Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport
Engine: 3.6L V-6
Transmission: five-speed automatic with overdrive
0-96kph in 7.1 seconds
Price: From RO10,990 for 2 doors
From RO11,900 for 4 doors
I knew that the Jeep Wrangler was going to be for me the minute I slid into the driver’s bucket seat. It was a perfect fit, as if we were meant for each other. It was black too, which just happens to be one of my favourite car colours.
So we were off to a good start from the word go.
By the time, we were cruising on the Sultan Qaboos highway I was pretty much in love.
I read a statistic somewhere that a million JK Wranglers have been produced so far – a big chunk of which are the four-door Unlimited variety – and a lot of them seem to be on Oman’s roads. This utilitarian vehicle has always been popular, of course, but recently it seems to have become especially desirable in these parts.
So what’s it like to drive then? Well, a lot of fun for starters. Then again, that’s a given with a Jeep. Purists of the brand who believe it’s ‘two doors and no roof’ or nothing, might change their minds after a day with the black beast.
Let me explain why. The Unlimited is one of the most versatile, off-road capable Jeeps ever made. Whether it’s beach, mountain or just the street, this can handle it all. The hard top can be taken off and the doors can be removed if you want the more stripped-down feel of the original American classic.
Inside, it feels as though it is able to accommodate any size or shape. I’m way above average height for a woman, so appreciated the outrageous legroom and acres of space above my head.
The cabin looks and feels solid. It’s functional, with a good stereo, but don’t expect lots of extras. That’s not what this car is about. It’s built for the great outdoors and while it’s quite civil driving along Muscat’s roads, it’s meant for bigger things. I can almost feel it gravitating towards the mountains in the distance, itching to be let loose.
When I do let it go, on the beach near Y’s office in Seeb, it is almost joyously responsive, bouncing over the sand and uneven surfaces with undisguised glee. There are different trims and the new top-of-the-range Rubicon model, with higher spec, is now available in Oman for the first time. Mine was the hardtop version, said to be better for urban warriors with kids or the shopping in the back, while the soft top offers a sportier look.
Both are demanding drives, challenging you to go along for the ride. It can be bumpy at times, and the steering can be a little heavy, but it’s certainly not boring.
If the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited were a man, he would be a handsome, well-built, rugby-playing type with broad shoulders, very well mannered but with a wild side ready to take you on all sorts of crazy adventures at the weekend. Would I marry him? Yes. Do I want this jeep? Yes, yes, yes. After just a day together, I was well and truly smitten.
CHECK THIS OUT
Steering wheel mounted audio controls
Outside temperature display
Integrated rollover protection
Occupant sensing airbag