Week 1: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Iconic 4x4 arrives at the wheels HQ for a long-term evaluation, but we’ve got a bigger challenge in store for it
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December 05, 2016
Photo: Fadi Takieddine

We have been running long-term cars in wheels for years and over the period we’ve had some pretty special machines pass through our gates. We’ve had several Nissan GT-Rs, the Mercedes SLS and GT S, BMW M5, heck we even ran a Ferrari California Handling Speciale for six weeks. However, what we’re about to do with our latest recruit, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, is a little bit different.

It’s no secret that Jeep enthusiasts like to tinker with their cars, so we thought it’d be cool if we could get ourselves a brand-new Wrangler and put it through two stages of tweakery; to give you a more accurate picture of what owning one would be like.

Our base vehicle costs Dh139,000, however after running it for a few weeks we will send it back to the dealership for the first stage of modifications. Purely cosmetic, these would include Rubicon 10th Anniversary bumpers, Mopar LED headlights and LED spots.

The second phase of modifications, which will be more performance orientated, will be undertaken a further three weeks down the line. These alterations will include Mopar 2.0in suspension lift, ATR 285 cross-section tyres, Mopar air induction kit and Mopar cat-back exhausts. This will provide potential Jeep buyers a clear idea of costs involved when it comes to these changes and, crucially, whether they actually enhance performance and driveability of the vehicle. It will also allow us to evaluate the long-term durability of these additions.

As a starting point, though, the Wrangler isn’t exactly a lavish 4x4. It’s a properly utilitarian thing with serious off-road chops. The four-door version we have is also mildly practical, even though the rear portals are way too small. There is plenty of cargo space in the back and it generally feels like it will survive a nuclear apocalypse.

On-road manners aren’t exactly impeccable but then this is a purpose-built vehicle. It’s designed to make mince meat of inhospitable terrain and isn’t designed as a comfy family cruiser, although it can be used as one... if you really want to. More next week…

Inside info

Driven by:Fadi

Start mileage:36km

Recent cost:Fuel

Average fuel economy:NA

Highs:Tough old thing, literally

Lows:Lacks equipment