The Jeep Wrangler 2.8 CRD is the entry level Wrangler model, with prices starting from £28,665. Since the car was first released in 1987, it has stayed true to its basic shape – the Wrangler is in fact a little bit a 4×4 icon, and it’s instantly recognisable by its shape, so it’s pretty obvious that Jeep aren’t going to be changing it any time soon.
Is that a good thing? Well, taste is subjective, and I don’t particularly like the look of this car, but there’s no arguing with its appeal to rural customers. Off road, the Wrangler is exceptional, and it is seemingly unstoppable on any terrain – it feels much more mechanical than a Land Rover, and as the driver, you feel more connected to the road. The rugged body makes you feel incredibly safe and the fat tyres ensure you never get stuck.
The engine is good too. The 2.2-litre diesel unit produces 197 bhp and 339 lb /ft of torque, which gives the Wrangler respectable pace off and on road. Elsewhere, practicability is good, and there’s lots of space in the rear for passengers and the seats are pretty comfortable also. If you keep the 2.2-litre engine fully maintained – these units have been proven to last for over a hundred thousand miles.
That off road capability, of course, comes at a price – on road, the Wrangler is suffers from body roll, and refinement is an issue at speed because the tyres produce a lot of road noise. It is when you’re on the road that you also discover just how bad the interior is – I get the fact that this is an off roader, and therefore lots of leather is pointless as it’ll get ruined, but I do feel that there should be an option for customers to specify whether they want a 1980’s inspired dashboard or a modern one… quite simply, the Wranglers interior is a blast from the past, and whilst it’s rugged, it’s not worthy of its £28,000 price tag.
Still, there’s no better car we can think of if you live on a farm… although the £28k price tag sounds steep in terms of the quality on offer, it isn’t when you think about what this machine can actually do.
The Jeep Wrangler 2.8 CRD is a fine off-roader that is plagued only by its on-road refinement and low quality interior. It has considerable appeal for anybody who lives in a rural area, and on an average run, you should return around 34 miles per gallon, which isn’t bad for a car of this type. As noted, road noise is an issue at speed and there is also a fair amount of body roll when cornering heavily, but we can think of no other car that can match the Wrangler in terms of price vs. off road capability.