Just about the only way we can describe the ride of pre-2007-era Wrangler models to the uninitiated is to imagine being stricken with a rather severe case of haemorrhoids and then being superglued to a spacehopper. Perhaps that's a tad harsh but after the novelty of an old Wrangler's bouncy ride had worn off, you were left with a vehicle that could crawl through deep mud but which wasn't much good at anything else. With the current 'JK' series car, things certainly improved - if not dramatically then, at least, unequivocally. This design is much quieter than its predecessors too, thanks to beefed up insulation from engine and road noise.
There's a choice of two conventional engines - a 2.2-litre Multijet II diesel with 200hp and 450Nm of torque. And a 2.0-litre turbo petrol unit with 265hp and 400Nm of torque. Both are mated to 8-speed auto transmission. Sadly, the rorty 3.6-litre V6 Pentastar petrol unit is no longer offered to European markets. You can though, talk to your dealer about a PHEV version, the Wrangler 4xe, which mates the 2.0-litre petrol engine to a motor generator unit and a 400V 17kWh battery pack which when charged, can offer up to 25 miles of electrified driving.
These days, the Wrangler offers two active, on-demand full time 4WD systems - known as 'Command-Trac' and 'Rock-Trac'. These use next-generation Dana axles, Tru-Lock electric front and rear-axle lockers, a Trac-Lok limited-slip differential and an electronic front sway-bar disconnect system.
Whichever engine you go for, the Wrangler is still brilliant off road, with its super aggressive approach and departure angles. Opt for the entry-level Sport or Sahara trims and the car comes with clever brake lock differentials. In the two-door short wheelbase line-up, the range-topping Rubicon model gets even more specialist front and rear locking differentials. On road manners feel safe and predictable, if a little slow-witted, but there are decent levels of grip and, on broken or rutted surfaces, the handling is no longer stymied by a bouncy ride.