The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited: Possibly the manliest motor in town
If you're looking for a car that’s rugged, powerful and down right manly, then look no further than the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. It's certainly not for the faint of heart.
One of the first things that you notice about the exterior of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is the fact that a lot of it’s hinges and bolts are left exposed to the elements, giving you the impression that this 4x4 doesn’t give a rats as to what it looks like, once it gets the job done. This isn’t your typical new-age 4x4 that’s built primarily for looking the biz while on the school run. These days, as Jeremy Clarkson would tell you, most 4x4 ‘off-roaders’ aren’t even built for going off road. The same certainly can’t be said for the Wrangler.
Now, I didn’t go trekking off into the Sahara with the Jeep but I did give it a short spin on some slightly uneven ground (basically, a field). The Wrangler easily gobbled up the dips and bumps and it was surprising to see how comfortable it was driving off of a paved road. However, having said that, when you’re driving on main roads at a hefty speed the Wrangler feels a bit like a school bus, but that can be expected for a car of it’s size. I don’t think high speed driving is what they had in mind when building this 4x4…
If size doesn’t mean a thing to you then you won’t fully appreciate this monstrous machine. The model I tested came with a massive 2.8 common rail diesel engine that produces 200hp at 3,600 RPM and it can hit 100km/h in just 11 seconds. Considering the Wrangler that was tested weighed 2,200kg, that isn’t too bad. The only problem with the size of the engine is the fact that it sits in Tax Band F because it produces 194g of CO2 per km, so you can expect to fork over €1,129 on tax… every year. Having said that, the 4x4 does come with ‘Stop, Start’ technology, so when you’re chilling at the light you can stick it into neutral and let the engine clock off. Depress the clutch and it will spring back into life.
The Wrangler has a commanding view of the road ahead and other motorists tend to get the hell out of your way if you’re driving down a tight lane, which feels pretty good. And seeing as there aren’t too many of them on Irish roads, it’s a real eye catcher when you’re out and about.
The interior of the Jeep Wrangler is a tad minimal, but that just adds to its rough and ready physique. Allen bolts are exposed (which instantly makes you want to play around with them – if you’re a bloke), as are hinges and there’s a solid mix of brushed aluminium and that extremely thin leather that you’ll find on most dashboards. There are some plastic coverings that surround the air vents, which if I’m honest seem a tad cheap, and the glove box isn’t the biggest, but apart from that the cabin is comfortable and easy on the eyes.
It's nice and easy on the eyes
The Wrangler Unlimited comes with heated leather seats that are incredibly comfortable, a Bluetooth phone connection, automatic headlamps, tubular side steps, 17" rims and you can also connect your iPod via an auxiliary point. If you’re lucky enough to get the weather for it, you can even detach the front section of the roof above the driver and passenger seat. With the roof off you look like you’re heading on safari, or as if you’ve just been enlisted. Either way, it’s a cool little feature, but one you won’t be using too often here in Ireland seeing as you have to manually remove it. Basically, you could get soaked if you weren’t paying attention to the skies (even though your attention should be on the road!).
This truly is a beast of a machine and if you’re after a car that matches your manliness then this is the motor for you. The Wrangler range starts from just €36,795 but the one tested above will set you back around €41,750. Head down to your nearest Jeep dealer for more or have a gander at their website here.