Jeep Wrangler: Nothing like it


Jeep Wrangler: Nothing like it

By Rory Daley
Observer writer

Friday, January 03, 2020

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The 2020 Jeep Wrangler is the embodiment of the statement: I f you're going to do one thing, do it well. It is able to deliver a sense of off-road adventure like no other sport utility vehicle in its class.

For 2020, there's no sense in rocking the boat. Each generation of the Jeep has been a slow evolution so as not to disrupt its heritage, but improve on the elements previous owners have liked. So it retains many of the Jeep design styles, like the iconic grill and round headlights. While rivals have been rounding the edges off their SUVs, the Jeep is gloriously boxy in that old-school toy-truck manner, maintaining the manly rugged appearance it's known for.

The real work was put inside.

Things are familiar, but updated to what is expected from a modern SUV. Seats are comfortable, with plenty of storage space. Everything that can be powered is. The gauges are large, clear and a mix of analogue and digital as a seven-inch screen sits in the instrument cluster. This matches the size of the touchscreen that runs the smooth and intuitive UCONNECT infotainment system, giving users easy control of any devices connected via the Bluetooth or USB. The eight-speaker stereo is easy to enjoy due to its fidelity and the high cabin refinement. As an SUV, the Wrangler can dawdle around town saving fuel with its AUTO START/STOP and plenty of low-end torque from its 270bhp four-cylinder.

But that's not what the Jeep is for.

Off road, the Jeep Wrangler is king, even in base form, due to a history that stretches back to World War II. Its dimensions, ride height, and four-wheel drive systems push the boundaries allowing brave drivers to tackle terrain that would bring rival 4x4 SUVs and pickups to a halt. Low gearing, and differential locks make light work of near impossible stretches of landscape. Technology like Hill Descent means getting down is just as easy as getting up.

Still, that's not the whole picture.

If off-roading in rivals SUVs is 2D, then the Wrangler can go from 3D to IMAX with the pulling of a few bolts. The genius of the Jeep is its ability to fully immerse occupants in the experience. Equipped with the Freedom Roof, the entire top can be clipped off. If that wasn't enough, all four doors can be removed and the windshield dropped. Do all this and the Wrangler brings in the world around while others retain a barrier. Free of these items, the sky floods in, bushes brush by passengers, nature's scents become apparent and drivers now have a wider view of the environment around them making it easier to pick one's way through tough spots. Peering through the stripped body shell makes drivers feel like an explorer visiting a land for the first time, or like a soldier dropped fresh onto a Normandy beach. Ultimately, these are things no class rivals, and many up the food chain, can deliver.

The 2020 Jeep Wrangler is a modern SUV, with all the trappings expected to make the average owner more than happy. However, should the school run be to an upscale community, or require a river or mountain crossing, the Jeep's is a top choice.

MODEL: 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport
ENGINE: Turbocharged 2-litre, four cylinder — 270bhp/295lb-ft
DRIVETRAIN: Eight-speed automatic transmission/four-wheel drive
SUMMARY: A wonderful daily driver with unmatched off-road prowess for the adventurous.

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