Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Neutral Blog & Car Reviews

A collection of stories, reviews and rants

Review - Wrangler Dragon Limited Edition - Page 2

100 1332The seating comfort is high, with plenty of support from the padding and for the driver it's just at the right height (with a fifty millimetre adjustment available) as well. The dash display.....well, again, it's a matter of personal taste, with bronze dial surrounds, a dot matrix display screen in the lower left although the dials themselves are clear and legible. The navitainment screen is poorly laid out, looking overly populated and busy.

Above the driver, two latch panels lift off reasonably simply while the rest of the roof (including the vertical panel behind the second doors) is also removable but would be a two person job to do so. Most of the interior plastics look and feel ok, however it's a budget indicator and wiper stalk fitted, plus the engineering design to actually engage the headlights/parkers/daytime running lights is not well thought out at all, with an overly complicated pull and twist setup. The same goes for the right hand mounted wiper stalk, where simplicity should be the go, it isn't. Having said that, the seven speaker sound system is well balanced, with a sub-woofer box integrated into the rear panelling and virtually indistinguisable in the mix.

100 1336The exterior is a solid, bluff, upright look, with plenty of glass area, a rear tailgate that swings from left to right and a roll bar that would be pushed up once the rear roof section is removed, however the view from the driver's seat, as mentioned, looking to where the fenders finish, is unclear. On the road the ride quality is.....average. For starters, there's around two inches of freeplay in the steering before the rack feels as if its engaged, not helped by a turning circle a battleship would be embarrassed by, coupled with a serious sideways rear end swing over speedbumps. The 4WD spec tyres absorb some of the bumps but the leftovers get transmitted through the suspension, leaving the chassis to sponge its way along the road.

The tyres fitted provided little cornering grip during Sydney's rain, leaving me with a feeling of apprehension in certain cornering situations. Dynamically, coming from a person that is of the driver involvement persuasion, it's one of the worst cars I've driven on the road. Off road it's a somewhat different story. Taken to a well tested 4WD zoned track, complete with a mix of gravel, mud, puddles, rock outcrops and sand, the Wrangler didn't do too badly. Thrown into some of the deeper puddles (testing the Wrangler's wading ability and its 223mm ground clearance) in two wheel drive there was an immediate reduction in progression from the bow wave before forward motion resumed, albeit at a slower pace.

100 1335In 4WD mode (engaged via putting the transmission in neutral then selecting high or low range) there was a noticeable change. Over the bigger humps and rock formations, some twenty degree slopes (the Wrangler has a high approach angle of 35 degrees and departure of 28 degrees) the Wrangler made light work of these, hamstrung somewhat, I suspect, by the Bridgestone Dueler tyres that were fitted with their more soft-roader tread pattern.

I'm left wondering about the Jeep Wrangler Dragon Limited Edition; who is it aimed at? Why was it allowed to have such basic feel to some of the plastics? Why does it feel so compromised on the road? For something costing fifty odd thousand dollars, I have to question the value.

[This blog \ review was published with aproval by Dave Conole of a wheel thing, you can read more of Dave's reviews at a wheel thing]

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