KIG reveals new Jeep Wrangler

BY RORY DALEY
Observer writer
daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, September 13, 2019

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KINGSTON Industrial Garage (KIG) revealed the long-awaited 2020 Jeep Wrangler JL on August 30 in downtown Kingston.

“We're ecstatic to have the new Jeep Wrangler. It's a vast improvement over the old one and it's just revolutionising the off-road market,” Jeffrey Panton, managing director of KIG, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

Panton said the new vehicle is aimed squarely at those with active lifestyles. The Wrangler Unlimited will be available in three trims: Rubicon, Sahara, and Sport. There are three engines: a 3.6 V6, a 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, and a 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel, all attached to an eight-speed automatic transmission. KIG is also able to special-order both right- and left-hand-drive versions for customers.

“I'm itching to drive the new one because it has the new 2-litre turbo engine,” said Panton.

The main pull of the Jeep Wrangler JL is its “go-anywhere” ability and that is supported by a host of technologies. Standard on the Sport and Sahara models is the Selec-Trac full-time 4x4 system that has an active four-wheel drive transfer case and a Smart Lock function. It continuously analyses traction to all four wheels for optimum grip, regardless of the conditions. For those with more hardcore demands, the Rubicon comes with the Rock-Trac 4x4 system. Using a very low gear ratio, the system allows the vehicle to crawl along at very low speeds for greater control in the toughest of off-road situations.

The icon image of Wranglers in their various roof and door configurations continues with the new car. There are two roof options, hard and soft, both designed for flexible adjustment and removal. The windshield can be folded down with just four bolts and new aluminium doors are simple to remove. Jeep has not forgotten the modern conveniences, with plenty of safety technology, better ride quality, comfort, and the latest Uconnect infotainment system. It all combines to make the Jeep Wrangler JL just as enjoyable on-road as it is off-road.

The new Jeep Wrangler JL follows a long line of vehicles with an off-roading heritage that stretches as far back to the World War II original, which KIG had present on display at the launch. KIG, the oldest dealership in Jamaica, operating since 1908, became the first authorised dealers for the Jeep brand in 2014 offering right-hand-drive models.

“The Jeep brand has been huge for KIG. It's been growing year to year. We have seen large followings, groups of people, Jeep clubs that go out and do a lot of off-roading adventure on weekends. You just need to drive on the streets of Kingston and you'll see them all over,” said Panton.

Present at the launch was Brandon Cowan, owner of the very first unit. Previously driving a Toyota Tacoma, Cowan said he was drawn to the Jeep as he wanted something more modern, but capable of dealing with his active lifestyle, which was highlighted in the launch promotional video.

“I didn't feel like anything else fit my lifestyle, which, as was in the launch video, is doing everything from rivers to beaches, surfing, downhill bicycle to going to a daily meeting,” said Cowan.

Like most Jeep owners, he does plan to make further upgrades that will enhance the vehicle's off-road capabilities, but he enjoys the greater civility of the Wrangler, especially the new infotainment system that allows him to enjoy his audio books.


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