Despite the prevalence of SUVs, Jeeps remain a rare sight in Malaysia yet are simultaneously the most refreshingly honest interpretation of what a ‘sport utility' vehicle should be - especially with regard to the Wrangler.
Through Jeep Glenmarie, the 2020 model year revision of the 4th-generation boxy American off-roading specialist has arrived in Malaysia, offered in the Rubicon trim as either a two-door or four-door body style (or is it 3-door and 5-door?). Though both are fitted with the same levels of equipment, the shorter wheelbase version kicks off the range and is priced at RM378,000.
Two rear doors and a larger cabin result in the 4-door Rubicon carrying an RM10k premium to RM388,000. It’s also worth noting that both prices quoted here include the 50% sales tax discount, as they are fully imported from the Jeep factory in Toledo, Ohio.
Retaining the body-on-frame construction, high ground clearance, long-travel suspension, and solid front and rear axles, both Wrangler Rubicons also feature a removable rooftop to fully embrace the outdoors.
Its 17-inch wheels wear BF Goodrich off-road tyres over huge wheel arches to account for the full breadth of its axle articulation. Plenty of heavy-duty cladding and skid plates protect the vehicle’s undercarriage and outer perimeter.
Along with a string of updates over the previous iteration, the JL series of Wrangler (first brought out in 2018) introduces turbocharged engines into the powertrain line-up, and that’s what now powers both variants that have arrived in Malaysia.
Though staples like the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 and the 6.4-litre HEMI V8 are offered in other markets such as North America, Jeep is clearly pushing the adoption of this downsized 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder.
This ‘Hurricane’ unit is pretty much the same engine designed by Alfa Romeo for their shared parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, made in Italy, and adapted for use in FCA’s US division. It produces a pretty healthy 272hp and 400Nm, which in this Jeep reaches all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission and a Rock-Trac 4:1 transfer box that’s capable of an 84:1 crawl ratio to maximise torque.
Even inside, the Rubicon is clearly geared to off-roading, prioritising form over function. That said, the cabin isn’t exactly spartan. There are leather seats, a larger multi-function display sandwiched between the analogue dials, and an even larger 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system running FCA’s Uconnect system and paired to an Alpine speaker system.
Jeep Glenmarie, which operates under TAHB Automotive, offer the Wrangler(s) Rubicon with the Jeep Care package that includes a 3-year 100,000km warranty as well as a 3-year 60,000km free maintenance.