JEEP is a legendary brand and its Wrangler model has won a reputation for toughness and go-anywhere capability which stretches back to the Second World War. Originally founded in America and now part of the giant Fiat-Chrysler Group, Jeep is still creating rugged yet stylish vehicles and the new Wrangler is a prime example.
With prices starting at €47,995 (£41,455), the Wrangler comes in two and four-door form, with petrol and diesel engines, and a choice of two different four-wheel-drive systems.
New styling gives the Wrangler a more formidable appearance and the cabin has also been refreshed and upgraded and offers increased storage capacity. Boot space in the four-door versions is 533 litres, boosted to 1,044 litres with the rear seats folded.
While the emphasis is usually on Wrangler’s amazing off-road capability, the model is also happy on city streets, providing a comfortable ride and agile handling. The featured diesel model in flagship Rubicon trim starts from €57,258 (£49,455).
Equipment includes heated leather sports seats, LED headlamps and rear lights, a touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a raft of improved safety content including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, reversing camera, and electronic stability control with roll mitigation.
The new engines – a 2.2-litre 200 hp turbo diesel and 2.0-litre 272 hp turbo petrol – both use eight-speed automatic transmission. Depending on trim level, there is a choice of two different on-demand four-wheel-drive systems – Command-Trac and Rock-Trac.
Both systems feature the new Selec-Trac full-time two-speed transfer case for continuous monitoring and management of the torque sent to front and rear wheels.
The Wrangler has always been praised more for its off-road ability than its on-road performance, but it is also very responsive on the tarmac. The diesel version has a 0-100 kph time of 10.3 seconds and top speed of 160 kph (100 mph). Emissions are 209 g/km and average fuel economy is 12.8 kpl (36 mpg).
Another Wrangler plus-point is that it is the only full open-air 4×4 SUV available on the market. It offers various top combinations including the Sky One-Touch Powertop, new Zipperless Premium Sunrider soft top and Freedom Top, a removable three-panel hard top.
With new styling, latest engines and backed by a five-year warranty, the Jeep Wrangler can blend extreme off-road performance with practical everyday urban cruising, a rare combination which is very hard to match.
Facts at a glance
Model: Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Engine: 2.2 litre diesel
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Performance: 0-100 kph 10.3 seconds, top speed 160 kph (100 mph)
Economy: 12.8 kpl (36 mpg)
Emissions: 209 g/km
Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.