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‘New’ Jeep Wrangler: With same Jeep Cherokee problems?

A few weeks ago Jeep/Chrysler Egypt started a huge and massive media campaign in some newspapers, in which it announced the arrival of the �New’ Jeep Wrangler Unlimited to the Egyptian market, which had been introduced to the international markets already several years ago.

The �new’ Jeep Wrangler is equipped with a 177 hp strong 2.8 CRD diesel engine, which provides 460 Nm starting from 2000 rpm and the power is transmitted via a 5 gear automatic gearbox to the four wheels at your request.

Although the anticipation was very high, Jeep/Chrysler Egypt decided to ruin the joy of all die-hard Jeep enthusiasts with the shocking news, that the gas-guzzling 202 hp old 3.8 liter will be the only engine option for the Egyptian consumer.

And in order to completely destruct the joy of driving the �brand-new’ Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the car is equipped with an old 4 gear automatic gearbox, which aggravates the fuel consumption, while at the same time compromising the comfort by exposing passengers to high rpm ranges.

It should be mentioned here, that one of our current long-term test-drive cars, the Skoda Fabia Sportline, is equipped with a six speed automatic tiptronic gearbox. And this is a car that belongs to the Supermini category. So, it would have been more than appropriate that such a heavy and big Off-Roader as the Jeep Wrangler should have been offered with at least the 5-speed automatic transmission.

In addition to this, it must be mentioned here, that long off-road trips will be minimized due to the high fuel consumption. In numbers, the petrol-engine equipped Jeep Wrangler Unlimited consumes 12.3 l/100km, whereas the diesel powered version only consumes 8.3l/100km combined. That is under ideal conditions.

In the �normal’ Cairo traffic conditions you will easily consume 15-18 liters, in the desert even between 20-25 liters.

With a 85-liter tank for both versions, this could theoretically make a range of almost 1000 km for the diesel model and only 690 km for the petrol counterpart on normal roads. For desert foxes, these critical 300 km could mean either deciding to dig deep into the desert, and explore the superior off-road qualities of this vehicles or to stay close to the nearest fuel station and tarmac, fearing to stop without fuel sooner or later. With kids on board and in horrendous heat conditions, this could be fatal.

As a matter of fact, it will be difficult with the 3.8 liter version to ascend or descend on sharp inclines, as it lacks the The Rock-Trac transfer case, which is the heart of the Wrangler’s extreme rock crawling ability. Because of the 4:1 low-gear ratio, Rock-Trac's low crawl speed makes it easy to ascend or descend sharp inclines and to crawl over obstacles.

All this will not be possible with the 3.8 liter version, as this model lacks this superior four-wheel drive system, and is only equipped with the normal part-time Command-trac version.
Apparently this high-tech version is both too difficult to be assembled by the Egyptian Jeep/Chrysler Assembly factory AAV (Arab American Vehicles), and obviously even more difficult to be properly maintained by the Jeep/Chrysler service stations.

Hopefully, Jeep owners will take advantage of the claimed �improved quality’ of the new vehicle and will not end up like the very disappointed Jeep owner who sent us as few days ago his reader’s letter, in which he explained to us how his Jeep Cherokee caught fire and burnt out completely. (Click here to read the reader’s letter and our editor’s comment).

So, do I recommend purchasing the �new’ Jeep Wrangler?

Well, taking into consideration the recent quality and safety problems of Jeep vehicles as well as the fact that only one petrol-version is offered I would surely discourage from buying the locally-assembled �new’ Jeep Wrangler.

I would either suggest you buy an imported diesel-engine equipped Jeep Wrangler and register it through a tourism company in order to avoid the horrendous custom fees, or simply buy the locally-assembled Nissan X-Trail, which already proved very successful against the Jeep Cherokee in one of our recent comparison test between the Cherokee, BMW X3 and X-Trail.

Will the �new’ Jeep Wrangler be successful in Egypt? Well, at least it will be successful against the Jeep Cherokee, which, with the arriving of the Wrangler, will surely celebrate its farewell soon.

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Readers Comments:

Bob from Cairo - Egypt wrote:
Good morning,
Is there any chance to have the 2 door Jeep Wrangler Sahara manual gear box on the egyptian market soon?
Thanks for your reply.

Editors response:
Dear Bob,
I doubt that Jeep and Chrysler Egypt will introduce this model in the Egyptian market. Unfortunately, and for some strange reason, they are just focusing on the out-dated and extremely overpriced Jeep Cherokee with automotic transmission as well as the other over-priced 4-doors Jeep Wrangler with automatic transmission.

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