Legacy can be a tough thing to live up to, especially when it involves something as iconic as the Jeep Wrangler. However, as you will see from our review below, Jeep has been successfully able to do exactly that.
After all, the SUV is arguably one of the most recognized automobiles in the world, the reigning “King of the Hill” in which all other off-road vehicles are measured. And yet, after having a chance to wheel the latest model of the Jeep in and around Tucson, Arizona, it’s clear that even a bona fide legend like the Wrangler is capable of upping its game.
The 2018 Wrangler, dubbed the “JL,” is, by far, the most impressive modern-day version of the open-air SUV to ever take the road, an evolution of the military-inspired vehicle of epic proportions. In a nutshell, the new model essentially builds on everything we’ve come to love about the Jeep, whether it’s the rush you get climbing some steep mass of rock like the one mapped out for our recent test drive, or the feeling of freedom that overtakes you when cruising a breathtaking stretch of highway in Arizona, while basking in all of the new comfort features packed into the SUV.
Most of the buzz swirling around the new Wrangler has been centered on the range of new available engine options, which includes a new 270-hp turbocharged four-cylinder, the revival of a diesel engine with a hefty 442 lb-ft. of torque, and a more-fuel efficient version of the standard V6 engine that’s powered the Jeep for years. There’s also talk that the carmaker will introduce a hybrid model in the near future.
However, there’s so much more to admire about the 2018 Wrangler. For starters, the overall design features a number of new styling cues that pay homage to classic Jeeps from years past, which gives the new model a cool bit of nostalgic appeal as well. Then, there’s all the work that’s gone into making it easier to enjoy the SUV’s open-air feature, such as the availability of a new one-touch power top for canvas-equipped models and a new sliding-track mechanism for the removable side windows, a notable shift from Jeep’s longtime zipper setup.
The 2018 Wrangler also now features a push-button starter (yep, finally), more storage area (perfect for road trips), and a host of new tech features (all novice approved), including an all new infotainment system that’s available with a huge 8.4-inch touchscreen.
The Wrangler’s legendary off-road chops have been beefed up as well, which now enables the Jeep the ability to trek though up to 30-inches of water, which is pretty insane for a stock SUV. Though, it’s really how refined the Wrangler now rides and handles “on road,” that you come to appreciate most about all the performance improvements made to the Jeep.
Of course, enhancements of this magnitude, don’t come cheap. But then again, you wouldn’t expect them to, right?
The base price for the Wrangler has spiked anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 (depending on the trim), compared to the outgoing JK model, with the starting price for the entry-level Sport version now coming in at roughly $28,000.
Still, for anyone who has ever dreamed of owning a Jeep Wrangler, there’s never been a time better than now to take the plunge.