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Grander bits for Jeep's Wrangler

2011-03-03 10:42

MARKED IMPROVEMENT: Whereas the Wrangler’s cabin architecture and ergonomics have always been borderline tolerable, some upgrades have gone a long way to making it a better long-distance touring vehicle.

One of the last true all-round solid axle off-road vehicles on sale, Jeep’s Wrangler, is now available with (much) better ergonomics and improved interior comfort levels.

Since its launch locally back in 2007, the Wrangler range has found favour with hardcore off-road enthusiasts, thanks to its outstanding traction abilities and classic Jeep styling.

In Rubicon trim it is one of the very few vehicles to feature locking differentials on both the front and rear axles, making it practically unstoppable over severely broken terrain.

Unfortunately the Wrangler, especially the four-door Unlimited models, features rather compromised interior packaging and design details. Plainly, the ergonomics are nearly as bad as Land Rover’s Defender.

To address this issue, Jeep announced a comprehensive interior redesign for the Wrangler range internationally back in 2010. These changes are now available on new Jeep Wranglers retailed locally.


Accessing the new Wrangler cabin, the improved tactile quality of the trim will be immediately noticeable.

Whereas previous Wrangler's plastics appeared to have been sourced from the cutting floor of a Chinese toy company, this is not the case anymore - with soft-touch materials now lining much of the cabin.

Infotainment capability is improved with steering wheel satellite controls (finally), operating the USB enabled sound system, Bluetooth phone syncing and cruise control.

GRANDER WHEEL?: Yes, that horrid four-spoke steering wheel has replaced with the latest Grand Cherokee’s. Wrangler owners rejoice…

Sporting a thicker rim, the new helm is similar to that of the recently launched Grand Cherokee and a massive improvement on the previous four-spoke steering wheel.

A cleaner centre console and fascia design now houses a lockable stowage bin and ventilation controls of the adjustable barrel type (instead of switches).

Jeep promises lower noise, vibration and harshness levels too courtesy of improved sound deadening and better visibility for second-row Unlimited passengers courtesy of larger windows.

The greater glasshouse surface between the B- and C-pillars is a design change that should do much to alleviate the feeling of claustrophobia most second-row passengers endured when traveling over long distances in Wrangler Unlimited models.

Equipment upgrades include heated seats and additional 12v power points, whilst in terms of exterior styling the Unlimited’s removable hardtop is now colour coded, instead of black and white only.

Now, if only we could get the excellent 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine available in the new Grand Cherokee transplanted into the Wrangler range...


Wrangler 3.8 Sport R299 990
Wrangler 3.8 Sahara R249 990
Wrangler 2.8 Rubicon R369 990
Wrangler 2.8 CRD Sahara R394 990
Wrangler Unlimited 3.8 Sahara R374 990
Wrangler Unlimited 3.8 Rubicon R394 990
Wrangler Unlimited 2.8 CRD Sahara R419 990

Can you afford one? Find out with our WesBank car finance calculator.

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