Smoooth - 2012 Jeep Wrangler Long-Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Wrangler Long Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Wrangler: Smoooth

October 31, 2011


Traditionally, when Mark Takahashi is wrong in a blog, I simply walk over to his desk and ask him very politely what in the world he was thinking. Then when he tries to respond I yell, very loudly, "YOU BOUGHT A LOTUS ELISE, YOU DON'T GET TO MAKE JUDGEMENTS ABOUT NORMAL THINGS NORMAL PEOPLE DO" and walk away.

He's actually gotten pretty good at interjecting salient tidbits in the gaps when I'm breathing in for the next round of screaming. It's fun. Really.

But I couldn't let last week's transgression stand. I yelled at him in person, questioned his ability to drive (he's actually quite good) and informed him that I'm taking this one public.

You'll notice that I'm using the same picture of our Wrangler (shot by Niebs for the Wrangler's introduction) that Mark used in his offending post, but havn't ruined it with a giant page-sowing animation. Why? Because the Wrangler doesn't ride that like. (And because I want to be able to load this page.) Not if you know how to drive it.

Sure, if you hit some bumps or some asphalt undulation the Jeep's going to let you know, but Mark's complaint wasn't about that. Mark was talking about excessive driveline lash which is something I've yet to experience in our Jeep.  With a light, long-throw clutch with plenty of feel and an engine happy to loaf along under 2K rpm, I've found our Jeep to be a great companion for city driving. Easy even.

There is, however, a trick: Stay out of first.

There's not a lot of lash in first when I drive, but that's because I can feel it building and get to 2nd asap. Reader goaterguy nailed it in Mark's post "First is too high for normal driving. My solution is fairly simple, on level roads I start in second gear, problem solved."

I haven't found this necessary, but I do short shift first and I have every time I've driven the Jeep. Those of us who drive manuals know the feeling of a driveline winding up, we know when an engine is running out of breath and we know that when that whole thing winds up on a tall truck with soft springs it's going to unleash fury. Solution: don't do that.

Mark's not a short-shift guy. Mark's more of a "Alright, we're on the rev-limiter let's power shift!" type of guy. It's why

And speaking of power-shifting a Jeep, yes we've tested it and yes you'll get the numbers soon. This week.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor, Inside Line

(Mark Takahashi approved of this message.)

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