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It’s #chooseday and today we welcome the iconic @jeep_southafrica Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 2.8 CRD Automatic. Like most of you, we are fans of this Jee and in the next couple of days, we set out to find out what makes it so loved. Is it the timeless shape? The idea of uncompromising (4×4) adventure that it promises or that you can take it apart (by taking off the roof and doors) and look like a surfer from California that makes you fall for it? Some of you will know that this Jeep is on its last days as the new model is due for launch soon but notwithstanding this, the current model is still as intriguing as ever. #jeepwrangler #jeep #jeepwranglerunlimited #adventure #4×4 #rural #country #urban #trendy #icon
Imagine buying a car today that might possibly last you for the next 20 years without breaking a sweat. That’s what climbing into the Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited felt like this past week. The car felt indestructible and as though it was built to last forever. The new Jeep is on its way and I am certain you have seen the images of the new one. If not, the last two images below are of the new one. Although it is on way out, the current generation is still as alluring as ever before and one of the leading lifestyle icons of our times.
Climbing inside the interior of the Jeep, you do notice its age. The infotainment, although offered in colour and also touchscreen, looks small and dated. The same can be said of the odometer’s trip computer. The valuable information like fuel consumption and range gets a bit boring to look at due to the dated graphics. That aside, the interior feels as tough as nails. There are hard plastics used but they have been presented well and add to impression of quality presented by the car. You do not get side pockets on the doors but fabric nets that you can slot your keys and other items in. Makes sense as the doors are detachable. Inside you are also not left wanting for space for items such as phones and keys though, as the centre console bin is deep. That does not make it impractical as it has two openings, one opening to a shallow storage space on top and the other to the deeper storage space at the bottom.
Staying in the interior, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited scores highly on interior space. There is ample room for five occupants in the cabin. The drive and front passengers have enough legroom and so do the back passengers. You might want to plan ahead though if going on a road trip as you cannot play your music via Bluetooth but have to preload it onto the internal hard drive. Heavens bless the reviewer who loaded Rihanna’s Anti album onto the hard drive; I would have had a tough time had it not been for that album.
The Jeep’s exterior look channels 70 years’ worth of heritage. In fact, the exterior is what is loved about the Jeep. I thought the red colour of my test unit was a bit odd but it grew on me, and seemed to turn heads wherever I went affirming the fact that the Jeep Wrangler has still got “it”. Getting in may be a bit tricky and I found myself having to reach for the roof or the wheel. This was not ideal but I could live with it.
Drive and fuel consumption
My sole regret is not taking the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited off-road during my time with it but such is the nature of a modern SUV buyer, right? I kid. Jeep drivers are not like that. My cousin who owns a limited edition Wrangler Polar Edition has taken hers countless times on off-road trips, including challenging sand dune drives. The best part is that owners like her still manage to live with their Jeep Wranglers in the city. The Wrangler can be intimidating because of its size in the city. The matter may be compounded somewhat if you get one with no PDC like the one I had. I would not recommend getting these if you are a relatively new driver or usually drive with other occupants who could distract you. Nonetheless, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited does shrink around you and you get used to manoeuvring it if you take necessary caution.
The drive is surprisingly comfortable for a car that is designed with conquering challenging off-road conditions in its DNA. With 147 kW/460 Nm behind it, thanks to its 2.8l turbo-diesel, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited can be slow at take-off but you do feel all the power once you get going. Interestingly I was warned about its fuel thirsty habits but with a combination of the warnings in my mind and disciplined driving (no quick take offs, harsh breaking, etc.), I found myself averaging 12.1l/100km in peak city traffic. I thought this wasn’t too bad at all. Anyone wanting to get this car will have to bear this in mind when investing in this car. It is not Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. You will hate the car if you think you can zip through traffic and overtake like a minibus taxi but if you know that you have one of the most capable cars off-road around and that city driving is more of an inconvenience to it than you, you will love this car.
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 2019
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