So, you’re interested in a Jeep Wrangler?
We could ask how much off-roading you actually do and, if the answer is ‘not much’, point you towards countless cheaper, more comfortable SUVs that’ll demolish the average fire trail.
We could also suggest you save some money and buy a Suzuki Jimny if you want an occasional bush-basher, or steer you towards a used four-wheel drive you could modify and thrash to your heart’s content.
But you’ve already made up your mind, haven’t you? You’re set on a Wrangler. Very well, let us tell you what it does well and how the new JL series improves the breed over the previous JK.
How much does the Jeep Wrangler Overland cost?
Jeep only offers the two-door body style in two trim levels: the featured Overland and the base Sport S. The latter is currently at dealerships only in model year 2019 spec, with a model year 2020 model belatedly joining the range later this year. It can’t arrive soon enough as the Overland has a price around $10,000 higher than the MY19 Sport S.
The Overland costs $59,450 before on-road costs, while opting for the four-door Wrangler Unlimited body style adds $4500.
Sport S and Overland models come exclusively with a petrol V6 engine. If you want a diesel Wrangler, you have to pony up for the more rugged Rubicon.
What do you get?
The Overland isn’t the most expensive Wrangler but it’s actually the best equipped, if you’re looking purely at comfort and convenience features. For example, there’s standard leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped shifter, and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel.
To get these features on the range-topping Rubicon, you need to select the $1950 Rubicon Luxury package.
Standard on the Overland is an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, DAB+ digital radio and satellite navigation. Other standard features include adaptive cruise control, proximity entry with push-button start, a nine-speaker Alpine premium sound system, remote start, and a reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors.
Outside, you’ll find 18-inch alloy wheels shod with 255/70 tyres, LED lighting front and rear, as well as a body-colour grille, hardtop and fender flares.
Where the Overland and Rubicon differ is in their off-road hardware. The Overland uses Jeep’s Selec-Trac four-wheel drive system, which features a two-speed transfer case. The Rubicon upgrades to Rock-Trac, which adds locking front and rear differentials and an electronic front sway bar disconnect. There are also 17-inch wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich 255/75 off-road tyres.
If you want to save some money, you can opt for the MY19 Sport S but you’ll drop down to a 7.0-inch touchscreen and an unbranded eight-speaker sound system. You’ll also miss out on leather trim, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors, proximity entry and satellite navigation.
Is the Jeep Wrangler safe?
Last year, the Wrangler made headlines with its one-star safety rating from ANCAP. That was based on testing of the entry-level Sport S which lacked standard autonomous emergency braking with forward-collision warning. These features were already standard on the Overland, which received an ANCAP rating of three stars – better, but still not great.
Following the shocking one-star result, Jeep announced it was rolling out autonomous emergency braking as standard across the range. The model year 2020 Sport S will feature this essential safety equipment when it arrives later this year.
In the meantime, if you go to a Jeep showroom seeking the safest possible two-door Wrangler, you have to pony up an extra $10,000 or so for the Overland and add a lot of extra equipment you mightn’t even want. Best to wait.
The Overland’s superior three-star rating was based on an adult occupant protection score of 60 per cent, child occupant protection score of 80 per cent, vulnerable road user protection score of 49 per cent, and a safety assist score of 51 per cent. That last score was up from the measly 32 per cent score given to the Sport S.
The Overland also comes standard with anti-lock brakes and front and front-side airbags. Rear cross-traffic alert is standard only on the Overland and Rubicon, while curtain airbags aren’t available on any Wranglers.
What is the Jeep Wrangler Overland like on the inside?
The old Wrangler’s interior was either plastic fantastic or no-nonsense, depending on your point of view. With the new model, Jeep has elevated the ambience.
The last vestiges of the DaimlerChrysler era of Jeep interiors appear to have finally been banished, with the clunky, gated shifter replaced with a chubby one with a nice, fluid motion. The four-wheel drive selector remains stiff, though, and you have to yank it to move it between detents.