It was a weird weekend. I was doing domestic stuff like trying to put my city kitchen back together using sweat equity so I did not have an opportunity to go off-road with my Jeep Wrangler. According to Chrysler, 80 percent of Wrangler owners use their vehicle off-road. And I can see why. How much more fun would I have had driving my Wrangler as equipped? Mucho mejor. That little red Wrangler was just fixin’ to do some dirt with 4-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic roll mitigation, Command Trac shift-on-the-fly 4WD system, heavy duty rear axle, solid front axle, 3.21 rear axle ratio, transfer case skid plate shield, fuel tank skid plate shield, It has a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 24 valve VVT engine (also found in the Grand Cherokee) that delivers 285 horsepower coupled with a 5-speed Automatic transmission. The new optional automatic transmission improved fuel efficiency (17 city/21 highway) for both automatic and manual 4WD models.
The removable roof panels were too heavy and cumbersome to remove by myself. I really wanted to take the doors and the windshield off and ride in the open air. My to-do list won over and that led to feelings of inadequacy, especially since I am thinking about doing desert rally in 2013. I could have taken those panels off if I’d been focused. This should not discourage anyone from taking a look at this fun vehicle because of my ineptitude.
Inside the Wrangler has been sissified with all the connectivity a person could want including voice recognition, Bluetooth® streaming audio, navigation and satellite radio assures you’re never truly in the wild. Automatic temperature controls, heated seats, power mirrors, a USB port, 12-volt accessory outlets and AC power outlets keep you plugged in and cozy—space blankets optional.
The new powertrain produces a 25 percent improvement in its 0-60 time to 8.4 seconds, no tiger at the gate but Wrangler owners aren’t looking for that kind of performance.
The appeal of the Wrangler is its cool looks and it capability off-road. Four-wheel drive is standard and includes high- and low-range transfer case gears
Its boulder-crawling prowess includes a best-in-class approach angle (approaching a rock or steep hill and then climbing it) of up to 44.6 degrees, breakover angle (the smallest possible angle when measured from the wheels to the underside of the vehicle. If its too small your vehicle will bottom out when you crest to the top of the ledge) of 25.5 degrees and departure angle (measured from the back of the rear wheels to the rear bumper. If the rear bumper sticks out too much the rear will drag in the dirt when going up ledges and drag against ledges after going down) of 40.6 degrees-slightly less on 4-door models. These angles and numbers give the Wrangler the ability to climb over rocky and rugged trails, through washouts, and across uneven terrain. Both 2-door and 4-door models have three skid plate bars to protect vulnerable underbody parts.