Jeep Wrangler

The Essentials

  • Price from £26,725
  • What Car? says: 2 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 34.9mpg
  • What is it? Hard-core off-roader is a cheaper alternative to a Land Rover Defender.

Great

  • Brilliant off-road, so perfect if you need to cross rivers or climb mountains
  • Engines are strong, and not too expensive to run
  • Decent space for four people to experience the fun

Gripes

  • Not the smoothest or quietest on normal roads
  • Very little adjustment to help the driver get settled
  • Sure to annoy people if you only drive it around a town or city
  • Drive

    Great for getting out of sticky spots and reasonable on the road, too. Diesel engine is noisy

  • Inside

    No-frills interior means not everyone will be comfortable, but it's smart enough

  • Safety

    Two airbags, ISOFIX child seat mountings and stability control as standard

  • Reliability

    The engines are tried and tested and the interior feels built to last

  • Space

    Fine for four, but go for the four-door if you're planning much use of the rear seats

  • Standard and extras

    Better than a Land Rover Defender, with climate control and Bluetooth on all

  • What's it like to drive?

    If you're into off-roading, then it doesn't get much better than a Wrangler. With more pulling power than Brad Pitt, you're unlikely to end up stuck in the mud for long. On normal roads it does a good job of staying upright round corners, and protecting your fillings from too much shaking. It doesn't look like a streamlined beast, so it's no surprise that some noise reaches the cabin, but it's surprisingly refined. Rev the engines and it will sound like you've kick started a chainsaw, but in steady driving only the diesel sounds like it's straight off the farm.

  • What's it like inside?

    Not everyone will be able to get comfortable as there's limited adjustment, and rear visibility isn't great. Forget the two-door model if you're planning on putting granny in the back: rear access is awful. There's good space in the front, though, and a big boot. For a touch of the convertibles, the hard roof can be taken off to convert the Wrangler into a pick-up.

  • How reliable is it?

    It shouldn't - this is the car to get you up hill, down dale and home again. However Jeep doesn't have a great reliability record, coming 33rd out of 35 in the latest What Car? reliability survey.
    Safety kit is minimalist - two airbags, stability control and Isofix child seat points - but that's lavish compared with a Defender.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Jeep Wrangler is cheaper than a Land Rover Defender and comes with more equipment - resale values aren't quite as strong, though. It should also be cheaper to run, as fuel economy is a reasonable 39.8mpg for the diesel. The petrol claims just 17.7mpg so is best avoided unless you own a fuel station. Emissions are high in both, however, so if the company is paying, tax bills will be as beefy as the car. Basic models come well equipped with climate control, Bluetooth and automatic lights, as well as the sophisticated off-road system.