When the Americans poured into Britain, before we liberated Europe against the Nazi hordes, they brought something with them which has become loved onboth sides of the Atlantic. That’s the Jeep!

So proud of their vehicle were the Americans that they had the date 1941 stamped in to the cab. It was the first year that the Jeep was produced and today makes it the oldest four-wheel drive vehicle in the world.

Now of course they are known as SUVs, of which more than 100 various types are manufactured on every continent.

But the irony of it all is that Jeep is now part of the Fiat group making something that was absolutely American now firmly Italian. Such is the way of the world! Jeep, which is part of the Chrysler Group, is now a wholly owned Fiat subsidiary.

The former Chrysler Corporation acquired the Jeep brand in 1987 but by then manufacturers had been sitting up and noticing how much drivers liked these chunky cars. If it hadn’t been for a Jeep then there would never have been a Land Rover. The Jeep was the very first.

It was a basic, cramped, and unstintingly functional vehicle and many variants, serving similar military and civilian roles, have been designed since.

Just where the name came from is subject of debate but the most widely held theory is the military designation - GP for either Government Purpose or General Purpose vehicle. A bit like Humvee which is HMMWV for High Mobility Multi Purpose Wheeled Vehicle.

The current Wrangler Jeep is the basic model of the Jeep range and is a pretty tough cookie. I wasn’t able to do much off road driving where the Wrangler is among the best but when I was driving it on the normal roads I never went above 50mph.

Ideally I would have liked six inches of snow or floods to give the Wrangler its head - to show me just what it can do!

The new Wrangler is longer and wider than its predecessors and the four-door option widens the market for customers, meaning an increased amount of space.

The latest model car is better than the previous ones but its not ideal for a long journey whether you’re in the two or four-door version. Any trip would seem like an age.

Saying that there is 2.8 litre diesel engine which gives you plenty of power and should you wish to drive up to 60mph they say it will take just over 10 seconds. I didn’t try to find out! There is also a 3.6litre V6 model as well.

The top speed is just over the 100mph mark, (so the manufacturers say) and the diesel manages around 32mpg and emits 237g/km of CO2, so it isn’t the cheapest on the fuel front.

There is a five-speed automatic gearbox and there is plenty of kit on board to keep the most demanding motorist happy like tubular side steps, skid plate shield and a cargo compartment floor mat.

I’m not too sure why they need to have polished, satin, alloy wheels and cruise control. Seems rather unnecessary.

I hope the Wrangler stays with us because as well being a part of history it is a fun ride. But motoring manufacturers don’t do fun so keep your fingers crossed.

Prices vary between £32,750 – £38,450.