Deep love for a Jeep

Rivy Soh's rugged Wrangler drives her wild - mainly because of the way it looks

Ms Rivy Soh likes the distinctive look of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, as well as its height.
Ms Rivy Soh likes the distinctive look of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, as well as its height. PHOTOS: DAVID TING

The first car that Ms Rivy (say "ree-vee") Soh owned was a 1992 Honda Prelude, when she was studying in the United States with her then boyfriend and now husband, Mr Jason Goh.

The 42-year-old regional marketing manager for an IT company has also owned an Audi TT, Audi A4, Volvo 850T and BMW 320i, as well as a Toyota Wish MPV which she took over from her father after he retired.

But it is her current car, a 2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, which drives her crazy.

"It has been my dream car for the longest time," she coos. "I love the way it looks. Masculine, but not rough around the edges. It has character."

Her first SUV, the second-hand car cost her about $100,000.

  • What is in the boot:

    • Handbag

    • Carriers for jackets

    • Seat-back utility hangers

Unlike her previous, mostly sporty cars, the tall and tough Wrangler is meant for dirt tracks. Its windows are manually wound and it does not have central locking.

Did she ever consider the Land Rover Defender, the other famous four-wheel-drive utility vehicle with a cult following in Singapore?

"Nope. The Jeep Wrangler has a very distinctive look that I really, really like," she replies.

Yet, she confesses that she is unfamiliar with Jeep's heritage or the background of the Wrangler.

"I'm very superficial," she says with a laugh. "With me, it's all about the looks, not the history."

Neither is she bothered about the efficiency of the Jeep's 3.8-litre V6, which is paired with a rather old-school four-speed autobox.

"It's all about the looks," she repeats.

For the 1.5m-tall Ms Soh, it is also about the height. The 1.86m-tall Wrangler gives her a commanding view ahead.

She hopes to replace her Wrangler with another when its COE expires in three years.

"It's hard to find another car that gets me excited the way a Wrangler does."

Her husband, a cafe owner, and 15-year-old daughter Jordan are also fans of the Jeep. "My daughter loves it to bits and thinks it's really cool," Ms Soh says. "My hubby likes it too, for its road presence."

She adds: "If money's no object, I want a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon."

The Rubicon is a hard-core variant which comes with heavy- duty axles, off-road tyres, locking differentials and a 4x4 transfer case with a low-range gear ratio.

Ms Soh's standard Wrangler is less hard-core, but it is still ever ready to go off the beaten track. So has she ventured off-road?

"Nope, not yet," she says.

Well, like she says, it is all about the looks.

• The writer is the editor of Torque, a motoring monthly published by SPH Magazines.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2016, with the headline 'Deep love for a Jeep'. Subscribe