The Jeep brand is an American icon and has been going from strength to strength since its inception over six decades ago, and the magic does not wane each time a Jeep come my way for a test ride. We recently tested the four- door 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4×4: Namely a special 75th anniversary edition kitted out with plethora of unique exterior/ interior trim and special equipment. As usual it’s always a highlight to test drive a Jeep and this special edition was no exception. One never fail to get excited to climb up into the cabin and look out at the flat windscreen and be confronted with the unique cabin, dash and feeling only a Jeep Wrangler can usher in!
Power for the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4X4 comes via Chrysler’s proven and award-winning Pentastar 3.6-litre V6 VVT engine that produces a healthy 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet, the transmission on our tester was a six-speed manual transmission, which is standard equipment with an optional five-speed automatic gearbox. Jeeps excellent Command-Trac four-wheel-drive system was also featured on our vehicle.
In terms of equipment the Sahara arrives with: automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated controls, heated front seats, height-adjustable driver seat, an Electronic Vehicle Information Centre (EVIC) and cruise control. Command-Trac 4WD system, remote keyless entry, trailer sway damping, alarm, tire pressure monitor, engine oil cooler, 3.21 axle ratio, heavy duty suspension, transfer case skid plate, fuel tank skid plate, heavy duty axles were also kitted out on our tester. Our tester was painted in a wonderful “Sarge” green. Interior features included: cruise control, air conditioning, automatic headlights, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, and leather wrapped steering wheel, chrome and leather shifter. Other options included, the customer preferred package, comprising: 17-Inch bronze aluminum wheels, bronze tow hooks 75th anniversary badges, bronze grille accents and trim, Power Dome hood with louvered inserts, Moroccan Sun interior accents, low gloss front and rear bumpers, Rock rails and heated front seats. Other options included Connectivity Group, Body color Dual Top Group — ($1,420), Max Trailer Tow Package ($575); Supplemental Front Seat Side Air Bags- $400; five-speed automatic transmission, $1,495, which includes hill descent control; 9 speaker Alpine audio system ($695), 40GB hard drive; Sirius Satellite Radio, and a host of other features. Base price for the Jeep Unlimited Sahara starts at $39,695 whilst our tester with all Options, destination charge, federal green levy; federal A/C excise tax came out to a hefty $53,440.
On the road, the Jeeps superb frontal visibility through the flat windshield and the high driving position means the Sahara is easy to drive control in any road condition. Generally the Jeep has no vices in everyday driving and returns a Natural Resources Canada fuel economy figure of (L/100 km) 15.0 city, 11.4 highway. Bear in mind, the Jeep does carry a lot of four-wheel drive hardware and is fairly heavy, so the fuel economy reflects this.
The Jeep is absolutely outstanding off-road with its amazing Jeep Command-Trac four-wheel-drive system and makes light work of slippery roads and light, medium off-road trails. The Command-Trac features a part-time, two-speed transfer case with low-range gear ratio for trail conditions. To sum up this version of the four door-Wrangler is a very desirable package and really looks and drives the part. Still a charismatic vehicle as only a Jeep can be
2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4×4: Base price starts at $35,395.
Price as tested $53,440.