July 5 Ask any motoring photographer and they will tell you that their least favourite job is a tracking shot – shooting from car to car, often hanging out of a sunroof or side window.
I’ve seen countless near disasters over the years – photographers falling out, scratching the back of their heads on branches and losing pieces of equipment on the roadside.
Car’s aren’t designed to be photographic platforms – apart from the Jeep Wrangler. It’s quite brilliant because the split opening tailgate means the photographer can sit safely in the boot with the glass screen open.
Of course, the Range Rover is equally as good but the Jeep has a larger window aperture, which snappers love. I obviously can’t advocate sitting in the boot of a moving vehicle, but you get the picture, don’t you?
July 3 It would easy to forget that the Jeep Wrangler always was an off-road vehicle. That’s what it was designed for and, just like the Land Rover Defender, it works best in the mud.
The only vehicle I own is a Landie but even I have to admit that the Wrangler is far better on road than the Defender ever was. Yep, it’s actually comfortable and you can hold a conversation inside the cabin without the use of sign language.
The Defender is no more but after 350 miles in the Jeep, it genuinely feels like a better proposition, if you want a vehicle that can crash across a muddy field and then sit comfortably on the motorway at speed.
Don’t go thinking the Wrangler is refined though! It’s very much an acquired taste and really has to be worked hard to return any sort of performance. But it is now the only viable alternative to a Defender and deserves your attention…
June 30 I refuse to open the handbook on any car – unless the engine has dropped out. For me, every dashboard should be intuitive, straightforward and simple.
BMW found this out the hard way with their system in the 2005 5 Series. Chris Bangle did a sparkling job designing the car – then the techies made a complete hash of the infotainment system.
Which is why I have been struggling to connect my phone to the Bluetooth system in the Wrangler. I know it’s there somewhere but me and the car are now locked in a battle of wills and I’m not going to lose!
Today we travelled down to Dorset. The Jeep performed admirably on the motorways but does tend to wallow on A-road corners. There’s also limited acceleration from the 2.8 diesel when you need to overtake or sprint away from a junction.
I can forgive the Wrangler though because it looks so damn good – even next to a Defender it wins the cool contest hands down. Now, where’s that manual…
The last time Car Couture tested a Wrangler we loved it. In fact, it was a blast to drive and rather memorable. Unashamedly rugged, it chucks mud in the eye of the current rash of SUVs that pretend to be serious off-roaders.
Yes, the styling is a throwing back to the original Willy’s Jeep of 75 years ago but it has the same sort of retro appeal you only get with a handful of new cars these days – like the forthcoming Fiat 124 sports car and VW Beetle.
With cars like these, styling plays a massive part in the buying decision – you either love it, or hate it. I’m definitely all for those crazy front wings and the box-shaped cabin.
The Overland sits between the entry-level Sahara and special order Rubicon models. Regardless of trim levels, it’s just one of those machines that lures you in. The visual appeal is almost overwhelming and seven days in the Wrangler should cure me of recent memories of the soul-less Renegade…