The JK Wrangler was produced from model year 2007 through 2018. Just to confuse us all, Jeep is calling the all-new JL Wrangler a 2018 model also. Since it won’t be released until 2018, it could have been a 2019 model, or at least a 2018 ½, but no. So, to keep them straight, we are having to call them ‘JK’ or ‘JL,’ which are the internal model designations used by Jeep.
Since it’s been 12 years since the last all-new Wrangler, the introduction of the JL is big news in the Jeep world.
Executive Summary of Changes to JL Wrangler over the JK Wrangler
Length grows by around 3 inches, width is about the same
V6 becomes optional. All-new 4 cyl. Turbo becomes standard
+3 MPG combined city and highway (standard engine)
8 Speed replaces 6 speed
Base prices increase between $2,650 and $3,350 depending on model
It still looks like a Wrangler, but it’s all new
Up to 200 lbs lighter
Added Safety Features
Side airbags now standard, back up camera now standard
The overall length and wheelbase are slightly longer in both configurations (two door ‘Wrangler,’ and four door ‘Unlimited’). This is due in part to a major upgrade of the transmission from a 6 speed to an 8 speed—the 8-speed is longer. The 8-speed boosts fuel economy by 1 mpg city, 3 mpg highway, and 2 mpg overall, equalling the 6-speed manual transmission. The JL is on the right.
There is a new fold-down windshield that allows the structural supports around it to remain in place for safety. The windshield is more raked than the one on the JK, which improves aerodynamics. A folding windshield is part of Wrangler’s DNA, so it wouldn’t be a Wrangler without this feature. You can see it in the pictures below comparing the JK and JL 2-door models. The new JL is on the right.
There will be new soft and hard top features. A power-folding soft-top will be available at some point after launch. The soft-top also will be configured so all of the side panels can be removed or stowed for an open-air feeling while retaining shade from the sun.
The JK has only one engine choice, Jeep’s rugged, powerful, and dependable 3.6L V6 which produces 285 hp.
The all-new JL will have the 3.6L V6 as carryover, but mated to the new 8 speed transmission, which will make it feel more powerful and should improve accelleration and driving performance. There will be two additional engines available, although they are delayed availability. The first is a 2.0L four-cylinder turbo ‘Hurricane,’ that should have comparable horsepower to the 3.6L V6, but with better fuel economy.
The third engine choice will be the amazing 3.0L V6 Turbodiesel offered in the Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500. This engine is power and efficient. It will likely add $2,000 to $3,000 to the cost of a JL, and rumor is that it will only be available in the Unlimited 4 door.
|Spec||JL (all-new)||JK (2007-2018)||Change|
|Length 2-Door||166.6 inches||163.8||+2.8|
|Length 4-Door||188.2 inches||184.9||+3.3|
|Wheelbase 2-Door||96.8 inches||95.4||+1.4|
|Wheelbase 4-Door||118.4 inches||116.0||+2.4|
Track (2 and 4-Door)
|Water fording (5 mph)||30″||30″||No change|