Wran­gler ropes in a clas­sic

Jeep hasn’t lost its tra­di­tional tough­ness, writes Gra­ham Smith

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Cars -

THINK Jeep and you in­evitably think of those tough work­horses that served the Al­lied armies so valiantly in World War II. Hun­dreds of thou­sands of Jeeps were made by Willys and Ford dur­ing the war and were used in vir­tu­ally ev­ery the­atre in Europe and Asia.

The World War II Jeep was about as bare-boned as it is pos­si­ble to be. They were built to han­dle the tough­est en­vi­ron­ment imag­in­able and there was no room for any frills that might have made the sol­diers’ life more com­fort­able.

To­day’s crea­ture-com­fort-laden Jeep is a far cry from the orig­i­nal, but it still car­ries on with the tra­di­tion of tough­ness in the face of ad­ver­sity.

Model watch

ONE look at the JK Wran­gler re­leased in 2007 is enough to tell you it’s a Jeep. The ver­ti­cal bars of the grille flanked by high-mounted head­lamps are un­mis­tak­able styling touches that hark right back to World War II.

The Wran­gler has been tweaked to keep pace with the de­mands of to­day’s buyer who drives it ev­ery day.

Two body styles were of­fered, a two-door and a new five-door wagon ver­sion. The new body was wider than the out­go­ing model, it had a wider track, and the wheel­base was ex­tended to form the five-door.

A new cabin de­liv­ered on Jeep’s prom­ise of com­fort, while the five­door had un­prece­dented roomi­ness.

Like pre­vi­ous mod­els, the doors could be re­moved and the wind­screen folded and a roof panel could be taken off to feel the breeze. Un­der the flat bon­net sat the choice of a 3.8-litre V6 petrol en­gine or a tur­bod­iesel; the first time a Jeep had a self-ig­niter.

The fuel-in­jected V6 had plenty of low-down, go-any­where punch, boast- ing 146kW at 5000 revs and 315Nm at 4000 revs. The four-cylin­der tur­bod­iesel had 139kW at 3800 revs and 410Nm from 2000-2600 revs.

There was a choice of a six-speed man­ual gear­box and a four-speed auto on the petrol V6; the auto with the diesel was a five-speed.

The four-wheel-drive Wran­gler was al­ways a supreme off-road per­former and re­mains an out­stand­ing per­former in the bush.

Built on a more rigid chas­sis, the JK Wran­gler had solid axles front and rear like the older mod­els, but had none of the old tyre roar. Stan­dard equip­ment in­cluded air­con­di­tion­ing, cruise con­trol and al­loy wheels.

On the lot

PAY $19,000-$27,000 for a V6 Sport, add $6000-$7000 for a V6 Ru­bi­con.

For a five-door pay $22,000-$30,000 for an Un­lim­ited V6, add $5000-$8000 for an Un­lim­ited Ru­bi­con. Add an­other $3000 to drive a tur­bod­iesel.

In the shop

WHILE Jeeps have al­ways been tough, the build qual­ity of past mod­els was the sub­ject of reg­u­lar com­plaint. But that ap­pears to be in the past as few own­ers com­plain about re­cent mod­els. For any­one con­tem­plat­ing buy­ing a Wran­gler it’s im­por­tant to check for ev­i­dence of use in the bush.

Un­like most other four-wheel-drive ve­hi­cles the Wran­gler is quite likely to have been used off-road with own­ers mak­ing full use of their ve­hi­cles’ ca­pa­bil­ity in those con­di­tions.

While the Wran­gler is built to with-

Tough: The ver­ti­cal bars of the new Wran­gler’s grille, flanked by high-mounted head­lamps, hark back to World War II.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.