and mouldings aren’t quite what you’d expect on a £40k family car, they’re nothing you couldn’t overlook if you were so minded. The Wrangler comes with a modern touchscreen infotainment system, electric windows all round, cruise control and climate control and is awash with USB ports and premium-branded speakers. So, in many respects it’s equipped like any big luxury car.
Not only has the Wrangler’s styling had a sympathetic redesign all round but there are two new engines, one a 2.0-litre petrol with 268bhp and 400Nm, the other a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel with 197bhp/450Nm. Also new on this Jeep Wrangler are LED lights front & back, a reversing camera integrated neatly with the tailgate and a full-size spare wheel. You even get blind spot monitoring and electronic roll control in the new 21st-century Wrangler, so although it’s still a thoroughly rugged and capable off-road machine at heart there is definitely more sophistication with this new generation.
There are three trim levels and two body styles to choose from; Overland, Sahara and Rubicon, all of which come with either two doors or four. Overland and Sahara are more on-road based in terms of their specification and styling while the Rubicon with its black wheel-arches, black roof panels and standard fit 17in wheels and knobbly tyres is the more serious off-road version.
The Jeep Wrangler’s automatic powertrain makes a reasonably solid, strong and smooth impression, though, having more than enough torque to make it easy to mistake the car for something a few hundred kilograms lighter, as well as good responsiveness and drivability. The eight-speed box tends to shift up slightly too keenly during cruising with the best way to solve the problem being to use manual mode instead. At low speeds, the steering is heavy and not quite as positive when returning to centre as the modern SUV norm, so you sometimes find yourself having to manhandle the car out of corners after having hauled it into them. The usual Wrangler uniqueness is also present with manual soft-top, powered soft-top and targa removable hard-top versions; and the ability to remove the roof entirely so that with the windscreen folded out a “safari-style” totally open driving experience can be enjoyed. The only downside is that due to this capability none of the roof options quite keep the wind out like a totally fixed roof might.
Should you get one? Well all of the changes both inside and out mean that the new Jeep Wrangler isn’t just for people who want to drive out into the wilds and do some serious off-roading. Jeep is confident that it can easily be used as an everyday car and so long as you’re not expecting S-Class levels of ride refinement and comfort then in this case it’s not far from the truth!
Pros ‘n’ Cons
• Styling √
• Ride Comfort √
• Infotainment System √
• Handling X
• Price X
• Max speed: 112 mph
• 0-62 mph: 9.6 seconds
• Range: 29.7mpg
• Engine layout: 4 Cylinder Turbocharged Diesel
• Max. power: 197bhp
• CO2: 202 g/km
• Price: £48,365
Other Jeep Reviews:
For more CarCliq Reviews
Interested in buying a used Jeep Wrangler?