POSTED: Monday, December 17, 2012 - 6:17pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 17, 2012 - 6:20pm
I've mentioned before that I'm a Jeep guy. Let me amend that. I was a Jeep guy.
Last spring my beloved old '95 Wrangler bit the dust, and was replaced by something sleek and European as my wife demanded.
But thinking back and driving this lovely Wrangler Sport with the most bloody awful color choice possible, reminds me what a difference two generations makes.
The new Wrangler may look at first glance like all the Jeeps that went before.
But that familiar skin hides a vehicle that is an old soldier's fantasy.
All of us who tried to haul anything bigger than a Yorkie in the backseat of an old Wrangler, will be
astonished at the room in the new one. The dash of my '95 YJ looks Paleozoic
compared to the modern facia of the new Jeep. Air conditioning in mine was more
of a concept than a reality. Now, it's a bonafide climate control system.
Under the hood, the old 4 and 6-cylinder engines are gone, replaced by a new,
3.6-liter V6 with 295-horsepower. My old 4-cylinder gets around 23 miles per
gallon in the city. The new engine still averaged 21.
But it's off-road that most of us diehards judge a Jeep, and even though the Sport model is now the entry level Wrangler,
with the right options, like its 17-inch wheels, this new Wrangler can tackle any trail from mild
to rocky in a way that would put my kidneys in jeopardy in my old Jeep. It's
quite simply the best Jeep ever made. Base price for the Sport is around 22-large, and our
fully loaded version came to just over $28,000.
To me, that’s a lot of scratch to make the base model truly civilized.
Wait a minute. Did I say civilized? I’ve been driving my wife’s car too much.
The Wrangler is a vehicle that knows what it is, and has stayed true to that.