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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
TAKE ICONIC JEEP WRANGLER OFF-ROAD OR ON ROAD!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
“Jeep since 1941” reads the prominent inlay on the passenger-grab handle of the 2017 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock 4X4. Need we say more about this classic, off-road and durable SUV – the only four-door 4X4 convertible on the market?
For starters, under the hood of this ladder-type frame Jeep resides a 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar engine cranking out 285 horsepower @ 6400 rpm and 260 pounds-feet of torque @ 4800 rpm. The go-anywhere capable vehicle, with high and low transfer case gears, is mated to a standard 6-speed manual or optional 5-speed auto gear box. Suspension is duly handled by an independent 5-link coil system to maintain stability at sharp and sudden turns.
Our test drive was truly a standout three-piece hardtop with removable four doors, exposed hinges, fold-down windshield, front/rear hooks and tubular side steps. That this is a Jeep is even more obvious from the familiar seven-slot, body-color grille, flanked by rounded halogen headlights, and a flat, clamshell hood reaching down to trapezoidal fender flares. The Trail Rated exterior badge means the 4X4 is designed for off-road conditions such as traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and water fording. Step to the rear and tail lamps on the body bring back memories of the 1941 Willys.
The cabin sticks to the original Jeep functional capability with 104 cubic feet of interior room, 31.5 cubic feet of cargo area behind the 60/40 rear seat and 70.6 cubes with the seat folded flat. Storage cubicles are scattered throughout, including a bin under the rear cargo floor. As are numerous 12-volt outlets. The instrument panel is simply laid out with a centered speedometer, tachometer, temperature, fuel, oil and volt gauges. Also included are a/c, tilt steering column, 115-volt outlet, temperature/compass gauge, adjustable driver height seat, lockable console and door armrest.
Barring a loud engine and road noise, hardcore Jeep enthusiasts will love the amazing skills of the rugged Wrangler. Simultaneously, the quintessential SUV with more than seven decades of tradition is adept on neighborhood streets. After all, this is “Jeep since 1941.”

WRANGLER RUBICON
Tires: 255/75R17
Wheelbase: 116 inches
Length: 152.8 inches
Weight: 4,340 pounds
Tow capacity: 3,500 pounds
Steering: hydraulic power-assist
Fuel capacity: 22.5 gallons
City: 16 mpg
Highway: 20 mpg
Base price: $37,445
Web site: www.jeep.com

CALLING ALL JEEP DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com