The 2018 Jeep Wrangler is better on the road and still a beast off of it
Lots of people buy the Jeep Wrangler to go exploring rocky, muddy trails in the middle of nowhere.
But, there's also plenty of people who buy it just to use the regular everyday SUV.
With this all new JL Generation of the Wrangler, Jeep claims it's improved on everyday livability for those types of buyers.
Let's find out if that's the case.
This is the most daily driver focused version of the new Wranger.
For starters, it's the four door unlimited model, which makes up about 80% of Wranger sales.
And it's the Sahara trim level, which falls midway in between the somewhat stripped out sport trim, and the ready to rumble Rubicon.
It even has the new for 2018 powered convertible soft-top, which is a $4,000 option.
Now it doesn't come all the way up pipes, and that manual soft top.
But it does make it a little bit easier to get some UV rays in the cabin at the touch of a button.
One thing I don't like so much about this top though, is that so many of it's anterior panels are unpainted.
The rest of this Sahara's interior though is actually really nice trimmed with things like leather wrapped steering wheel.
The stitch along the dash top and this glossy grey trim on the dashboard.
Now it's still pretty rugged and utilitarian in here, but you can really tell that Jeep's designers worked to modernize the Wrangler's cabin.
It also has Jeep's excellent UConnect touchscreen entertainment system.
We do a full rundown of the tech in a separate video.
And of course, you can still fall down the windshield or take of the doors easily by using this included tool set.
In the back the Wrangler unlimited, there's an extra inch of leg room this year because the wheel base the whole vehicle has increased by an inch and a half.
That means that regular size adults like myself have plenty of room to stretch out.
Cargo space behind those seats is essentially unchanged from last year 31.7 cubic ft.
Just for reference that's midway between the amount of space we get in a jeep Cherokee and jeep Grand Cherokee.
Of course, you can fold down the back seat for more room and there is a hidden storage cubby under the carpet.
From behind the wheel, the new Wrangler feels like a huge improvement straight away; it's quieter, the ride quality is more comfortable, it's definitely the most civilized Wrangler I've ever driven.
All of the windows are larger too so you get better visibility in every direction.
And you finally get useful driver aids like blind spot monitoring and a back-up camera.
Jeep engineers even managed to shrink the Wrangler's massive turning circle so it's just a little more wieldy in the city.
It's plenty quick too.
A 3.6 little V6 engine.
Is stand that this model has the new turbo charge 2 litre in line 4. It has 270 horse power and 295 pound field of [UNKNOWN] which is more [UNKNOWN] than the v6, and it's delivered sooner at just 3,000RPM, so you'll get plenty of power all the time for those real word passing maneuvers.
It also helps that the automatic transmission now has 8 speeds instead of 5, making the Wrangler feel much more responsive The two liter engine also has a mild hybrid system, which gives it a little bit more get-up-and-go off the line, helps make the stop-start system work a little more smoothly, and helps save a bit of gas.
Fuel economy with this engine is rated at 22 miles per gallon in the city, and 24 miles per gallon highway, and I came pretty close to those figures in my test.
(INAUDIBLE) Now those aren't incredible figures in the grand scheme of things among SUVs, but they're really good for a Wrangler.
The best the last model could do was 17 city and 21 highway.
The downside is though that this new tow engine does require premium fuel.
(SOUND) The Wrangler went on a big diet this.
With aluminium body work and more high [UNKNOWN] stealing the frame but because it's longer and has more features not every trim level is actually any lighter than before.
The Sahara for instance is a little bit heavier at about 4400 pounds according to Jeep.
That said, it's really impressive how well it drives Considering it didn't actually lose any weights.
And of course it can still go off road, while the [UNKNOWN] model is tougher this [UNKNOWN] still has ten inches of ground clearance, a transfer case with the lower edge.
It can fold thirty inch.
Of water, it'll go places that something like a Honda Pilot just won't.
If you want a more thorough look at how this thing copes on off-road trails, my colleague [UNKNOWN] put a Wrangler Rubicon to the test, and you can find that in a separate video.
Of course, all that wilderness capability does result in a few compromises on the road.
The brake pedal is so soft and there is loads of dive under hard braking.
The steering tends to wander and needs constant correction.
If there was ever a vehicle that needs lane keep assist, it's this.
And though its much improved from before, the suspension still clumps over big bumps.
And the super boxy exterior styling still means there's more wind noise, It was on the highway that I'd like from an SUV at this price point.
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler start starts at $29,000 for the two-door sport model, the prices rise really quickly when you add options.
This four-door Sahara starts at 38,000, but with all the features shown here, it's over $49,000.
On one hand, what are the SUVs, this [UNKNOWN] point is so capable off-road.
But on the other that does not feel like a lot of money to spend on a vehicle, that you can take a power, so easily?
Still the new Jeep Wrangler is a marketing improvement in every day on road [UNKNOWN] it still has over capability in off-road [UNKNOWN] enthusiast want.
While making life a little bit easier for casual commuters.
That's a great improvement whether you plan on getting it muddy, or not.
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