Reviews

2018 Jeep Wrangler Walk Around


As noted, to a casual observer, the new Wrangler is all but indistinguishable from its predecessor. But there are many, and to Jeep cognoscenti some, at least, will be immediately apparent.

For example, not only is the new windshield easier to remove, its angle is less upright, improving the Wrangler’s aerodynamics. That seven-slot grille is more upright in its lower two-thirds, then cants rearward in the upper third. The headlights are closer to the grille The tailgate-mounted spare tire mount is a little lower, and the rearview camera sits at the center of the mount.

Also, though not visible to the naked eye, the tailgate is composed of magnesium, with an aluminum skin, part of the Wrangler’s weight reduction. Similarly, the hood, doors, and fenders are aluminum.

The soft top on the classic two-door is easier to remove, and the soft top version of the four-door Sahara is power operable, a Wrangler first.

Interior

Comfort isn’t the first word that comes to mind with a vehicle such as the Wrangler, but it’s an attribute that’s an appreciated part of the new Wrangler’s persona. It’s partly attributable to increased room, particularly in the rear seat, partly to improved materials. Interior noise levels are surprisingly civilized on paved roads, and of course there’s up-to-date infotainment and connectivity with Chrysler’s Uconnect system and available 8.4-inch touch screen.

The latest Wrangler has no luxury pretenses, but the product planners reason that rugged off-road creds and contemporary comfort aren’t mutually exclusive concepts.

The Wrangler’s aluminum hood shelters Jeep’s tried-and-true 3.0-liter V6 engine (285 horsepower, 260 pound-feet of torque), updated with a higher compression ratio, stop-start technology, and improved EPA fuel economy: 18 mpg city, 23 highway, paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission, replacing the previous five-speed.

The new automatic is optional with the V6 engine; an equally new Aisin six-speed manual is standard.

As noted, a new turbocharged eTorque 2.0-liter four joins the Wrangler powertrain inventory. Rated for 270 hp and 295 lb-ft, the new turbo four also has an motor generator that provides an electric assist feature, making it a sort of mild hybrid.

The new eTorque 2.0-liter will be paired only with the eight-speed automatic.

As you’d expect, the Wrangler offers a number of off-road features: two four-wheel drive systems, more robust Dana axles front and rear, locking front and rear differentials, a taller wheel/tire package (32 inches versus the previous 31-inch tire), as well as a vast catalogue of Jeep Performance and Mopar goodies.

* The advertised price does not include sales tax, vehicle registration fees, other fees required by law, finance charges and any documentation charges.

* Images, prices, and options shown, including vehicle color, trim, options, pricing and other specifications are subject to availability, incentive offerings, current pricing and credit worthiness.

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