It was just last week when we tested the Jeep Wrangler Sahara and now, we found ourselves back at Jeep’s showroom to test out the Wrangler Unlimited Blackhawk. The latter caught our attention with its dark styling that somehow suggests it got something different to offer.
The Wrangler Unlimited Blackhawk retails at about $49,000 and it offers a lowered seating arrangement that is precisely the opposite of the Wrangler Sahara. It is powered by a 3.5L 6-cylinder petrol engine that develops 309kW and 347Nm of torque. Power is distributed through a 5-speed automatic transmission and there is no doubt that the Blackhawk is a powerful beast.
So we set off to an adventure at a nearby dirt trail and throughout our journey to the destination, we realized that the Blackhawk is no different than other Wranglers. The stiff suspension is still present and despite having a powerful engine, the car actually feels sluggish when accelerating.
At the dirt track however, the Wrangler Unlimited Blackhawk shares a different story. We started off with some hill climbs and the 4×4 drove well when approaching the 37-degrees incline. Unfortunately, a smaller approach angle somehow caused the Blackhawk to jolt uncomfortably.
The fault is actually with the transmission. The previous Sahara we tested is operated with a manual system that is offers low-range options. The Blackhawk’s automatic transmission features a Command-Trac dual-range 4WD system that operates independently but not efficiently.
Nevertheless, the Wrangler Unlimited Blackhawk is still an excellent vehicle for off-roading. The car simply gives drivers that confidence due to its stability when handling hill climbs and river crossing. The Jeep off-road technology is so impressive that even new off-roaders can gather experience with ease.
Then again, there is still that big problem which the Wrangler Unlimited Blackhawk couldn’t overcome. It is sales. Apparently, not everyone is a fan of off-roading. This explains why the Wranglers are not selling well.
After all, there is no point to paying a huge sum to own the Unlimited Blackhawk if buyers only off-roads once a year. Also, the Unlimited Blackhawk is not versatile since it cannot run on the normal roads without cutting a hole in the driver’s wallet. The Unlimited Blackhawk is basically a fuel sucker as it returns 11.7l/100km.