The Jeep Wrangler is the kind of car every hard-core off-road enthusiast dreams of owning. But, in India, it’ll remain a dream for virtually everyone because of its staggering price. This iconic American brand has been on the verge of entering the Indian market for a while now. In the meantime, we’ve had the opportunity of testing the Wrangler on every terrain imaginable – in India and in the US. When it comes to off-roading, there’s no doubt in our minds that the Wrangler is exceptionally good. And with a high torque 2.8-litre, in-line four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, a 5-speed automatic transmission and Jeep’s Command Trac 4×4 system, driving the Wrangler over challenging terrain is as easy as pie – that’s what it’s purpose-built for. However, that’s pretty much the only thing it excels at. On the daily commute, the Wranger is nothing special – although it does feed into the alpha male syndrome very well indeed.
The Wrangler sure is big, and it does look fierce on the road – but it’s got little to offer in terms of on-road driving dynamics. The steering is extremely light and the suspension is very soft – again, because it’s a proper off-road vehicle. The engine, meanwhile, is very refined and has plenty of grunt – but the transmission and throttle response are slow. Plus, the cabin doesn’t use the highest quality materials and it’s quite cramped as well.
You would think that the Wrangler could be the perfect car for India because of its ability to take a beating and glide over our infamous roads, but that’s not entirely the case. Sure, it’s a great machine for adventure junkies, and it certainly gets you noticed on the road – in fact, it makes you feel like a celebrity – but for any kind of on-road use it is compromised. The real downside, though, is that there’s simply no way of justifying its price tag. Is it an icon? Yes. But is it worth the money? No!