What is it like on the inside?
The interior’s been party to a more drastic revision than the ‘same as the old boss’ exterior. The old Wrangler’s sea of grey plastics has given way to a new set-up that’s somehow more modern and more retro-utilitarian at the same time. But the levers you tug to operate low range or even the gear selector still feel chunky and military-esque. It's a clever makeover.
The dashboard feels cleaner, more upright and uncluttered than the old one – even though it’s sporting about as many tech toys as last year’s CES – and Jeep’s taken a leaf out of the Fiat 500’s playbook by offering it in a vibrant cherry red. Yes, you can spec a contrast-stitched leather dash if you want. You can also order a salad at McDonalds.
If you like, there’s a 550-watt, eight-speaker stereo with a yoof-friendly subwoofer (for a total of nine speakers, maths fans), and yet Jeep touts the Alpine head unit’s ability to amplify 12 channels. Yup. Us neither. What does make more sense is the active noise cancellation on offer, like those Bose headphones your co-worker uses when he’s done listening to you talk about your love life.
There's Land Rover style tech here too. In the touchscreen there's various off-roading menus and graphics showing what steering angle you've got on or how steep a slope you're traversing.
And of course, if you want the interior to become the outside world, the soft-top has a detachable roof and even removable doors. Though if you do so, you no longer have door mirrors, Jeep reasoning you won't be looking behind you if you're doing the beach buggy routine. Jeep wouldn't let us unbolt the doors when we borrowed a Wrangler, which probably says more about their assumptions of the TopGear.com spanner ability than the build quality of the car (which feels jolly solid).