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Wrangler Sahara

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Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Motoring Review

The vast majority of modern SUVs or off-roaders, you see, are quite capable of cruising in car-like comfort.

But not so the Jeep Wrangler, even in updated, improved guise.
Indeed, while the Wrangler comes with the likes of standard ESC (Electronic Stability Control), it still feels very, very unhappy past about 120km/h. I certainly wouldn't want to try its claimed top speed of 180km/h.

And over irregular, cambered or corrugated tar surfaces it loses the plot, shuddering and shaking and generally semaphoring that it wouldn't mind tipping over.
But that was probably my fault. I used this petrol-powered Jeep largely as an open-road cruiser, doing almost 1,000km worth of inter-city driving.

And this is an off-road icon that's also acceptable (just) for squirting around town - which isn't to say that its four-speed auto 'box is especially wonderful.

It's certainly a far cry from the cruder Jeeps of yore, however, and now includes features that show just how incredibly far it has come from its roots as a WW2 military workhorse.
Your money now gets you an all-new interior with quality fittings, automatic temperature control and optional heated seats.

There's also a new USB interface for use with the vehicle's loftily named Media Center, which includes streaming Bluetooth audio, as well as power-heated mirrors.
Improved visibility comes from larger rear windows and NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) improvements have been made.

New colours have been added to the range too, like the wonderfully named Detonator Yellow and the Deep Cherry Red in which our test car was finished.

Meanwhile, new steering-wheel controls allow the driver to operate the radio, cruise control, hands-free phone and other vehicle functions while keeping their hands on the wheel.

Adding to the fun factor of the Jeep is the Freedom Top, as it's called, which features three removable parts: left and right front-passenger panels and a rear panel. And then there are the solid axles, removable doors, exposed hinges and fold-down windshield.
The Wrangler also happens to be an especially attractive vehicle, looking more like a squat little Tonka toy than anything else.

But let's not lost sight of the fact that it's designed as an extreme off-road machine with short front and rear overhangs and outstanding ground clearance, which means that while it might be a crummy cruiser, it's fairly close to unstoppable when the going gets really, really tough.

But if you're going for a Wrangler you might as well pay a small premium and go for not the Sahara or entry-level Sport model, but the hardcore Rubicon variant.

 Among other things this offers as standard an electronic-disconnecting front stabiliser bar for extreme terrain.

The Rubicon also has an approach angle of 44.3 degrees, a breakover angle of 25.4 degrees and a departure angle of 40.4 degrees, while underbody protection is provided by three skid plates.

All Wranglers - including of course the Sahara here - come with a two-speed transfer case, but the Rubicon's is even more low-geared, and it has front and rear electronic diff locks.
But please, don't buy one if you want a trendy lifestyle statement that you also hope to use for long-distance cruising. You'll probably hate it. I did.

This is an extreme off-road machine and should be used as such.


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