New 2024 Jeep Wrangler unveiled with sharper styling and updated tech
Starting from £60,785 when UK deliveries begin in the first half of 2024, can Jeep’s latest suite of upgrades and refreshments remedy the Wrangler’s flaws?
Wrangler A, or Wrangler B? On the surface, Jeep’s revisions to its venerable Defender rival seem so minor, that it puts us in mind of that awkward moment during an eye exam where the optician asks, “Is it better with lens A, or lens B?” And you think “is there a difference? I can’t tell.”
Park the new car side by side with the old one, though, and you will start noticing the improvements — subtle though they may be. A new 7-slot grille with black texturing helps to modernise the off-roader’s face, while the old car’s archaic radio antenna has been scrapped in favour of a windscreen-integrated item — less visually offensive, but also handy for off-roading.
Keeping things simple, Jeep is offering the new model in just two trim levels in the UK: a base-level Sahara and a pricier Rubicon version. The entry offering gets 18-inch alloys, a large 12.3-inch central touchscreen (featuring the obligatory Apple Car Play and Android Auto as standard), a 9-speaker Alpine Premium Audio system, and a reversing camera among many other additions.
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Those who intend to use their Wrangler for serious off-road work will be best served by the top-spec Rubicon. You certainly get plenty for the extra outlay of around £2,000. 17-inch aluminium wheels wear BF Goodrich mud-terrain tyres, which benefit from enlarged tread blocks for fantastic traction on the gnarliest mud slopes and loosest rock terrain. Plus, before the power even makes it to the tyres it’s now filtered by front and rear axle lockers and a Rock-Trac part-time transfer case with 4:1 4LO ratio. All of which gives some credence to Jeep’s claim that the Wrangler is ‘…the most off-road capable SUV’ in the world.
What about the engines? Petrolheads might be disappointed to hear that the UK won’t receive the same juicy motors as our friends across the pond. That means no petrol V6 or burbling 392 Hemi V8, but given current fuel costs that’s probably not the end of the world.
More relevant (and disappointing) is Jeep’s decision to omit the new 49 mpg-capable plug-in hybrid variant from the British roster. A peculiar choice, perhaps, but the good news is the sole UK engine configuration — a 2.0-litre turbo 4 cylinder pumping out an adequate 267 bhp — should suffice for most buyers when mated to the efficient 8-speed automatic gearbox.
Taken in isolation, it’s unlikely that any of Jeep’s improvements will leave you singing the new Wrangler’s praises from the rooftops. However, they add up to more than the sum of their parts, leaving a niche but accomplished machine which should prove to be a worthy adversary for other extreme SUVs like Toyota’s Land Cruiser and Land Rover’s Defender.
Are you tempted by the new Wrangler, or have the limited engine options steered you towards the competition?
Hero image credit: Jeep