Seat Time: 2014 Jeep Wrangler Oscar Mike Freedom Edition

May 6th, 2014 at 4:23pm

2014 Jeep Wrangler

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Manufacturer: Fiat-Chrysler
Make: Jeep
Model: Wrangler Oscar Mike Freedom Edition
Type: 2-door SUV
Competitors: Toyota FJ Cruiser
Price: Base: $22,395. As tested: $33,165 (including destination charges)
Made in: Toledo, OH
Drivetrain: 3.6L V6 w/ 5-speed automatic, 4X4
EPA Ratings: 17 city/ 21 highway/ 18 combined. Observed 18.5 MPG

Read on for Sean McElroy‘s final impressions of this vehicle

Final Impression:

2014 Jeep Wrangler Freedom EditionSales of the Wrangler in the U.S. are neck and neck with the Cherokee and only slightly behind the Grand Cherokee, which are the two other top sellers in Jeep’s lineup. I find this interesting because while the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee have both been restyled and refined over the years, the Wrangler has gone largely unchanged. I just don’t get it and I’m willing to bet that either of those vehicles would likely fulfill most of the needs of Wrangler buyers.

When it comes to the exterior styling, it’s one of the few things that I like about the truck. I mean really, the styling is so classic and instantly recognizable how could you change it without losing something? The interior is bland, lacking styling and flow. And it does not have the amount of technology that I would expect to see in a $33,000 vehicle. Although I’m sure some buyers like the fact it does not have all those do-dads and gizmos and it probably makes it easier to use all the controls for those who actually off-road the truck.

And2014 Jeep Wrangler Freedom Edition I’m sure off-roaders like the suspension setup as well, but for everyday driving it feels unrefined. It’s a very bouncy ride, especially the short wheel base 2-door version that I drove. Not to mention that it’s a body-on-frame truck so you sit up kind of high and feel like you have to go slower around turns because of the amount of body roll. The other highlight of the Wrangler for me is its 3.6L V6 engine and 5-speed transmission. There’s ample power for that get up and go and it also returned better than advertised fuel economy. I did all city driving as was able to get 18.5 MPG, which is 1.5 MPG better than the EPA rating. And unlike the other 8- and 9-speed transmissions in Fiat-Chrysler’s line-up the 5-speed actually has a dip-stick and tube.

I get why the Cherokee is in the Jeep lineup. I get why the Grand Cherokee is there as well. But if someone asked me if I would buy a Wrangler, I would say HELL NO. However, after talking to a few people I know that owned Wranglers in the past and said they would go out and get another one in a heart beat, I came to the conclusion. It’s a Jeep Wrangler thing and I just don’t understand.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Freedom Edition

For those of you wondering what Oscar Mike stands for, it’s a military reference. The letters OM stand for “On the Move” or “On Mission” and in military talk the letter “O” is Oscar and “M” is Mike. For example, if the letters AZ had been used it would have been called the Alpha Zulu.

4 Comments to “Seat Time: 2014 Jeep Wrangler Oscar Mike Freedom Edition”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Hey Sean,
    My last Jeep was a 2008 Wrangler 2 door.I’ve had other Jeeps as well.The 2 door is a very close coupled vehicle so it does give a ‘choppy’ ride.Anyone who is used to a 4 wheel drive pickup doesn’t find the ride bad at all,including myself.

    The 2 dr is especially good at riding hard trails since for a 4×4 it still has a sfa….makes a big difference.And believe me,you can take a corner pretty good too,as it has front and rear sway bars.

    Would I or will I buy another? I want one again,no doubt about that,BUT…there are issues with the pentastar cooling,some are still experiencing head problems.Electrical intermittents,ac likes to fail,then there are always problems with the underpinnings like sway bar disconnects that fail,same with the electric lockers etc.

    So to finally answer,’would I buy another one’,NO.They,(Jeep) has to go some to improve the quality and offer a diesel before I ever lay down my money again on one.

    Good review Sean,

  2. Wrangler Fan Says:

    From my initial reaction to the title of this piece, I thought this was going to be a comparison between the Oscar Mike edition and a stock (or regular) Wrangler, clearly not the case. Why don’t you just retitle it because you don’t even touch upon the differences or what makes Oscar Mike so important to the JEEP brand and legacy. Clearly, your not a wrangler fan and that’s cool. It’s certainly not a “grocery-getter” or a hybrid or a sports car. It’s isn’t the greatest vehicle, it has it’s flaws but it’s perfect in it’s imperfections and it’ll go through anything and get you where you want to go (with or without roads). You say “hell no” but people are buying them and you see more on the road today than ever before. That’s gotta tell you something different about your piece to begin with, just look at the numbers! You can see why the Cherokee is in JEEP’s line-up but not Wrangler… even when sales are “neck and neck”? If sales of the Wrangler were terrible I could see your point. The Wrangler is an icon OF the JEEP family and line-up. Can you take a base line Cherokee (or grand cherokee) places a Wrangler could go? Highly doubt it…but you’d get better gas milage, big deal. I’d only attempt some feats with a trail hawk model and even then, I would be worried.

    I implore you to take another look. Take another for a month, wave to the other wrangler owners and make a slow turn off the road at any chance you can with the confidence you can go anywhere… maybe you’ll change your mind and understand…

  3. Bob Says:

    I have owned one model or another of Jeep for over 15 years. They have a rough ride, squeak and have plenty of wind noise. They are not for everyone… but they are fun and bring a smile to your face. I am sure a viper or vette are fun but who is going to take them out on the beach and get sand all over the interior. Will I buy another… you bet on it..

  4. M Campbell Says:

    Sean, it’s fine you’re not the target customer for a Wrangler, but don’t use your pulpit to criticize a vehicle you haven’t taken the time to understand.