July 20, 2011

The burden of knowing everything

The best body art on a 4WD
Last August, 4wdNewz commented in less than glowing terms on the radically changed interior of the 2011 Wrangler. This was, of course, without actually seeing one. Although shown by Jeep last August, the 2011 models took months to filter down to New Zealand (and Australia, for that matter). I've just been driving a Renegade Unlimited and have to admit I don't mind the new look; however, it nudges one of the few remaining "real" off-roaders further towards the suburbanites who make up most of today's customers. You can just hear the bosses telling the designers, "think car-like, Goddam it".

At last, a rear-door stay.
There are some pleasant surprises; the trip computer readout is much improved and, at the back, there's now a stay for the rear door that, on my 2010 model, swings shut on the slightest incline or in the lightest breeze. And the centre console armrest is finally in the right position. Given the choice, though, I'd still take the previous interior with these modifications. The older one better suits the Wrangler's character … at least if you see the vehicle as an off-roader and not as a mall cruiser with unusual looks and a high seating position.

The new interior.
Chrome is burstin ' out all over. Yuk.
The 'Jeep since 1941' slogan will apparently be permanent, not just for the 70th anniversary.
The door pockets are nice.
Jeep thinks it's a clever bit of branding, this logo top centre of the windscreen, but it looks too much like a skull to me.
Torx bolt heads as a fashion statement.

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