Modern Motoring: 6 takeaways from the 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara


All nine iterations of the 2017 Jeep Wrangler lineup come equipped with a very capable 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine giving you a best-in-class 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque through either a six-speed #savethemanuals gearbox or a five-speed automatic transmission. 
Fuel efficiency for my specific four-door automatic tester registers at 14.7 city and 11.7 highway for the standard L/100km rating. The two-door (weighing less) has ratings at 14.2 city and 11.0 highway. 
With so much power beneath the hood, the Wrangler is incredibly responsive to what your right foot commands, which is great for the straight roads. With a higher centre of gravity, cornering, twists and turns need to be done cautiously. 
This specific Wrangler fills up with 85 litres of regular fuel, where the non-Unlimited takes 70 litres.
Oh, and with such a powerful engine, your towing capability hits 3,500 pounds.

The 2017 is great...What will be new for 2018?

It’s been nearly a decade since a new Wrangler showed up (why change a great thing if there’s very little wrong with it?) and 2018 is the year that we get a redesign. The Jeep folks are keeping their cards awfully close but I can’t see a big deviation from this iconic brand. But, there’s going to be a decent amount of change happening within the Wrangler lineup. What’s been speculated is that there’ll be a new four-door model included with the four and two door trims, with a pickup truck-esque open-air bed to offer even more versatility. Seeing as Jeep is the cash cow of FCA, there shouldn’t be a repeat of others that have attempted this…looking at you, ugly Subaru Baja and less ugly but still silly El Camino.
For those weary of change, this current generation of Jeep Wranglers will still be seen often on (and off) road. 
The short version? Expect softer corners on the exterior, a few more angular design lines up front and (even) better off road capabilities. 

Can it function in both a suit and hiking shoes?

Absolutely. The Wrangler can be run as a daily driver and double as a weekend warrior. Massive P255/70R18 OWL on/off-road tires, 9.7” of ground clearance and 1,999 litres of cargo space (seats down) make it a wonderful weekend toy. While there weren’t any real challenges in Mississauga for the Wrangler to conquer, I did find a snow bank at the Hershey Centre that I had a bit of fun with.
Seeing as there are no real competitors (yet) for the Wrangler, many of these 4x4 legends do double as daily drivers, with the city driving component being a reasonable comfortable drive. 
Would I buy one, even though I have limited off-road/trails experience? Let’s just say that I’d happily learn to love the world of off-roading.


The Wrangler Unlimited Sahara sits near the top of the lineup, only eclipsed by the Rubicon and Unlimited Rubicon.
The Sahara (two door) comes in at $39,445 and my test vehicle’s MSRP is slightly higher at $41,845, or $1,200 per extra door.
As mentioned, there’s no true competitor so I can’t quite say “compared to the…” to give you an alternative choice. What I can say is that the Jeep is the crown jewel of FCA and the Wrangler lineup is at the center of that. 
People have been eating up current iteration Wranglers at this price, so clearly there’s a strong symmetry between value and cost.

So, anything you especially liked?

Definitely. Starting with the rock solid 4x4 that served me very well during my test week, which was full of snow and ice. Sure it’s great for off-roading but Canadian winters are best handed with 4x4/all-wheel drive systems.
Despite the higher tank size and fuel efficiency being lower than my 2004 Accord, if I was in the market for a new car, the Wrangler suits most of my city needs. Lots of space, lots of power, a mega sunroof (also known as the best convertible out there), higher line of sight and of course, the available manual transmission.
And the fact I can pose the Jeep for photos like this one. 
A friend of mine jumped ship from a Patriot to a Wrangler Sahara 2 door a few months ago and loves it. We even did a joint photo-shoot! 
She doesn’t do a lot of off-roading (I don’t think she does any, now that I think about it) but she loves the look, feel, style and ruggedness of it. She’s also a VP and does a ton of driving in and out of town (as I do) so her city-side and rural side are satisfied. 

Anything you didn’t like?

A couple of things but I’m a particular kinda guy. Yes, I know there’s an available Alpine sound system with nine speakers and a 552 watt amp, but if I’m going to be cruising the top/doors off, I could do with a slightly stronger audio system with bigger bass and clearer treble. I’m an audio snob so I realize my request may not fit with anyone else’s.
The infotainment system isn’t aging well but it does retain is functionality nicely. I don’t need it to be bigger; I need it to look more modern graphic-wise.
Higher thigh support is on my list because if I’m going to be bouncing around on rocks and mud, I could use a bit more support in keeping my backside secure in the comfortable seats.

Enjoy the full gallery below: