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New Wrangler on the way

Created on 14/03/2018 @ 20:59

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

Jeep will unveil a new version of the iconic Wrangler later this year and enthusiasts will be queuing up to get their hands on the first arrivals.

Thousands of Wrangler fans are keenly waiting for the opportunity to tackle another off-road adventure or impress their friends behind the wheel of this go-anywhere performer.

The Wrangler is now a million miles away from the model which captured our imagination on the big-screen when war films were all the rage and our hero invariably raced up at the wheel of an open-top Jeep.

But while technology has moved on in light years since then there is still no mistaking the Wrangler and a peep at the latest update which is being leaked at the world’s motor shows proves Jeep is sticking to the old saying that if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

If you clock up thousands of miles each week, trekking the motorway networks of this great island, I suggest the Wrangler is not for you. It was never designed to win any prizes on tarmac but if you want to go up mountains or across streams this Jeep is different class. In fact first class.

Building on legendary history the Wrangler delivers unmatched of-roading capabilities combined with a modern design which stays true to its origins – and then there’s a host of advanced technology features bolted on for good measure.

We’ve just tested the current two-door version in 2.8litre CRD automatic option which hits the road at £140 over £34,000, belches out C02 emissions of 237g/km and will surprise if it achieves the claimed 31.4mpg on the combined cycle.

In five-speed auto mode this Wrangler had a top speed of 107mph, though thumping along the M54 at 70mph was probably as much as this driver felt entirely comfortable with. And 0-62mph in 10.6 seconds did mean burning off the diesel.

The test model looked impressive in bright white on 18inch polished satin alloys and full metal doors with roll-up windows, tubular side steps and transfer case skid shield. The three piece modular hard top came with body colouring and there were also body coloured wheel arches.

Inside the Wrangler is nothing like the model of old with full leather trim, a leather steering wheel, keyless entry, tyre pressure monitoring, on-the-move four wheel drive shift and hill start assist. There were also heated front seats, heated mirrors, power windows, cruise control and hill descent control.

The media centre included all the up-to-the minute technology in a 6.5inch colour touchscreen with sat nav and USB connectivity so the mind starts to boggle at what delights the new model will offer. I hear we can expect fourth generation Uconnect systems and a bigger touchscreen with pinch and zoom capability.

And if it’s remotely possible Jeep plan to improve the off-road capabilities with advanced 4X4 features, new Selec-Trac full-time two-speed transfer care, Tru-Lock electric front and rear axle lockers and Trac-Lok limited slip differential and sway-bar disconnect.

Only a Jeep anorak could begin to understand what all that means but if it means an improvement to Jeep’s off-road perfection it’s nothing short of a miracle.

There’s a world of off-roading opportunities just waiting to be explored in the Wrangler but if you’re looking to impress on the school run this probably isn’t the 4X4 you have been looking for.

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