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Jeep Wrangler 2021 review: Overland four-door

The Wrangler brings back all the nostalgic feels.

I was super excited to jump into a Jeep. I mean, I’ve driven a Jeep before, but never a Wrangler. The company’s flagship car brings up all kinds of nostalgic feelings even though I’ve only glanced at them from afar.

So, does it live up to your fantasies? And is it really a family car, or does it just want to make you take off on a girl’s trip, roof off, music blaring? Well, a little bit of both, actually. 

I was in the Jeep Wrangler Overland four-door which costs $65,950, before on road costs and extras, which puts it in competition with cars like the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and Ford Everest. Here’s how it performed over a week with my family of four. 

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How does it look?

Like a proper Jeep, the new Wrangler has stayed true to its roots with that signature shape, the rough and ready fixtures like the giant tyres, the spare tyre on the back, the square front with grille and huge bumpers. It looks like it means business, but in a fresh and modern way, with updated accents throughout. 

  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.
  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.
  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.
  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.
  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.
  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.
  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.
  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.
  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.
  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.
  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.
  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.
  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.
  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.
  • The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new. The Jeep Wrangler has been designed really well with a blend of old and new.

Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside. There are leather seats, a leather steering wheel and leather gear shifter. It’s got aluminium interior door handles and trims which makes things feel premium.

  • Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside. Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside.
  • Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside. Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside.
  • Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside. Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside.
  • Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside. Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside.
  • Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside. Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside.
  • Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside. Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside.
  • Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside. Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside.
  • Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside. Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside.
  • Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside. Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside.
  • Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside. Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside.
  • Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside. Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside.
  • Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside. Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside.
  • Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside. Inside the car has also been updated, and while it still looks classic, it feels quite luxe inside.

But while there are some digital concessions like the multimedia screen, there are still analog dials in the instrument pod in front of the steering wheel to keep that old-school feeling alive. 

There are some digital concessions with the multimedia screen. There are some digital concessions with the multimedia screen.

It’s been designed really well with a blend of old and new, and while it certainly hasn’t gone anywhere near as far as the new Land Rover Defender in terms of technology and moving into 2021, it does feel slightly more modern than its predecessor. Of course, you feel great driving it on the road, you’re in a Wrangler. 

How spacious is it?

There’s loads of room for a family of four and the Jeep Wrangler Overland fit us and all of our stuff this week. The front has enough leg and headroom for the taller members of our family and it’s wide enough so you don’t feel cramped together, either. 

The backseat has plenty of space and my two children aged seven and nine fit comfortably with room to spare. I could also sit back there and would be happy for a good few hours driving. With enough room between my knees and the seat in front, taller adults and teenagers will also be fine in the back seat. 

The backseat has plenty of space and my two children aged seven and nine fit comfortably with room to spare. The backseat has plenty of space and my two children aged seven and nine fit comfortably with room to spare.

There’s enough room to fit a third child seat in the middle, I did it with two boosters and a baby capsule, but as always check with your own car seats. 

  • The boot is a huge 898L which will fit a double pram, or large suitcases, or sporting equipment. The boot is a huge 898L which will fit a double pram, or large suitcases, or sporting equipment.
  • The boot is a huge 898L which will fit a double pram, or large suitcases, or sporting equipment. The boot is a huge 898L which will fit a double pram, or large suitcases, or sporting equipment.
  • The boot is a huge 898L which will fit a double pram, or large suitcases, or sporting equipment. The boot is a huge 898L which will fit a double pram, or large suitcases, or sporting equipment.
  • The boot is a huge 898L which will fit a double pram, or large suitcases, or sporting equipment. The boot is a huge 898L which will fit a double pram, or large suitcases, or sporting equipment.
  • The boot is a huge 898L which will fit a double pram, or large suitcases, or sporting equipment. The boot is a huge 898L which will fit a double pram, or large suitcases, or sporting equipment.

The boot is a huge 898L which will fit a double pram, or large suitcases, or sporting equipment. It’s ideal to take away for a long road trip.

How easy is it to use every day?

Here’s where the old/new design has some drawbacks. Because yes, the design looks great, but is it the most practical? Not at all.

We don’t design cars this way anymore because we’ve figured out ways to make them more practical. That’s not to say the Wrangler is unusable, it’s just not as easy to use as other, regular cars. But they aren’t as fun, so take your pick here on what’s more important to you.

The doors are quite small, so if you're large, getting in and out won’t be easy. The doors are quite small, so if you're large, getting in and out won’t be easy.

The doors are quite small, so if you're large, getting in and out won’t be easy. There is a step so you can climb up into the car that my kids loved.

The window controls are on the centre console, just under the multimedia screen, which I found very strange. I’m sure you’d get used to this after, like, a year, but even a week wasn’t enough to get used to it for me. The front seats on this model are manually adjustable. 

Now for the fun bits. There is a completely open sunroof, and the roof comes off all together, as well as the doors for a totally open ride. But you'll have to pick your time and place carefully.

The Jeep Wrangler Overland features a completely open sunroof. The Jeep Wrangler Overland features a completely open sunroof.

Note, I did not do this, mainly because it's not legal to drive on Australian roads with the doors removed (they take the exterior mirrors with them). 

How does it drive?

Besides all the open-air possibilities, the Jeep Wrangler is also a fun car to drive. It zips around with the agility of a much smaller car, and even the turning circle is small for this size vehicle.

The Jeep Wrangler is also a fun car to drive. The Jeep Wrangler is also a fun car to drive.

It’s quick off the mark and zooms forward with a slight push on the accelerator, and handles well around corners. The steering is easy to turn and doesn’t feel heavy, either. 

There’s a 3.6L V6 engine which means it has enough power to go uphill quickly and I felt completely comfortable overtaking on highways. 

There’s a 3.6L V6 engine which means it has enough power to go uphill quickly. There’s a 3.6L V6 engine which means it has enough power to go uphill quickly.

I didn’t take it off-road this week, I stayed around suburbia, but it’s more than capable of going off-road and you can read a more detailed review on this in the CarsGuide Adventure section.

Parking is quite good with the small turning circle and there is a good reverse parking camera with guidelines to help direct you into the park.

How safe is it?

What’s the tech like?

The 8.4-inch multimedia screen is small compared to other SUVs this size, but in the Jeep Wrangler this size feels right as the design tries to minimise the digital features in the car. 

The 8.4-inch multimedia screen is small compared to other SUVs this size. The 8.4-inch multimedia screen is small compared to other SUVs this size.

It comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which instantly sync your phone to the touchscreen and allow you to make calls and send texts without touching your device. 

The Wrangler Overland comes with a premium Alpine nine-speaker sound system. The Wrangler Overland comes with a premium Alpine nine-speaker sound system.

The Wrangler Overland comes with a premium Alpine nine-speaker sound system (including subwoofer). 

How much does it cost to own?

The Jeep Wrangler costs $65,950 before on road costs and extras. Fuel consumption is a claimed 9.7L/100km and I averaged 10.9L/100km driving mostly around suburbia with some highway driving. 

The Jeep Wrangler costs $65,950 before on road costs and extras. The Jeep Wrangler costs $65,950 before on road costs and extras.

It’s covered by Jeep’s five year/100,000km (whichever comes first) warranty. 


The Wrap

The Jeep Wrangler Overland is a fun family car. While it isn't the most practical option, and there are certainly plenty of others on offer which tick the practicality box. But this Wrangler is way more fun than most cars, and just the fact that you can take it off-road if you want to, more than makes up for things like small doors. 

I gave it a family rating of 8.1 out of 10 and my kids gave it 8.5, they loved the way the roof came off. 

Likes

Nostalgic design
Fun speedy drive
Interior space

Dislikes

Slightly impractical
Small doors
Centre mount window controls

Scores

Nedahl:

4.1

The Kids:

4.3

$31,990 - $49,990

Based on 11 car listings in the last 6 months

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