For Sale By:Private Seller
Exterior Color: Blue
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 6
Drive Type: 4x4
Options: 4-Wheel Drive, CD Player, Convertible
Tulsa, OK, United States
There will forever be a soft spot in my heart for the Jeep Wrangler. The last one I owned was red, and, as a 1990 model, had the square headlights derided by Jeep enthusiasts who grew up on the Civilian Jeeps that descended from their General Purpose military ancestors. As a teenager, I couldn't have cared less what shape its headlights happened to be - to me, a Jeep Wrangler represented freedom; a carefree do-it-all machine equally at home with the top stowed away in the summer or with the heater on full blast in the snowy clutches of Old Man Winter. In Dr. Seuss parlance, my square-headlighted Sneetch was just as worthy as any round-headlighted Sneetch.
All that said, I'll be the first person to advise against buying a Jeep Wrangler of any sort for owners who don't plan to use it as its makers intend. There's no good reason to punish yourself with a stiff and springy ride, a loud and somewhat drafty (though generally water-resistant) interior or the poor fuel economy expected of a block-shaped vehicle if you don't enjoy its other, more exciting benefits.
Of course, Jeep has done its darndest over the years to make the Wrangler as civilized as possible while keeping it as capable as federal law will allow. The 2013 Jeep Wrangler Moab edition is one of Jeep's latest attempts to attract attention from the upper reaches of the active lifestyle set, and I spent a week with one to see what makes the Moab special.
Now that the Liberty has left us for greener pastures, it's time to start looking into the future of the midsize Jeep model. The next all-new vehicle for the off-road brand will be the SUV you see here, effectively replacing the Liberty, and not necessarily carrying on with that name.
From the sides, the prototype you see here sort of looks like a miniature version of the handsome Grand Cherokee, albeit with a bit more in the way of body sculpting. Up front, the seven-slat grille will be front and center, with completely revised headlamp designs that are reportedly angular and sweep well into the front fenders (you can sort of see what we're talking about in the side profile). That doesn't sound very Jeep-like, but we'll reserve judgment until we, you know, see the thing.
The bigger question with the Liberty replacement will be whether or not its off-road chops will be up to snuff. After all, the two previous generations of Liberty models were body-on-frame traditional SUVs, whereas this new Jeep rides on a larger version of the Dodge Dart platform.
If 2012 was the year of the dragon in China, perhaps the US can claim 2014. After showing the Jeep Wrangler Dragon Design Concept at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, and apparently receiving "tremendously positive feedback" from Jeep enthusiasts across the globe, the automaker has decided to introduce a production version that will hit US showrooms this fall with a price of $36,095.
"The dragon symbolizes strength and power and is an aspirational character normally associated with royalty and good fortune," says Jeep, and that apparently equates to a blacked-out Wrangler Unlimited with bronze satin gloss highlights inside and out, along with big dragon decals that start on the hood and run down the fenders. There are 18-inch matte black wheels with a bronze outer edges, and a dragon-emblazoned spare tire cover completes the look.
We suggest you peruse the high-res image gallery above to see all the black and bronze detailing yourself, and make special note of the interior. In related news, all 2014 Jeep Wrangler models get an optional Trail Kit and clear park lamps to replace the previous amber units. New colors include Amp'd, Anvil, Copperhead, Flame Red, Granite Crystal and Hydro Blue (Freedom edition only), which join carryover colors Billet Silver, Bright White, Black and Dune.