Jeep’n Willys Wheeler
text and images by michael a. marrs
Off-roaders rely on their equipment working in what is often consider harsh conditions, even if they are man-made. It is that dependability that the Jeep Willys Wrangler offers with a 70-year heritage that has not changed much in style and design. It just keeps getting better. Considering Jeep can’t keep up with demand confirms – ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
Even with modern technology, it is the simple things like still being able to completely remove the hard top of the 2015 Wrangler, or just part of the three piece hardtop to get that open air experience. There is an optional Dual Top Roof package with a folding canvas top or one of the many aftermarket options that are available. Even the doors can still be removed and the windshield folded down for the full outdoor experience. This type of flexibility is what fans of the Wrangler demand as they go where ‘the road ends’. Jeep does try to offer a little variety without encroaching on a good thing by making different ‘editions’ of the Wrangler.
The review vehicle is a 2015 Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition, which is one of several special edition Wranglers that start with the Sport trim level and builds from there. This package adds the black 17-inch wheels that match the gloss black exterior trim package, a black ‘Willys’ hood decal that lets everyone know this is not just a Wrangler, but a Willys Wrangler.
The current choice of power under the hood of the Willys Wrangler is the dependable 3.6-L Pentastar V6 that has been proven in several different models across the Chrysler line. This engine produces 285 horsepower while providing 260 lb-ft of torque, which is backed by a six speed manual gear box as part of the standard equipment. The review vehicle included the optional 5-speed automatic that garners a rating of 17-mpg city and 20-mpg on the highway, while the manual gear box is rated for 17-mpg city and 21-mpg highway.
The Willys Wheeler trim package comes with an upgraded Sport trim level interior that includes cloth seats that are wide, supportive, and matches well with the hard plastic interior pieces that make things easier to clean. If there is not enough cargo room behind the rear seat, it will fold down for more room, which is particularly useful with the folding soft-top in place.
The A/C, power window and Uconnect controls are conveniently located in the center of the dash including the controls for the upgraded audio setup that includes an Alpine head-unit, 9-speakers and an all –weather sub that will fill the cabin with some nice tunes.
Pricing Notes on the 2015 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler
The 2015 Jeep Wrangler has a starting MSRP that adds to the popularity, with the Wrangler Sport starting near a MSRP of $23,000. A fully loaded Rubicon or Sahara can bump $40,000. The review Wrangler started at $22,695, and then added the Willys Wheeler package at $6,100, which covers a lot of items that should be considered before looking aftermarket. The Dual Top option, the Power Convenience Group and the 5-speed automatic were also added for a MSRP with destination charges of $35,615 as tested.
For more information on the 2015 Jeep Wrangler or the Wrangler Willys Wheeler, visit your Jeep dealer or online at www.jeep.com.