Jeep Wrangler — King of go-anywhere vehicles

By David Finkelstein

Positioned as a two door sport utility and classified as a multipurpose vehicle by the EPA, the four passenger, 2016 Jeep Wrangler is clearly an authentic ”go anywhere” SUV. Its built on 75 years of legendary and notable heritage. With class-leading capability, craftsmanship and underlining versatility, Wrangler is aimed at people who seek extraordinary journeys and active lifestyles.

The iconic Jeep Wrangler is one of the most recognized vehicle's in the world. To further help define the Jeep Wrangler, it's a one-of-a-kind combination of open-air freedom, off-road proficiency and on-road refinement.

This combination has brought Wrangler’s popularity and global footprint to an all-time high. The factory has developed some new additions for the '16 model year that will likely keep this momentum in the forefront for years to come. For instance, FCA now offers the Wrangler Black Bear Edition. It was named after the notorious Black Bear Trail located in Telluride, Colorado.

The Black Bear Edition adds special content to the exterior and interior for a distinctive on and off-road appearance. Additionally, the Rubicon Hard Rock Edition — available since 2015 — carries forward the capability-enhancing features of the Rubicon model while including a nine-speaker Premium Alpine high end audio system, all coupled with a Low Gloss Black grille with High Gloss Black inserts. The two-tone contrast gives off a distinctive look overall.

Returning for 2016, the Jeep Wrangler Freedom Edition offers value to customers with unique exterior and interior appointments. For each Wrangler Freedom Edition sold, Jeep will support the United Service Organizations Inc. (USO) as part of the Jeep Operation Safe Return initiative.

Yet another version is the Wrangler Willys Wheeler model. It's designed to pay homage to their earlier civilian Jeep vehicles with additional off-road hardware for increased back woods or unpaved road type capability. The Wheeler also has unique outer body markings to help set this version apart from other models of Wrangler. Two new exterior color choices  include Rhino Mojave Sand and Hypergreen. Additional colors include: Billet Silver, Black, Bright White, Firecracker Red, Granite Crystal, Hydro Blue and Tank.

I'm not totally certain who thinks of these alluring color pallet names but I think its safe to say, years ago, the car companies were totally OK with marketing vehicles with color names such as: red, black, green, blue, beige, etc.

The Jeep's unmatched and well engineered four-wheel drive system is produced with more than seven decades of 4x4 experience. Wrangler continues to offer a body-on-frame “ladder type” strong underside design. Additionally, the suspension system is a five-link design linked with electronic wheel lockers, and is one of the few SUVs in this specialty category that offers a six-speed manual gearbox, besides a five-speed automatic transmission.

Furthermore, Wrangler is available from the factory with several driveline axle gear ratios to choose from therefore, allowing customers to optimize fuel economy and vehicle capability. Additionally, it also has a safe towing capability of up to 3,500 pounds. That number adds to it's adaptability.

Wrangler’s interior combines unique styling that hinges a bit on being rugged. The level of comfort and intuitive features is well suited for an SUV such as this. Some of the notable features offered are: automatic temperature controls, heated premium leather seats plus power operated door mirrors. Large rear windows are engineered for greater visibility. A USB port connects to the media center, 12-volt accessory outlets are located throughout the Wrangler and a 115-volt AC outlet is available to power select three-pronged home personal electronics.

Standard are P225/75 R16 tires and optional are 17 and 18 inch tires and wheel packages. Signature features include: classic round headlamps, seven-slot front grille assembly, trapezoid wheel flares, removable doors, exposed hinges, a fold-down windshield and innovative removable tops and half doors that allow the Wrangler to retain the brand’s iconic appearance and function.

Wrangler Rubicon and Sahara models share a body-color hardtop option, offering a premium appearance. More than two dozen safety and security features are standard. This includes electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, trailer-sway control, hill-start assist and brake traction control - all engineered to improve handling and accident avoidance while providing occupant protection.

Customers can stay connected with their Uconnect systems, including voice recognition, Bluetooth streaming audio, navigation and SiriusXM Radio. The Wrangler’s connectivity systems have improved ergonomics by giving the driver control at their fingertips. Intuitive buttons on the front and rear of the steering wheel control a number of features allowing the driver to keep hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Under the hood is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine. Its developed to operate on regular 87 grade octane fuel. It produces 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. It is engineered to provide a broad torque band which is ideal for extreme off-roading. The EPA numbers show 17-MPG city and 21-MPG highway (as an average) however it depends on a lot of variables.

With what appears to be an endless list of personalized accessories, pricing starts out at $23,895 for Wrangler and all models are manufactured at FCA's plant located in Toledo, Ohio.