Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Neutral Blog & Car Reviews

A collection of stories, reviews and rants

Review - Wrangler Dragon Limited Edition

100 1324Some war veterans call it Dubya Dubya 2 and it is famous for many other things than being a war. It gave us the Lancaster bomber, the Spitfire, jet propulsion, stories for films for decades to come and, of course, the Jeep. Famed for being basic and therefore almost unbreakable, its reputation as an offroad capable vehicle is legendary.

Nowadays, however, with few venturing into anything barely deeper than a roadside puddle, how does a brand keep interest? Limited editions are the answer. I was lobbed the black and bronzed Wrangler Dragon Limited Edition and was left pondering a question. The Wrangler Dragon comes painted in gloss black, with bronze highlights inside and out, plus a sizeable dragon decal draped across the left hand (drivers side in the US and similar markets) flank and bonnet. The spare wheel cover at the stern is also dragonified; it's certainly not a subtle mix, especially with the renowned front end design, seven bar grille and all, also copping the bronzer.

100 1329It's a matter of personal taste as to whether it works as it does beg the questions: where (location) and whom (demographic). In the US there'd be a sizeable Asian population that has, as part of their cultural base, dragons and gold. Here in Australia, a comparative percentage, but in the numbers to make it worthwhile?

Nestled between the wide front wheel base and (invisible from the driver's seat) fenders is Chrysler's well worn Pentastar, alloy-blocked 3.6L V6, with 209kW and 347 torques (6350/4300 revs respectively). When the go pedal is punched in 2WD mode, there's some get up and go to be had to around 80kmh where further acceleration dies off. Transmission is a five speed auto in the Dragon, which normally would be a cause for a Spock like raised eyebrow given the ample torque, however, in fifth the Wrangler feels sometimes as if it's run out of oomph. It's an odd sensation which belies the velocity it is doing. Ratio changes are barely noticeable, being slick and silk smooth, without the opportunity for human intervention though, missing out on a sports shift mode.

At the time of writing, with purely city/suburban based driving, the tank needle has just about reached half way, with close to 320 kilometres under the 18 inch diameter alloys. The American website quotes up to 472 miles but perhaps that's with the optional diesel engine as the Australian site quotes 11.2L/100km with the six speed manual.

100 1328The interior is virtually all black, a real pain when it comes to the underground car parks in major shopping villages, with the window switches centrally mounted on the dash rather than on the driver's door or centre console. Even with the headlights on there's barely a sliver of low level light to guide you to where they are. High quality leather meets fabric on the lower seat sides, with the upper part of the seats laser etched with a dragon motif, as is the door grab handle, colour coded in bronze.


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