Owner Review

2005 Jeep Wrangler Renegade Extreme Sport review

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I recently fulfilled a long-time dream and bought a Jeep Wrangler.

It has an interior you can hose out! Being a special edition it has a temperature gauge and compass in the rear-view mirror. Amazing technology. I wanted a four-seat convertible and it fits the bill perfectly.

I am a performance car nut and have owned numerous high-performance rides, but this car has taught me that there is more to life than performance. This is the first car that puts a smile on my dial without pushing any limits – warm night, top down and off you go. It loves trails and off-road with its short wheelbase and low-down torque. There is no technology to speak of, the brakes are rubbish but work well enough, and the engine is a 4.0-litre six torque lump with a four-speed auto.

Fuel economy is average at best. It even has a fold-down windscreen. To attach all soft-top bits is annoying and the hardtop weighs a ton. At least I have an aftermarket stereo with Bluetooth. It is related to the WW2 Willys Jeep, and I know they only sold about 10,000 of these in 10 years in Australia. Any car related to a vehicle credited with helping the Allies win the war has to be legendary.

What other car offers such instantly familiar looks other than a 911, Mini or Beetle? Whether you love them or hate them, you must admit they are motoring legends. My kids love it and strangely so do I. It proves speed isn't everything.

Most surprising are the reactions from other people – plenty of thumbs up, comments, waves from other Jeep drivers. This car makes you happy when you are driving it and makes others happy, whether they are passengers or other road users.

Unfortunately, the CarAdvice ratings scale doesn't have anything relating to fun or 'x' factor as this would be off the charts. It may be mediocre on all measurable criteria, but in the real world it is awesome. I'm sold.