When it comes to serious off-road capabilities, Jeep undoubtedly is the choice. With over 69 years in producing off-road vehicles, they should be doing it well too.
This 4x4 legend is something of an icon by itself. I have never seen any other car brand being stamped on t-shirts with so many people wearing them. My guess is that in our boxed up world, the notion of "Go Anywhere, Do Anything" (Jeep's tag line) tug deep at our hearts.
Although Jeep's lineup consist of many different vehicles, nothing epitomizes it's sense of freedom more than the Jeep Wrangler.
Driving it here however, is hard work. To drive with the top down, the soft top has to be taken down manually, a back breaking, muscle bulging work that takes up a good 20mins or so. There are also no power windows, or power locks! (Pre 2010 ver.) The steering is taught and heavy, although it comes with much road feel. When performing a u-turn, it takes some strength to control the steering wheel from eagerly springing back to centre.
However, all the manual work brings about a flavour to this car, much akin to driving a classic, retro vehicle. You feel different and special.
Without cushy interiors surrounding you, driving the Wrangler with the top down ushers in the environment around providing a very raw driving feel (The Mini Beachcomber concept is pretty similar to the Wrangler). Imagine the tram ride at the Zoo, and you will get what I mean, the connection with the environment is what gives Jeep that feeling of "Freedom".
Now, imagine the same tram ride combined with a 3.8L V6 and a supremely tough chassis. The Wrangler will make you feel like the other cars on the road are toys.
Although it's off-road purpose might never be fulfilled in Singapore, it is still fun negotiating the "urban jungle". The Wrangler is one vehicle that will make mince meat of any humps or curbs, crossing a hump at 50km/h is no big deal.
Sadly, my friend sold his jeep due to it's high running cost (other than the hefty road tax, it is also thirsty as well), in place he got a Renault Koleos which banishes him to the confines of 4 Doors, a Roof and a Boring ride. He misses his yellow Jeep and so do I.