However, driving dynamics matter more than performance. The Wrangler, being a true off-roader, is excellent when it comes to off-roading; its on-road dynamics, however, are not really something driving enthusiasts will appreciate. The tall stance, long wheelbase, and soft suspension setup result in an evident body-roll that is noticed the moment you turn the steering left or right. Besides, the ride is quite bouncy, which makes the ride quality quite unpleasant. The light steering also feels disconnected and lacks feel and feedback. This also means that the high-speed stability of this 2.25-tonne beast is hampered a bit owing to a combination of the aforementioned facts.
But that is how almost all off-roading machines are. It is preposterous to expect such a vehicle to behave like a good handling car. To really see the true potential of what this machine can do, you have to take it off the road. The Wrangler truly shines once you show it an off-roading trail. It is here where it rises from its slumber and is ready to conquer everything from streams to mountains and all things in between. The soft suspension that irritates you on road feels like a perfect setting when the tarmac runs out. Crossing streams in a Wrangler looks like child’s play. The huge 228-mm front and 220-mm rear ground clearance lets you go over big boulders without worrying about the under-carriage and the sump getting damaged. Its 35-degree approach and 28-degree departure angles let you play around on a hill without breaking into a sweat. You can also wade through 482 mm of water at eight km/h quite easily.
The Wrangler is highly regarded as one of the best off-roading vehicles in the world and once you take it to an off-road trail, you realize how well the Americans have executed it. The sole purpose of the Wrangler was to give every driver the confidence to do off-roading and I must confess that the Wrangler has been able to achieve it quite well.
Overall, the Jeep Wrangler is one such vehicle that will impress the hardcore off-road enthusiast and also a novice who wants to give it a try. It may not be assorted as an SUV, but when it comes to off-roading, there is no match for this rugged American cowboy. For the Indian market, FIAT needs to price it well if they want to post good numbers. The Wrangler we drove is available for $31,681 in the US. In India, however, it will cost almost twice that amount because of the tax policy. For this price, you will be getting an unbeatable off-roader that can go almost anywhere, a powerful four-cylinder diesel motor, a fuel economy of 7.75 km/l (overall), and the honor of being the owner of a true icon. So if you don’t mind spending most of your time in the Jeep while off the road, and would also like your family to accompany you, then the Wrangler Unlimited is the best vehicle to do it in.
⦁ Price: $73,111
⦁ Cylinders: Four, inline
⦁ Engine layout: longitudinal
⦁ Bore x stroke: 94.0 x 100.0
⦁ Capacity: 2,776
⦁ Transmission: Forward speeds, Five-speed Auto
⦁ Drive wheels: Switchable 4WD
⦁ 0-60mph: 3.89s
⦁ Top speed: 165 km/h