Mini Adventure - 2012 Jeep Wrangler Long-Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Wrangler Long Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Wrangler: Mini Adventure

February 21, 2012


On Sunday afternoon I loaded up the kid and headed for the nearest off-road play land. Not that I'm any good at off roading, but its appeal does seem to be rather univeral. The plan was to drive up the wash for about five miles and then unload, hike a few more miles and check out a waterfall which only runs (trickles, if I'm honest) in the winter. It's been a dry one in SoCal this year, but with snow in the highest reaches of our local mountains last week, I was hopeful.

Turns out, the Wrangler is refreshingly fun in its element.


About half way up the wash we stumbled into this Bronco. This guy's combination of genius level driving and heavy footedness youthful indiscretion and enthusiasm landed him up to his axles in rocks. Physics, it turns out, apply to Fords as well. One quick snatch in four low and the Bronco was free. He was thankful and we had fun.


And then this happened. Doesn't look like much, but it stopped the Jeep on our first three attempts. That, of course, was before we unleashed our inner Tim Cameron and decided more throttle was the solution. Now, in fairness, this photo doesn't fully illustrate the hill's looseness or its frame-twisting nature which would simultanteously lift opposite front and rear wheels causing the Jeep to spin its tires and lose grip. Next stop: locking differentials. Or, at the very least, a disconnected front stabilizer bar. Spending the five minutes to make that tweak would likely have kept the tires on the ground.

After the hike we saw this:


It wasn't much. But it was enough to produce this:


Josh Jacquot, Senior editor 

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