New Jeep Wrangler: style plus passability
New Jeep Wrangler: gasoline engine 2.0-turbo, “smart” four-wheel drive, a super version of Rubicon, clearance of 24-26 cm. Price tag – from $ 50 thousand. And two tons of style as a gift! Although if you remove the “rose-colored glasses” … What is it on the go? What versions are available now? What to expect in the future? How is the landing and open space? What about configuration ? First look at the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler.
Stop, is it really new?
Yes, exactly. This is a Jeep Wrangler SUV with the code JL, which was first demonstrated at the very end of 2017, during 2018, production and sales of these cars started worldwide. The basic design of the novelty remained unchanged compared to its predecessor: the frame plus continuous axles in front and behind. However, the 2018 Jeep Wrangler stands out with its extensive use of aluminum components: hood, fenders, doors. All at once allowed to lose about 90 kg – now the car with a 2.0 l petrol turbo engine weighs 1915-1987 kg (depending on the configuration).
Similar changes have occurred in the design – the overall style and shape of the body remained the same, but there is a great change in details. Hold your fingers: lights and lanterns, rounded joints of surfaces (for example, a windshield frame), new wings. At the same time, the designers have retained characteristic details: a branded 7-way grille, open door hinges, bonnet locks, and leg mirrors.
The Jeep Wrangler SUV is probably one of the most recognizable models in the history of the global automotive industry: this style, its overall design cannot be touched! But you can enhance the details: headlights , hood locks, door handles. The standard 3-door Jeep Wrangler has length of 4.33 m, width of 1.89 m, height of 1.82-1.88 m (depending on the version), the wheelbase is 2.46 m. Enlarged 5-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited offers almost similar width and height, but a bit different length – 4.88 m with a wheelbase of 3.01 m.
If you want significant changes – then drop in the salon. The predecessor had a front panel built around a vertical console, now the front part of the cabin is made in a horizontal style, and the center has a huge color touchscreen – utmost 8.4 inches.
However, discussing the interior, you can not miss a couple of details. For example, it is not so spacious in it: from the 5-door version of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited you expect more space in the back, larger doors to access the second row of seats, and protruding wings often make trousers dirty. Well, you do not expect much space in the backseat from the 3-door Jeep Wrangler, but here, in the front seats, you can see a high floor level – the frame! And the 3-door also surprises with the trunk: it is expectedly small, but what for is the open speaker subwoofer of the Alpine premium audio system? I am pleased with the inscription “All Weather” (that is, “I am not afraid of water”), but besides water there will also be sand, pebbles, mud …
Salon made an intergalactic leap forward in terms of design and quality finish. In the center of the front panel there is a 7- or 8.4-inch display – this is a feature of the maximum vehicle versions. But even the “base” gets a color touchscreen, albeit a 5-inch. Important notes: the 5-door version disappoints with the rear row and protruding mud wings, the 3-door car surprises not so much with the modest trunk volume as with the weird location of the open speaker.
That’s enough about the salon – Jeep isn’t purchased for that. What about passability?
Everything’s cool. Just like that. There are no other variants with this Jeep. Even the basic version SPORT or the average version SAHARA have full Command-Trac drive. Somewhere there are versions with the usual hard connection of the front bridge of Part Time type, but the Command-Trac drive system gives more options : 2H, 4H Auto, 4H Part Time, 4L. The main innovation is 4H Auto mode: the main rear-wheel drive with automatic connection of the front axle when the rear wheels slip, in this mode the car can be operated on ordinary roads.
Accordingly, the 4H Part Time mode implies a permanently connected front axle, and this is a “hard” scheme, in fact it is like locking the center differential. Finally, 4L mode means connecting a low row with an impressive gear ratio of 2.72: 1. And now add short overhangs and ground clearance of about 24 cm (the exact figure depends on the specific version of the car), a solid and reliable frame, an optional differential block …
But there is a version that stands out – this is the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon: a vehicle for the awful off-roading. For example, it uses a lower gear with a ratio of 4: 1, “toothed” mud tyres, power thresholds, locking of the front and rear differential is provided, the clearance is increased to 25-26 cm (depends on body type). And as a highlight – even switchable stabilizer bar. As a result, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is stubbornly crawling forward in the mud to the knee and waddles over the tracks, where only timber trucks can get through.
Even the “long” Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and the average version of SAHARA provide an enviable passability – this car is quite comparable with the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado or Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. But it makes the maximum bet not on electronics, but on the usual “iron”: more clearance, shorter overhangs. The special version of the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon offers even more: locking of all differentials (now there is no possibility of spontaneous rotation of one of the wheels), deactivating anti-roll bar ( suspension travel is increased), special tires with a developed tread pattern (help drive through both – mud and sand ).
What about the road? Is motor ok ?
The new Jeep Wrangler is available with a 2-litre gasoline turbo engine that develops 272 hp. (at 5,250 rpm) and 400 Nm (at 3,000 rpm). The engine works along with 8-speed.
And this is great : confident, dynamic, energetic acceleration when you press the accelerator “to the floor”, good acceleration on the go when you press “half-pedal”. However, sometimes there is a feeling that the chassis of the car does not keep up with the engine.
On a light off-road the car constantly needs to be corrected by a steering wheel — continuous axles seem to affect it. These are mere trifles for the 5-door “long” Jeep Wrangler Unlimited – the car still remains fairly stable owing to the 3-meter wheelbase – then the standard “short» Jeep Wrangler wags too actively sometimes. In this case, the wheel makes more than three turns from lock to lock – each correction requires turning the steering wheel by 60-90 degrees. And so you go on the off road: you jump in the seat, twist the steering wheel, wave your elbows in front of the passenger’s nose …
There is always four-wheel drive. Front and rear axles. On easy off-road, where you go relatively fast, the car sometimes requires correction by the wheel. On the asphalt Jeep Wrangler was driven a bit, and it was a relatively flat area as well: acceleration and driving calmly. But I can’t say what will happen on the broken road.
In conclusion : if you want a Jeep Wrangler, buy a long version. In addition to better stability on the road, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is also distinguished by its comfort. Even cautiously assume that this is the softest and most comfortable car among all the large frame SUVs that have been in my hands over the past couple of years.
And I’d like to notice that diesel, expected in 2019, is very much in demand here. After all, the Jeep Wrangler is still not a sports car, the diesel promises to combine sufficient traction for overtaking and off-road with low fuel consumption – in the end we get a great option for lovers of long journeys. And it is not necessary to choose some definite route, it is enough just to poke a finger into the map.
Well, it’s clear : there is gasoline, diesel is coming soon. And what about the configuration?
The car is available in two bodies – a standard 3-door Jeep Wrangler and a larger 5-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. For each of them three versions with different configuration are proposed.
Jeep Wrangler Sport opens this range: frontal and side airbags, fabric seats, hard top, cruise control, air conditioning, steel wheels, heated front seats and steering wheel, an eight-speaker audio system, a 5-inch touchscreen. Price – from 1.4 mln. hrivnas($ 50 thousand), or 1.58 mln. hrivnas ($ 56 thousand), it depends on the type of body.
The next step is the Sahara version: added alloy wheels, roof and wings painted in body color, steps, tinted windows, climate control, rear view camera, 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay support and Android Auto. Price – from 1.54 mln. ($ 55 thousand), or 1.72 mln. ($ 61 thousand), depending on the type of body.
The top version is Rubicon. The equipment is comparable to the Sahara bundle, but important off-road parts are added, as noted above: special tires, differential locks, “very low ” gear, etc. Price – from 1.59 mln. ($ 57 thousand) or from 1.76 mln. ($ 63 thousand), depending on the type of body.
Besides the configuration I’d like to focus on one more feature: in fact, the Jeep Wrangler in any version is convertible! Hard roof can be removed, optionally Dual Top with a hard and soft top is available. The body of the “cabriolet” has always cost a lot, but the option “off-road cabriolet” is priceless – there are few vehicles of that kind in the world. Jeep Wrangler SUV is one of them.
Approaching the Jeep Wrangler with traditional, practical demands is completely wrong. In the Jeep range, there is a car with a more spacious and luxurious interior, excellent off-road parameters, a powerful turbo diesel engine, at about a similar price, well known as Jeep Grand Cherokee. By all the criteria, Jeep Grand Cherokee seems to be more correct and logical purchase. But … it has rivals.
But Jeep Wrangler actually have none. In terms of charisma and style, only the Mercedes G-class, which is at least 2-3 times more expensive, or Land Rover Defender, which is on the way of change of generations and it is not yet clear what the new model will be, can compete here. The Jeep Wrangler is like an off-road Mazda MX-5: a car designed not for practicality, but in order to bring joy and pleasure, to please with its unforgettable style. Because every trip, every kilometer together with the Jeep Wrangler is an unforgettable piece of your life, that you will tell about later to your children and grandchildren. This is what makes the Jeep Wrangler unique. And if you approve of this approach, then you are with it along the way.
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