The Jeep Wrangler is a breed all its own. It's a true SUV, capable of transporting passengers across all kinds of terrain. Especially today, there are few vehicles that can replace it, if any at all. So then why did Jeep make so many improvements to the Wrangler? We guess it's about reputation.
For starters, it's going to be available with a turbocharged 2 liter inline 4 engine. The option comes with an eight-speed transmission. Even more exciting is the 3 liter turbodiesel engine coming in 2019. The turbodiesel will make 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. If these new options aren't numerous enough, reports suggest a plug-in hybrid will be available by 2020.
In addition to this generous selection of engines, there are adjustments such as larger windows and a spare tire that sits lower (for better visibility), lightweight aluminum parts here and there, better road noise reduction, optional blind spot sensors and a new dash design with an 8.5" touch screen.
The design doesn't feel new, but that's a good thing. You didn't want the Wrangler's iconic look to be scrapped, did you? The JL looks like the old JK for the most part. Both have that vertically slotted grill and those little round headlights on the corners of it. Both have semi-hexagonal wheel wells and that boxy overall look. The JL does have a slightly more aerodynamic windshield, though, meaning it's fixed at a slightly flatter angle. The difference is barely noticeable, however.
There's also an available 285-hp pentastar engine that's pretty old-school.
What Can it Do?
It's a Wrangler. It can go places. According to Auto Week, its stock water fording depth is 30 inches. Ground clearance ranges from 9.7 to 10.3 inches, with the Rubicon trim having the most, followed by Sahara and then Sport. That's a bit more than the JK had. Departure angles have also increased. If you want to drive over large rocks or up and down steep inclines, the JL can do it better than the old JK (assuming they're stock).
The JL has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds and a max payload of between 1,075 and 1,310 pounds, depending on trim. Seating will remain the same but with a slight increase in leg room. Oh yes, and you can easily take the doors off and take advantage of that summer air.
What's the Damage?
For a Sport, it's going to cost you around $26,995. Rubicons start at about $40,500. Well, that's the most you'll pay. You can probably take at least a few hundred off of that, even in the worst-case scenario. You should start by getting quotes from all of your local dealers, just to find out who's making the best offer. Once you have your quotes, feel free to take one into a nearby dealer and try to negotiate the price down more. Show the best quote you have to one of the dealers that made a less-impression offer. They'll want to beat their competitor.