WE LIKE Drives better, rides better, easier to take apart
WE DON’T LIKE Soggy V-6 torque, loud interior
“With the roof open and the wind in your hair, early Beatles playing on the radio, it takes you back to that golden childhood you never really had,” Kim Reynolds said, stepping out of the Jeep Wrangler Sahara. “It’s a bit like driving a classic car.”
The Wrangler generated a lot of philosophical thought among the judges. After all, how do you judge a vehicle that’s nothing like anything else on the market—an actual SUV in the purest (purist’s) sense?
“Icon is a much-abused term, but it’s difficult to describe the Jeep Wrangler any other way,” Angus MacKenzie said. “This is an SUV whose style is substance; the Wrangler looks the way it does because of what it does. The advancement in design is in the minutiae, the tiny details that make it more useable, more capable.”
Same goes for engineering excellence, which manifests in features like the detachable anti-roll bar on the Rubicon model or the removable side panels on the Sahara. “The genius of this Jeep is that it can be configured to suit the off-roading ambitions of neophyte and expert alike and deliver an experience that will reward them both,” MacKenzie said.
Even icons aren’t perfect, though. We found the V-6 engine coarse and underwhelming, particularly when paired with the long-geared manual transmission. Both the hardtop and softtop models couldn’t keep out road noise. And your friends will hate the Wrangler’s pinched second-row ingress and egress.