No Trail Too Tough: 2014 Jeep Wrangler
By Don Armstrong
For many, part of the outdoor experience is navigating terrain and no vehicle is more capable than the Jeep Wrangler.
Since 1941, this original four-wheeler has gotten more people out of tough spots than we can count, including our armed forces.
The 2014 Wrangler has come a long way since its debut, yet its body style is still the most recognizable in the world. The 7-slot grille, round headlamps, squared shoulders and rear-mounted spare are, today, very much a part of its long lineage.
Now featuring a more powerful and fuel efficient 3.6-liter Pentastar engine, there’s enough oomph to get you up and over almost anything, with on-road civility and power for freeway on-ramp speed squirts. The 285-horsepower V-6 gets up to 21-mpg on the highway while delivering 260 lb.-ft. of torque.
For those that like autonomous shifting, there’s an available 5-speed automatic transmission, but for the do-it-yourselfers, a 6-speed manual will impress your fishing buddies.
Here are the numbers, the off-road stuff that makes Wrangler a winner in every category; Able to tackle the steepest grades and deepest ruts, approach angle for Wrangler is up to 44.6 degrees, breakover angle is 25.5 degrees and departure angle is up to 40.6 degrees depending on tire size. Ground clearance of the front axle is 9.1 to 10.5 inches depending on tire size. At the rear, axle-to-ground clearance is 8.8 to 10.2 inches. On Jeep Wrangler Rubicon models there’s an electronic front sway bar disconnect to help provide additional wheel travel in difficult terrain conditions.
As for on-road ride quality; it’s smoother and more compliant than you might think, certainly better than many import sport cars.
Jeep purists still enjoy all of the amenities that make this do-all an outdoorsman’s dream; fold-down windshield, removable doors, washable floors, standard soft-top and optional removable hardtop.
And let’s not forget Chrysler’s available Uconnect touch screen, the best in the business, featuring Bluetooth streaming audio, SiriusXM satellite radio and Travel Link, Uconnect media center, web, navigation and voice command.
The Jeep Wrangler 2-door and Wrangler Unlimited 4-door are available in four models: Sport, Sport S, Sahara and Rubicon.
Limited, special edition versions of the Wrangler are snapped up as fast as they are built. Right now Jeep is offering the Willys Wheeler Edition in the 2-door model and the Polar Edition for four-door fanatics.
Pricing starts at $22,395 for the 2-door sport.