Jeeps are designed to crawl up boulder-strewn slopes where one crimped brake line will bring an abrupt halt to activities. Jeeps are designed to bomb across loose surfaces at heroic speed, and in a manner entirely at odds with the cars whose incredible traction will haul them across impossibly slippery terrain at no more than walking pace.
Jeep doesn’t revitalise the Wrangler very often, but the latest generation is more useable than ever on the road as well as more capable off it. That Jeep has carefully preserved the much-loved design – whose circular headlights, slatted grille and strict geometry are recognisable still from the original Willys MB jeeps first deployed in World War II – is only part of the appeal. The interior is now more spacious and less cheaply- and sparsely finished, which goes hand-in-hand with the improved efficiency of the car’s downsized engines and better road manners (everything is relative, mind).
Of course, the Wrangler is still spectacular off the beaten track, especially in 5 door Rubicon trim with its locking differentials, knobbly tyres, specialised axles, underbody bracing, and outstanding approach and departure angle statistics. For expeditions in true wilderness, the Jeep yields to almost nothing.
Jeep Created a definitive ‘best’ off-roader Vehcle. Even if you pin down the basic parameters for comparison – breakover angles, wheel travel, wading depth, cost and so on – the problem becomes one of environment.