But somewhere in the middle of that week, I finally understood this was all part of the Wrangler's appeal. The twitchy steering, the stiff suspension, the athletic climb into and out of the car and the essential awkwardness of the handling did not detract from the driving experience. They enhanced it, and made every trip to the dog park feel like a taste of the Dakar Rally.
For many Wrangler people, that may be all the adventure they get. Like owners of BMW's R1200GS or Honda's Africa Twin motorcycles, which are designed for rugged off-road use but often get none, Wrangler drivers may never get their Jeeps dirty at all.
How perfect, then, that they can feel like they're roughing it every time they cruise Coldwater Canyon.
2018 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4X4
Times' take: Jeep keeps it real with rough and ready Wrangler
Highs: Fun to drive, capable of tackling tough terrain
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Lows: Bumpy, noisy ride compromises creature comforts
Vehicle type: Two-door, four-passenger sport utility vehicle
Base price: $28,190
Price as tested: $38,985