2018 Jeep Wrangler: Monthly Update for March 2018
by Travis Langness, Staff Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
In the first month of our one-year test, we drove our new 2018 Jeep Wrangler nearly 2,000 miles. It might be a bit early for predictions, but the way this one is going, the Jeep will hit the 20,000-mile mark well before a year is up. To get the odometer rolling, we drove the Jeep back to Los Angeles from the Las Vegas dealership where we bought it. Then we spent the next three weeks around town getting to know its character. Short freeway trips, runs to the grocery store, and commuting to work all added up to an odometer reading of 2,251 miles.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Driving back from Las Vegas with a loaded cargo bay and several short local trips don't make the Wrangler's fuel economy look very impressive. But EPA estimates are higher for this generation Wrangler than for the 2014 Wrangler JK we drove for a year, so we're expecting things to get better.
Average lifetime mpg: 17
EPA mpg rating: 20 combined (18 city/23 highway)
Best fill mpg: 19
Best range: 329.9 miles
Current odometer: 2,251 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"The Wrangler's cabin is a nice place to be. The controls are easy to reach. The materials feel good — especially considering that this is a Jeep. I don't feel like I'm at a Tupperware party with all that plastic, like I do in the Tacoma TRD Off-Road. Maybe my expectations are set low, but I generally like how this thing is equipped. I also like the seating position." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres
"The sound-system USB connection to my Android device can be a little hit-or-miss sometimes. If I start the car and plug in the phone, the playback sometimes sounds like it's in mono, not stereo. I even checked the sound settings to see if I could adjust the sound position and I could not. So I disconnected my phone to see if that would fix it, but it didn't. So I left my phone connected, turned off the Jeep, then turned it back on and voilà! Everything was back in stereo!" — Rex Tokeshi-Torres
"I was totally impressed with the Wrangler's off-road capability. On my first excursion, I was careful because I didn't want to be 'that guy' and roll the brand-new Jeep onto its side or get it stuck in a ditch. But Scott Jacobs encouraged me by saying, 'It's more capable than you think. Just keep the power constant — not floored, but constant.' The suspension articulation is what impressed me most. I thought I was going to tip sideways on one occasion because I was going through deep, uneven ruts, but it kept going like a champ, never actually tilting over. It was unnerving at first, but I got used to it and it became fun toward the end." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres
"What's up with this Wrangler wiggle? These off-road tires are great and provide stability when the path is shaky, but on-road they make the Wrangler wander around. There's always constant adjustment." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres
"This Wrangler is the polar opposite from the last one we had in our long-term fleet. That one was a base model, with only A/C as an option. With this in mind, it's nice to see what the other end of the spectrum looks like. While I appreciated the purity of the last one, this loaded model suits me better. If it were my money, I'd skip the Rubicon trim (I don't plan on off-roading anytime soon) and get the Sahara version. This would save me a few thousand dollars, too. I'd also wait until I could get one in the eye-catching Mojito Lime Green, which has a late availability, according to the Jeep website." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"Wranglers with the dual-top option offer the best of both worlds in terms of roof options. The hardtop comes with the car from the factory, while the soft top is stored in a box inside the vehicle, showcasing the Wrangler's cargo capacity. The huge box occupies nearly the width of the interior, is pressed right up against the front seats, and goes all the way to the rear cargo door. I'd have a hard time driving this Jeep home if I were any taller. The box had some padding on the corners, which took up more space and required a good shove to close the rear cargo door." — Ron Montoya