Week 10: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Our long-termer returns following a host of mechanical upgrades. So how do they all add up?
|
February 06, 2017
Photo: Fadi Takieddine

Our long-terming Wrangler is back and, gosh, the modifications have made a substantial difference! It now sits higher, which means its already unquestionable off-road capability is boosted even further. And, it also gives it a more purposeful stance. While a full-blown off-road test will follow in a couple of weeks; for now let’s look at how all the changes add up.

From behind the wheel you immediately notice that the driving position is now as high as some mini buses, which is a plus if you like the idea of lording over other motorists. However, the Wrangler is still relatively small compared to other full-size 4x4s, so it looks pretty cool with the unfeasibly high ride height and tiny footprint.

A further dose of testosterone is added to the proceedings by the renewed engine note. The updated exhaust system means the car breathes out much more freely, which in turn translates to a rather vocal progress.

It’s louder for sure, but it’s not a sound that would make you want to wind down your windows and hunt for tunnels; it’s more of a rough-and-ready mechanical rumble than a spine-tingling opera.

It also breathes in better, thanks to a new cold-air intake. Although the difference in straight-line pace is not as apparent as I had initially expected, it is a touch quicker off the line than before. Then again, given that the Jeep’s remit is to pound dunes into submission, this can hardly be considered a shortcoming; there is doubtless adequate go to despatch everyday driving duties and more.

However, as is tradition, I will end this week’s long-term report with a good old whinge. At 170cm I am not exactly someone who most would consider tall, and getting in the Wrangler is bit of a mission given the loftier ride height. To make ingress easier, it now sports a new grab handle near the A-pillar. However, with my lack of verticality, I have to hop from the side step to grab it, before proceeding to get inside. This, I’m certain, provides some wholesome amusement to onlookers. More next week.

 

The progress

Week 8:
wheels Arabic editor Fadi grabs the key and immediately proceeds to complain about the cost of some of the modifications. He reckons the Dh4.5K LED headlights are a bit of an unnecessary addition.

Highs: Rough and tough runabout

Lows: Some mods aren’t to everyone’s liking

Week 9:
The Jeep returns to the dealership for the second phase of amendments. The functional changes will include a raised ride height new cold-air intake, an upgraded exhaust system and bigger off-road tyres. Cumulatively these changes should boost performance both on the road and off it.

Highs: NA

Lows: NA

Inside info

Driven by:Fadi

Start mileage:3,256km

Recent cost:Fuel

Average fuel economy:20 litres per 100km

Highs:the mods make it look really cool

Lows:getting in is a bit of an effort