Differences Between 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL and Wrangler JK

Miami Lakes Auto 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL

Earlier this month, the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show took place, and that’s when the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL officially debuted. Sure, there have been spy photos and leaked information, but all of that was just a piece of the pie compared to everything we learned at the show. Can’t wait to learn all about it? We have a page dedicated to the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. Otherwise, here’s some of the highlights as well as the differences one can expect between the next-generation all-new 2018 Wrangler JL and the 2018 Wrangler JK.

Let’s Talk Powertrains

The Wrangler JK is only available with one engine (3.6L Pentastar V6 engine), whether it is the Wrangler or Wrangler Unlimited. That same engine returns to the Wrangler JL model, but it’s been tweaked a little bit. The new tweaked engine is able to generate up to 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, and it can be paired to the standard six-speed manual transmission or the new available eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine also comes standard with electric start-stop (ESS), a technology to conserve fuel while the engine idles. With this tech, consumers can expect their Jeep Wrangler JL to have an average fuel economy of 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway if paired to the manual transmission; otherwise it’s 18 mpg in the city with the automatic transmission.

Another change between the Wrangler JK and Wrangler JL is that the Wrangler JL is also available with two new engine options. One of the new options is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, able to generate its best-in-class 270 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. Paired to the eight-speed automatic transmission, this turbocharged engine is the first step for Jeep to dip into hybrid technology. Designed with a hybrid system, eTorque, the Wrangler JL with the turbocharged engine also has auto stop/start, electric power assist, extended fuel shut-off, transmission shift management, intelligent battery charging, and regenerative braking.

The third engine available on the all-new Wrangler JL, not available until 2019, is a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine said to produce 262 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. If towing is on the list for must-haves, then consumers may want to wait for this engine. Otherwise, the standard towing capacity for all Jeep Wrangler JL trims is 3500 pounds.

Going Through Changes

Now let’s talk about some of the exterior and interior changes one will see. Compared to the Wrangler JK, the Wrangler JL is 200 pounds lighter due to the doors, hood, and windshield frame being constructed out of a lightweight, heavy-strength aluminum and steel blend versus pure steel. While we’re on the subject of the Wrangler JK and Wrangler JL specifically, the Wrangler JK was known as the Wrangler (2-door) or Wrangler Unlimited (4-door). So far, it seems that Jeep has dropped the “unlimited” from the Wrangler JL lineup and is only referring to the 4-door model as the “Wrangler 4-door model.” Also, the trim lineup has changed. The Wrangler 2-door is available in three trims – Wrangler Sport, Wrangler Sport S, and Wrangler Rubicon – and the Wrangler 4-door is available in those sames trims as well as the Wrangler Sahara.

All 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL trims will have even more off-road functionality than many of the Wrangler JK trims. We’re looking at a ground clearance of 10.9 inches; the ability to traverse water 30 inches-deep; and a standard crawl ratio of 2.72:1 standard. If looking for a higher crawl ratio, Rubicon trims have a crawl ratio of 84.2:1 for the 2-door model and 77.2:1 for the 4-door model. What’s more, the Jeep Wrangler Sport and Sahara trims come with the Command-Trac 4×4 system for off-road action. If looking for the real deal, the Rubicon models come with a Rock-Trac 4×4 system with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1 and Tru-Lok locking differentials, along with skid plates, front and rear tow hooks, and rides on 33-inch tires (17-inch off-road wheels is the standard for the lineup).

Lastly, but definitely not forgotten, is a new way to go topless in the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. The interior of the cabin got its own sprucing up with a retro-modern look, and to complement it, a new convertible top has been added as an option, known as the all-new premium Sunrider, providing another easy open-air option for partial and fully open positions via integrated tracks for easier removal and retrieval. A new powered soft top, known as the Sky One-Touch powertop, has also been added and it can be retracted the full-length of the roof with the push of a button (not available until mid-to-late 2018). The manually removable hardtop is still an option, but it has a new design for easier removal of all three-pieces. Hallelujah!

That’s everything in a nutshell, but like we said. If you want the full scoop, click the link above. Take a look at our 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL models and come test drive one today. Or you can talk about all the goodness on Miami Lakes Automall’s Facebook page.

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