2018 Jeep Wrangler First Look | Edmunds

2018 Jeep Wrangler First Look

Different in All the Right Places

The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most iconic vehicles on the road today. Its styling evokes rough-and-tumble adventure and a heritage dating back more than 70 years. Now there's a new 2018 Wrangler, and with it Jeep is looking to keep the heritage and off-road capability intact while also making everything else just a little more modern.

Though there are some mild styling changes to the grille, headlights and general look of the sheet metal, the biggest changes take place under the hood. The Wrangler's standard engine is still a 3.6-liter V6 (285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque), but it's been updated to be a little more fuel-efficient. It's connected to a standard six-speed manual transmission (now with 50 percent shorter shifter throws) or an optional eight-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the previous five-speed automatic. Jeep says the changes to the V6 along with the new eight-speed transmission have brought EPA ratings for the four-door Wrangler up to an EPA-estimated 20 mpg combined (18 city/23 highway), an improvement of 2 mpg across the board.

We're more excited, though, about what else you can get the Wrangler with. A four-cylinder engine is back in the lineup (last seen on the 1997 to 2006 TJ) but now it's a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out a strong 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Available later on (likely 2019) will be a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel-powered V6 engine putting out 260 horsepower and a massive 442 lb-ft of torque. Both engines will come paired with the eight-speed automatic transmission. For slow-speed rock crawling, these torquey new engines could be great.

While we've praised the Wrangler's off-road prowess for years, we have also criticized this Jeep for its brutish simplicity. Modern technology and creature comforts were missing, making the Wrangler a fairly miserable vehicle to drive everyday. The 2018 four-door Wrangler is now 2.5 inches longer than it was before, and the two-door is now 1.5 inches longer, which opens up a little more interior room. There are also upgraded interior materials, standard heating and ventilation for rear passengers, and an improved control layout. The glass in the windows and windshield is bigger, offering better visibility all the way around. Jeep says a new half-door design will also become available in 2019 and a plug-in hybrid will arrive in 2020.

On the technology front, a rearview camera is now standard on all trim levels, and there are more USB ports (two up front and two for the rear passengers). The Wrangler also gets Chrysler's latest infotainment systems. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are now available in tandem with a Uconnect system that can be had with a touchscreen display in three screen sizes: 5 inches, 7 inches and 8.4 inches.

Our first impression is that this new 2018 Jeep Wrangler is more modern but still plenty rugged and fun. Stay tuned for way more info on the 2018 Wrangler, including our initial driving impressions, coming soon.

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