The 2.8-litre diesel engine gives 197bhp and 339lb ft of pulling muscle for hauling you out of the mud. Performance on-road is fairly leisurely, but you should see what the car can do off-road. There’s also a 3.6-litre V6 petrol with 280bhp and 256lb ft. It’s quick enough, but the huge increase in running costs simply isn’t worth it.
Few cars can match the Wrangler's breathtaking ability in the sticky stuff, and although there's no ignoring the fact that you're driving a hardened off-roader, the Wrangler doesn't disgrace itself on the Tarmac. Cornering is no hardship if your speeds are sensible, and although the ride is uncultured, it remains comfortable most of the time. The vague steering takes some getting used to, though.
The diesel engine sounds suitably agricultural, but the noise only rises to intrusive levels when you really pile the revs on. Road noise isn't that bad, either. However, the blunt shape of the front end and the big door mirrors mean that wind noise penetrates the cabin at speed and you can occasionally hear the suspension knocking underneath you.
The Wrangler undercuts the equivalent Land Rover Defender on purchase price, and comes with a good deal more equipment. A leaner-burning diesel engine also means it'll be cheaper to run than a Defender, despite having extra power. Don’t go anywhere near the thirsty V6 petrol, though. Resale values aren't as solid as the Defender's, either.
The cabin is every bit as utilitarian as you'd expect. Sure, it's nowhere near as basic as the Defender's, but it still doesn’t quite feel like it belongs in a mainstream car. The inside should prove as durable as the outside, too. The reliability of the basic mechanicals is well proven.
All Wranglers come with two airbags, which is two more than a Defender gives you. Stability control is another standard feature for which Land Rover charges extra. However, compared with other 4x4s, it isn’t nearly enough. ISOFIX child seat mountings are also provided. An engine immobiliser should provide some deterrent to would-be thieves.
The Wrangler isn't the most comfortable car you'll ever sit in, and finding a good driving position can be tricky, as the steering wheel adjusts for rake, but not reach. Visibility is good at the front, but not great at the rear. However, the dash is simple and looks reasonably smart.
There's good space up front, but rear headroom is very disappointing considering the tall, boxy nature of the car. The two-door version makes getting into the back awkward, because the front seats don't move far enough to help you climb past. The boot is a decent size, and removing the roof converts the Wrangler into a pick-up-type vehicle.
Sahara trim is the entry point into the range, and our favourite version. It comes with most of what you want, including climate control, automatic lights, Bluetooth and all the off-roading hardware that includes hill descent control. Overland models add heated leather seats, while Rubicon model come with even more hardcore off-roading mechanicals.
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