Let’s be honest, not everyone who owns a 4 x 4 really knows how to make the most of their vehicle’s off-road capabilities. The daily commute to the office doesn’t really cut the mustard when it comes putting a powerful motor to the test – unless of course you’re Nick Agg-Manning. Nick is MD of Outside Adventure Consultants, experts in off road driving experiences. Who else then would Vospers ask to put the Jeep Wrangler Sahara to the test? Nick spent the day in Exeter getting up close and personal to the latest addition to the Jeep range. Here’s how it went:
My vehicle for review this month is a seriously robust, two to four wheel drive Jeep Wrangler Sahara diesel automatic, packing the full punch from a 2.8 litre power output providing a drive train that can deliver 460 Newton metres of torque.
On first sight, as I left the Vosper’s dealership in Plymouth, the Sahara seemed very big indeed. However, once the comfortable, torso-hugging seats had tucked me up, I felt that the vehicle was not as massive as I though. The Jeep responded well to my directions through a light and manoeuvrable steering whee. I almost forgot that I was in control of a truly rugged piece of kit.
As a ‘Responder’ from The Devon and Cornwall 4×4 Response Group, I am always conscious of safety for my passengers, my gear and, yes, myself. The copious room offered by the boot space had ample tie-down points so, with load secured, it was time to try this Wrangler off road. Using a local estate with some serious hills, up and down, deep ruts, side slopes and a couple of deep water crossings, it were as if I had just driven down Kensington High Street – the vehicle had no need to flinch at any time for any hazard encountered.
To negotiate steep downslopes, I deployed the Hill Descent Control which gave braking power to individual wheels as required to prevent spin and to restrict my speed to around 5kph. Added to the fact that I had engaged Low Range Gearing, I was reassuringly safe.
The two river crossings I made were of little consequence to the nearly 500cm of ground clearance offered! The mud stained side runners were testimony as to the depth we travelled but we had done so without risk to vehicle or environment.
This Wrangler is well appointed throughout and the one I was driving had a removable roof. Unfortunately, it was both too wet and too cold to try. Maybe next time….
The controls in the cab were obvious; with a line of technical switches to boost the off road safety; excellent heating and a first class sound system. And there is a really simple Cruise Control configuration on the spokes that did work well under the challenge of climbing Haldon Hill at a constant 68 mph!
In short or as it is a Long Wheel Base, in ‘long’ , I would seriously recommend this vehicle to anyone where off roading might be an option, be it for fun or business. You will find a purposeful, sturdy and tame machine that will get you where you need to go, return you safely and be ready again the following day.
Thanks Nick. After a day like that, we’re sure a valet was required!