Best Of BangShift 2015: What To Do With A 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara During The Winter From Hell

Best Of BangShift 2015: What To Do With A 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara During The Winter From Hell

(Photos and snow to the face by Dave Nutting) – I’m by no means an overly intelligent guy but when the chance to nab the keys to a 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara presented themselves mere days before one of the most savage winter storms to hit New England in 100 years was coming, I jumped at the chance. In the first place I figured it would be good for the survival of my family if something really bad happened and in the second place I thought it would be a hell of a lot of fun. I was right. Because this is BangShift and because we know you expect us to go the extra mile and because Nutting and I are two of the most mentally numb people you have ever met, we took this sucker out fully dressed and then we decided to do it like true Jeepers would. We stripped the doors and roof off of the truck and met mother nature head on. We also met laughs, points, looks of angered derision, and even a few cell phone photos as we spent hours driving the 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara around during a blizzard. After the dust settled, the family and I went exploring the local territory (with roof and doors reattached) to see what mother nature had wrought on the local area. It was stunning. We were constantly engaging in the famed “Jeep wave” because half of the vehicles on the road were Jeeps. Why? They were the only things that could escape neighborhoods that looked like this:


I have never owned a Jeep. I’ve always lusted after a CJ5 or a CJ7 but other than some random experiences riding in and driving Jeeps in pretty controlled environments, I have never spent any real time with one. Initially I wasn’t totally on board with the screaming yellow color that this one sported but honestly after a few days I was kind of into it. Nutting was gaga over it because he knew that it would look awesome against the frozen hell that is our local area during this historic winter. After spending about 10 minutes in the Jeep I had the same thought that everyone else has since the Wrangler Unlimited debuted. Why the hell have they not sold four door Jeeps since the beginning?! This thing is so neatly proportioned and so well laid out inside it is scary. Yes, it is a box on wheels but it is a box that uses its interior space really well. Front and back there is plenty of room. Being that most of today’s cars have a steep rake to the windshield, it is a bit jarring to have glass so close to you face but that’s not a bad thing once you get used to it.

This 2015 Wrangler Unlimited was equipped with the Sahara package which is by and large a styling and amenities upgrade situation. We’re not saying that in a pejorative manner but it bears mentioning when the Rubicon package is a full on, hardcore off-road set of upgrades that physically beefs the Jeep. With the Sahara package you get a great Alpine sound system, embroidered Sahara seats, 18 inch wheels, body colored fender flares, and power everything. This is not a “luxury” Wrangler but it is as close as you are going to get. The thing is insanely comfortable and the ride quality on the coil springs is damned fine in the realm of truck-like. Ours also had the body colored roof which had the “freedom” panels. These are forward of the rear roof section and are kind of the Jeep equivalent of T-tops.

The 3.6L v6 has plenty of guts and shoved this thing down the road in fine fashion. This was my first experience with the engine and I came away impressed. It is a bit high strung for a “truck” engine but it hustled this thing around town and down the highway without any issues. I have been in older four banger Jeeps and even some six poppers and this one would handle them in a drag race with no sweat.


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If you are going to have a Jeep Wrangler to test drive wouldn’t you want one during some sort of apocalyptic weather event? We sure did!

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I have not always been a huge fan of the four door Wrangler Unlimited. When they first came out they kind of looked ungainly but I have grown to like them. Once you actually get inside one and use it you’ll wonder why they have not been making them for fifty years.

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This Wrangler Unlimited Sahara was well equipped with an upgraded interior, upgraded stereo, and power everything. This package also includes the body colored fender flares and the 18″ wheels.

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See how that speaker says “all weather” on it? We tested that.

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Interior space in the Unlimited is ample. The thing is a literal box on wheels but engineeres and designers did a nice job of using the space as best they could. Full sized humans fit with comfort.

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I was kind of shocked with how nice this thing was inside. The seats have nice bolstering and are genuinely comfortable. The controls are nice but very basic. While this is a nicely trimmed Jeep, it is not a luxury vehicle. The price of $41,000 was a bit of a shocker for us but the reality is that you can have all the function with less of the splash for far less money.

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See that? That’s two levers on the floor! Few vehicles offer such things anymore in the age of dials and buttons. It was cool yanking that left hand lever into four low, high, etc. This is a dying situation and it makes us sad.

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Small LED screen for radio and HVAC fits the dash but seems a little out of place here. It is modern and all but we’re thinking that a normal old radio would suit this Jeep fine. Note the window switches centrally mounted in the center.

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This is iconic and you honestly feel like you are part of something when you are rolling around with this front end leading the way. It is cool and it still seems to mean something.

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There is a 285hp V6 in there somewhere. People say an LS engine is ugly? Bwhahaha

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With the snow coming down, we took the Jeep out “fully dressed” for some fun in the snow. In 2WD mode, the thing was hilarious to throw around in the snow. In 4WD mode it was as sure footed as a Sherman tank.

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Bright yellow Jeep, snow flying, opposite lock? THIS was fun at its most pure.

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It was at this point that Nutting and I decided to get serious with this adventure and so that’s why I tried to kill him while sliding sideways. I ket my hot streak of failing to do that alive.

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Having never “field stripped” a Jeep before, I didn’t know what was entailed. As it turns out this is a quick job, even in a snow storm. With a T40 and a T45 socket you can yank the doors and roof off this thing in under 10 minutes. After that we added some protective gear and off we went!

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As it turned out, none of the fellows were up for playing 18 on this day.

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As dumb as it sounds, we were really interested to see what this four door Jeep looked like with no doors or roof. Would it be awkward or weird? Hell no. It looked awesome.

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Having never driven anything lacking both doors and a roof (at the same time) this was a trip! People were freaking out over the two dummies in the bright yellow Jeep in the snow storm.

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We commenced with more winter driving tests and discovered that this was even more fun than we thought it would be. You can’t see it through my covered face but there was a massive smile happening under there.

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Again, we were in 2WD mode here (not that BangShifters couldn’t tell) because we were in a big open space that was calling out loudly for us to test the “directional stability” of this vehicle under such conditions.

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I am not sure I was able to feel my legs at this point.

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Shortly after shooting this frame, Nutting fell over on his side like a sleeping cow. I scooped him up and cranked the heat on full blast…then drove down the road at 40mph. I thought it was in a coma.

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Before returning the roof and doors to their rightful place, we did some suburban snow wheeling by scaling snow banks and other small obstacles. The Jeep is insanely capable.

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Here’s the thing. As a guy who has never owned a Wrangler but has always wanted one, I had a notion that these things were about fun. I was right! When people see a Wrangler they smile, they wave, they want to go for a ride. It seemed wrong not to take this machine out and goof off with it. Isn’t that the spirit of this brand? I sure think that it is and it seems that the rest of the world is on the same page. $41,000 is a pile of money and you can get into one of these things for far less. If I were the guy walking into a showroom to buy one of these things, I would not option it like this one was. Knocking 10+ off the sticker price would put this machine in a place where I could totally justify it. Ripping around in a bright yellow Wrangler during a driving snow storm was a fantastic way to truly experience a new Wrangler Unlimited. Don’t lie…you at least smiled looking at those photos!


Oh, and those news stories about how much snow we have been getting? They are not exaggerated in the least. This was taken later in the same day and it is still pretty crazy around here. I wish this thing was still in the driveway!




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2 thoughts on “Best Of BangShift 2015: What To Do With A 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara During The Winter From Hell

  1. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Call that a winter from Hell?

    Try black snow falling from a blood red flaming sky whilst flying demons throw spiky snowballs that turn into soul-eating insects on contact. Then you’ve got the man with the long tail and horns dining on Santa Claus and his reindeer and laughing insanely as the whole planet sinks into darkness.

    Now THAT’S what I call a winter from Hell….

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