Sturdy in the bush and slick in the city!
From a secure feeling of impregnability on off-road excursions, to exuberant and robust agility in the city, the Jeep Wrangler Sahara edition is one of the most exciting drives of our time.
The 2020 Sahara screams adventure and is packed with all the latest essentials to keep you connected to the new and fast changing world, whilst maintaining the age old reliable ruggedness and appeal we’ve grown to expect and love in a Jeep.
Opening the driver’s door and hopping into the car in itself is a bit of a fun exercise, almost a right of passage into a new world – if you must. Once you’re in it you immediately feel secure, with all essential buttons feeling firm and reinforced with rubber, reminiscent of a helicopter or army tank. The car feels sturdy and the cloth fabric seats aren’t too much of a turn off with the leather steering and dashboard making up for them. The keyless start button, which is waterproof, is a standard feature and the key itself feels like a little grenade in your hand. The car’s size is definitely intimidating, but the steering wheel is soft and responsive, ensuring that you feel in control.
Getting on the road, the car is definitely a smooth ride and packs the necessary punch to dash forward. We have the 3.6 V6 Pentastar petrol engine mated with the 8-speed automatic transmission to thank for that, churning out 209 kW with 347 Nm of torque at 4100 rpm.
There is a lot of kickback when you step on the accelerator however, and one could argue that it’s a tad too hyper-responsive which could make it hard to drive long distances comfortably. The flexible cruise control makes up for this shortcoming and is perfectly placed on the steering wheel along with display and other multimedia controls.
One thing to note is the high profile of the car, allowing a deeper sense of safety and control, with an added benefit of confidence and full view over vehicles ahead, almost like a periscope to avoid traffic or even potholes and obstacles. This will definitely come in handy off-road and should fare better than most 4x4s seeing that the profile of the Sahara is higher than most SUVs on the road.
Messing around with the entertainment system whilst trying to find the best place to take the Sahara off-road, we discover the off-road display which provides essential metrics such as GPS coordinates, roll, altitude, drivetrain power distribution and pitch, amongst others. Multiple USB ports, including USB-C, in the console and alongside the seats ensured that we are plugged in and connected to the fourth-generation Uconnect™ system which includes radio and smartphone connectivity compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
We’ve found the off-road spot and set up cell phone navigation for directions along with our favourite song to hit the road to, and BOOM! A perfectly balanced, crisp and loud sound system introduces itself and is definitely a welcome addition to the exhilarating experience that is the Sahara. The Alpine Premium Audio System comes standard across the range, with a 552-watt 12-channel amplifier, eight speakers and a rear subwoofer, which is where the party’s at! Did I mention that the sound is perfect?
Off-road, the Sahara is like a well behaved Rhodesian Ridgeback, firm, agile and sturdy. Powered by the Command-Trac® 4×4 System, which features a completely new full-time mode that will automatically switch from 2WD to 4WD when conditions dictate, the Sahara is well balanced to suit first timers and experienced off-roaders. The sharp turns, rocky climbs, muddy ditches and dusty steeped hills were everything but too much for the Sahara to handle, with all features and systems working together to conquer any obstacle put in front, behind or even next to the Sahara.
Back in the city, the Sahara proved to be nimble and quick, pacing through traffic and fitting in snuggly into narrow parking spaces where the ParkSense Front and Rear Park Assist come in very handy to make sure you’re aware of surroundings.
Life is definitely much more vibrant with the 2020 Jeep Sahara. All this and more starting out at R849,000 is well worth the adventure!
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