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Jeep Wrangler Unlimited "Dragon Edition" road test


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The Editor's Soapbox:

There are forces out there wanting to ban four-wheelers from the nation's beaches. The Editor's wisdom suggests that 4x4 drivers and other outdoor enthusiasts should continue to be thoughtful and lawful just as they have been in the past. Drivers should "tread lightly" (even though high tide will wash away many of the wheel tracks and the wind will cover the remainder) and abide by all speed restrictions and permit requirements as it is in their interest to continue to demonstrate the exceedingly good nature and friendly camaraderie of the typical 4x4 driver.

In a 4WD environment never exceed your skill level without some-one with the appropriate skills accompanying you and be sure to have a plan to cover all contingencies should something go wrong.

Oh, and don't forget on-road tyres are not suitable for some off-road environments.

by Stephen Walker

30th March, 2014

Home > Road Tests > Jeep


The image that is projected by the Jeep Wrangler is quite admirable in my opinion.

It seems as though this mobile icon has been with us for yonks. And it has!

The Wrangler is nothing at all like the original Jeep. However, today's Wrangler can realistically lay claim to a heritage that few automotive icons can do. And this 'can do' type of 4x4 is popular for portraying an image that no-one else can reproduce despite there being numerous failed attempts in the past. As Jeep used to say a few years back ..... "There's only one Jeep".

Test car particulars

Our drive car is the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4-door decked out in the limited edition format designated as "Dragon". This special edition 4-door comes with a 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine and automatic transmission.

Jeep is good at presenting special editions. This is one of them.

Our "Dragon" news story is published: here. This story indicates the special features that are included in the "Dragon".

Prices*

The Jeep Wrangler "Dragon" four-door hit the market priced* from $51,000*.

Driving the Wrangler Unlimited V6

Our 260 km drive around Melbourne involved mostly urban and suburban highway motoring with approximately 90 kilometres on a freeway and a very short excursion off-road whilst in 2-wheel drive.

The Wrangler Unlimited is a big 'car' but it is easy to manage except for reverse parking. The back up and bump system would be effective but that would damage the very nice spare wheel cover. A reversing camera, as fitted, solves the problem and it is a very good inclusion for this type of car.

The ride is a little on the 'tough' side, as expected of a highly regarded off-road vehicle, but I found it easy enough to live with during our urban travels. Jeep have other models if you seek a supple ride.

The steering is light but the turning circle is big at 13.1 metres. Steering wheel adjustment is restricted to up and down only - no reach adjustment in this Jeep.

The petrol-fuelled V6 provides good performance and it is a smooth delivery of power that makes the drive experience quite good. Although handling is like many larger 4WDs just as should be expected. Not that that is a problem, you just need to be sure to slow down for roundabouts more so than a car driver.

Although we didn't drive into any rough stuff, the Wrangler reputation is well known amongst experienced 'four-wheelers'. It is my opinion that the diesel is a better choice for serious off-roading. But the Dragon decals aren't meant for 'bush-bashing'.

Living with the "Dragon"

Firstly, there are lots of dragon motifs and bronze trimmings in this special edition.

Entry and egress is somewhat tight upfront with a less than generous amount of space to get big feet in and out between the seat mountings and the door frame holding the door hinges.

The air conditioning was very good. Seating comfort is suitable but there isn't a great deal of footroom upfront.

Specifications

Wrangler V6 is a petrol-fuelled engine with a 3.6 litre displacement. It offers a maximum 209kW at 6,350rpm and the maximum torque is a handy 347Nm at 4,300rpm.

The automatic transmission is a five-speed unit.

Four-wheel drive is standard - of course.

Steering is hydraulic power assisted rack and pinion. Turning circle is a big 13.1 metres.

The suspension is by a 5-link solid axle at both front and rear.

The road wheels are eighteen-inch alloys with a special finish for the "Dragon".

Safety

Electronic stability control (ESC) with brake assist is fitted as is All-speed Traction Control (ASTC); Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM); Brake Lock Differentials (BLD); Anti-lock brake system (ABS); Multi-stage driver and front passenger air bags; Supplemental front row, side seat-mounted air bags.

A reversing camera is fitted to the Wrangler Unlimited "Dragon".

Fuel

The official fuel consumption rating for the Wrangler Unlimited V6 petrol/auto is 11.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle, which is good for a vehicle of this type.

On the urban cycle, the official fuel consumption rating is 16.1 litres per 100 kms.

The fuel tank capacity is 85.2 litres.

Dimensions (Wrangler Unlimited)

Length: 4,755 mm (approximately)
Width: 1,877 mm
Height: 1,840 mm
Wheelbase: 2,947 mm
Kerb weight: 2,053 kg (approximately).

4WD aspects

Ground clearance: 220 mm (unladen - approximately)
Approach angle: 35 degrees
Departure angle: 28 degrees
Ramp break-over angle: 18 degrees.

Towing

A braked trailer weighing up 2,000 kg is suitable for the Wrangler Unlimited with appropriate towing equipment.

After Sales

Wrangler Unlimited comes with a three-year, 100,000km warranty (conditions apply).

Roadside assistance is included for three years (conditions apply).

Conclusion

The Wrangler Unlimited is suitable for serious off-roading and the "Dragon" is suitable for being flashy around town. This Jeep has purpose and presence. But it will only suit those wanting to make a statement in town and those who enjoy themselves immensely when they are off-road. Despite some great classic features, the Wrangler Unlimited does show some signs of its age. But few will complain, after all the Jeep Wrangler is an icon.



NOTE: * Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.


E&OE



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