2018 Jeep Wrangler: Monthly Update for April 2018
by Carlos Lago, Senior Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2018 Jeep Wrangler is settling nicely into the long-term fleet. During its second full month of ownership, our JL spent time commuting and off-roading on a camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park. You know, typical Jeep stuff.
So far we appreciate our Jeep's entertainment interface, specifically the navigation system's ability to route to GPS coordinates and the inclusion of a USB-C port. On the downside, we also learned our Wrangler is no less susceptible to fender benders than any other vehicle on the road. We'll report about that experience and the subsequent bodywork soon.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
The aforementioned fender bender put our Wrangler in the body shop for half of April, so we didn't log as many miles as the previous month. We covered 1,033 miles and consumed 56 gallons of 87 octane fuel, giving us a monthly average of 18 mpg.
Average lifetime mpg: 17.3
EPA mpg rating: 20 combined (18 city/23 highway)
Best fill mpg: 20.3
Best range: 329.9 miles
Current odometer: 3,285 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"It's funny, the Wrangler's old straight-six used to be in keeping with its rough-and-tumble image. But the new(ish) V6 and eight-speed auto are clearly more modern and refined than the rest of the package. The powertrain's really quite good, giving the Wrangler a wide ratio spread and no shortage of oomph. Just the thing for when you're crawling over a technical trail or on a freeway cruise." — Jason Kavanagh, senior road test engineer
"At freeway speeds, the Wrangler is obnoxious. The wind noise is extreme, and extremely fatiguing on long trips. Add in the ropey and imprecise steering and it's clear that the Wrangler's creators value off-road cred over everyday pleasantness." — Jason Kavanagh
"For some reason, we thought it was a good idea to head to our campsite outside of Joshua Tree National Park on a Friday at midnight. Way out there in the desert there's no cellphone signal. Our camping companions who had picked this site had only given us coordinates for the camp, knowing we wouldn't be able to rely on Waze for guidance. We tried downloading the map of the coordinates and directions beforehand. But off-road, in the middle of nowhere, we made one wrong turn and instantly those directions were useless.
"We were lost in this desert wasteland with no way to contact our friends or look up an online map. I admit I felt a bit panicky. I watch a lot of horror movies and this is how they usually start. But thankfully, the Wrangler's navigation lets you enter coordinates for your destination, because of course it does. Even off-road it gave us turn-by-turn instructions to find our camp." — Caroline Pardilla, senior copy editor
"Since my Google Pixel 2 XL only came with a USB-C cable and no USB converter, I've been having difficulty jumping in cars that only offer that regular USB option. Extra problematic when, as a passenger, I'm both the navigator and DJ. Fortunately the Wrangler offers an array of ports, including one for the USB-C cable, aux and regular USB, so I can keep all my devices at 100 percent." — Caroline Pardilla
"Let's get philosophical. The Wrangler is unique in the automotive landscape. It's iconic, and the things it can do off-road are unmatched among box-stock vehicles. I am elated it exists. But I don't want one. The cruddy steering and awful wind noise make it unsuited for the long trips required to get to the places where the Wrangler is good. And none of the Wrangler-specific body attributes like its removable doors, flip-down windshield or convertible top hold any appeal, and in fact they detract from its functionality and refinement. Yeah, yeah — 'it's a Jeep thing.' Keep telling yourself that." — Jason Kavanagh