2024 Jeep Wrangler First Drive Review: Mountain Goat

With a mid-life facelift, the Jeep Wrangler has received several noteworthy upgrades. But does it truly live up to the reputation of being unstoppable?

By Ishan Raghava | Photography Sunil Chauhan | on May 25, 2024 Follow us on Autox Google News

If you have even a passing interest in cars, chances are that you’re familiar with the legendary Jeep and its storied origins. Born during tumult of the World War II, the Jeep was engineered to be a vehicle capable of tackling any terrain. A crucial asset, given the severely limited road network and demanding landscapes of battlefields, it immensely helped the Allied forces in their strategic campaigns. Following in the footsteps of the original Jeep, the company introduced the Wrangler to cater to an even wider audience, and it was an instant hit, especially in America. Renowned for its ruggedness, reliability, towing capacity, and off-road prowess, the Wrangler became immensely popular.

Now, the latest avatar of the Wrangler has been launched in India, and we got an opportunity to put it through its paces both on and off-road to assess its performance and experience its famed ability to conquer all kinds of terrain. 

Jeep Wrangler First Drive Review: Tweaks & Updates

Given that it’s a mid-life facelift, the changes to the Wrangler are limited but nevertheless quite noteworthy. Design-wise, the Wrangler gets a new 7-slat grille, a signature design element, which looks quite sharp. Another notable addition is the Gorilla glass windshield, a nod to modern tech borrowed from smartphones, and it serves a practical purpose too, for it reduces the likelihood of stone chips or scratches.

Review of Jeep Wrangler Steering Console And Instrumentation

Inside the cabin, the most significant update is a new infotainment system – a 12.3-inch touchscreen with great resolution – powered by the latest version of Jeep’s Uconnect 5 software. This upgrade not only enhances user experience but also ensures seamless smartphone connectivity and access to a range of other functions. In terms of safety, the Wrangler now comes with six airbags and  a suite of ADAS features, providing an extra layer of protection for occupants.

Also Read: Jeep Avenger 4xe SUV Globally Unveiled with All-wheel Drive System, Improved Suspension and More

In terms of practicality, the Wrangler offers enough space for accommodating five full-size adults without any issues. The seats are big and comfortable, and there is even ample space for luggage.

Jeep Wrangler First Drive Review: Taking it off the road

Our drive began with an exciting off-road adventure, plunging straight into a narrow single-car track running deep into the forest. The surface was strewn with fine dust and sand, offering a formidable challenge for any vehicle without an effective four-wheel drive system. The Wrangler, however, effortlessly tackled the terrain, navigating the twists and turns with the prowess of a seasoned off-road champion and making us look like professionals in the process. We were driving the Rubicon variant – the Wrangler is offered in two variants, Ultimate and Rubicon – which is more off-road focused. The Wrangler’s brilliance was such that all we had to do was switch between 4H and 4L modes for it to surmount all kinds of obstacles.

Jeep Wrangler Rear View

Our next endeavour, however, proved to be a bit more challenging – we attempted to cross the river Sutlej to reach a small island. Initially, I felt a tinge of apprehension – after all, river currents can be formidable – but the reassurance provided by the Jeep team instilled some confidence. Leveraging the Wrangler’s 38-inch water-wading capability, we embarked on the crossing with a blend of excitement and anticipation.

Jeep Wrangler Rear Wheel View

Maintaining a steady course and momentum, we went ahead and were treated to an unforgettable experience as the water surged up to the bonnet and nearly kissed the door windows. The Wrangler’s unwavering performance made the whole experience immensely enjoyable. Even on the road, the Wrangler impresses with its excellent performance and a very competent suspension setup, which effectively tackles both smooth and broken roads. The steering is quite direct and has a decent feel to it. Powered by a 2.0-litre engine the Wrangler has more than enough power to be quite fast for what it is. A standout feature is the 8-speed gearbox, which works terrifically with the engine and offers seamless shifts both on and off the road.

Jeep Wrangler Gear Lever View

Sure, the NVH levels are a bit high, and on bad roads, you are reminded of the fact that it’s a ladder frame chassis construction. Nonetheless, all these are minor niggles and pale in comparison to Wrangler’s overall performance and capabilities.

Overall, considering its pricing, go-anywhere capability, rugged aesthetics, and commanding road presence, the Wrangler stands tall as a formidable choice in its segment. Few vehicles can rival its combination of off-road prowess, comfort, refinement, and iconic brand image. For those who relish the thrill of off-roading or venturing off the beaten path, the Wrangler is simply a perfect choice.

Tags: Jeep Jeep Wrangler

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