As I write, there is snow falling in Western Canada. Where did our summer go? Looking back, summers have always been too short This year I decided to celebrate the end of summer instead of anxiously waiting for the colder temperatures to hit. I asked to road-test the 2014 Jeep Wrangler for a few reasons—I’ve always wanted to drive one ever since I watched Jurassic Park as a kid (yes, others were watching the dinosaurs and I was watching the cars, go figure!), plus my kids would recognize the Jeep as Sarge from Disney’s Cars. I've always associated the Jeep Wrangler as a truck that was just asking for adventure. What better way to end my summer road-tests?
Before I go into the rest of my post, let me just say this about Jeep owners—I’ve found that my clients and friends who are Jeep owners tend to be incredibly brand-loyal and committed to maintaining their Jeep for the long-haul. Here’s the interesting part, during my road-test with the Jeep, other Jeep owners would chat me up about the truck when I was stopped in a gas station, parking lot, etc. Friendly people, these Jeep owners! The Wrangler is different from other SUVs in so many ways. Here’s a few of the fun ones:
I took advantage of all the sunshine with the easy-to-use soft top. Our kids LOVED the feeling of freedom, too, and they helped us zip the top on and off.
The Jeep logo is definitely a recognizable icon when it comes to car styles. The big circular headlights and grill have been consistent with the brand for decades—it’s even displayed just above the rear view mirror.
The hood latches are simple, and the layout under the hood is spacious. My kids had fun poking around the engine, and we spent some time identifying the fluid reservoirs, air filter, and battery location.
Ok, I didn’t agree with the placement of the front speakers—these tiny little things that sit on top of the dash—it just looked awkward and I thought it would be distracting. By the end of my road test, I didn’t really notice them anymore, so it was a non-issue for me.
The rear speakers are mounted on the pillar above the passengers. This way, you could ride with the doors removed and still have rockin’ music to listen to. My boys thought that was cool and really tried to convince me that taking the doors off would be a good idea. I said no—I’m not ready for them to be riding without doors, they’re still my babies!
The Wrangler is just itching to go off-roading! Jeep states that any of their vehicles with the Trail Rated badge means that it has been “…designed to perform in 5 categories of off-road conditions: traction, ground clearance, manoeuvrability, articulation and water fording.”
We took the Wrangler to Collingwood—what a beautiful drive! While we didn’t get a chance to take it officially on a serious trail, it did handle well when we tested it out in the country dirt roads. I had no doubt about its stability and power to pull us through some of the country terrain.
The manual transmission was really fun to drive! Jeep has really kept to the old school gear shift, and I liked being in control of which gear I was in while driving . . . not that I have control issues or anything!
Thanks, Jeep Wrangler, for ending my summer well!