2018 Jeep Wranger

absolutely! AUTO REVIEW | By Steve Kursar –

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler is all new this model year.  This JL generation was a relative long time in coming, and yes, it was worth the wait.  At the 2018 Texas Truck Rodeo, the Texas Auto Writers Association awarded the newest Wrangler two prestigious awards: Best Mid-Size SUV and Best Off-Road Utility Vehicle.  Driving the new Jeep over a gruelling off-road course was a breeze for the new Wrangler, which is naturally something you would expect it to be.  What really impressed the automotive media was it’s refined and quiet handling over paved city streets.  This is truly a different Jeep Wrangler.

Every Jeep Wrangler’s exterior design heartens back to the original Jeep that first appeared as an Allied military transport in World War II. And like the original design, Jeeps have always featured a 4-wheel drive powertrain capable of traversing difficult terrain, from sand to snow to ice and mud and rocks.  A Jeep has to be tough through and through.

This latest “JL” Wrangler continues that tough design tradition.  Yes, you can still take the doors off and remove the roof and even drop the windshield, if you want.  And even the base Wrangler is “Trail Rated,” which means they are designed, first and foremost, for going off-road and for getting muddy.  But then, the previous “JK” generation Wrangler also tackled off-road courses without breaking a sweat, but it was loud and rough when driving on asphalt.

This new JL Wrangler, however, acts like a crossover on city streets and highways. It’s quiet and smooth, something that previous Wranglers never were. You can actually carry on a conversation without shouting. And the suspension doesn’t bounce you out of your seat when going over potholes. The new JL Wrangler is now refined enough to attract crossover buyers who want an SUV without the rough handling.

The base Wrangler 2-door Sport has an MSRP of $29,240, and the base 4-door Sport comes in at $31,445. Two-engine choices are available for all trims, the venerable 285 hp, 3.6 liter, V6 Pentastar engine and a peppy, 270 hp, 2.0 liter twin turbo.  Expect a diesel engine to be offered sometime next year and even a plug-in hybrid model sometime in 2020.

The new Wrangler is definitely ready to tackle any rough roads ahead.  What makes this newest Jeep impressive is how quiet, refined and sophisticated it behaves on asphalt.