Is the Jeep Wrangler a Convertible?
Driving with an open roof lets you feel more in touch with the road and landscape. Convertible cars capture this open-air feeling while maintaining most of the practicality of typical cars by using easy-raise or lower roofs. Most convertibles are sports cars, roadsters, and coupes. However, other vehicle builds can occasionally offer convertibles with soft or hard tops.
One such vehicle is the Jeep Wrangler. The car offers the option of driving with or without a roof. Does that make it a convertible?
What is a convertible—an overview of the open-top driving experience
According to HowStuffWorks, a convertible is a vehicle that allows drivers to take down the roof for an open-air driving experience. Depending on the car’s design, users can either fold the roof via manual or automatic control or remove the roof panel and store it in the car compartment.
The designs also vary. Soft-top convertibles have a fabric or vinyl roof that folds behind the rear seat. On the other hand, hard-top convertibles have a retractable hard roof that folds into the car’s trunk. The Targa-top convertibles have removable roof panels that drivers can take off and store in the trunk, leaving a fixed roll bar structure.
As far as roofless driving goes, a Jeep Wrangler can be considered a convertible SUV, though an unconventional one. Jeep has a lineup of Wranglers that allow the driver and passengers to connect to the environment in an open-air drive.
Types of convertible tops the Wrangler offers
According to Jeep, the Wrangler offers several convertible tops that can be configured to suit the driver’s needs and preferences. One of the most dynamic roof options for the Jeep Wrangler is the Sky One-Touch Power Top, the only convertible top that functions like conventional retractable tops. Drivers can fold the Sky One-Touch Power Top to open the first and the second rows, or the entire roof.
Another convertible roof the Wrangler offers is the Sunrider Hardtop. Typically, it’s a panel above the driver and the front passenger seat. The owner can unlatch and slide back the Sunrider Hardtop by pressing a button to allow wind to flow into the occupants’ hair and the sun’s warmth on their faces.
Jeep enthusiasts can also get the Freedom Hardtop, a modular hardtop that is removable in sections to create an open-air driving experience. The convertible top has three sections: two front sections and a rear section. The driver can independently remove the two front sections to create a sunroof-like opening above the driver and front passengers, or all three sections for a roofless driving experience for everyone in the car.
Hardtops vs. soft tops: which Jeep Wrangler design is the best?
Car and Driver notes that buyers have difficulty choosing the type of Wrangler top, so they highlighted some advantages and disadvantages of hardtops and soft tops. The car expert says durability is a huge reason people buy hardtop over soft-top Wranglers. A hardtop can withstand rigors that would destroy soft tops. During winter, a hardtop will insulate the wrangler to keep the chills out of the cabin, something the soft top can’t do well.
On the flip side, the soft top Wrangler is versatile and easy to remove to go without the top than the hardtop. The soft top also has an affordability edge over the hardtop Wrangler. The soft top is a clear choice for buyers whose primary concern is budget.
Most convertibles are sports cars, roadsters, and coupes, known for retractable roofs that allow open-air drive. Jeep Wrangler also offers several open-top options. However, many people don’t consider it a true convertible because it lacks a traditional roof. Instead, it has a removable top or open top.