New Jeep Wrangler arrives in Australia with big price rise
THE next Jeep Wrangler is completely new and comes with a big price jump. But base models miss some key safety equipment.
Jeep is launching a three-tier Wrangler 4WD range which is due in local showrooms in April. The new model replaces the 11-year-old version.
The entry-level Sport S replaces the previous Sport version and is priced from $48,950 (before on-road costs) for the two-door version - a jump of almost $10,000 over the outgoing version. A four-door Sport S costs $53,450.
Jeep has deleted the cheaper manual option for the new version, in part accounting for the steep price hike.
Despite the hefty price increase, the Sport S misses out on vital safety tech such as autonomous emergency braking and blind spot warning.
These omissions were among the reasons the vehicle received a one-star crash rating during European testing. In crash tests, the Wrangler also was found wanting in driver chest protection and rear passenger safety.
The mid-tier Overland version is priced from $58,450 in two-door guise and $62,950 for the four-door.
The range-topping Rubicon is the brand's most off-road focused version, chock-full of gear to negotiate the roughest terrain. The four-door only Rubicon has petrol and diesel engine options, priced respectively from $63,950 and $69,950.
Engines are a 3.6-litre petrol V6 (209kW/347Nm) and the Rubicon's 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel (147kW/450Nm), each paired to an eight-speed auto.
Jeep has made big advances in making the Rubicon more capable on and off the bitumen. The Wrangler is now lighter and more aerodynamic than before, improving fuel efficiency.
Tech has also been upgraded with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto as standard. The Overland and Rubicon add such active safety gear as autonomous emergency braking, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and adaptive cruise control.
Jeep has kept the ladder frame and live axles to maintains its off-road pedigree. Despite the changes to the Wrangler, local boss Guillaume Drelon says it stays true to its heritage.
"The all-new Wrangler may have evolved but its core DNA remains unchanged, making this the most capable production SUV on the planet. The Jeep Wrangler sets a precedent by offering renewed levels of style, advanced technology and safety features while remaining true to its rich heritage," says Drelon.
"The new JL Wrangler range offers something for everyone; whether customers are looking for the fully loaded all-new Sport S, the refined yet rugged Overland model or the Rubicon variant for the ultimate off-roader."