2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Moparized Review

Choose your own path ahead with this heavily modified go-anywhere Wrangler

By Shahzad Sheikh

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

You’re looking at the Porsche 911 of the off-road world. No really. Decades of evolution and revisions have refined and honed this breed of car into potentially the perfect iteration of its lineage. In fact, whilst the fabled 911 has had 50 years to get it right, the eponymous Jeep Wrangler claims over 70 years of go-anywhere, do-anything, fight-anyone heritage.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

Like the 911, the Wrangler still closely resembles the original Willys Jeep of 1941, but whereas that was 3327mm long and 1575mm wide, the current two door version has grown a bit to 3880mm and 1870mm respectively and it weights over 600kg more. No need to fret though, just as the 911 has gone from producing 128bhp to a staggering 560bhp (for the latest Turbo S), the current Wrangler, fitted with a Pentastar V6 produces considerably more than its great ancestor with an output of 285bhp.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

Similarly, just as the legendary sportcar is far more spacious and packed with more gadgets and technology than progenitor could have comprehended, the Wrangler is that much more user-friendly and cleverer than its rather primitive forbear. In fact it even manages to offer a more acceptable interior package and seating/driving position than those two Jeep copycats: the Land Rover Defender and the Mercedes G-Wagon.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

2014 Wrangler inside

Enough with the history lesson (actually you can read more about the heritage here) and let’s move back to the wonderful fusion of traditional and modern that you find in today’s Wrangler. Yes it still looks like a Jeep did in the Second World War, yes it still has an upright-ish windscreen and yes you can still strip the roof and even the door panels off it.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

But there’s room for four regular-sized adults to ride comfortably aboard, there’s space for a tall driver to stretch out his legs (impossible in the Defender for example) plus it has front and side airbags and even side impact protection.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

When you hoist yourself (and it is actually quite a climb, but we’ll come back to that) up into the cabin and close the door, you’ll be left rather taken aback by the relatively plush surroundings, that is if you were expecting somewhat utilitarian functionality with the bare essentials of a steering wheel and pedals with a load of confusing levers to manage the four-wheel-driveability of the thing.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

Instead there’s dark saddle leather, tastefully distressed and applied to new-for-this-year seats which feature better side bolsters for improved support and emblazoned across the front headrests is the ‘Sahara’ logo for that is what this edition is, after all.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

There’s nice-to-touch trim, clear modern instrumentation, intuitive controls, an informative touchscreen with reversing camera and sat-nav on this all-optioned range-topper, storage compartments and pockets, USB plug for your phone, electric windows and mirrors and of course a five-speed automatic to keep the drive simple.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

This is a pukka off-roader though, and as such, there is that second lever which you can pull on the fly to go from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive, and then even further back for low ratio should things really get tough. And once you’ve driven all over the planet and need to get out all the dust, dirt and grime, you can simple remove the carpets, unplug the given holes and hose out the cabin floor! This is the best of all worlds.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

What constitutes ‘Moparized’?

Driving all over the planet is certainly a temptation with this particular ‘Moparized’ version that you see in these pictures. Ladies and gents, meet the Wrangler equivalent of the 911 GT3 – the hard-core ready-for-the-rough all-action version of the Wrangler Sahara.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

Let me just run you through some of the nearly AED64,929 worth of extra kit on this car:

  • Evil looking Rubicon bonnet featuring flared in scoops, a chainmail-esque front mesh grille and big Mopar door decals
  • Indestructible full metal front and rear off-road bumpers fitted with a Warn winch with steel cable that looks like it could pull the foundations out from under a building

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

  • Four super high-intensity LED lights for a roof height light bar that you can synch to fire with the high-beams, thereby getting your own back on the pesky light-flashing Land Cruisers which will be instantly vaporised
  • Rubicon 10th anniversary wheels with Cooper off-road tyres, chrome exhaust tip, tail lamp guards, side rails, and the neat flat ‘Bushwacker’ rubberised fender flares
  • and of course a 2-inch Mopar lift kit that really does put it head and shoulders above the crowd and makes it necessary for the vertically challenged to carry a step ladder to get in!

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

Plus on the Sahara there’s a six-speaker sound system with Bluetooth audio, climate control, anti-theft systems and electronic drivers aids such as traction control, ABS and ‘Electronic Roll Mitigation’.

Do you need all the add-ons?

Is this all necessary? Isn’t it all a little excessive and somewhat OTT?

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

Well to answer the second question first, but with another question – have you seen the Wranglers on the road? Hardly any are left as standard with every second one being modified, and more often than you’d think, with a lift kit and off-roading bumpers.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

Besides if you’re talking image and style, just look at its don’t-mess-wiv-me-mofo stance – you just wouldn’t would you? So if you’re out to make an impression then it’s not excessive at all. In fact compared to some Jeeps I’ve seen, this is still relatively conservative. And these factory sanctioned modifications are tested and warrantied, rather than after-market add-ons.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

In answer to the first question though, about whether this is all necessary… no, of course it isn’t. Unless you’re really an extreme off-roader that goes dune/wadi-bashing every weekend and insists on seeking out the paths that no 4×4 has ventured onto before (in which case, by the way, you’d probably opt for the Rubicon edition with its heavier duty axles, two-speed transfer case and electric front and rear locking differentials).

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

But most Jeep owners won’t be employing their pride and joy to take on such super-extreme excursions. And for the vast majority, rest assured, the regular stock version is good enough for pretty much all your off-roading needs for both sand and stone.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

Consider also that the winch should only be operated by people that know how to use it safely and properly (I’ve heard stories of fingers being taken off by these things), the beefy bumpers could get you into trouble if you hit anything else as they’re totally unyielding. And then there’s my particular bugbear – the lift kit.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

It adds about two and half inches to the ground clearance and suddenly it becomes a job hauling yourself in and out of this thing, plus the ride is more jittery with increased lateral movement and the on-road handling suffers with an unnaturally eager turn-in at lower speeds and too much worrying wobble should you need to press on.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

The regular car may not be a sports car, but it’s surprisingly amenable to getting frisky through the corners and can be hustled along quickly with remarkable confidence. It takes several days to build up the same level of trust with this high-rider.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

Taking it off-road

Of course, there is a mitigating factor, because whilst these criticisms can be applied to on-road behaviour, wander off the black top and suddenly the levels of supreme invincibility from behind that steering wheel sky-rocket. After a while it’s easy to get overly emboldened and pretty much believe that you rule the terrain, whatever it may be – which you do actually.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

Get into the rough stuff and the ground-clearance means you just don’t have to worry, at all, about driving over virtually anything. The suspension telegraphs an avalanche of information back at you aiding you in a precise interpretation of the conditions below the wheels, and how you should approach them. And the keen agility aids the astonishingly increased levels of manoeuvrability when you have to negotiate particularly challenging narrow trails and tight spots.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

Certainly after a couple of days of driving this I was climbing up stuff that I would never normally contemplate, and not once did my Moparized steed give pause for concern. In fact it proved an enjoyable and satisfying steer over a full day’s driving, remaining unerringly dependable and literally eager to climb any mountain and do its master’s bidding.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

Then there’s that engine, which is a gem of a thing, always eager to pull at low or high revs with the transmission doing a great job of anticipating and adapting to the situation – I never had to worry about it once.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

You’ll gobble up a bit of fuel, but put your foot down and this towering brute of a thing seems to lift even higher off its springs, almost threatening to launch itself off the tarmac altogether. And whilst its bluff shape makes highway progress a little noisy, its progress even at the legal limits is unstinting and overtaking is never an issue.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

Verdict

In fact the initial hesitation I harboured when driving this away from the man at Jeep, was completely overshadowed by the way more overwhelming reluctance I felt in handing it back. It gets under your skin, does the Jeep Wrangler. And the sheer levels of modern refinement, technology, comfort and ability now afforded to this stalwart by Chrysler, simply makes it a no brainer for anyone contemplating a do-it-all type of vehicle.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

So do I want one now? Without the lift kit and the bumpers, yes I do, but probably the four-door Unlimited version with its easier back access and better rear and luggage space for the family. The Mopar sticker can maybe stay too. And maybe I could get one of those high-mounted engine air intakes and perhaps… oh dear. I see what happens now.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door Moparized

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara two-door
Specs
Price: AED132,000 ($36k) (Mopar modifications on this car totaling nearly AED64,929 [$17k])
Engine: 3.6-litre V6, 285bhp @ 6400rpm, 260lb ft @ 4800rpm
Performance: 8.1secs 0-100kph, 160kph, 13L/100 (est)
Transmission: five-speed auto, four-wheel drive
Weight: 1803kg

How do you take your Jeep Sir? Let us know below!

3 responses to “2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Moparized Review”

  1. George Isaac says:

    Hello Shahzad,

    Absolutely drool worthy! I live in India and I am doing up a locally made Jeep on the same lines as yours. Would you mind if I asked you what is the paint code for the black color you have used.

    Kind Regards,

    George.

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