Year after year, facelifts and redesigns of nameplates fire off shots across southeast Michigan in a perpetual Mexican standoff. Yet there’s only one company amongst the Big Three’s dominion that has found success selling the same thing, more or less, since 1987: Jeep, and in particular, the Wrangler.
So it follows that the 2014 Wrangler holds on to what Jeep loyalists love most about the vehicle: its roots. It’s rugged, highly modifiable, and reasonably priced. Riding in the back of one of these things (model year 2006, that is) on a rock crawl, as yours truly can attest to, was an unforgettable experience not only for the lack of legroom and bruised knees, but more importantly for the sheer tension and adventure felt as the driver deftly navigated his way over sketchy terrain.
For paint, Jeep has unveiled six new colors: Copperhead Pearl, Flame Red, Amp’d (Yellow), Granite Crystal, and Hydro Blue.
And you’re sure to have a fun time cavorting around in the new JK, even if all that’s new about it is the now-primo Rubicon X trim. For that kind of cash, drivers will have the following added to their vehicle: 17-inch satin black wheels with polished faces, a red “Rubicon” decal on either side of the hood, MOPAR rock rails, a dual-intake power dome hood with functional vents, a black fuel filler door, and red tow hooks mounted to the front and rear. Canvas tops come standard, but forking over some extra dough gets you a three-piece hard top or body-matching hard top.
One thing off-roaders can appreciate is the optional Trail Kit, which provides a carrying bag filled with gloves, a tow strap, and a pair of D-rings for those times when the elements get the better of our skill level. The tried-and-true Pentastar is the sole powerplant available, and can be paired with either a 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual.
Inside, the options are as barebones as ever, emphasizing function over everything else. Rubber floor mats and plastic/vinyl everything else make it an easy clean after a hard day’s trailblazing. Jeep piles on the creature comforts like heated seats and air conditioning to address the more, ahem,
snobbish discriminating buyer.
Hill assist makes stopping and starting on oblique terrain a more enjoyable exercise, and the robust Rock-Trac HD transfer case promises to be the best friend to any driver looking to take the Jeep across a patch of stones and rubble. All in all, the 2014 Wrangler Rubicon looks to be another in a long line of great Jeeps.
One more thing to mention: the Freedom Edition package continues with this year, devoting $250 of every sale to the USO’s Operation Safe Return program, which benefits our homebound troops as they transition back to a peaceful life. The “Oscar Mike” logo is added to the hood, rear panel, and seats of the Jeep, and lets folks know you are “On Mission” to support the troops.