2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport

Goes anywhere at anytime

One stormy, foggy day in Beirut, I was super lucky to collect the 2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport (4-doors) from the official distributor, Gargour Automotive, in Lebanon. Did you know that when driving a Jeep Wrangler, you've got to pay attention - all the time - and the compensation is that you get to go places and do things that other people don't? This is just what I did with two friends of mine.

Driving impressions
As a start, I picked up my buddies and headed in the direction of Ouyoun Al Siman, among the highest mountain peaks in Lebanon where most off-road enthusiasts' and experts' favorite destination is. So I did myself a favor. When I think about the Jeep Wrangler, I like the way it looks and the image it conveys, plus I have fond memories of one owned by a friend in college. This SUV is designed to go places no other motorized vehicle can, without its roof or doors attached, and with its windshield folded down. Wow! In other words, this is not transportation for daily shuttles.

Our mission was to blaze trails off-road, which couldn't be accomplished much better than with the Wrangler. The Wrangler Unlimited four-door isn't as nimble on tight trails as the shorter two-door model, but more generous cabin space means you can carry additional gear. The four-door also feels more stable around corners and on the highway. While the Wrangler won't win any drag races, its V6 is capable and gets the heavy SUV moving briskly. The automatic transmission offers smooth shifts and good fuel economy. What really surprised us is that we didn't need to have the Rubicon, as our demo car did the job perfectly to reach the highest peaks and the most difficult paths.

However, more civilized than ever, the 2014 Jeep Wrangler is still an American icon to the whole globe. Its unique character and off-road abilities continue to appeal until this very second as I write this piece. The 2014 Jeep Wrangler is untouched, yet there are slight changes to several option packages. The 2014 model is a convertible SUV offered in two-door Wrangler and four-door Wrangler Unlimited versions. Each comes in Sport, Sahara and Rubicon trims.

The Sport comes sparsely equipped with 16 inch steel wheels, front and rear tow hooks, fog lamps, a removable black soft top, crank windows, manual locks and mirrors, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat and a six-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack, CD player and steering wheel controls. The Unlimited Sport gets four doors, a bigger gas tank, more backseat and trunk space, air-conditioning and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat. The Power Convenience Group adds heated power mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power locks and windows and keyless entry. Air-conditioning (for the two-door), satellite radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels are also optional.

The Sahara adds the above options plus 18 inch alloy wheels, an upgraded suspension, under-hood insulation, side steps, automatic headlamps, body-colored fender flares, power windows and a six-speaker Alpine sound system.

The Rubicon is not the most lavishly equipped trim level; instead, it boasts the most robust off-road credentials. On top of the base Sport equipment, the Rubicon adds special 17 inch wheels, 32 inch tires, heavy-duty axles and transfer case, electronic front and rear locking differentials, a disconnecting front sway bar, rock rails, air-conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite radio. The previously mentioned Power Convenience Group (heated power mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power locks and windows and keyless entry) is an optional extra on the two-door Rubicon, but it's standard on the Rubicon Unlimited.

It comes standard with a 3.6 liter V6 that produces 285 hp and 353 Nm of torque. Four wheel drive is also standard and includes high- and low-range transfer case gears.

Verdict
I do believe that in such a country like Lebanon, the SUV must sit in every single garage of any home. Many car manufacturers offer SUV, SAV or even crossovers, but the Wrangler stands alone. Probably the closest one in terms of originality and price is the FJ Cruiser, which has been quite popular in Lebanon lately, not to mention the Land Rover or the Mercedes G-Class (with a higher price tag). Parts are also available from Mopar - if you would like to disguise your Wrangler. Pass by Gargour Automotive showroom on Dora Highway as the showroom guys would be happy to assist you!.

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