Jeep Wrangler (2018) Review
Jeep Wrangler (2018) At A Glance
Few cars of any price that can do what the Wrangler can do off-road thanks to all manner of mud-plugging hardware. However, if you’re after an everyday SUV rather than a hardcore 4x4, pretty much anything else at the money - like an Audi Q5 or Volkswagen Tiguan - will serve you better, with more practicality, more quality, more civility, more comfort, more precision and more luxury. Seriously, those after a leftfield family car need not apply. Niche, but full of charm and character.
The Wrangler story started way back in the 1940s with the arrival of the original Willys Jeep. This was a rugged utility vehicle that took the US military over inhospitable lands in all four corners of the globe, made all the more inhospitable by the fact that they were probably having some sort of skirmish with the natives of the area at the time.
Yes, things have changed since the 40s, but the character and the ethos remain. The iconic upright shape remains, and rather than following the crowd of newer SUVs and watering down the ruggedness in pursuit of luxury and sophistication, the Wrangler is still a non-nonsense, rufty-tufty, off-roader. This thing will go places that owners of regular SUVs would fear to even think about, let alone tread.
It also has a few party-pieces up its sleeve that are inherited from its ancestor. Each version has a roof that’s removable in some way (a variety of different options are available on that score, from a folding fabric soft-top to a removable hard-top), and if you really want to open yourself up to the elements, you can also remove the windscreen and the doors.
Try doing that on an Audi Q5. You’ve also got a spare wheel bolted onto the side-hinged tailgate. No crummy pot of sealant here.
Two body styles are available. The two-door looks good but is woefully impractical, so we’d advise going for the much bigger four-door, which is much better on practicality, not much more expensive and still has loads of charm.
Two engines are available, one petrol and one diesel. Both are pretty punchy, but we reckon most buyers will probably be better off with the diesel due to its low-down pulling power and better fuel economy.
It should be said that the Wrangler's focus on ruggedness means it’s not a civilised car, especially compared to regular SUVs at the same (rather expensive) price point.
The ride is jittery, the handling’s untidy, the cabin is noisy and the interior is more functional than flashy. So, if you’re an average SUV buyer who’s merely looking for a stylish family car, pretty much anything else on the market will suit you better: those looking for a leftfield SUV choice will be biting off way more than they can chew with the Jeep.
That which the Wrangler does, though, it does very well indeed, and it’s no accident that this car has legions of dedicated fans the world over.