It abiding seems like four-door Jeep Wranglers accept surpassed the “coupes” in popularity. To see out how that added breadth and weight affects the rig on the trail, we adapted Nitto’s new Exo Grappler and Terra Grappler G2 off-road tires, attacked the dirt, and came aback intact.
The new four-door Wrangler is still competent in asperous being and array of ungainly everywhere else, but you’ll still accept fun active it because it looks air-conditioned and the roof comes off. Buy the bargain one and mod it yourself if you’re activity off-road, buy the bargain one and get alley tires if you aloof wanna drive to the beach.
Nitto’s new Grappler tires are absolutely able-bodied researched and accept some air-conditioned appearance (rock ejectors, added slices of tread) we’re acclimated to seeing in actual high-end off-road rubber. Account allegory arcade adjoin the accustomed being from BFG, Goodyear, and General.
The big-boy Jeep is bigger than anytime back it alone the bloodless 3.8 V6 it was alien with for a 3.6 authoritative 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The Wrangler we’re active actuality is a Sahara model– which comes with hardly added able-bodied springs and gas shocks than the abject Sport, but you’ll buy it for the body-colored roof and trim pieces. Otherwise this Jeep is the basal of the barrel; no lockers, no able axles, no Rubicon genitalia anywhere.
The Sahara commands about a $5,000 exceptional over the bargain Jeep, MSRP’ing at about $32,000 afterwards options.
The autogenous is still appreciably unrefined.
I can apprehend you already; “Can you accept this is activity to alpha a Jeep analysis bitching about how it’s not fancy!? Shut up and caster already.”
Well accept it, friend. And with acceptable reason: the 2014 Wrangler won’t attending chinsy to somebody who’s been affairs Wranglers back the YJ. But if you’re one of the bags of association who can assuredly get one because they appear in accessible sizes now, don’t apprehend the affectionate of autogenous you’d see in… any added car… that costs 30something thousand dollars.
The doors are captivated in abode by freaking nylon flaps, for advantage sake. Aggregate central the Wrangler is “fine,” and as commonsensical as the alone “dedicated off-road” SUV on the US bazaar should be. All I’m adage is: be able to asperous it for your money.
The “off-road” acquaintance starts as anon get in, carries on no amount area you’re driving.
You analysis the alley through a abbreviate and beeline windscreen affected by blocky A-pillars that attending like they could avert redwood limbs (don’t try it at home). You sit ramrod beeline so you can see over the collapsed amplitude of hood.
Whether you’ve done all kinds of time on trails or you’re aloof “playing off-roader” for the aboriginal time, you’re activity to feel like you’re on an chance as anon as you ascend abaft the wheel. That can be fun. It’s additionally exhausting.
Compared to its predecessors, the 2014 Wrangler Absolute is analytic collapsed and smooth. Compared aggregate else, it’s still appealing fluctuant and noisy. It’s an important acumen to altercate because avant-garde trucks accept become so civilized, it’s accessible to balloon how aflutter a short, off-road focused, agent still is… alike if it is “brand new.”
The Jeep and Nitto Grapplers comes into their own in the dirt…
Hitting the clay advance in this Wrangler acquainted like jumping into a basin back you’re blazer’s on fire.
The atrocity that gets annoying on pavement begets accuracy over ruts, and the Wrangler soaks up beach like it’s skiing powder. The Nitto Exo Grappers appealing abundant bite admitting beach and mud that’s “light to light-medium” squishiness. The hardly less-aggressive Terra Grapplers alone blooper on steeper inclines, both are analytic quiet on-road.
…but the avant-garde Wrangler insists on arena it safe. Too safe.
The 2014 Wrangler’s absorption ascendancy arrangement is a above bend in the spokes of a “dedicated off-road vehicle.” Boosting up a adequately apart albino abruptness (something like 25º) I started spinning tires aloof a blow in 2WD (as you do) and the Jeep’s computer promptly cut ability authoritative me accomplish the ascend in 4WD.
King Of The Hammers controlling and busy Baja racer Ron Stobaugh sighed from the bench aing to me; “Haha, yep. I knew that was gonna happen. If you absolutely appetite to comedy asperous with this affair you charge to cull a assertive fuse. Uh, so I’ve been told.”
The Jeep absolved up the acropolis uneventfully in high-range 4WD.
You do apprehension the added breadth on the trail.
We didn’t get to booty the Jeep actual deep; but alike on the basal clay advance we were lapping the added breadth of the four-door absolute appropriate a few three-point-turns area a approved Wrangler could whip around. We didn’t acme annihilation aciculate abundant to feel adverse furnishings on the breakover bend though.
Not abbreviate on ability per se, but a lot added wouldn’t hurt.
The added advancing Exo Grapplers absolved the Jeep up some analytic abrupt stuff; apparently maxing out about a little over 40º. The Terras alone had agitation back a caster begin its way into a hole, but the 3.6 V6 was able to accommodate abundant abstract to affected that as well.
But not afterwards a fair bit of blame and screaming.
I accede with the accepted affect that the 3.6 Jeep put in the Wrangler afterwards 2010 is a apple of advance over the 3.8 it launched with, but I still anticipate the 4,000ish batter agent would be bigger served by a little added juice.
The Wrangler’s aloof apparent fun, and I’ll abide every watering-down afterlight with the blow of the purists.
In animosity of its abounding shortcomings, active a Jeep Wrangler is still a absolutely agreeable acquaintance whether you’re sending it off a beach dune or aloof dabbling about Malibu. Aloof a abuse abashment what an batty amount exceptional you accept to bang bottomward for the privilege.
Nitto is angled to not be an also-ran in off-road tires, and it shows.
Nitto is allotment of the aforementioned accumulated ancestors as Toyo Tires, but is not about as accustomed or recognized. They acquired a lot of absorption (haHA!ostrich.gif) in the tuner car bazaar about the time the aboriginal Fast & Furious accursed up a new bearing of car people, and added afresh has been chipping abroad at the off-road market.
A abundant accord of analysis went in to abstraction the appearance of the Terra Grappler G2s and slightly-meatier Exo Grapplers. Both tires accept treaded sidewalls (which attending altered on anniversary side, giving you “two looks” on either tire). The tires accept able coupling joints that accord them greater backbone as they get angled out of appearance and tiny slits alleged “sipes” that run the abounding abyss of the annoy and accessible up a bit as they hit the apparent accouterment greater traction.
The Exo Grapplers attending like ragged saw blades with variable-pitch footstep blocks that dig adamantine into the dirt, but didn’t accomplish the Wrangler’s on-road acquaintance acutely added abhorrent than it is on banal rubber.
Even Toyota noticed Nitto has fabricated a lot of progress, and concluded up application their elastic as OEM accessories on the TRD Pro 4Runner. For solid medium-duty asperous being achievement and reasonable behavior on-road, they’re absolutely account comparing aing time your barter needs tires.
You can co added all-embracing on Nitto’s new Terra Grappler G2 here, and the Exo Grappler AWT appropriate here.
Images by the columnist and via Nitto Tire, Jeep
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