Following our Wrangler’s return two weeks ago I’ve finally managed to wrangle — see what I did there? — the keys from Arabic subeditor Kinan. And while I do like the new look of our long-termer, I have to say there are some minor issues that I’ve uncovered.

Starting with the priciest addition, the Dh7,320 Rubicon 10th-anniversary bumper. Admittedly it looks more striking than the stock item, but the fact that it doesn’t sit flush with the front wheelarches is a bit visually grating for me. The standard bumper flows relatively smoothly with the bodywork, which means it feels much more cohesive — a big plus in a car that generally has panel gaps the size of the San Andreas Fault. However, there are some upsides too. It gets two towing hooks up front, which add to the utility, allowing you to extricate stricken vehicles from the sand, or in the rare chance, be rescued if you do somehow manage to get the Wrangler stuck. I quite like the fact that the number plate now sits on top of the bumper giving it an almost floating appearance.

Out back my whinge about panel gaps continues as the rear bumper still fails to conceal the various welding points just under the tailgate. I understand I may be nit-picking a bit given the Wranglers rough and tumble image but hey, it costs Dh4,570 so why not?

On to the LED headlights. These definitely up the illumination and give the Wrangler’s face a more piercing look in the dark, however, I can’t help but think it might not really be necessary. Especially since they cost Dh4,575. The LED spots, though, are a different story — switch them on and they turn night into day. Although they are only off-road legal and UAE’s roads are magnificently well lit anyway, they are perhaps the ones I’d go for over the LED headlights to save myself some money.


The progress:

Week 5
Almost everyone at wheels HQ has succumbed to the Wrangler’s Old-World charm, which means it’s sorely missed as it heads to the dealership for the first phase of modifications.

Highs: Loads of character

Lows: Fuel efficiency is dreadful, hovering around the 20-litre per 100km mark.

Week 6 and 7
The Wrangler arrives wearing a brand-new look. Although the modifications make a noticeable difference, Mr Sensible subeditor Kinan feels some of them are a touch too expensive.

Highs: Add-ons really transform the look

Lows: Mods are not exactly cheap