Few 4x4s have been around for as long as the Jeep Wrangler has. Beginning its reign back in the mid-1980s, the Wrangler had become a household name within a decade or so after its debut. While everyone remembers the original Willys Jeep, its successors aren’t as well-known by everyone. That said, almost everyone knows the JK series of the Wrangler, which made its debut in the mid-2000s. This also became one of the most widely exported iterations of the Jeep Wrangler. However, then came the all-new fourth-generation model in early 2018. Known as the JL, the Wrangler had now become more urbane and advanced without losing its legacy.
Jeep began exporting the JL series Wrangler to India in 2020 as Completely Built Units or CBDs. Arriving with a sticker price of Rs 63.94 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), even the least expensive Wrangler Unlimited was too expensive. Moreover, the range-topping Rubicon model came in at an eye-watering Rs 68.94 Lakh – equivalent to approximately USD 95,000. In the US, the same car costs much less than half that!
Obviously, Jeep never meant the Wrangler to be a large volume product for India. But still, paying 69 lakh rupees for what is a rugged 4×4 is pretty ridiculous. Even if you can afford it, doesn’t mean you need to pay so much. Thankfully, the American brand has confirmed that it will now assemble the Wrangler here in India. Now that’s good news!
Jeep has already pledged to invest Rs 180 crore or USD 250 million in India. A big chunk of this money will go towards preparing its Ranjangaon facility for the assembly of the Wrangler. In the future, this very facility might also roll out the Grand Cherokee. Once it goes the CKD (Completely Knocked Down) path, the Jeep Wrangler’s price tag will go down.
Given how this has worked quite well in the past, the dip in price will be enough to bring in a lot more customers to the showroom. Jeep is preparing to launch the made-in-India Wrangler on March 15, 2021. If you got close enough to buying one but shied last moment, note down this date on your calendar.
In India, the Jeep Wrangler is only sold in its four-door avatar, AKA the Unlimited. Where the entry-level variant is set up towards a more city-oriented paved surface kind of driving, the costlier Rubicon isn’t. Instead, this one is meant for those who will head out to challenge Mother Nature straight out of the showroom.
Accordingly, the Wrangler Rubicon comes with smaller 17-inch wheels with mud-terrain tires, uprated suspension & bushings, two locking differentials, an electronically-disconnecting front sway bar, a selectable four-wheel-drive system with a dedicated transfer case, plus an uprated battery and alternator. Jeep has also removed the side steps from the Rubicon for improved ground clearance and left some of the exterior panels unpainted. Oh, there are also Rubicon decals on the outside.
Both variants of the Jeep Wrangler come pretty well-equipped with features. There is keyless entry & go, power-adjustable door mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, and also remote start. Furthermore, both get a leather-clad interior, an Alpine premium audio system, a 7-inch part-digital driver’s display, and an 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment head unit with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay.
It is a pretty well-sorted cabin, though by no means is it luxury-oriented or ultra-premium. The Jeep Wrangler gets safety nannies such as four airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Trailer Sway Control, Hill Start Assist, Electronic Roll Mitigation, Hill Descend Control, rear parking sensors with a reversing camera, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 268hp and 400Nm of torque. The Wrangler is fitted with an 8-speed automatic transmission as standard which then transfers power to all four wheels. While there is no diesel version of the Jeep Wrangler on offer, the turbo-petrol engine is plenty good. It is smooth and punchy enough to handle almost any task thrown at it. However, and like most petrol engines, its peak torque of 400Nm only comes in at a relatively-high 3,000 rpm. In a world teeming with boring crossovers, the boxy Jeep Wrangler is absolutely a welcome sight.