New 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Debuts With 3 Engine Options, Upscale Cabin

Sam McEachern
by Sam McEachern

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL has debuted in Los Angeles with three engine options, two body styles, and a refined, upscale cabin.

The Wrangler’s looks have been slightly rounded off and worked over for the JL generation, but it’s mostly the same recognizable shape. Jeep fans will be happy to know it stays true to its ancestors with round headlamps, square taillamps, a fold-down windshield, two removable hardtop roofs, a premium soft top roof and removable doors. It’s also much lighter than the Wrangler JK it replaces thanks to the use of aluminum for the doors, hinges, hood, fenders and windshield frame.

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Three different engines will be offered this next-generation Wrangler: a 3.6-liter V6, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6. An eight-speed automatic is the only option available with 2.0-liter turbo and 3.0-liter Diesel models, however 3.6-liter models can be ordered with a six-speed manual or with the automatic.

SEE ALSO: Jeep is Already Showing off Accessories for the 2018 Wrangler

The 2.0-liter engine, which is related to the Global Medium Engine found in the Alfa Romeo Giulia, makes 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. It features a mild electrical system dubbed eTorque, which aids the operation of the auto stop/start system and also allows for engine shutoff during coasting or deceleration. The familiar 3.6-liter Pentastar engine returns and is making the same 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque as before. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine, which will be available starting in 2019, makes 262 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque.

Two-door versions of the 2018 Wrangler will be available in Sport, Sport S and Rubicon trim levels, while the four-door models will be offered in Sport, Sport S, Sahara and Rubicon trim. The off-road focused Rubicon models get an array of exclusive equipment including a Rock-Trac 4×4 system, Dana 44 front and rear axles, 17-inch wheels with 33-inch tires, standard Tru-Lok locking differentials, heavy gauge rock rails, electronic sway bar disconnect and available steel bumpers with winch mount points and removable end caps. Both Sahara and Rubicon models also get available LED headlamps and taillights, body color fender flares and a body-color hardtop roof.

Jeep claims an industry-leading approach angle of 44 degrees for the Wrangler JL, as well as a breakover angle of 27.8 degrees, departure angle of 37 degrees and ground clearance of 10.9 inches. It can also ford up to 30-inches of water, has a max towing capacity of around 3,500 lbs and standard 2.72:1 crawl ratio (84.2:1 and 77.2:1 for Rubicon models).

Inside, the new Wrangler JL is more refined and comfortable but retains its rugged usability and heritage-inspired look. A new push-button start is standard, as is a 5.0-inch touchscreen and a 3.5-inch TFT gauge cluster display. Those looking for more interior tech can opt for 7.0-inch or 8.4-inch UConnect touchscreen systems, which also feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The upgraded tech packages will add a 7.0-inch TFT gauge cluster display as well. Other tech-related items include two USB ports out front and in the rear, 12-volt accessory outlets, and an available 115-volt AC outlet.

SEE ALSO: Leaked 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Owner’s Manual Tells All

Like all other new vehicles, the Wrangler JL will feature a myriad of active and passive safety systems including Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection, ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and four standard airbags.

This all-new, built-in-Ohio 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will go on sale in January 2018. Pricing has yet to be announced.

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Sam McEachern
Sam McEachern

Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.

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6 of 102 comments
  • Nick Nick on Nov 29, 2017

    Every time they come out with another yuppy-fied Wrangler it feels like my '98 XJ gets closer to becoming a real Jeep.

    • Alan Alan on Dec 03, 2017

      I have one of the last XJ's, modified and lifted, and My newer JK Rubicon bone stock walks all over most modified XJ's. Now with a mild lift, there just isn't a comparison. So unless you've gone to coil over rear and ditched the weakass Dana 30 and 35/ Chrysler 8.8 rear, you're just barkin at the moon.

  • GrandCherokeeMan GrandCherokeeMan on Dec 06, 2017

    The title on this article "New 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Debuts With 3 Engine Options." That's awesome! But how does the 2018 Jeep Wrangler have three motor option when the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine, which is not available until 2019? Allowing it passes all federal emissions! So in reality there is only two motor option for the 2018 Wrangler. So did they add direct injection to the 3.6-liter Pentastar engine? Sorry to be harsh but when is Jeep going to get back to building real Jeeps and not luxury SUV's that no one takes off road! Out of the six Jeep vehicle four them are glorified all wheel drive with 4x4 badge one them!

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    • GrandCherokeeMan GrandCherokeeMan on Dec 13, 2017

      With what happen with VW the chances getting a diesel motor in any Jeep will be a miracle! Sad part you can buy them all day long over sea. As to the 3.6 Pentastar are they every going to get out of the stone age and put direct injection on it? I would like to update my 2005 Grand Cherokee, but until someone at FCA gets off their butts and get back to making real Jeeps and stops spending time building SRT or TrackHawk. Can they go off road? Over half the Jeeps are just a glorified all wheel drive passenger cars pretending to be a 4x4 SUV! If Jeep claims to be "4X4 Forever" why do the make front wheel drive Jeeps?