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Convertibles

Book Review: Restorations by Charles Strickler

by Jason Fogelson

A lot of car and motorcycle-related books cross my desk. Most are non-fiction, either historical accounts of significant events, biographies of major industry figures, memoirs of drivers, mechanics or restorers, detailed tributes to brands or models, or elogies to bygone marques. Occasionally, I’ll receive a novel set in and around the automotive world – and I eat those up.

The pitch for Restorations by Charles Strickler (March 20, 2019, Koehler Books) caught my interest. It was billed as “a fast-paced thriller that puts the pedal to the metal from page one,” centering around a 1928 Stutz Black Hawk Boattail Roadster. Okay – I’m in.

Stutz Blackhawk Boat Tail Speedster 071The story begins with a brief prologue detailing a failed 1930 bank robbery in Decatur, Illinois, and a criminal named Lefty Webber. Flash forward to Spring 2018 in Wachau, North Carolina to meet our main character, Miles West. He’s a man at the bottom of an emotional well. The recent death of his beloved wife, followed closely by the demise of his parents, has left him bereft. He’s left his high-powered Wall Street job and returned to the family farm in North Carolina to recover. A kind elderly neighbor coaxes Miles to attend a local estate auction, where he is stricken by two beauties: Auctioneer Bramley Ann Fairchild, and a 1928 Stutz barn find. He makes the winning $60,000 bid for the car, narrowly beating a phone bidder who claims to have had an equipment malfunction during the final call. Miles has the car transported to his farm to begin restoration, and Bramley volunteers to help research the car’s provenance.

That’s when the adventure begins. Turns out the phone bidder represented an aging New York City mob boss who has been searching for this specific Stutz for decades, because of secrets that it might conceal relating to the bank robber, Lefty Webber. Miles and Bramley become entangled in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse that leads across the Northeast and into New York City.

Stutz Blackhawk Boat Tail Speedster 103During the course of the chase, Miles proves to be incredibly brave and resourceful, and Bramley is a willing accomplice to his plans. Some of the plot machinations are difficult to swallow, as Miles takes incredible risks despite the involvement of the authorities. Certain late revelations and unlikely coincidences strain belief, but the fast pace of the action fit the genre.

Dialog is not Strickler’s strength, as the conversation between characters is a bit stilted and expositional. The main characters are reasonably well-drawn and likeable, if a little too pure and good to be believed, while the antagonists are suitably menacing, if somewhat two-dimensional.

As a car guy, I was a little disappointed that the Stutz is a MacGuffin in this shaggy dog story, just a plot device to set off the action. At least the car is accurately described, and suitably rare to serve its purpose.

The pitch I received said that Restorations would appeal to fans of Steve Berry, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and that may be true. I’d encourage Charles Strickler to shoot a little higher – those authors are all capable of churning out page-turners, for sure, but they all suffer from similar weaknesses in characterization, dialog and convenient plot twists. I’m looking for a little more literary merit in my thrillers, and a little more car involvement in my automotive-related stories. StricklerRestorationsBack_(1_of_1)

1928 Stutz Black Hawk Photos (c) Revs Institute

Book Cover (c) Köehlerbooks

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2017 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible

by Tod Mesirow

There’s not a deep reserve of demand for an SUV convertible – as far as anyone knows.  In fact, convertibles in general make up less than 1 percent of all registered cars in America.  (Hawaii leads the way with almost 4 percent but Florida is beating California with 2.12 to 1.59 percent.)  As we all know, though, there is a growing demand for SUVs.   Even while overall sedan sales slowly decline, sales of SUVs continue to rise.  And the compact luxury crossover SUV class is especially crowded.  So maybe – just maybe – someone at Land Rover looked at the Range Rover Evoque and asked the question: “How do we get some extra attention?”  A young upstart in the back of the room timidly raised his or her hand and said, “Turn it in to a convertible.” The suggestion was no doubt greeted with uproarious laughter heavily tinged with derision.  But then, someone in authority chimed in: “Great idea!”

Looking at the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque convertible, however, I’m not so sure about how brilliant an idea it really is.  Already a distinctive looking SUV, making it a convertible is like doubling down on the odd lines, the raked rear roof and chopped look.  While driving it around a guy in a 911 convertible asked at a stoplight if it was a custom car – not an odd question, especially in Los Angeles.  When I told him “no,” he gave a thumbs-up and an appreciative head bob before blasting off.

With an aluminum turbocharged four-cylinder engine putting out 240 hp, we weren’t going to be able to keep up with the 911.  And yet the Evoque manages to feel sure-footed and capable of effective highway speeds.  It’s also able to pull its way up one of the steepest streets in California, Baxter Street, where limousines have been known to become teeter totters, and grown drivers pull over part of the way up to stop and cry.

When I was growing up, my parents each had their own convertible.  Our two family cars were a 1970 Ford LTD convertible – yellow – and a 1970 Mustang convertible – orange. I knew those cars pretty well. One of my weekly chores was to wash each of them. Driving them was fun for a teenager, sometimes, but the Washington, D.C. weather didn’t do me many favors. Instead of becoming a life-long lover of open air cars, I have in fact never owned one, and have never considered owning one. I find them too windy at speed and too hot sitting at a stoplight.  Maybe 17 percent of the time there’s a great feeling of whisking along with a 360-degree unobstructed view – if in fact it was possible to be owl-like with one’s head and swivel the whole way around.

Getting into the Evoque is easy – it’s not a giant climb up like some full-sized SUVs.  And the mechanism for putting the top down – and up – has been amazingly well-crafted. There’s just one button that needs to be engaged throughout the brief process. It causes the windows to go down, and the top to unlatch and fold its way back behind the rear seats.  Simple.  Putting it up works just as easily. Unlike my parents’ old cars, there’s nothing to be done beyond engaging the button. No seating of pins, placing of latches, matching sure things are aligned. The mechanism works smoothly and easily.

With the top down, it’s off we go. The Evoque has the full complement of modern systems available, including proximity warnings while parking and driving, rear-view camera, guiding stripes placed on screen, full touchscreen access to the temperature controls, navigation, seat adjustments, entertainment systems and cell phone connections. It’s becoming standard to feel like settling in to the cockpit of some modern space age vehicle when getting in to a new car, and there’s something reassuring about all of that technology.

Out on the road, the Evoque handles the basic tasks as it should – cornering, accelerating, braking.  It’s not a giant SUV, so there’s no ungainly feeling to driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, which is where convertibles belong.  Looking to the left while driving north, the ocean glimmers with its perpetual motion.  To the right, the hills are pregnant with houses.  It’s easy to imagine a small surfboard or boogie board stuck into the foot wells of the back seat. Okay maybe not a boogie board – the wind would whip it up and away. But a surfboard – that image works. And the trunk, while not very large because of the space necessary to stow the convertible top, is plenty big enough for a few boogie boards.

The back seat, as well, is not as big as it would otherwise be, again because of the top.  It has to go somewhere.  Which makes the Evoque convertible a three-person car for adults, or four if the two in the back are smaller children.

Comparing the Evoque convertible is difficult – because since the demise of the Nissan Murano Convertible, there are no other SUV convertibles. But it might be instructive to look at two others in the same compact luxury crossover class – the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5 and compare things like horsepower, size, MPG, and price.

The X3 with a turbo four-cylinder produces 240 hp, the same as the Evoque convertible.  The Audi Q5 also with a turbo four-cylinder produces 220 hp, the lower of the three, with an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD.   MPG is 20 city/28 highway and has a $42,750 price tag.  The Q5 is 182.6 inches long.  The Evoque is 172 inches long.   The X3 is 183.4 inches long, also with AWD and eight-speed transmission.  MPG is 21 city/28 highway, and carries a $40,950 ticket.  The hardtop version of the Evoque five door model for a straight comparison is $51,470 msrp, with a nine-speed transmission and 4WD.  The convertible version is only slightly more – $52,095, which is a departure from cars like the Mustang and the Camaro, where convertible versions incur a $5,000 and $7,000 premium over their hardtop siblings. The Evoque convertible is rated a similar 20 MPG city/ 28 highway – though one has to imagine that with the top down highway mileage would be lower due to the reduction in the streamlined shape cruising up the California coastline.

Regardless of the details, for most drivers the big questions come down how does it feel to drive, and how do I feel driving it?  The 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible feels like a luxury vehicle while driving it, but I feel like I’m in an oddball when I think about how it looks. Almost as if it came from an alternate bubble universe, where things were familiar, but somehow just off that little bit. For the right person, the Evoque convertible is a dream car. For everyone else, it’s a bit of a curiosity, an ugly duckling that looks like a swan to those who fall for it. And for Land Rover/Tata, their new model may just be the thing that calls attention to the rest of their flock, which can’t help but be a good thing.

Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided the vehicle used to conduct this test drive and review.

 

Photos (c) Tod Mesirow.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica: A DriveWays Review…

by Frank A. Aukofer

And it came to pass that Triumph begat the Spitfire. And later, Mazda begat the Miata. And later still, the Miata begat the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider. And all was well in the sports car world.

In biblical language, those brief statements encompass the history of affordable two-seat sports roadsters. There were many back in the 1960s, mostly from Great Britain but also from Italy, which produced the original Fiat 124 Spider.

A long drought ensued until Japan’s Mazda brought forth the modern iteration in 1990, dubbing it the MX-5. But almost everyone still uses its nickname, the Miata. Closing on a million sales over the years, it continues today in a superb fourth generation version.

Now it has a fifth column competitor in the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider, which reappears after an absence of over 30 years. That’s because Mazda decided to sell the basic MX-5 chassis and other components to Fiat. Moreover, the 124 is built in a Mazda plant in Hiroshima, Japan.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider and 1968 Fiat 124 Spider
2017 Fiat 124 Spider and 1968 Fiat 124 Spider

It’s a coup for the Italian manufacturer. It gets Japanese design and build quality—sorely needed because Fiats of yore, including the 124, had dismal records for reliability despite their sexy looks.

While the new 124 reprises its attractive Italian styling, the Miata has its own exciting personality, so the choice comes down to customer preference. The cars are priced similarly.

At 13 feet 4 inches, the 124 is nearly six inches longer than its cousin, which imparts that long hood, short rear deck characteristic of muscle cars and sports cars like the BMW Z3. However, the wheelbase—the distance between the centers of the front and rear wheels—is the same 90.9 inches on both the Miata and 124. The latter has more front and rear body overhang.

FT017_040SP9g9o00jj5c1k0ecj49jmvaj2maThe 124, which uses Fiat’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, delivers more power than the Miata’s 155 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque from its non-turbo 2.0-liter four-banger. But that slight advantage is mitigated because the 124 weighs around 100 to nearly 200 pounds more than the Miata, depending on the model and equipment.

There are three 124 Spider versions: Classica with a price tag of $25,990 including the destination charge, mid-level Lusso at $28,490 and top-line Abarth at $29,190. All three come with a six-speed manual gearbox. If you want to go shiftless, a six-speed automatic is an additional $1,350.

In any sports car like this, the purist’s choice will be the manual, and the 124’s does not disappoint. Though the shift linkage operates a bit stiffly, the shifter obeys the driver’s instinctive inputs, whether shifting up or down. Clutch engagement is smooth without any tendency to grab and kill the engine.

Fiat rates the 0-60 mph acceleration in the six second range, with the more heavily equipped models slightly slower than the lightweight Classica, the subject here. But all three models, either with the stick shift or the automatic, feel faster because of their tidy size.

The rear drive 124’s behavior on a tight autocross course is joyful, with near neutral balance and responsiveness to both steering and throttle inputs. In a tight turn, the car easily rotates to set up for the next corner.

Some testers have written that the 124 actually feels better planted on curving roads, with less body roll, than the MX-5. But that Miata characteristic is deliberate. Mazda engineers assert that a bit of body roll imparts a more natural handling feel. Take your choice and pay your money.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider LussoBoth roadsters have similar interiors and about the same space of 49 cubic feet for a driver and one passenger, along with a small trunk of five cubic feet. The trunk can hold enough soft sided luggage for two on a weekend but not much more.

The convertible top is manually operated with a single locking lever. When dropped for open air motoring, it settles into the body and forms its own boot cover.

On the road, with the top up, the 124’s cabin gets noisy with a combination of road, wind and engine sounds, though less so than the Miata. Engine sounds are more noticeable in the Abarth, which sings more raucous exhaust notes than its garage mates.

For a minority of motorists, there’s nothing more satisfying than top down motoring on a sunny day following a twisty, traffic free highway. Raw power doesn’t count; it’s all about driving enjoyment. The Fiat Spider 124 adds a tantalizing new choice.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso
2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso

Specifications

  • Model: 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica two-seat sports roadster.
  • Engine:4-liter four cylinder, 160 hp, 184 lb-ft torque.
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual.
  • Overall length: 13 feet 4 inches.
  • EPA passenger/trunk volume: 49/5 cubic feet.
  • Weight: 2,436 pounds.
  • EPA city/highway/combined fuel consumption: 26/35/30 mpg.
  • Base price, including destination charge: $25,990.
  • Price as tested: $27,285.

 

 

2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune: A DriveWays Review

by Frank A. Aukofer

The 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune has nothing in common with Frank Herbert’s fantasy novel and its scary giant sandworms. But the stylish makeover of VW’s Beetle should worm its way into the affections of Beetle buffs.

It’s a proven technique in the automobile biz. When a given model has been around awhile and familiarity begins to breed indifference, manufacturers dream up newbies. They rearrange options lists, lower prices, invent new names, and add equipment and colors so the vehicle appears fresh and new.

Volkswagen has been particularly adept at such spinoffs, especially with the Beetle, which was resurrected in 1997 as the New Beetle, a front engine, front drive two-door instead of the original rear engine, rear drive Bug. It has since formed the foundation for many special editions and, in 2011, the company dropped the “New” designation to simply keep it the Beetle.

2016VWBeetleDuneConvertible-2The Beetle Dune actually amounts to a bit more than options shuffling. Inspired by the Baja 1000 off-road adventure in Mexico’s Lower California peninsula, it can boast of some miniscule boondocks credibility—a slightly wider stance and a bit of extra road clearance.

But in the end it’s all about styling. From one perspective, the Beetle Dune mimics a high-powered Porsche race car overtaking you on the road. At the same time, it resembles a customized dune buggy. So it has both curb- and sand-blaster appeal. Even if you don’t like the look, you have to concede that it has personality and panache.

What it doesn’t have is a pit stop full of performance. Other than its arresting looks, the Beetle Dune is, well, a regular Beetle. That means it comes with a 170 hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 184 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.

A manual gearbox would be more attractive to enthusiasts who like the control and driver involvement that comes with shifting for themselves. But VW goes with the flow, recognizing that the automatics obviously have wider appeal. In the U.S., stick shifts have diminished to less than 4% of total new car sales.

2016VWBeetleDuneConvertible-10However, the Dune’s automatic comes with driver selectable Sport and Manual modes. In Sport, the onboard computer holds each gear to higher rpms before upshifting. Car and Driver magazine clocked a respectable 0-60 mph acceleration time of 7.4 seconds.

What the Dune excels at is respectable road manners. The steering delivers responsive feedback while the suspension system, body rigidity and tires keep everything planted around corners. Though the tradeoff favors handling, the ride is supple and reasonably comfortable in most situations.

The Dune, like other Beetle versions, is available as a two-door hatchback—tested here—or as a two-door convertible. In the hatchback model the rear seatbacks fold flat to double the cargo space from 15 to 30 cubic feet.

There’s no pretense of a fifth seat. The Dune is a four-passenger car with adequate but not generous rear seat room for regular sized adults. On the plus side, the manually operated front seats slide back and forth to ease access to the back seats.

The same cannot be said for the sun visors. On the driver’s side, the visor slides on its support rod to fully block sunlight from the side. But the passenger’s sun visor does not slide, perhaps saving Volkswagen a buck per car.

2016VWBeetleDuneConvertible-7Even at that, the Dune has a starting price of $24,815, including the destination charge. With options that included $250 for the special Sandstone Yellow exterior paint and $1,695 for a technology package, the test car came with a bottom line sticker of $26,760, including the destination charge.

The yellow paint theme, which borders on orange, carries over to the interior, where the seats are crafted of quality cloth with stylish vinyl trim and gold stitching. All seat adjustments are manual but there are enough to of them accommodate almost anyone. They provide good support for long distance cruising.

Standard features include cruise control, 18-inch alloy wheels, parking assist and an array of safety equipment: traction and stability control, rear view camera, tire pressure monitoring and crash mitigation.

The technology package included a motorized sunroof, automatic climate control, a Fender premium audio system and keyless access with pushbutton starting. Though the glass sunroof is large, it only opens about half way.

With clogged highways that sometimes seem impenetrable, the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune’s exceptional looks, passable performance and decent handling go a long way toward replacing frustration with motoring satisfaction.

2016_beetle_dune_5731Specifications

  • Model: 2016 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Dune two-door sedan.
  • Engine:8-liter four cylinder, turbocharged, 170 hp, 184 lb-ft torque.
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic.
  • Overall length: 14 feet 1 inch.
  • EPA passenger/cargo volume: 85/15 cubic feet.
  • Weight: 3,093 pounds.
  • EPA city/highway/combined fuel consumption: 25/34/28 mpg.
  • Base price, including destination charge: $24,815.
  • Price as tested: $26,760.

Photos (c) VW, Jason Fogelson

2016 Buick Cascada: A DriveWays Review…

by Frank A. Aukofer Kaminski

The all-new 2016 Buick Cascada may be a cause for celebration—though maybe not sales—among Polish Americans. It is manufactured in the motherland, but it’s a convertible and most of them live in the snow belt.

The four U.S. cities with the highest Polish-American percentages are New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Milwaukee. Of those, Milwaukee leads with 9.6% of the population. Warm, convertible-friendly Los Angeles has but 1.5%.

Probably not many people buy a car based on ethnic origin, though anecdotal evidence suggests, for example, that any number of Korean Americans tilt toward Hyundai and Kia.

The Cascada is the latest entry in the resurgence of Buick, the General Motors brand once considered the domain of conservative country doctors and other professionals who could afford premium cars but eschewed Cadillac ostentation.

2016 Buick Cascada Convertible
2016 Buick Cascada Convertible

Now Buick has become the go-to American luxury nameplate in the world’s biggest car market, China, and the company even is building a new crossover SUV there: the Envision, a vehicle planned for world-wide distribution.

But the Cascada, Buick’s first convertible in 25 years, stands out as an unusual automotive intersection: a unique vehicle for the USA derived from an existing European car and built in a General Motors plant in Gliwice, in southern Poland.

Whatever, it is a high quality, four-passenger premium ragtop with no apologies and solid modern credentials. It is in a class by itself because competing convertibles have abandoned the US market. They include the Volkswagen Eos, Volvo C60 and Chrysler 200.

The Cascada is derived from a European car of the same name sold on the Continent as an Opel and in Great Britain as a Vauxhall. The handsome styling stayed mostly the same but Buick’s engineers redesigned the suspension system and other features to conform to American driving preferences.

One imperative was new 20-inch alloy wheels, which are standard equipment and available in two designs. They fill the wheel cutouts and give the Cascada the appearance of a sleek Hot Wheels miniature racer.

Because of its unusual width of more than six feet, marketers could even co-opt the old Pontiac “wide track” slogan.

The Cascada shares little with any other Buick—or, for that matter, any other General Motors car sold in the US. It is powered by a 200-hp, turbocharged1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 207 lb-ft of torque.

Power passes to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission with shifts that are nearly imperceptible. Though there are no paddle shifters on the steering wheel, the transmission can be shifted manually with the console-mounted shift lever.

The Cascada’s orientation is toward luxury and serene motoring. With a fabric top that has three layers of acoustic and thermal insulation, the Cascada with the top up is nearly as quiet as a fixed roof coupe, with little intrusion of mechanical, road or wind noise.

There are two Cascada models. The base car, at $33,990 including the destination charge, comes with a long list of standard equipment: Buick IntelliLink communications with a seven-inch touch screen, navigation and a backup camera; dual-zone climate control; GM OnStar 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hotspot; satellite radio, leather upholstery, heated front seats with power lumbar support, and rear parking assist.

2016 Buick Cascada Convertible
2016 Buick Cascada Convertible

Driven for this review was the Premium 1SP version, with a sticker price of $36,990. It adds lane departure warning, forward collision alert, automatic headlights, front and rear parking assist, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and front and rear air deflectors.

The Cascada betrays its European roots with a couple of misses. Unlike most modern premium cars, it does not have pushbutton starting. It uses a traditional ignition key, which actually is preferred by some people. And the narrow sun visors do not slide on their support rods to adequately block sun from the sides.

Inside, there’s just enough room for four average-sized adults, and easy access to the two back seats. The motorized front seats move back and forth automatically, and cleverly stop and move forward slightly when they bump against a rear passenger’s knees.

Imaginative packaging delivers a trunk of 13 cubic feet with the top up and 10 cubic feet with the top down. Rear seatbacks fold to expand the cargo space to double the cargo capacity to 26 cubic feet.

Top down or up, the Cascada delivers a comfortable, pleasant and stress-free driving experience around town or cruising on a freeway. The ride is supple, and handling is accurate and secure. Polish-American country doctors will be pleased, even if they can only put the top down during the Brewers’ season.

2016 Buick Cascada Convertible
2016 Buick Cascada Convertible

Specifications

  • Model: 2016 Buick Cascada 1SP two-door, four-passenger convertible.
  • Engine:6-liter turbo four cylinder, 200 hp, 207 lb-ft torque.
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic with manual shift mode.
  • Overall length: 15 feet 3 inches.
  • EPA passenger/trunk volume: 82/13 top up; 82/10 top down.
  • Weight: 3,979 pounds.
  • EPA city/highway/combined fuel consumption: 20/27/22 mpg.
  • Base price, including destination charge: $36,990.
  • Price as tested: $36,990.

Photos (c) General Motors

2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 75th Anniversary Edition Real World Review

by Jason Fogelson

I’ve never owned a Jeep Wrangler, but I’m always tempted. The more that Jeep keeps tweaking the Wrangler, the more tempted I get. The 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 75th Anniversary Edition very nearly ticks all of my boxes.

It starts with styling. The exterior of the Wrangler has been a near-constant for years, with just a few changes here and there. The basics have remained the same, from the seven-bar grille to the level fender tops to the big flat hood. Headlight shapes have morphed from round to square to round again. The 75th Anniversary Edition comes with cool badging and graphics.

Two major features have made the Wrangler more appealing and more usable on an everyday basis. The Unlimited part of things is the big one. The four-door variant first appeared as a 2007 model, and along with two additional doors it has a longer wheelbase than the standard Wrangler. Off-road, this presents a compromise, as it has a worse breakover angle and turning radius. But on-road, the Unlimited’s longer footprint makes it much more stable and inspires more confidence. Unlike the standard Wrangler, the Unlimited isn’t twitchy, and doesn’t feel like a quick change of direction at speed might upset its apple cart.

And speaking of speed, that brings us to the other major feature upgrade that I appreciate. For most of its history, the Wrangler has derived its power from a straight-six engine. The torque characteristic of this workhorse made it great for off-roading, but it was honestly a dog on the road. In 2012, Jeep gave Wrangler the 3.6-liter PentaStar V6 engine, and purists howled – but the dog was dead, and a new beast was born. Finally, Wrangler could merge onto crowded highways without holding up traffic. It was transformed.

2017JeepWranglerUnl75thJF-9Some may quibble with the additional interior amenities, like power windows and door locks, a steering wheel with integrated audio buttons and cruise control. Wrangler’s interior is almost civilized, which doesn’t hurt at all.

Wrangler still has a horrible canvas top that’s impossible to retract and put back up without a manual. It still rattles like a Tonka truck, and blows all over the road like a kite.

Despite its flaws and throwback technology, Wrangler is still cool. And that’s why it remains popular among off-roaders – and people who just want to look like them.

Read my 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Real World Review on Autotrader.com.

Photos (c) Jason Fogelson

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