2018 Jeep Wrangler to Gain Eight-Speed Auto

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2018 Jeep Wrangler to Gain Eight-Speed Auto

Jeep’s off-road enthusiast focused Wrangler SUV will be significantly more fuel efficient for the 2018 model year.

The iconic utility vehicle is slated to be fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission that will ease its fuel consumption. Chrysler currently uses the same transmission in the Ram 1500 pickup truck, the Dodge Durango SUV and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV. Jeep hasn’t officially announced the change, but a filing with the SEC originally reported by Automotive News is tipping the brand’s plans.

According to the filing, Jeep expects the Wrangler to return nine percent better fuel economy when equipped with the eight-speed than it currently does with a five-speed automatic. Currently the five-speed automatic Wrangler is rated to return 17 MPG in city driving and 21 MPG on the highway.

The Wrangler is slated to be re-designed for 2018 with an aluminum body that will also enhance fuel economy. Chrysler needs to improve average fuel economy across the Jeep line and a smaller displacement engine than the current 3.6-liter V6 will be necessary to do so in the Wrangler, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has said.

Other efficiency-minded changes are afoot at Chrysler. The company plans to produce its next-generation plug-in hybrid Town & Country minivan at its Windsor, Canada assembly plant.

GALLERY: 2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport S

2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Front-Three-Quarter2.jpg2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Front.jpg2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Rear-Close-Up.jpg2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Rear-Close.jpg2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Straight-On.jpg2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Rear-From-Afar.jpg2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Interior.jpg

Discuss this story at our Jeep Wrangler forum

[Source: Automotive News]

  • johnls39 .

    This iconic nameplate needs a redesign in a new direction.

  • BrokerDon

    I’ll consider buying another Wrangler Rubicon when I can get it with both a turbo-diesel and 8-speed automatic transmission. In the meantime we’ll keep driving our Kenne Bell supercharged 2003 Wrangler Rubicon Tomb Raider Limited Edition built with a 4″ suspension lift + 1″ body lift and 35″ tires by Currie Enterprises. Yes the gas mileage is marginal but its definitely a “Go Anywhere / Do Anything” Jeep that’s 4-wheeled in Florida, California, Colorado, Utah and Alaska… and never let us down.

  • In the 1960’s the Jeep CJ weighed under 2500 pounds and got excellent performance with a small Buick V6 engine with less power than most of today’s 4 cylinder engines. Today’s Wrangler weighs over 4,300 pounds and needs a 285 horsepower V6 to get out of its own way. Yet that CJ would go everywhere that today’s Wrangler would go. Yes, I do agree that the Wrangler needs a redesign in a new direction. Or, rather, a redesign in an *old* direction — a direction that is smaller, lighter, and more nimble offroad than the current overweight overbloated whale of a Jeep.

  • everywhere except down the road safely at anything over 20 mph. I had a nice cj7 and I’m building a modded flat fender, but I wouldn’t want to drive either as a daily driver. ross steering and 9″ drums? want a buggy? build one.

    my only issue is reliability. get it like honda and I’d buy one.

  • Mike Daniel

    Why? Tree huggers don’t buy Wranglers. Nobody is asking them to change anything except the EPA.

  • LarryNC

    How about a change from the pentastar 3.6 to the italian 3.0. 3.0 Diesel, that is. I think that they would sell a bunch of those.

  • LarryNC

    I could not agree more. In 2006, my (then wife) and I bought a brand new 2006 Toyota 4-Runner. I didn’t realize that they had grown so much until one day I saw our 4-Runner parked next to an older one. There really is no need for this as far as I can tell. Everybody keeps talking about how these automobiles need to get better and better mileage and all the while they all keep getting bigger and bigger. I don’t understand it. One of my all-time favorite care was a late 80’s SUV that was labeled as a Dodge Raider, it was later imported by the manufacturer and called a Montero. Mine was the three door model, very similar to the regular Jeep Wrangler. And that car was much smaller than the current models. Mine had a 4-cylinder and a 5-speed manual transmission. That was a fantastic car. If anyone is curious as to why we don’t see any SUV’s of that size and configuration (meaning a 2-door with a door in the back) you should look up something called the chicken tax. It is this stupid law that keeps many of us from being able to drive some very good automobiles.

  • $624659

    I’d have to disagree with both the above comments. 1) Wrangler sales are at an all time high, so going too far in a new direction is a bad idea. 2) It’s partially because of the places my Jeep(s) have taken me over the years that I have a strong appreciation for nature. Doubt I’m alone on that one amongst the Jeep community. 😉

  • And this is just a Jeep thing is it? Checked the weight difference between an old Porsche 911 and a new one? Just don’t see Jeep selling death trap CJs enough to sustain the business. By your logic everyone would be driving around in Aeriel Atoms too.

  • I think “option” is a better word than “change” here. Some of us don’t want to deal with the diesel rattle, complexity and underwhelming performance on a permanent basis.

  • Lighter construction + 8 speed = better performance… I’m guessing 0-60 times of mid-high 6s for the JKU and low 6s for the JK. Yeah cringe now but once it actually starts performing better everyone will care about how fast it moves… no one puts down ~$30K for Hemi conversions to go slow. But don’t worry, the new one will crawl too.

  • Alex Kooluris

    2018….ummmm that’s 4 years off. Why are updates to the Wrangler taking so long????

  • user z

    The way I see it, the more speeds (gears) the more that can go wrong. Who cares about performance. If I wanted something smooth, I would have gotten an Escalade. If 5 speed auto is so bad, why are Jeep dealerships in my area hounding me to buy it back from me?

  • shaun

    As long as they still offer a 5 or 6 speed manual, I don’t care what kind of autotragic they put in it.

    The transmission isn’t even really the issue. The fuel consumption stayed pretty much the same as it was when they switched from the 3.8L and the horrible 4-speed automatic to the 3.6L and the 5-speed automatic. The fuel economy was virtually unchanged.

    It’s an unaerodynamic brick on wheels. And those of us who appreciate it for what it is don’t care. We don’t need hybrid fuel economy out of a Jeep Wrangler. Stop messing with it. They’ve got a winning formula in the JK. Why fix what isn’t broken?

    The EPA’s a joke. When you look at it from a dust-to-dust perspective, a JK’s already much more environmentally friendly than a Prius…

  • shaun

    Why the hell do you need 0-60 times in the 6-second range in a Jeep Wrangler? My 3.8L with the 6-speed allows me to pass effortlessly and climb Cajon pass at 85mph. I don’t need 0-60 in 6 seconds…

    As much as people complain that the 3.8L was underpowered, I’ve never wanted more power out of my JK. Of course, I don’t drive an autotragic either…

  • Fine. Look at the Suzuki Jimney (a prior generation of which was sold here in the US as the Suzuki Samurai, but two generations later the Jimney is much improved). It still exists. It meets US emissions standards. It could probably meet US safety standards with a bit of work. And it weighs 2500 pounds and gets 30mpg while having as much interior room as my 4300 pound Jeep Wrangler and being just as capable off-road. But Chrysler has bought in to the notion that Americans won’t buy small off-road vehicles anymore, which is why they have porked up the Wrangler by over 1,000 pounds in the past 15 years. The result is a vehicle that is a lead sled desert cruiser, but overweight and fuel-thirsty and requiring a 285 horsepower engine to get it out of its own way.

  • shaun

    A stock CJ would not go everywhere a stock JK will.

    And the JK does not need the Pentastar to “get out of it’s own way”. The 3.8L is fine. The 4-speed automatic was terrible. Had they mated the 3.8L to the 5-speed automatic it would’ve been fine. 6-speed drivers have known since 2007 that the 3.8L’s a fantastic match for the JK. It’s a bomb-proof, proven, reliable engine. The Pentastar needs to be revved too high before there’s any difference at all. Driving a 2012+ JK 6-speed feels no different at all than driving a 2007-2011 6-speed JK. Until you get it over 6k RPM. Most of my daily driving is done well under 4k RPM. So I have no need for the Pentastar at all… I’ve got the Pentastar in a 2013 Dodge Journey and as rev-happy as it is I wouldn’t want it in a Wrangler anyway..

  • Well there’s now the Jeep Renegade. If there’s enough of an interest in the direction you mention, all the wrangler aftermarket people will get on it. I rather drive a Wrangler though, as things are.

  • The Renegade is a Fiat 500 with a boxy body on it. It is not in any way capable of rock crawling or any other serious offroad duty.

  • It’s the same reason why people spend $30,000 on a Hemi conversion and $300,000 on a sports car… because it’s awesome. Your driving experience will not be compromised with the new setup… especially coming from that POS 3.8 and the old tranny. I’ve heard the 2012 and maybe early 13 models didn’t have the updated software. My ’14 3.6 jumps like a diesel when i touch the peddle. Drive a new 3.6L with the NAG1 and say it’s worse than what you have. Last time i checked the pre-2012 (3.8) JK prices didnt skyrocket after the 3.6 came along LOL

    Your old Jeep is still good. The current one is better. The newer one will be even better. That’s how it is 99.9% of the time with everything else too. Save up… you’ll understand 😉

    Edit: The “autotragic” is what you got with the 3.8L/pre-2012s. Have you checked the types of vehicles the W5A580/NAG1 is in? Mercedes, Jags, etc. And the only good things about the current 6 speed manual all come down to the manual vs. auto debate. It’s not like it’s a good manual trans compared to real manuals out there. The NAG1, on the other hand, is a high end unit.

  • My Jeep club has CJ’s (both CJ-5 and CJ-7), YJ’s, TJ’s, and JK’s in it. We all go the exact same places, including the Rubicon Trail, Dusy, and Deer Valley. All of our Jeeps are modified, and no, my stock JK would *not* do those trails without lots of rock stacking, I got a lift on it rapidly and then later upgraded to 35″ tires. Regarding 3.8L vs 3.6L, the 3.8L is not that much less powerful than the 3.6L, the point was that you need a relatively large engine to push 4300 pounds of porkitude around. I’ve driven both and the 3.6L is significantly quicker even down low due to the VVT, but the reality is that both are gigantic compared to the 4 cylinder engine that one of our club members has in his YJ, which weighs 1,000 pounds less than my 2-door JK.

  • And you think people replace stock plastic bumpers with steels, add warn winches, do lifts, change fenders to clear replaced stock wheels, re-gear, add Arb air lockers, heat reduction hoods, light bars, body and under armor and spend what seems a minimum of $10,000 (1/3rd of a price of a new wrangler) on these extras because stock Wranglers are “capable of rock crawling or serious off road duty”? Be real.

    Do those to a Prius and it’ll be almost as good and give mind blowing mileage too.

  • If the fundamental platform is inherently incapable, it doesn’t matter what accessories you put on it. I ran Nightmare Gulch in my Jeep Wrangler Rubicon completely stock, 1 week off the showroom floor. It required a bit of rock stacking to get it over one ledge but otherwise it had no trouble doing it. It is, of course, much more capable today — but you could never make a Fiat 500 more capable, because its suspension inherently is not capable of flexing in the rocks like solid axles because half shafts with CV joints cannot flex as far as driveshafts with U-joints before they ground out against the CV ball housing. You’d have to do a solid-axle swap on both ends to make the Renegade into a rock crawler, and the platform simply isn’t set up to make that possible.

  • shaun

    What exactly makes the NAG1 good and the NSG370 “not good”? The NSG370 is proven to be strong, has really good input and output torque ratings..It’s shift throws are a bit long but it’s a Jeep Wrangler, not a Honda Civic. They’re still comfortably short.

    So because the NAG1 has been used in big Mercedes boats, it’s a good transmission? The NSG370’s Mercedes-sourced too…

    You talk about prices before and after the 2012 model-year. The 3.6L didn’t effect the value of the 2007-2011 models at all. It didn’t even budge. So people weren’t dumping their 3.8s to get the 3.6.

    The biggest performance difference between the 2011 and the 2012 is really only felt in the automatics. Yes, the NAG1 is a vast improvement over the 42RLE. JKs with the NSG370, though, don’t feel the same improvement. Because the NSG370 was never the problem to begin with. Nor was the 3.8L.

    Also, I love it when people call the 3.8L a minivan engine. Implying the Pentastar’s not used in minivans, right?

  • The NSG370 is a) used in only a single Chrysler vehicle in the US (the Jeep Wrangler) where approximately 40,000/year are sold , b) cannot be rebuilt by anybody in America (rebuild parts simply are not available in America due to its rarity, you have to trade your tranny in for a rebuild at the dealer, which then sends it back to the Daimler mothership in Europe to be rebuilt), c) has a bad habit of eating its syncros whether you use the Chrysler-approved fluid or some other syncromesh fluid and see (b) above, the rebuild parts to fix the syncros are not available here in the US, and d) behaves very much like the delivery truck transmission that it is (ker-KLUNK,ker-KLUNK, nobody cares how smoothly a delivery truck’s transmission shifts because the people buying delivery trucks aren’t the people driving delivery trucks). That said, it’s not a bad transmission, it has a good gearing spread and low 1st gear (good for rock crawling), it’s just very poorly supported here in the United States because its primary use is Sprinter delivery trucks in Europe (Sprinters here in the US get an automatic).

    The W5A580 on the other hand is very well supported because it’s been sold in millions of Chrysler cars over the past 15 years and is actually built here in America at Chrysler’s Kokomo transmission plant thus repair parts are readily available (the NSG370 on the other hand is imported from Germany as whole units). I had the NSG370 in my old TJ. When I traded that in for my 2012, the W5A580 was pretty much a no-brainer given that I was using my Jeep both as a daily driver in the city and to do desert exploration and mild rock crawling.

  • The VM 3.0L diesel has 395 ft/lbs of torque and is no more complex than the Pentastar 3.6L, which isn’t exactly a simple engine. If you think 395 ft/lbs of torque provides underwhelming performance, I pity you.

  • I spent $480 in gasoline on my recent Jeep expedition exploring the southeastern Death Valley area. That’s a lot of cash on gas. Yes, I definitely appreciate the capabilities of my 2012 Wrangler, but if I could have those offroad capabilities in something smaller and lighter that got 25% better gas mileage while still remaining road-worthy, that would have saved me $120 on gas on that single trip all by itself.

  • shaun

    The NSG370 was also used in the LibertyNitro and the Crossfire in the US, wasn’t it?

    I have no issue with it behaving like a truck transmission because it’s in a truck… But I will say that I did notice the clunking sound when I first purchased the Jeep, but once I learned how to clutch precisely the clunking went away. It’s seriously, bar-none, the easiest manual I’ve ever driven in my life. Especially once you disable the hill-start assist, which significantly sharpens up the throttle response.

    When it comes down to it, I stand by what I said. The issues with the 3.8L being “underpowered” weren’t the fault of the engine. They were the fault of the 42RLE. In a manual JK with the 3.8L and the Pentastar, there is virtually no difference in low-end performance. It might be fun going around revving to 38,000 RPM in a Honda Civic, but that’s not exactly my idea of truck behavior. So I tend to keep it down around 3k RPM in around-town driving anyway, which is where my JK sees most of it’s miles, and I average 18.5mpg around town. I don’t consider that too shabby at all.

    Speaking of Honda Civics, I’ll go back to your original post where you criticized the JK for being overweight and requiring more powerful powerplants. The same can be said for just about everything. My first car (which I still own and adore) was a 1985 Honda CRX Si. It weighed around 1,800 pounds with me and a full tank of gas, and it was very spirited and sporty with a 1.5L engine putting out an incredible 91 horsepower.

    Now days, you’re getting similar performance out of Honda Civics that weigh 3 times as much and have twice the horsepower.

    It’s happening everywhere. The “light-weight high-performance” car is a pipe dream anymore. You’ve got cars like the GT86/FRS/BRZ that try to achieve this and sell themselves as the “light-weight drivers car” but they still weigh nearly 3,000 pounds. Even the Miata, the definition of the light-weight sports car, is nearly 1,000 pounds heavier than it was in the early 90s and are making up for the weight by ever-increasing displacement/horsepower ratings.

    As the demands for safer vehicles steadily increase, so does vehicle weight. And in direct correlation, so does the performance of the engine, just to chase after the performance you achieved from a lighter car.

    It’s industry-wide. There’s pretty much no escaping it anywhere.

    But no matter how you look at it, the current “bloated whale of a Jeep” is the most capable Wrangler, both offroad and around town, ever offered. Stock for stock, of course. People like to hate on the JK, but it is the best Wrangler to date. They have a winning combination. They don’t need to go in a new direction.

    They’ve talked about their plans to make the Wrangler “lighter”. These plans have included an aluminum body (Please, no..), removal of the full-sized spare (Are you serious?), removal of the Freedom Top hardtop option (Whhyyy?), fixed, non-removable doors, fixed front windshield, etc. Their solution to making the Jeep lighter is to rob it of it’s tradition and character.

    That is the WRONG direction, no matter how you look at it. And it will bite them..The Wrangler may have found many a home in a soccer mom’s driveway, but a huge segment of Jeep’s customer base are brand-loyal because the Wrangler has always stood for one thing: No-nonsense, no-frills, no-compromise capability. Jeep has proceeded to systematically neuter everything else in it’s lineup. The Wrangler is all they’ve got left that offers what the brand originally stood for. I have a feeling the next Wrangler is going to be akin to the Ranger Rover Evoque. I mean, look at the Renegade…

  • Not everyone measures performances by how big a trailer or a tractor a vehicle can pull.

  • Very few were used in the Liberty/Nitro/Crossfire, perhaps 100,000 total. Don’t get me wrong, I think the NSG370 is a stout transmission and has good gear ratios for a Jeep, but still, there’s probably only been about 800,000 of them sold in the United States *total*. By comparison, Chrysler was shipping around 1 MILLION W5A580 transmissions per YEAR at the peak of W5A580 usage in the 2000’s. Finding a junkyard example of the NSG370 ten years from now will be difficult, finding anybody who knows how to repair it will be difficult, but the same will not be true of the W5A580.

    Regarding the 3.8L engine, it had the advantage of being simple and reliable. Its small size made it easy to put offroad accessories under the hood of the 2007-2011 Wrangler, while the physically much larger 3.6L (due to its massive dual-overhead-cam cylinder heads) pretty much fills up the entire engine bay of the Wrangler. Offroad, its performance is plenty acceptable. Onroad, it clearly showed its age, with the 2007 Wrangler exhibiting a 0-60 time of over 11 seconds while the 2012 Wrangler manages 0-60 in 8.7 seconds.

    Finally, regarding offroad capability, the TJ (1996-2006) can be built into a far better offroad vehicle than the JK. I know this for a fact because I’ve built both. The problem with the JK is twofold: 1. they pushed the frame rails out and made them much taller, meaning the frame grounds out on rocks that fit under the rocker panels of the TJ, and 2. they pushed it out because they wanted to make room for a gas tank that hangs down even lower than the frame on the entire right side of the Jeep and cannot be tucked up with a body lift like the TJ’s gas tank because there is a frame crossmember immediately above it. The end result is that rocks that simply pass under a TJ’s rockers end up with you stranded on the rocks in a JK. My JK with 35″ tires is about as capable as my old TJ with 33″ tires. It’s faster and more comfortable, but will never be as capable offroad as a well-built TJ no matter how much money I throw at lifts and axles and tires, because the fundamental platform simply lacks that capability.

    Finally, yes, all the cars have gotten bigger. But blaming safety standards isn’t why. Otherwise the Fiat 500 and SMART cars could not be sold in the US. It’s because auto makers think Americans want bigger, fatter cars, so even small cars end up being bloated up like balloons over time. Yes, we’ll likely never see an 1800 pound Jeep again, even the Fiat 500 weighs 2500 pounds. But there’s nothing inherent in the safety standards that would prevent selling a 3000 pound Jeep. It’s all about marketing decisions, in the end. They think Americans want bigger, fatter, less capable Jeeps. The sales of the 4-door Wranglers tend to bear them out. The problem is that without a halo offroad vehicle like the 2 door Wrangler (most Wranglers sold now are 4 doors), you lose what makes Jeep special, and eventually dilute the brand to worthlessness.

  • How big of tires an engine can turn is definitely important for an offroader though. Of course, if you’re buying a Wrangler to drive to the mall, I’m sure you don’t care.

  • ” the NAG1 has been used in big Mercedes boats”

    ROFL… so the SLR McLaren, V12 CL600 and C65 AMG, V12 twin turbo SL65 AMG, etc. are boats now? Isn’t there a Mercedes dealership anywhere near?

    “The 3.6L didn’t effect the value of the 2007-2011 models at all. It didn’t even budge.”

    Maybe in the states or something but I just checked the prices here in Australia, the cheapest 2011 that I can find is $16000 and the cheapest 2012 is $21000 and both have similar mileage. If you do the math, that’s almost a 25% difference just for 1 year. Also there’s only one Pentastar at that price and there’s seven 3.8L without buyers at that price. They’re worthless to a great extent.

    “The biggest performance difference between the 2011 and the 2012 is really only felt in the automatics. ”

    If you can’t feel the difference that 41% increase in HP and a 12% increase in torque gives, you need to get your get yourself checked, if you ask me 🙂

  • That’s another wrong notion that people have… that bigger wheels = better offroader.

    Also, re-gearing solves the problem your’e talking about. If you re-gear a diesel you’ll be going at 10mph on the highway.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbKQV8zxPsY

    In some parts of the world, people do more with less on their way to work on a daily basis.

  • To a certain extent bigger tires do mean a better offroader, since it means more room under the axles. Of course, all things are relative. In my experience a TJ with 33″ tires is equal to a JK with 35″ tires in offroad capability because of design decisions made for the JK (crossmember above the gas tank being the biggie). But I can definitely wheel a JK with 35″ tires places that I can’t wheel a JK with 32″ tires. Been there, done that, have the dents in the undercarriage skids to prove it ;).

    Regarding regearing, if you put ultra-low gearing you have the same problem with a gas engine too. A friend re-geared his TJ so low that he can’t manage over 60mph on the highway, because that was the only way to push 35″ tires with his 4 cylinder engine. Deal with having massive torque is that you don’t need to re-gear, meaning that you get to have top speed *and* ability to turn big tires.

  • shaun

    The difference in 0-60 times is again likely due more to the fact that the 4-speed automatic was terrible and the 5-speed automatic is not.

    The only direct 6-speed vs 6-speed comparison I’ve ever seen was a Rubicon vs a Sahara. At that point the gearing is too different for it to be a fair comparison. Looking at Sahara with 3.21s vs Rubicon with 4.88s. If you look at the 2007 Sahara 0-60, they’re almost 2 seconds apart.

    I have never been able to find a straight up 2010 3.21 6-speed Sport vs 2012 3.21 6-speed Sport.

    But from all the dyno sheets I’ve seen, while there is a significant difference in torque the powerbands are nearly identical to 4,000 RPM. And again even then all I can ever find are the automatics.

    As for capability, that’s why I said stock vs stock. You can build either as extreme as you want and you can throw money into mods endlessly to make one definitively outperform the other. But stock for stock, the JK is more capable both onroad and offroad than the TJ, YJ and CJ. Especially in Rubicon trim. Once you start modding, all bets are off. Whoever throws more money into the build is probably going to end up with the more capable rig.

    Cars haven’t necessarily only gotten larger in dimensions (and sometimes they haven’t there) but they’ve definitely gotten heavier. And a lot of that is safety standards. It’s also why USDM cars are often heavier than their foreign counterparts. The US-domestic Honda Accord is about 600 pounds heavier than the Japanese-domestic Accord. There are structural differences to meet the US market requirements on safety. A SMART car, as small as it is, still weighs 1,800 pounds without a driver. It still weighs as much as my 1985 Honda CRX. The SMART ForTwo is about 200 pounds heavier in the US than it is in Europe. And the US isn’t even getting the redesigned ForTwo or the ForFour. And like I said earlier, even small, light-weight cars are heavy. Like the GT86/BRZ/FRS. It’s still 3,000 pounds or more..

    Americans don’t necessarily want bigger, fatter anything. Which is why the gigantic SUV segment pretty much died. Americans do want safer vehicles tho, and much of the size increase was to create a safer vehicle. It’d be damn near impossible to create a Wrangler that is as safe as the current JK that was 3,000 pounds. Even TJs were approaching 4,000 pounds by the end of their production run. Getting a Jeep that met today’s safety requirements that weighed the same as a YJ while not being based on the Fiat Panda? It’ll never happen.

    Even the Renegade’s going to be damn near 4,000 pounds in it’s Trailhawk trim. But I will say this – the Renegade, as useless as it looks, will probably be more capable than the new Cherokee.

    I do very much agree however that Jeep needs to keep the Wrangler as their ‘halo offroad vehicle’. Because no matter how many Trailhawk-editions of their car-based crossovers they offer, if they screw up the Wrangler, they’re done.

  • With increased ride height you also increase the chances of flipping over. Can’t remember the last time i saw a jeep with stock wheels flipped over but I’ve seen plenty of big wheeled ones.

    Diesel has more torque but also a significantly limited rpm range most of the time. You need higher gearing or your top speed is limited. Also being inside a red lining diesel is not a pleasant experience.

  • A JKU is also the only modern four door convertible with good visibility and room for easy customisation that any money can buy. Rocks don’t have to be involved in any part of making sense of a JKU purchase.

  • That is why the current trend is towards LCG (Low Center of Gravity) for rock crawling. This fits big tires *without* putting on a large lift that raises the center of gravity, generally by running flat fenders and doing some body modifications with Mr. Sawzall. I’m running 35″ tires on a 2″ lift on my JK, and its roll center is virtually identical to stock because I’m also running a wider wheel offset pushing the tires further out and the tires are 2″ wider than stock to begin with. There are people who put monster lifts on their Jeeps in order to fit big tires then proceed to flip them. We have a name for those people. “Idiots”.

  • Yes the spread also needs to be increased with offsets. Agree.

  • Leslie

    I­­­­­’­v­­­­­­e s­­­­t­­­­a­­r­­t­­e­­­­­d e­­­­­a­­­­­r­­­­n­­­­­­i­­­­n­­­­­g 8­­­­­­­­­­­­­5 b­­­­u­­­­­c­­­­­­­k­­­­s e­­­­­v­­­­e­­­­r­­y h­­­­­o­­­­u­­­r s­­­­­i­­­n­­­c­­e i s­­­­­­t­­­­a­­r­­t­­­e­d w­­­o­­­r­­­­­­k­i­­n­­g o­n­­­l­­­i­­­­n­­e 6 m­­­­­o­­­­n­­­t­­h­s a­­­­­­g­­­o… M­­­­­­­y j­­­­o­­­­­­b i­­­­­s t­­­­­o w­­­­­o­­r­­­­­­­­­k a­­­­­­­­­t h­­­­­­o­­m­­­e f­­­­o­­­­­­r f­­­­­­e­­­­w h­­­o­­u­­­­­r­­s d­­­­a­­­i­­l­­­y a­­­­­n­­­­­­d d­­­­­­o b­­­­­­a­­­­­s­­­­i­­­­c w­­­­o­­­­r­­­k i g­­­­­­e­­­­­t f­­­­r­­­o­­­­m t­­­­h­­­­­i­­­­s c­­­­­o­­­m­­­­­p­­a­­­­n­­­­y t­­­­­h­­­­­­a­­­­t i f­­­­o­­u­­­­n­­­­­d o­­­n­­­l­­­i­­­­n­­­e… I a­­­­­­­m v­­­­e­­­­r­­y e­­­­­x­­­c­­­i­­­t­­e­­­d t­­­­­­­o s­­­h­­­­a­­­r­­­­e t­­­­h­­­­i­­­­s w­­­­­o­­­r­­­k o­­­p­­­p­­­o­­­r­­t­­­u­­n­­­i­­t­­y t­­­­­o y­­­­o­­­u… I­­­­­­­t­’­­­­s d­­­­e­­­­f­­i­­­n­­­­e­­­t­­­­l­­­y t­­­­­­h­­­e b­­­­e­­­­s­­­t j­­­­­o­­­­­b i e­­­­­v­­e­­­­r h­­­­­a­­­­d…

  • shaun

    Well since it’s been 2 days and my post never made it thru ‘review’ I’ll post it again.

    “Worthless to a great extent”?

    According to KBB, the premier retail estimator in the world, the difference in retail value between a 2012 Wrangler Sport with no options and 36,000 miles and a 2011 Wrangler Sport with no options and 36,000 miles is approximately $300 in excellent condition.

    A $300 difference makes the 2011 “worthless to a great extent”? Lol okay…

    Also, the “41% horsepower increase” doesn’t exist until 4,000 RPM. To 4,000 RPM, the power curves are virtually identical. Don’t believe me? Google the dyno charts. The Pentastar doesn’t even make it’s rated horsepower until 6,350 RPM. With a 6,400 RPM redline…Really?

    I can’t feel a difference because in the manuals, one doesn’t exist in practical RPM ranges.

  • I call bs on the accuracy of the website quoted. I based my comments on actual vehicles for sale and in the case of the 3.8, based on ones that no one’s buying.

    Fair enough, I’ll look at the dyno charts. Still the 3.6 is more economical and power adders increase the gap even more.

    At the end of the day, I’d only go for a 3.8 model if im going to do something like a hemi swap because right now they’re easier to mod compared to the pentastars. But a 3.6 with a supercharger comes awfully close in terms of performance to the 6.4 but at $20K cheaper and is cheaper to run too. I say this because i got a 2014 unlimited with all the factory trimmings three months ago and a lot of power adders don’t integrate well with the latest ecu.

  • shaun

    You can call BS all you want, but KBB is the world premier estimator of vehicle retail value. I’d put much more faith in their estimate than your one example.. $300 difference..Not making this stuff up.

    More economical. Lol. It gained 2 average, combined MPG..That’s too close to call it “more economical”. If it was 10 more combined MPG average, yeah. 2? That’s virtually identical.

    Power adders? There are more performance options for the 3.8L because the exhaust manifold isn’t part of the head…When you get into high-end mods like supercharging, you can do the same to both and both generally benefit equally. The 3.8L is proven to hold up well under boost for a long time. The 3.6L is still too new to really tell how it will hold up over time.

  • John Smith

    Oh my, that’s one tough off-road experience. Those rocks are almost as tough as my mall’s speed bump! ROFL!!!!!!

  • And how long did it take Jeep to put together a deserving off road video for the Wrangler? That’s my point.

  • You can have more performance options but they’re to bring things to the stock 3.6’s level with more chances for failure. If the price difference is that little like you say then why not get the 3.6 instead? The 3.6 with any supercharger would be easily better.

    And how long is long enough to know? SCs for the pentastars have been around for years and there are lots of people using them out there too… likely more than the total number of sales of certain high end car models.

  • shaun

    The Pentastar’s been around for less than 5 years and there was a catastrophic head failure for much of the 2011/2012 model year vehicles with people STILL waiting for their head replacements…3 years later…

    No matter how many performance mods you throw at the 3.6L, it’s still going to make all of it’s power ridiculously high in the RPM range. Mods for the 3.8L will still make all their power lower in the powerband.

    So no. Modding a 3.8L is not chasing a 3.6L. Because it’ll make the power at a more practical range. It might be less power but again, look at the dyno charts. The 3.6L doesn’t make it’s power until 6,300+ RPM anyway, and mods aren’t going to change that.

  • “catastrophic head failure”

    Not catastrophic and that has been addressed. Stop beating the same dead horse.

    ” Mods for the 3.8L will still make all their power lower in the powerband.”

    LOL you make it sound like the 3.8 doesn’t obey physics just because you have one. Look in to the twin scroll and roots type superchargers. You’re likely looking at the RIPP centrifugal supercharger.

    “The 3.6L doesn’t make it’s power until 6,300+ RPM anyway”

    Didn’t you just say the 3.6L is just like the 3.8L in the lows? LOL The 3.6 makes more power throughout the RPM range but yes, it’s beyond 4000 that it really makes a big difference.

    Like I said, I’d only go for a 3.8 minivan engine’d Wrangler only if I were to toss it in the garbage and put in a 6.4 HEMI.

  • shaun

    “Been addressed”. Lol. I was just talking to a 2012 Sahara owner that’s STILL waiting for his heads. No, his issue has not been “addressed” because he’s still driving around with the problem that was reported 3 years ago. Dealership is still waiting for parts. My 2013 Journey is showing signs of the same issue but the dealership is of the frame of mind that because it’s not a 2012 it must not be suffering from the same issue…

    Yes, the 3.8 and the 3.6 are similar in powerband below 4,000 RPM. Which is where you’ll be doing most of your driving most of the time. They respond to mods similarly in that same powerband. Which means that in that powerband the 3.6 does not see a significant advantage in power gain until it goes over 4,000 RPM. It doesn’t reach it’s rated power until over 6,300 RPM with a 6,400 RPM redline. I’m sorry but I don’t want to go screaming around at 6,000 RPM just to make power. My other daily driver is a 2013 Dodge Journey with the 3.6L and the 6-speed automatic and it’s extremely rev-happy. Which is fine in a car or a crossover. I don’t want that in a truck. I want the power low. There is no significant difference between the 3.6 and the 3.8 low in the RPM ranges. There certainly isn’t a “41% horsepower increase” in the normal, every-day RPM range. If you’re going to a drag strip? Yeah, okay. But how often do I take my JK to a drag strip? Having driven both the manual 3.6L and the manual 3.8L there is virtually no difference in normal driving. There is a bit more off-the-line torque, but that can be just as easily attributed to the Rubicon’s gearing vs the Sport’s gearing.

    “Mini-van engine”. Again, implying that the Pentastar isn’t used in a mini-van. Infact, one of it’s first applications was the Caravan/Town & Country. So doesn’t that make the Pentastar a “Mini-van engine” too? The “mini-van engine” 3.8L has also been used in multiple applications that were not mini-vans. If the 3.8L is a “mini-van engine”, so is the Pentastar.

  • Addressed as in it’s not a problem with the recent ones. Your 2013 Journey must be a MY12. My MY14 JKU doesn’t have any signs of this. However, using RON 95 and warming up the engine before heading off does make things smoother overall. Can’t discount the fact that most prople want to make their wranglers look tough on the exterior but forget that their issues don’t govern the physics inside. But in general people now know more than they did before and the Chrysler itself has modified the heads.

    Getting back to the power adders, right now for the 3.6+Wrangler alone there’s Edelbrock, Magnuson, Sprintex, Ripp and Prodigy making power adders.

    And yes… i do go above 4000 when pulling in fast and the W5A580 also makes everything very responsive.

    Things are looking up for the 3.6. Can’t say the same about the 3.8 and that POS 4 speed or the meh 6 spd manual.

  • J.W.

    C’mon. These klowns in Toledo haven’t ‘improved’ the short wheel-based Jeep since the CJ. If you like ‘comfort'(why are you in a Jeep?) then the TJ was the height of the series. The JK (stands for Just Kidding) is a joke. The only thing ‘JEEP’ about the JK is the name plate. Curved body panels? Curved windshield? No frame? The same powerplant that is in my daugher’s Caravan? Really? Got to be kidding. ..E.L.E.C.T.R.I.C….W.I.N.D.O.W.S…? …I…W.A.N.T…M.Y…F.L.A.T…F.E.N.D.E.R…B.A.C.K…

  • Chris Myers

    We buyem cause we love simple. We love’m cause they’re simple
    vehicles that never fail to go where we want and do what we want plain and simple. If it gets more complex then it loses its coolness and appeal for us lifters and modders of everything Jeep.

  • William Wayne

    I think he meant that, stock for stock, a CJ is not as capable as a JK.

  • William Wayne

    They do if they want to hug the best trees, deep in the forest

  • I’ve never attempted to run into anybody who tried to wheel a stock Jeep CJ, so I wouldn’t know. I know that it doesn’t take much to build a CJ into something far more capable than any JK will ever be.

  • Not sure I’m seeing your point. I could do the rocks you show in a 1982 Chevrolet Chevette. It’d require precise wheel placement but that’s all. It doesn’t take a whole lot to do a deserving off road video for the Wrangler, just go to YouTube and there’s millions of them, most of which involve rocks whose heights are measured in feet, not inches.

  • Zen Archer

    Don’t forget that there will be a Independent front suspension for weight savings also. They are already starting to try and brainwash us for this Patriot, Compass type 2018 Jeep. They have to get their CAFE down to meet the new EPA standards. Something else to thank Obama for. Now my 06 Rubicon Unlimited, it will only go up in value.

  • KyleinCSpring1

    If it ain’t a stick, it ain’t a real Jeep. I love you auto people, but a Jeep is a Jeep. <

  • Itsadqthing

    How about putting a the diesel in it. I have the Grand Cherokee with the Diesel, and get up 33mph with it. And avg 24-26 around town. My wife only complaint with her 2012 wrangler is the mileage. I would buy a diesel wrangler as soon as it was released.

  • Britton H.

    Government regulations *smh*

  • b3

    The sticks they have now are junk unfortunately, many problems with the Mercedes transmission

  • What problems? Lol

  • The fuel economy problems that i have are in city traffic. Otherwise I’ve measured 24.7 outside easily. And mine has under 2000 miles.

    Aerodynamics do nothing in traffic.

  • First it would be hilarious if anyone thinks that someone tries to imply that a renegade is a wrangler. Secondly, the video is a manufacturers video with a stock vehicle… they’re never meant to be indicative of what a vehicle is capable of. The fact that they talk about off roading with a Renegade is a good start.

  • Jackson Andrew Lewis

    still no redesign…. no hemi….. same crappy pentastar……seriously we need a stronger jeep people…..

  • shaun

    My JK has no curved body panels. They’re all flat as a board.

    What does a curved windshield have to do with anything?

    Last time I looked, my JK’s tub sat on a frame.

    The powerplant (Be it the 3.8 or the 3.6) are both superior to the old 4.0 inline. Look at the dyno charts. Comparing the 3.8 and the 4.0, the power curves are identical to 2,500 RPM where the 3.8 shows it’s superiority over the 4.0. The 3.8’s torque curve is also much more linear while the 4.0’s is all over the place. So who cares what else the 3.8 and 3.6 have been used in? They’re both excellent powerplants and both are superior to the 4.0 Inline.

    Electric windows are optional. Mine does not have them.

    The plastic fenders are awesome. When they bend, it doesn’t take a body shop to bend it back. And if you need to replace a fender, they’re dirt cheap. I picked up a pair of front JK fenders for $8.00 each from a guy who swapped them out for aftermarket flares..

    Bash it all you want, but the JK, in any trim level, is the most capable off-the-shelf Wrangler ever produced.

  • They talked about offroading with the Renegade’s predecessor, the Jeep Compass, too. Which did not make the Compass anything but a joke offroad.

  • That’s because not everyone wants a small 4×4… you’re in the minority I’m afraid

  • Labrat0116

    Yea, I agree!

    Let’s get rid of all Gov regulations all together! Life is too short.

    We want Smash-n-Grab, Rape,Pillage and Burn forever ! Let the poor peasant slave people and the elderly eat our dust ! Those losers are getting in the way of OUR money! We are the chosen people that “deserve” to have it all !

    Wall Street and Big Bankers RULE !

  • Labrat0116

    Crappy Pentastar ? What did you do to yours ?

    My 3.6 could not be a better engine! That of course is after the Recall to replace the defective head. :rolleyes: Other than that, it has more power than any of us could realistically use.

  • Labrat0116

    $$$$ That’s why.

    How much more was your Diesel packaged Cherokee over a similarily equipped gasoline Cherokee ?

    I would own a diesel in all my vehicles if it weren’t for premium price over gas models.

  • Labrat0116

    Where are you getting your information ? Nobody has waited (3) YEARS or is STILL waiting for head replacements. That just BS.

    My 13 JK threw a CEL that was traced back to the bad head Recall. It was replaced (2) days later. TWO DAYS!

    Ever heard of a Power programmer ? I have one on my 13 and it woke it the phuk up BIG TIME ! Great power down low and more power than any of us could you (realistically) in the high RPMs !

  • Labrat0116

    You stay ONE solitary SINGLE case of a 3.6 owner waiting (3) YEARS for parts and you state “PEOPLE” (indicating a whole lot of people) have this issue. This simply is NOT the case but an isolated single incident.

    So WHY is your friend STILL waiting over (3) YEARS for parts ? Is he really that stupid ? Has he ever heard of going to another Dealership or escalation the issue ?

    Has your dealer not checked the build date of your Journey to verify if is was involved in that “block” of bad/defective heads ? Not ALL 3.6 Pentastars suffer from this condition. The issue was discovered a long time ago to a defective grinder for cylinder #2 during the machining process.

  • Water is wet

    Motor Trends “worst car of the year”.
    Buy a TJ.