The Jeep Wrangler doesn't have a lot of frills - but that's a good thing


Jeep Wrangler

Matthew DeBord/BI


Cars have come a long way in the past 30 years. When I first started driving, you didn't get much more than an AM/FM radio and maybe tape deck. Airbags hadn't yet become common. Self-driving was called cruise control. Anything that drove "sporty" cam from Europe.


Now safety is extensive, infotainment and navigation are copious, autonomous features are becoming more common and self-driving could soon be a reality, and many vehicles, from 2-doors to pickups, can handle like sports cars.

The antidote to all this progress is the Jeep Wrangler. Jeep has been building this thing since the mid-1980s, and before that, the DNA of this pure offroader ranges all the way back the original Willys military vehicle of World War II. Prior the the Wrangler, Jeep sold the no-nonsense CJ.

Over the years, the Wrangler has collected a few more creature comforts, but this is still just about the most rudimentary vehicle you can currently buy, purpose-built to leave the pavement and head for the hills, the rocks, the rivers.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Jeep's parent, recently let us borrow a 2017 Sahara Wrangler, with a base price of about $30,000, but for our tester, optioned up to almost $38,000.


The idea was that we might get to tackle some gnarly East Coast winter snow. The bad weather, sadly, never arrived. But we did our best to put the Wrangler through its paces, anyway: