2019 Jeep Wrangler – An Off-Road Icon
The Jeep Wrangler has been an off-road favourite, for many years across the globe, with explorers and adventurers alike. Due to its rugged qualities and practicality, the Jeep quickly became popular with everyday families and farmers, as it was ideal for camping trips and muddy tracks. Over the years, the Jeep has gradually become just as comfortable off-roading, as cruising along the tarmac.
The Jeep's origins date back some 70+ years to WWII when the USA needed a robust, all-terrain vehicle for its army. There have been various iterations of the Jeep, built for the commercial sector, over the years designed to cover an array of market sectors. There was the Jeep Station Wagon, Jeep Pickup Truck and Jeep Wagoneer, to name just a few. The Jeep brand has had several parent owners, the most recent and current being Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
The Jeep Wrangler name first debuted in 1986 and is now in its fourth generation. The new Jeep Wrangler blends more all-round versatility and comfort with its original rugged off-road looks, to appeal to a broader audience.
The Jeep Wrangler is available as a two-door or four-door model, the four-door having a longer wheelbase. The two-door is likely to be a favourite with the traditional Jeep enthusiasts while the four-door offers more practicality, so is ideal for families or those going exploring or on camping trips. All Jeep Wranglers have a high-tech 4WD system as standard, and in the UK there will be three trim levels; Sahara, Overland and Rubicon.
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Engines, Power and Performance
There are only two engines available for the Jeep Wrangler, one petrol and one diesel. The diesel engine is the 2.2-litre, MultiJet 2 turbocharged unit developing 200hp and 450Nm of torque. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with Engine Stop-Start (ESS) feature, to improve fuel economy and performance both on and off-road.
The petrol engine is the all-new 2.0L GME T4. It is a 2-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine developing 272hp and 400Nm of torque. As with the diesel engine, it is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and features Engine Stop-Start (ESS) functionality.
The eight-speed automatic gearbox is much better than expected, especially in the diesel model, as it gives smooth and crisp gear changes. It works just as good on tarmac roads, as it does on gravel tracks and muddy hill climbs. It does not work quite as good in the petrol engine Jeep though, as there is more of a lag in changing gears and its not as smooth as the diesel.
The diesel engine would be my choice and is likely to be the most popular choice amongst buyers, given its extra torque and possible better durability. Although Jeep has done a great job in making the Wrangler more appealing to everyday drivers, it is still geared more towards off-road adventures. For this reason, the diesel would have to be the number one choice for trekking up hills and mountains, as the engine works harmoniously with the gearbox and 4WD system.
Interior Quality and Technology
The interior of the new Jeep Wrangler JL is a welcomed improvement from the previous model, with better build quality and finish. There are lots of soft-touch plastics throughout the cabin along with buttons and switches. These have been thoroughly tested for durability and functionality in wet and harsh conditions.
The Wrangler Jl has the latest Uconnect infotainment system, with an 8.4-inch colour touchscreen. The system comes with many standard features including; Smartphone mirroring with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, sat-nav, DAB radio and the home screen can be configured by the user. The touchscreen is more responsive then before, has sharp, bright graphics as well as Drag' n'Drop and pinch-to-zoom capabilities.
The new Wrangler also features a custom-configurable 7-inch LCD colour screen, which fits in in between the instrument dials in front of the driver. The display integrates the navigation instructions as well as other media information. Song and artist identification for music playing either through the radio or your smartphone is included.
The Jeep Wrangler JL features an all-new 'Wash-Out' interior set-up. There are one-way drain valves set into the floor, to let water out but not back in. If you want to wash down the inside of your Jeep, simply remove the carpets and spray away any muck and dirt.
Space, Practicality and Safety
The Jeep Wrangler JL is available as a two-door or four-door model. This means there is a big difference in space, especially as the four-door has a longer wheelbase. Upfront in both models, there is a generous amount of legroom and headroom for any sized adult. The front seats are adjustable, and the driver seat comes with adjustable lumbar support as standard.
In the rear, space is pretty good in the two-door model although there are only two seats, not three so there is more width room to stretch out for added comfort.
In the four-door model, there is more legroom and the same generous headroom along with five seats, not four.
The smaller, two-door Wrangler, has a reasonably sized boot, with a capacity of 203-litres and 598-litres, with the rear seats folded down. The larger four-door Wrangler has an impressive 548-litre boot space, rising to a cavernous 1059-litres with the rear seats folded down.
There are various storage cubbies throughout the Wrangler, including a removable cargo floor in the boot area.
The Jeep Wrangler is an open-air 4x4 and features removable doors, a fold-down windshield and removable roof. You can choose from the following roof choices; Hard-Top, Soft-Top, no-top or the new Sky One-Touch Power Top.
The Wrangler JL is equipped with various safety features and assists such as; a reversing camera, multiple airbags, ParkSense Rear Assist and Active Speed Limiter. There are several optional safety packages and features available such as; Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection.
The Jeep Wrangler JL is a cool looking 4x4 and will continue to be a great choice for those who like to explore and go on an adventure. With more options and better technology throughout, the Wrangler is still one of the best 4x4's you can buy.