Over the years, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has earned an iconic status for its go-anywhere ability. This year, everything is new, the meaning of which must not be forgotten – it now has more utility, flexibility and is no longer a huge compromise. In the past, the emphasis on the off-road made the experience on the road rather shocking. This is no longer the case. Of course, that sounds like it started, but updating the style and using LED lighting gives a modern touch to things.
The new Unlimited is longer, wider and now rolls over an elongated wheelbase – with a length of 3,008 mm, it is 61 mm higher, which gives more leg room at the rear and an increase of the carrying capacity. It has now been rated at 890 liters with 60/60 split / folding seats and 2,005 liters flat. The floor rises slightly to the front seats, but is fully functional and has the glued pieces needed and a small storage box under the floor.
Folding the windshield forward, removing the Freedom panels and the rear roof section with the new aluminum doors is easier than ever, making the transition from a high car hard to a buggy open a simple proposition – it comes with the required tools and fewer attachments to the arguments. The beauty is that there is always a cage that is full of body parts.
The only sacrifice to remove a large part of the body is a little more wind noise at speeds and the placement of the power window switch – they are in the middle and a little apart.
Inside the Sahara comes dressed well, but there are some options needed to complete the other side. The tester arrived with the Cold Weather group ($ 895), which adds a heated steering wheel and front seats, leather buckets ($ 995) and the Uconnect 4C infotainment system ($ 1,395) with navigation and a solid Alpine audio system. The beauty of the last option is the ease of use. It is the most intuitive infotainment system on the market. Doing everything from pairing a phone or punching a destination to access Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is the model of simplicity.
Regarding the driver’s transport, it always has a sitting and driving position, which is better off-road, but the sightlines on the road are now better and blind spot monitoring with cross traffic alert with a Reverse sensor system is now available in the Safety-Tec group ($ 845). Honestly, it should be standard.
One of the biggest improvements is the quality of driving comfort on the road. Gone is the shocking suspension in favor of an arrangement that opens the way without introducing undesirable roll. It is also more responsive and more accurate to feel. No, it’s not like a sports car, but there is a lot more stability and courtesy on the road, which after a week turned out to be welcome.
For hardcore off-roaders, the best suspension and the biggest footprint on the ground do not diminish the power of the backs – the corners of the approach, the start and return and the ground clearance are all a bit better . This fate in combination with the tight turning circle means that handling is just as good as before, despite the longer wheelbase. All this ensures a better off-road experience. For those who care, the Wrangler Unlimited is homologated, which means it passes traction tests, ground clearance, off-road articulation, maneuverability and water extraction from the Center. Nevada Motor Trials (NATC). The extraction of water is estimated at a maximum of 762 mm.
All that remains is the 3.6-liter V6 engine. It has a rated power of 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. It now works with a new eight-speed automatic transmission ($ 1,595) – a six-speed manual transmission is standard. The wider gear range makes a much better use of engine power than the old five-speed car. As such, the launch is brighter and the midrange stronger, giving an athletic run of up to 100 kilometers per hour of 7.2 seconds, and it has easy handling. Automatic switching is fast when it is transferred to its own devices and has a manual mode that is likely to be used only off-road.
The intriguing option is the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with the Jeep eTorque system. It pumps 270 hp and 295 lb-ft. of couple. It is slightly down on power, but the torque is stronger and shows up much earlier, which means better usable power. It also promises better fuel economy – the test bench V6 produced an average of 13.3 liters per 100 kilometers, which is rather thirsty.
All Unlimited models arrive with the Jeep Command-Trac 4 × 4 system. Smart money will choose the Selec-Trac system ($ 795). It moves part-time things full time and offers two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, four-wheel drive and four low with a crawl ratio of 2.72: 1. The Auto setting sees the system switch between two and four-wheel drive at need, and it does so transparently. There is also a neutral position, which allows the Unlimited to be towed flat behind another vehicle.
The outgoing Wrangler Unlimited was all about compromise. Its impressive off-road capability meant suffering while driving on the road. This, as stated, is no longer the case. In both disciplines, it is now much better with much more refinement, no matter the terrain. Throw in the improved interior, better flexibility and you have, for the adventurer, the boss ride.