Jeep Wran­gler Ru­bi­con

Jeep Wran­gler Ru­bi­con £40,000 ap­prox. WE SAY: IT’S A ME­CHAN­I­CAL OMELETTE. READ ON, AND ALL WILL BE­COME CLEAR...

Top Gear (UK) - - CONTENTS - CRAIG JAMIESON

Much is cel­e­brat­ing of writ­ing the about new. cars But some­times, what’s best is more of the same.

The new Wran­gler finds a way to fold new­ness into old, like a me­chan­i­cal omelette. It’s new ev­ery­where you look – from its lad­der frame, alu­minium pan­els and vastly im­proved in­te­rior, to its en­gines, axles and 8spd gear­box – but does so with­out stepping away from ev­ery­thing that Jeep fans loved about the old.

So it’s im­pos­si­bly ca­pa­ble off-road, es­pe­cially in Ru­bi­con spec, with its front and rear lock­ing diffs, de­tach­able front sway bar, deep low-range gear­box (with a 4:1 ra­tio) and 33in mud tyres. The cheaper Sa­hara does with­out these off-road ex­tras but re­tains proper 4WD, a low-range gear­box and the ground clear­ance of a gi­raffe.

A 2.2-litre diesel is shared across the range, re­plac­ing the old 2.8-litre. It’s no more pow­er­ful, at 197bhp and 332lb ft, but of­fers more mpg and less noise in the process. A 2.0-litre turbo petrol with 272bhp and 295lb ft will join the range later, and a 3.6-litre V6 is re­served for places where fill­ing up with petrol doesn’t cost as much as a mort­gage pay­ment. The diesel does the usual diesel thing of be­ing an in­er­tia-gath­er­ing de­vice, rather than ac­cel­er­at­ing with verve, but it’s per­fectly happy to cruise at au­toroute speeds.

Once onto back roads, the Wran­gler feels as woolly as its two-tonne weight, solid axles and lofty sus­pen­sion would sug­gest. That said, it’s bet­ter than ever, and the rem­edy is to back off a bit and revel in the com­fort of­fered by tall­side­wall tyres and long-throw sus­pen­sion.

Ac­tu­ally, the whole ex­pe­ri­ence is less com­pro­mised than any Wran­gler be­fore it – yes, it’s not a B-road blaster, but you can en­ter­tain the no­tion of hav­ing one as your only car, such is the com­fort and sen­si­ble us­abil­ity on of­fer. And then, when it’s time to bid sen­si­bil­ity farewell, you can pull the roof and all the doors off, and head away to find a new ad­ven­ture. Or re­turn to an old favourite. Your choice, re­ally.

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