Why the all-new JEEP WRANGLER is the first name on the teamsheet
The all-new Jeepwrangler is now as comfortable on the road as it is off it
ALL EYES ARE ON CRISTIANO RONALDO . The world’s most ‘followed’ athlete’s name is screamed out by man, woman and child everywhere he turns — on or off the football pitch. A fair few thousand people at the sold-out Juventus Stadium have bought tickets just to watch him play, regardless of the final score. It’s Ronaldo.
As turns out, on a crisp December evening in Turin against arch rivals Inter
Milan, Ronaldo has a largely forgettable game. Flashes of brilliance, yes, but the gamewinning contribution comes from Juventus’ other centreforward, Mario Mandžukic´.
Nicknamed ‘the horse’, Mandžukic´ is big, strong and reliable. At his size and stature, he shouldn’t be as nimble as he is. Forming a fearsome partnership with Ronaldo’s brilliance and pace, it is often Mandžukic´’s dogged power and persistence that delivers time and time again. In motoring terms, Ronaldo is a Ferrari, Mandžukic´ is a Jeep.
But not just any Jeep, he is the all-new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. A fully-specced, top-of-the-line beast that remains the most competent off-roader in the world, and in its new incarnation, it is as comfortable on tarmac as any cruiser.
Redesigned for the first time in more than a decade, the new Wrangler still retains the design language of the models that came before it.
While the clever people at Jeep realise that the SUV’S styling and image are key to what sell it, they also are aware that in order to standout in an over-saturated market, they needed to make sure it is as comfortable on-road as it is off-road.
Sure the new Wrangler retains its hose-me-out look and feel, but the interior’s materials have been upgraded bringing an added level of refinement. The centre-console storage is generous, the armrests are better-placed and all the secondary controls are ideally located for use while driving.
Significant upgrades have also been made to the Wrangler’s infotainment system with an easy-to-use 7-inch touchscreen that works swiftly and simply, packing support for Apple Carplay and Android
Auto. The full-colour trip computer also does a great job of providing plentiful information front-and-centre for the driver.
Due to the soft-top roof (the option that we are driving) there’s some wind noise, however, the Rubicon’s all-terrain tires are surprisingly quiet and the whole ride’s smoother than you might expect for a brickshaped cloth-roofed truck.
Used to the rough and tumble, some of the new Wrangler’s most welcome upgrades are actually intended to help you avoid hitting other stuff. Visibility is vastly improved, thanks to enlarged window glass in every direction, though the windshield and mirrors are still quite short. The rear wiper now hides behind the spare tire rather than blocking your view out the back window, and you can even fold down the rear-seat headrests when no one’s sitting there. A backup camera is standard — the first time a Wrangler has ever offered one, and mainly because it’s now required by law — and you can option rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring.
Unlike a Ferrari, the all-action Jeep Wrangler continues to do the dirty stuff better than anyone else but, just like Juventus’ Mario Mandžukic´, every now and then, it will also steal the limelight.
THE MOST COMPETENT OFF-ROADER IN THE WORLD, AND IN ITS NEW INCARNATION, AS COMFORTABLE ON TARMAC AS ANY CRUISER
Above: The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Below: Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic