- - Friday, October 30, 2015

I am always arguing with folks who don’t see me as the Jeep Wrangler type of girl that I am. I even prefer the two-door variety versus the four-door Unlimited that I recently drove. I know that you drivers out there who really understand your vehicle can relate, when I am behind the wheel of a Jeep Wrangler I feel safe, secure and connected all the way down to the road.

This is even before the thought of off-roading comes to mind, but if I were trying to avoid the apocalypse the Jeep Wrangler would be a pretty sure way to do it.

The 2015 Wrangler had a few tweaks this year like adding eight speakers, and a tool kit for removing the doors and roof (thank goodness because it’s a bit of a lengthy process). There were changes to the trim levels as well.

I chuckle at the competition because it’s hard to compare in my mind, sort of like comparing a tiger to a lion, both are fierce, but not comparable at all. For example, the Nissan Xterra is said to match up, but I don’t see it. Or, if you are really trying to compare, maybe the Toyota 4Runner or the Tacoma, but not really.

Let’s remember, the Jeep goes back to the Second World War and, yes, that was when a rougher and noisier ride was acceptable. But to me that is just part of the Jeep’s charm.

Basically, the 2015 Jeep Wrangler is a convertible SUV. What more can you ask? And you can get that in a four or two-door with trims with names like Sport, Sahara or Rubicon, and sub-trims like Altitude, X, Freedom Edition, Willys Wheeler and the Rubicon Hard Rock.

To keep it simple, there are a lot of different ways you can choose the “right” Jeep Wrangler. At the bottom of the line is the base Sport that comes with 16-inch steel wheels, front and rear tow hooks, fog lamps, removable soft top, manual windows, locks and mirrors, cruise control, tilt-only steering wheel, height-adjustable driver seat and an eight-speaker sound system. You also get some techno extras like the auxiliary audio jack, CD player and the controls on the steering wheel, so let’s face it, the base is pretty good.

At the top of the heap there is a Rubicon and it is a fierce off-roader with 17-inch wheels, heavy-duty Dana 44 front axle, upgraded transfer case with a lower crawl ratio, electronic front and rear locking differentials, electronically disconnecting front sway bar, automatic headlamps, air-conditioning, leather-wrapped steering wheel 115-volt outlet and there are also extra packages that can be had depending on the trim.

Also, the Rubicon and the Sport can come with half-doors and even heated front seats. There is also the option on the various trims to choose the three-piece removable hardtop with a defroster.

The subtrims then take you into different wheel sizes, colors and exterior and interior tweaks, like a gray grille and bumper accents, wider rock rails or a gloss-black exterior trim.

Under the hood, the 2015 Jeep Wrangler has a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 285 horsepower and 260-pound-feet of torque. Of course, you get four-wheel drive with high- and low-range gearing and six-speed manual. Depending on the trim, gears, crawl ratio and the like differ.

For safety, you can expect antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front airbags with optional front side airbags and hill start assist.

Inside, the Jeep Wrangler waxes nostalgic to what it has always been and it is not changing now. The gauges are easy to read and everything feels easy and made to fit this vehicle just right. It’s not that there is no luxury; it’s just that it is of the no-nonsense kind.

If you want a two-door Wrangler, don’t expect friends to ride in the back, for that you need the four-door Unlimited version. It is really a work of art to get adult passengers into the back seat of the two door anyway since there is only about 12.8-cubic feet. However, the four-door will give you 31.5 cubic feet and when the seats are folded down there is 70.6-cubic feet or 55.8 cubic-feet in the two –door with the seats folded down.

For a lot of off-roading, go with a Sport, Rubicon or the X or any of the Wrangler options are just fine for street driving and you will get around town fast with proper acceleration, and you can feel that fun little jaunt in the Wrangler’s step. Not for the faint of heart who need to ride like the wind, but for the adventuresome spirit this one is definitely for you.

Should You Need to Know: On the 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited you can tow up to 3,500 pounds or on the two-door Wrangler up to 2,000 pounds.

Miles Per Gallon: The 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4X4 I drove got 16 miles to the gallon in the city and 20 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: The 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4X4 had a price tag of $40,020.

For more auto tips and information follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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