Week 13: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Despite four-doors the Wrangler is a decidedly different kind of family car, but one that’s thoroughly reliable
By Amit Benjamin, Editor
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February 28, 2017
Photo: Fadi Takieddine

It’s been over three months and despite my reservations about the Wrangler’s everyday usability, the fact remains that the Jeep hasn’t put a foot wrong.

Dependability and reliability have been unimpeachable, despite the often rough treatment it receives at the hands of the team. It’s been used as a camera car for our photoshoots, which means it’s had a not-insubstantial amount of kit loaded into it. It’s been taken off-road on more than one occasion in the past few weeks and it’s been driven with a heavy foot pretty much immediately after the initial run-in period. And no there hasn’t been a single warning light or an issue to speak of.

Unlike, say, expensive German cars, which are crammed with tech, there isn’t much that can go wrong here. That’s the thing with the Wrangler; its simplicity is its biggest draw. And as I’ve mentioned before, that purely mechanical nature of the Jeep is extremely endearing. It’s like a faithful Labrador that you know you can fully depend on.

Even the most basic of features such as automatic headlights and wipers, which are these days present in the cheapest cars, are missing in the Jeep. Reversing camera? Forget it. Adaptive cruise control? No chance. It is a car that you actually drive! This is one of the last few honest-to-goodness automobiles that are on the market today and that makes it somewhat special.

There are some minor niggles post the performance modifications though. The loftier ride height takes some getting used to, although it’s still less of a chore than the comically tall G 500 4x4 Squared. There is no room in the cabin to store the incredibly long off-road flag, which is wedged inconveniently across the passenger side of the vehicle, making the already difficult task of ingress and egress even more of a challenge.

That is just one of the examples of the quirks you will have to put up with if the Wrangler is on your shortlist. However, if you are a Jeep fan, then chances are you will likely overlook these minor idiosyncrasies. You won’t be a happy bunny if you’re not.

 

The progress

Week 12
The Wrangler is an extremely divisive car; you either love it or you loathe it. Arabic editor Fadi is full of praise for the Jeep’s terrific off-road performance and boatloads of character.

Highs: Immensely capable in the rough stuff

Lows: Not the easiest to live with everyday

Week 11
The Wrangler earns the dubious distinction of being one of the most thirsty vehicles ever to enter the wheels
long-term garage. It is excellent off-road, however.

Highs: Genuinely capable in the great outdoors

Lows: Extremely thirsty in city traffic

Inside info

Driven by:Amit

Start mileage:4,350km

Recent cost:Fuel

Average fuel economy:18 litres per 100km

Highs:a simple but effective car

Lows:the quirks take some getting used to