Most people, if not all people could point out a Jeep Wrangler if you asked them too. The unique look, unique off-road characteristics and the lifestyle that goes with owning a Wrangler make the vehicle so unique and unmistakeable. Jeep is recognized as the most valuable automotive brand in the world, largely due to its popularity worldwide and also the fact it is recognizable worldwide. Throughout its 75 years, Jeep has seen markets worldwide, through use in the World War to the off-road capability that proved to be greatly efficient for South America, Africa and many other countries. If you have driven a Wrangler, you know how fun to drive they are, yet also scary to some people who may be used to luxury cars or SUVs with a much smoother ride. The All-New 2018 JL Wrangler proves different, that the Wrangler can still be rugged and a true Jeep, yet ride incredibly refined on the road with modern technology and creature comforts.
Growing up, I always thought Jeeps were the coolest vehicle. The fact that you could take the top off of the Jeep, go off-roading almost anywhere, or even drive through a park full of dinosaurs (I grew up in the era of the YJ and Jurassic Park). This vehicle was always seen, through various decades and different settings. Once I got my licence to drive, I preferred my luxury vehicles and sedans the road like I was driving a couch. Therefore, when I first got to drive a Wrangler, I was a bit terrified and uncomfortable as the ride, feel and steering are all rugged and so different to what I was used to. I avoided driving them, until the new JL Wrangler showed up at the dealer. I was curious at how different this Jeep was, and also wanted to see if they could refine the Wrangler without losing its character. Well Jeep certainly outdid themselves on this one, I really did not want to stop driving the new JL Wrangler.
Walking up to the new Wrangler, it is unmistakably a Jeep, with the traditional seven slot grille, round headlights and unique shape. Yet look closer, this new Wrangler is so refined and ready to take on modern SUVs. LED lighting and LED turn signals are now available on the Sahara and Rubicon and the shape has remained the same, yet the wheelbase has been lengthened a bit for a better ride and the body reworked to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. The new Jeep has a great style, yet drive onto the road, other Wrangler owners will still give you the Jeep wave. Jump into the interior, that’s where things have really changed. This new JL is full of soft-touch, high quality plastics which improve so much. The dashboard design still is recognizable as a Jeep, yet features brand new Uconnect touchscreens as well as a new digital/analog cluster and amenities such as dual-zone climate control, heated seats, heated steering wheel and much more. Jeep has not lost the ability to take these off-road or through water as well, the interior can still take the effort of being put through these. The doors, windshield, removable tops have all been made easier to remove for the enthusiast, while still being safer in case of an accident or rollover.
Take the new Wrangler onto the road, the Sahara I drove immediately impressed. The powerful Pentastar V6 moves this Wrangler smoothly and quickly up to speed, while shifting very smoothly. The new 8-Speed will increase fuel economy and driveability incredibly while a manual is still available to those who want to enjoy more control. The ride and steering difference is noticeable right away, with the Sahara being just as smooth as a Grand Cherokee on pavement, yet still retains the quick steering the Jeep has had. The vehicle interior has gotten noticeably quieter, until reaching higher speeds but it is very manageable. The removable tops are the cause of this noise and there isn’t much to be done about it, but that was the only negative I could find. Jump up to the Rubicon and the ride will change due to beefier tires and suspension, yet this Jeep has become so much more comfortable on road yet will not displease true Jeep enthusiasts. This new JL, is truly a Jeep that lives up to the name, and also is in fact undoubtedly the best Jeep yet.
I strongly encourage Jeep drivers, owners, and enthusiasts to head out to your Jeep dealer and check out these beautiful new JL Wranglers as they have hit lots now. Anybody who has ever dreamed of driving a Jeep or loves having the versatility and capability of an SUV will love this new Jeep as well.
Written by David Murphy