2018 Jeep Wrangler JLU Sahara Ocean Blue Clear Coat by JLWF

The legendary Wrangler is one of the most capable SUVs around; the all-new JL improves on the breed. The Wrangler can have two or four doors and is now made from stronger and lighter materials, with improvements to interior comfort. A 285-hp 3.6-liter V-6 pairs with either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic. In a first for Wrangler, full-time all-wheel drive is an option. A 270-hp hybrid turbo inline-four is offered; a diesel is promised. The last-gen Wrangler JK lives on for 2018.

While the four-door Jeep Wrangler is credited with making the Jeep lifestyle more accessible and more profitable, it’s the two-door 2018 Wrangler Sport tested here that hews the closest to the spirit of the original. With a standard soft top, a naturally aspirated V-6 engine, and a six-speed manual transmission, it’s currently the purest way to get into the new JL Wrangler.

Split Personality

This quintessential Jeep model may be built for the type of off-road adventures usually reserved for the National Geographic channel, but Wranglers generally spend more time completing suburban voyages. Yet a big part of the Wrangler’s charm is knowing that when the mood strikes you have the capability to head for the dunes or the woods without hesitation. With that in mind, we tested this 2018 Wrangler to lend some insight on what to expect when you’re not chasing adventure.

Wranglers have never excelled in on-road ride and handling, but the JL continues to chip away at the inherent dynamic deficiencies of a short, stiffly sprung vehicle with live axles and a high center of gravity. In terms of sheer grip, the 0.69 g that the Wrangler JL pulled on our 300-foot skidpad is unimpressive; what that number doesn’t tell you is how dramatically its behavior has improved in terms of in-town agility and highway stability. Turn the wheel and the vehicle reacts with the good-natured eagerness of an Olympic shot-putter with a two-beer buzz. 

Saksham Bakshi
  • Saksham Bakshi
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