On paper, the Jeep Wrangler doesn’t tick any of the normal motoring journalist boxes: it feels underpowered, wobbly, gruff and lacking in up-to-date technology. But it is an exercise in the importance of design, because it oozes charm with its fun, all-American rugged lines. There are huge exposed door hinges, a shallow dashboard, squared-off wheel arches, and a roof that comes away entirely after you unclip the chunky roof hinges inside.
With the roof off, there’s an exposed roll cage for the kids to hang off as you thunder down to the beach with your surf board. It’s that sort of car: unapologetically folksy, and one of the true and few design icons on our roads today. Have it in bright yellow, or matt black, or maybe orange: they all look great.
At first glance the Wrangler seems expensive, but the standard equipment list is strong: our Wrangler Overland had front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, blind-spot monitoring, cruise control, heated front seats, heated door mirrors, tyre-pressure monitoring and dual-zone air-conditioning. And that great removable hard top, which can either be removed in stages, with just the two panels above the front passengers unclipped, or the whole thing.