Although the Los Angeles Auto show kicks off tomorrow, it seems that Jeep was eager to unveil their all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler. The wraps off this modern take on an iconic legend were lifted at a private event where invited media journalists were present.
The Wrangler is one of Jeep’s most popular models to date, not to mention their most capable one. As such, it’s vital that Jeep got this new edition right. If not, they could be in for a rough ride. Thankfully, the modifications seem to stick true right to the Jeep Wrangler’s roots, although there are quite a few we have to cover.
Design and Styling
I was scared Jeep was going to mess with the Wrangler’s design and change it far too much. That, luckily, hasn’t happened. It’s still got that same square ‘boxy’ shape and the same edges and curves, so no appeal is lost there. They have however updated it thoroughly where it matters the most.
It gets new body panels all-round, even down to the grille and the headlights. They’ve still got the same shape, but they’ve been modernized, if that makes sense. The lights feature LED technology, and it also gets wider, more flared fenders. The windscreen has been raked to increase aerodynamics, and it even gets a small spoiler round the back.
I love how Jeep has kept at it with the Wrangler’s design. It’s an evolution rather than a revolution. It’s why people like the Jeep Wrangler so much. It’s timeless and elegant; this model will never go out of fashion. I’d go as much as putting it in the same basket as the Ferrari F40 or the Lamborghini Miura because it is that significant.
Interior To Match Its Exterior
The stigma that American cars are poorly built with low-budget materials maybe held true ten years ago. The reality is that today, they’re just as competent as anything from Europe or Asia. The new Jeep Wrangler is a perfect example of that. The cabin got thoroughly overhauled too, with expensive-feeling materials and superb fit and finish.
I’m not a big fan of the dashboard/center console design, but that’s just my taste and goes for all of Jeep’s products. On the flip side, it now offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite navigation. They’re all displayed on a large infotainment screen in the middle of the dash. The Wrangler is no longer the utilitarian off-roader it once was. It has adapted and evolved into so much more than that.
On the engine front, you have three choices: a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, and the trusty 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, now upgraded for 2018. They make 260, 270 and 285 horsepower respectively. If it were my money, it’d go for the diesel or the efficient four-cylinder. It’s more powerful than the Pentastar V6, and a lot newer.
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler gets diff locks which can be electronically activated from inside the cabin. As previously, it offers a 4-wheel-drive and a 4-wheel-drive low driving mode, along with the brand-new 4-wheel-drive auto mode.
The redesigned Jeep Wrangler is a serious piece of kit. Jeep took what has to be one of the most off-road capable SUVs on the planet and added that much more versatility, practicality, and day-to-day usability. In my book, that qualifies it as a winner.