Believe it or not, the Jeep Wrangler is among the Philippines’ most popular off-roading SUVs, along with the Toyota FJ Cruiser. You see a good number of them on the roads, and with good reason. The Jeep Wrangler is a legitimate off-roader, and with the Philippines being a great setting for such adventures, it’s no surprise that cars like the Jeep Wrangler are popular here, especially to adventure-seeking types.
Just revealed at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2018 Jeep Wrangler looks familiar, but is completely new from the ground up. Underpinning its aggressive body is an all-new ladder frame chassis coupled with upgraded suspension and aluminum body panels. As a result, the Jeep Wrangler is not just more rigid, but it also 200 lbs lighter than its predecessor. The body above this frame has a familiar design, but with slight changes. The body panels now look leaner and more modern, especially at the front, in which the details have all been made for it to have better approach angles, resulting in a design that has less clutter up front, and now looks cleaner and more integrated with each other. Headlights possess LEDs for the main beam, and LED daytime running lights in the front fenders, while the tail lights are of course, now done in LEDs. The front fenders are painted in the 4-door Sahara model.
Of course, one thing that made the Jeep Wrangler popular is its ability to be flexible in many ways for different types of adventures. There are three roof styles. A hardtop, a convertible, which consists of a number of removable panels, and as a convertible with an electronic folding soft top. As ever, each door and roof panels can be configured in a number of ways, and the windshield can, of course, be dropped down.
FCA, the company behind Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge, spent heavy amounts of effort to improve the car’s interior. While it still looks rugged, it has substantially more plush materials now, with even many of the dashboard panels receiving stitching details. Buttons and switches feel weightier, and now have better tactile feel than before. Also new to the Jeep Wrangler is Chrysler’s latest version of their UConnect infotainment system, which has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. It also includes two USB ports, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and two 12V sockets.
Powering the Jeep Wrangler are a duo of engines. There is the familiar 3.6 liter Pentastar V6, which produces 285 hp and 352 Nm of torque. This engine is mated to either a 6-speed manual or a ZF 8-speed automatic. Power is sent as standard through the rear wheels, or optionally, on all four wheels through an electronically selectable four wheel drive system with locking differentials, low range gearbox, among other things. The other engine choice is a new one for the brand. It’s a 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-4 cylinder engine producing 268 hp and 400 Nm of torque. The powertrain is actually a mild-hybrid system for better fuel efficiency. The electric motor consists of a 48V battery and belt-starter generator, which assists the engine for more power and more torque for less fuel. The familiar 3.0 CRD V6 diesel engine will be offered in the future.
There are 4 variants to choose when going for the 4-door model, and 3 variants for the 2-door model. Sport, Sport S, and Rubicon is on both models, while the Sahara variant is only for the 4-door model. As ever, the Rubicon model is the most hardcore off-roader. It has 33-inch diameter tires, electronically disconnecting anti-roll bars, beefed up fenders, Dana 44 axles, and plenty of suspension modifications.
Without getting left in the dust when it comes to the latest safety features, the Jeep Wrangler features Blind Spot Warning, though we don’t know yet if this is standard across all variants.
No word yet on when this car will reach Philippine shores and at your nearest Jeep dealership.
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