Rock rails identify Jeep Wrangler

2016 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock looks ready for offroad duty. (Bud Wells)

2016 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock looks ready for offroad duty. (Bud Wells)

There is no wrangling from me over the opportunity to drive a Wrangler, which I did several weeks ago. That, even though I’d driven a ’15 version a year earlier.

Prominent rock rails along the sides identified it as the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock 4X4.

The Wranglers remind me of the tough, little CJ-5, the first Jeep I reviewed in the late 1970s.

The Hard Rock edition, besides the rock rails, includes steel bumpers front and rear, power dome hood, red tow hooks in front and rear and polished semigloss black wheels. Tires are BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain LT 255/75R17.

The two-door Wrangler’s 95.4-inch wheelbase, short overhangs and tight turn radius lend offroad opportunities in most any type terrain. Removable end wings on the front bumper increase access in rugged territory.

The Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine and 5-speed automatic transmission suit the Wrangler’s capabilities just fine; no, not to the strength of a Hemi V-8, but more than adequate. Performance was good, on the road and offroad when the shifter was pulled into four-wheel drive. Overall fuel mileage was 17.4.

The removable hardtop, leather interior and impressive audio, along with the Hard Rock package, boosted sticker price to $43,325.