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The Top Gear car review:Jeep Wrangler
Running costs and reliability
Jeep’s people say the JL Wrangler is easier to live with than ever before. And they may have a point – there are clever touches like vents behind the huge, air-scooping front wheel arches, which bleed air from the wheel well and also help cool the engine bay. Hinges and mounting points have been moved to improve visibility.
And yes, you’ll find a suite of active safety tech, reversing camera and simplified cabin layout, as well as modern conveniences like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But, perhaps most importantly, it’s easier than ever to get to the one of the best bits of Wrangler ownership. Namely, pulling half of it apart.
Yep, the windscreen, roof, and doors are easier to manipulate than ever before, and easier to remove entirely. It’s the kind of thing you never knew you always wanted, a reintroduction to nature after a lifetime spent cocooned inside hermetically sealed cabins. Or, to get down from our soapboxes, it’s just bloody cool to whizz along without any doors on. And, if you’re of a particularly outdoorsy inclination, you can fold the windscreen down or remove it entirely. Oh, and let’s not forget that you can lose the roof and the whole rear-window assembly as well, and drive around in about two-thirds of a car for as long as you feel like it.
Of course, you need somewhere to put everything you’ve taken off, like a garage, and you’re at the mercy of the elements until it’s all back on, but that’s appealing in its own Ranulph Fiennes-y way. Jeep’s got three different roofs for the Wrangler, however, so, if you’d like to taste the breeze without deconstructing a decent proportion of your car, you can do that too. But traditionalist Jeepers aren’t having any of that – the ‘one true experience’ is to drive somewhere impossibly remote, set up camp, pull all the panels off and set off for a day of dust inhalation.