2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Review
2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Review and First Drive
Dec 13, 2017
Jeep has something special with the Wrangler, and the brand knows it. Every carmaker dreams of having the drove of dedicated, passionate fans that Jeep has. These folks love the Wrangler for its off-road capability, unique style, and breadth of available aftermarket accessories and parts.
Engines: 3.6L V6/2.0L turbo 4-cylinder
Output: 285 hp, 260 lb-ft/270 hp, 295 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed manual (3.6L only) or 8-speed auto
US Fuel Economy (MPG for 3.6L auto): 18 city, 23 highway, 20 combined.
CAN Fuel Economy (L/100 km): Not yet available
US Price: Starts at $26,995
CAN Price: N/A
So how do you redesign an icon without angering the faithful people who are so invested in the product?
In the case of the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler, the “JL” generation, FCA has made a ton of little changes with an eye toward adding comfort and convenience, but the big things — the things that make a Jeep a Jeep — remain the same. The Wrangler still looks like a Wrangler and it’s still good off-road. The real question is this: Did Jeep manage to make the Wrangler handle better on the pavement? Before we get to that, let’s look at all the new features that Jeep added to modernize its old-school off-roader.
Three powertrains will be available under the hood of the Wrangler. The base option is the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 found in the Wrangler today, still making 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, hooked up to either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic. If you would like to row your own gears, the V6 is your only option, as the other two engines will only be hooked to the eight-speed.
The upgraded option for Wrangler buyers is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The most important part of this engine isn’t the higher torque number than the V6, but the fact that all that torque is made at 3000 rpm as compared to 4800 in the naturally aspirated engine.
Also helping with some low-end boost is Jeep’s new eTorque system, a 48-volt mild hybrid setup that regulates the auto stop/start system, electric power assist, extended fuel shut-off, transmission shift management, intelligent battery charging, and regenerative braking. The eTorque system also makes it possible for the Wrangler to shut off both the engine and fuel flow during stops or when coasting or decelerating. ALSO SEE: Jeep to Introduce Plug-In Hybrid Wrangler for 2020 Model Year The third and final engine is the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, which can only be had in Wrangler four-door models and will become available starting in 2019. Power from the diesel is rated at 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque.
Fuel Economy and Weight
Opting for the diesel will no doubt be a boon for fuel economy, but Jeep did a lot with the Wrangler all over to help it burn less fuel. First, almost all of the design changes that were made are in the name of fuel economy, such as the sharper rake on the windshield and the slant included at the top of the grille.
Besides increasing how aerodynamic the Wrangler is, Jeep also cut weight by about 200 pounds on most models by using aluminum in the doors, window frame, hood and swing gate.
A basic two-door Wrangler Sport with a manual transmission tips the scales at 3,955 lbs, while the heaviest model, a four-door Wrangler Sahara with the 2.0-liter turbo, weighs in at 4,380 lbs.
Fuel economy has only been rated by the EPA for the 3.6-liter four-door model, which managed 18 mpg city, 23 on the highway, and 20 combined with the automatic.
If improved fuel economy was a priority for the new Wrangler, better on-road driving dynamics were an absolute must for the new Jeep and the brand delivered.
Nitro Year: 2007 (1 of 91,815 sold in 07)
Nitro Model: R/T 4X4 Stone White
CAT-BACK Exhaust, CAI, Projector Head Lamps
Fully-Equipped w/all factory options