Jeep Wrangler Gets New Packages, Refined Looks for 2016
One of the Last Updates Before New “JL” Appears in 2017
Jeep is giving its signature model its final round of updates before the current Wrangler is put out to pasture after the 2017 model year. For 2016, new and returning option packages make their way into the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited, while the Wrangler Sahara gets a variety of unique styling touches.
The Jeep Wrangler Black Bear Edition is a new package for the off-roader, getting its name from Black Bear Pass near Telluride, Colorado. The Black Bear’s basis is a standard Jeep Wrangler Sport, getting 17-inch wheels and Silent Armor tires for added grip, with off-road rock rails and taillamp guards providing additional protection from nature. A satin-black grille, a hood decal featuring a topographical map of Black Bear Pass, and an optional body-color hardtop dress it up some, as does the “Wrangler” hoodside decal. Standard air conditioning, dark gray interior accents, and several comfort and convenience features make the Black Bear a reasonable bargain.
Making the return for 2016 are the Hard Rock (a special edition of the Rubicon), Freedom Edition, and Willys Wheeler, helping flesh out the customizable Wrangler even more.
Jeep is very proud of the urbane new look they’ve given the Wrangler Sahara, although you have to squint to see the changes they’ve made. Satin aluminum surrounds the headlights and grille slats, providing some fine-grit pop to the front end. The front and rear bumper caps are now body-colored, which match the Sahara’s optional hardtop. The 18-inch wheels get Granite Crystal-colored pockets with polished wheelfaces, and the Sahara logo has been updated. Inside, more satin-metallic materials trim the steering wheel, grab handle, instrument bezels, and vent rings. Finally, an optional interior adds Olive Green leather seats with tan accent stitching to the Sahara’s relatively luxurious package.
We’ve had the chance to sample these new (and returning) 2016 versions of the evergreen Wrangler, and we can say that they drive just as you’d expect them to. The Wrangler’s driving experience is truly one of a kind, so choosing a variant mostly comes down to budget and personal taste. Our fave is the Willys Wheeler, for its back-to-basics appearance, upgraded off-road hardware, and reasonable price.