2019 Jeep Wrangler
2019 Jeep Wrangler
It’s a classic case of “The more things change the more they remain the same.” Visually a modern Jeep Wrangler doesn’t look all that different than a World War II version. That’s part of the plan, right down to flat sides, minimal curves and treasured seven grille slots. It’s certainly an anomaly in an industry that spends millions annually updating vehicle styling.
Then again, while other vehicles are touted for their luxury, smooth ride and quiet interiors, Jeep owners love Wranglers for their approach, breakover and departure angles for rock climbs, impressive crawl ratios and the fact they can ford water up to 30 inches deep. Oh, and you can remove both the top and the aluminum doors. Rather than head for Beverly Hills or Miami, Wrangler owners prefer Moab, Utah or the Sierra Nevada Rubicon Trail.
Wranglers can be had with two or four doors, soft or hardtop. Power is from a 2.0-liter turbo four or 3.6-liter V-6 engine, with the choice of an 8-speed automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual.
We drove a Wrangler to Jeep’s presentation of its Gladiator pickup truck and the word anomaly came to mind again. The ride is quite good for a vehicle also adept at steep rocky trails. Unsurprisingly, the interior was somewhat noisy with the canvas top–just turn up the radio. Remove the top and doors and you could sense what it was like to drive a Jeep 75 years ago.
Yet, there is also the modernity you expect in a vehicle made in 2019. The Wrangler comes equipped with Fiat-Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system (one of the best in the business), an LED instrument display that can be configured 100 different ways, USB ports, blind-spot monitoring, electronic stability control, backup camera… the list goes on.
Prices start at $28,045 but can easily bump over $50,000. Makes one want to say, “Holy Toledo,” which is where Jeeps are assembled.
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John Lamm worked for Road & Track for 37 years and is equally happy behind a keyboard or a camera. He has written ten automotive books and has been honored with the International Motor Press Association’s Ken Purdy award and the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor award for writing. He is on the organizing committee for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and has been a judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for two decades.