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New Jeep Wrangler – more of the same old

Written by: Neil

The Jeep Wrangler is one of those rare cars that can get away with just doing the exact same thing over and over. In that regard, it resides in the same exclusive club as the Land Rover Defender – another blocky mudplugger that was seemingly stuck in time before its retirement a couple of years ago.

Both cars have built up their own hardcore fanbase over the decades to the point that any wild changes only serve to unnecessarily rock the boat. So the fact that the ‘all-new’ Jeep Wrangler is essentially more of the same is a good thing.

Revealed at the LA Auto Show, the new Wrangler looks exactly the same as the last, aside from updating details such as the headlights and the cabin’s touchscreen.

There’s the same instantly recognisable keystone-shaped grille and there are right angles laced throughout its exterior, even though Jeep insists its shell is now more aerodynamic.

Jeep also says the new Wrangler’s interior “combines authentic styling, precision craftsmanship and high-quality materials that result in improved versatility and comfort for drivers and passengers”.

Check out our five favourite cars at the 2017 LA Auto Show 

The cabin does come with more up-to-date tech, most notably the Fiat Group’s new fourth-gen Uconnect systems, which bring communication, entertainment and navigation features in a nifty full-colour LED instrument cluster in three sizes depending on trim (five, seven and 8.4-inch).

The previous Wrangler’s woeful one-star safety rating has also been addressed with the addition of more than 75 available active and passive safety and security features.

Engines are said to be more efficient too, but it remains unclear if both the two-litre turbocharged inline four-cylinder and the three-litre EcoDiesel V6 engines (mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission) will be offered on this side of the Atlantic too.

Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “For all its flaws, the Wrangler is an off-roading legend. It’s iconic and it’s great to see that Jeep has finally whipped the blocky SUV into shape for 2018.”

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