By on November 30, 2017

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Sahara

Over the past day or so, the Jeep brand has cast off every last bit of mystery that once surrounded the next-generation 2018 Wrangler like a cloak. The long-anticipated model is now laid bare, exposed to more scrutiny than your average Hollywood/media sex suspect.

We know all the intimate details. Every reshaped opening, every rejigged returning feature, every new powertrain option. Jeep may as well have accidentally sent us a series of bathroom selfies.

Having seen all there is to see, does any element of the new JL give you pause? Is anything needling you, leaving you with a less-than-perfect taste in your Jeep-loving mouth?

Has Jeep not gone far enough in modernizing its long-running model, or has the brand gone too far in bringing the Wrangler into the 21st century? Is full-time four-wheel drive (available on top-trim JLs) sacrilege?

Is the looming plug-in hybrid powerplant, due out in 2020, a stupid idea that waters down the vehicle’s essence? Do you worry that a battery pack and electric drive motor will screw with the vehicle’s rock-happy undercarriage? Does the addition of an auto start-stop system on the base gas engine piss you off (as we all know how annoying these systems can be)? Is a mild hybrid powertrain too hoity-toity for even an uplevel Wrangler model?

Does it bother you, as it does this author, that the headlights now intrude into the outboard slats of the iconic grille?

This is your opportunity to vent. Your fears, worries, and anger can all pour out here. Let’s hear it, B&B. What, if anything, grinds your gears about the 2018 Wrangler?

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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62 Comments on “QOTD: Are You at All Angry With Jeep?...”


  • avatar
    Zackman

    Not that it matters, but I found the slightly rounded corners of the side glass in the doors to look oddly to me, Russian in design!

    Other than that, nothing bothers me about the new Wrangler, because I’ll probably never own one.

    Time only moves forward, never back.

  • avatar
    gtem

    I think they’ve struck a pretty good balance as far as modernizing and updating and adding features (the selectable full time t-case is particularly nice). I question a turbo gas motor for an explicitly offroad vehicle where linear throttle response at small throttle openings is paramount, but we all know most of those rigs will never see that kind of serious offroad use any time soon anyhow. Excited for the pickup variant for sure.

    Honestly in this fairly natural progression of increasing size, features, and price, I truly think there is a niche window opening up for a smaller and more basic offroader (think Suzuki Jimny) to step in. Sell it as a rugged outdoorsy thing but try to attract urban dwellers who might appreciate a compact and sturdy runabout. Basically a Jeep Renegade that isn’t a bloated 3800lb suck-mobile.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Totally agree with all of this.

      I couldn’t care less about the tiny design details. It’s fine. It looks like a Jeep.

      It is this in Rubicon Scrambler pickup form or the eventual Ranger Raptor for my next vehicle, so I am very interested.

      I hope, above all, that it is well built and reliable. Shtty Jeep attention to detail in this area is always frustrating and greatly disappointing. Yeah, I know someone will say their Jeep went a million miles without so much as a tire change, but Jeep has had far too many quality and reliability problems over the decades. These vehicles are not cheap. There is no excuse. I would like to get the Jeep, but if it is full of glitches and gremlins and bugs…forget it.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Basically a Jeep Renegade that isn’t a bloated 3800lb suck-mobile.”
      —- Except that the Renegade doesn’t ‘suck’. It’s lively and quick, like jolly old St. Nick.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        It most definitely does suck IMO. You have to get the Trail to get passable geometry (approach angle, clearance), at which point you’re pulling around 3800lb in a vehicle with a sad 18.5 cu ft of cargo room with the seats up. Add to that, you’re still stuck with a car based platform with relatively poor offroad performance and durability, not to mention questionable long term reliability. I really don’t get it.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          The Renegade TH has poor offroad capability in comparison to a Wrangler. Damn good compared to most other things. Certainly CUVs.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            In comparison to a Wrangler, maybe. How about in comparison to an original CJ?

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “most other things. Certainly CUVs.”

            “Only CUVs” is more like it. The brake based traction control allows it to handle off camber situations, that’s about the one trick up its sleeve, that and decent geometry compared to other CUVs.

            My idea of a compact non BOF SUV/CUV thing done right is a Diahatsu Terios. Lightweight, mechanically simple and effective, well packaged, and fairly efficient. Solid rear axle out back for good articulation and a mechanical full time AWD system. Good ground clearance and approach/departure angles and short wheelbase as well, and undoubtedly will be more durable/reliable in the long haul.

      • 0 avatar

        And you’d have to put a lot of stuff in the back to get even a loaded Trailhawk up to 3800 lbs.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          My mistake, curb weight seems to be 3500lb. I swear I had read the 3800lb somewhere earlier. That makes it much more reasonable, still maybe a bit chunky for the size. For reference, my BOF midsize 4Runner with an iron block V6 and 31″ tires weighs in at 3750lb (4wd, V6 auto spec).

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            What year is your 4 runner? Because they’re 4600lbs now. They also start $7000 higher than a Renegade Trailhawk.

            I’m not here to extoll the virtues of the renegade, but it’s not bad for what it is. Easily enough for even pretty bad forest service roads and such (which will flummox some other CUV’s).

          • 0 avatar

            His is a ’96, I believe in Limited trim with leather and things.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Yeah mine is a 3rd gen ’96. And I get that it’s apples to oranges comparing a modern car with all the safety things and whatever else makes them so heavy but it still boggles my mind. From the perspective of utility and doing something like hauling people and camping gear (and some dogs in my case) a Renegade is all but useless. The 4Runner has 46 cu ft with the rear seats UP, about as much as the Renegade with all rear seats folded and only seating for the driver and front passenger.

            And I agree that the Renegade is plenty up to the task of forest service roads. In fact my 4runner is typically brutal overkill for such trails that I find myself on most of the time to go on a hike or to hunt. But in that case I will again point to something like a Terios as a much more mechanically elegant solution to a cute-ute offroader. Or a Forester as offering a lot more in the way of utility while maintaining almost as much rough-road ability.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Ain’t no one in this country shopping a Daihatsu Terios.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “Ain’t no one in this country shopping a Daihatsu Terios.”

            I’m simply stating my personal distaste for its over-wrought bloatedness and reliance on electronic aids to overcome an inherently compromised chassis with poor wheel travel. The Terios I had as a rental in Costa Rica was a blast: lively and light, with a very fun transparent mechanical feel to it. You could sense the front wheels digging in up steep loose hills. The mechanical full-time torque split front to rear was predictable and reliable. The rear axle’s articulation played no small part in preserving traction in washed out and rutted spots. It weighs almost exactly 1000lb less than Renegade. While I’m sure in more typical American driving with higher speeds and more highways the Renegade is a much more pleasant daily driver in terms of NVH, off the beaten path I can’t imagine it being anywhere as fun or engaging as the Terios. Nor would I expect it to hold up anywhere as well over time. I’m hearing of pattern ball joint failures on new Darts within the warranty period, one can only assume that this platform mate might suffer similar issues given the parent company’s history (Chrysler front ends are notoriously short lived as I’m sure you’re aware).

            Overall I’d say the Terios has a mechanical honesty about it that is wholly missing from the gimmicky and “try-hard” (to my eyes) Renegade.

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            ‘because it won’t work for me and what I do, it’s a dumpster fire’

            I remember camping with 2 other people out of the back of a VW Rabbit. Come on man, be realistic.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “I remember camping with 2 other people out of the back of a VW Rabbit.”

            And I’ve camped with 4 other people out of the back of a Lada 2107 sedan. I’m just saying I personally find the engineering in the Renegade quite abhorrent. It’s like a pricey cool-looking piece of camping gear what turns out to be gimmicky junk. I’m not saying it’s not a reasonable option for an urban dweller that likes to go hiking on the weekends or something, or simply a quirky looking foul-weather runabout, it just kind of stands for the opposite of the elegant and simple engineering that I like. Depending on the “black box” to dole out traction according to a setting picked on a clever looking knob whilst hoping that your brakes and viscous coupling don’t overheat just rubs me in the wrong way.

  • avatar
    Boff

    I’m disappointed that my dream Wrangler, a near-zero option 2-door with the diesel and 6-speed stick, is off the table. Guess I’ll keep my TJ.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    With the link between namesake and metal as tenuous as ever…I bin this design refresh as a display of “incredible restraint”. It is difficult to compare the success of the Wrangler silhouette with any other automobile. There is nothing about the 2018 Wrangler than can’t be quickly remedied by a bolt-on bumper or plastic fascia.

    Also, “real” Jeep owners ought to rejoice as their Wrangler value should increase directly proportional to the level of any supposed blasphemy.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I like the new Wrangler. The JK needed updating to what we consider ‘modern’ specs.

    On this site, the stop/start technology gets lambasted with regularity. I have yet to find the stop/start to be that terrible on any of the models I have rented (I do not own a car with the technology). If anything, I find that it makes me more engaged with what is going on around me to time when I need to lift from the brake to start the engine so there is not delay when the light turns green. As, admittedly even as an adult in his early 40’s, every traffic light I am at when I am in the front row I assume we are in a drag race. My inner 17 year come through.

  • avatar
    Feds

    The grille treatment is a callback to the CJ, so I can’t be too mad about a heritage styling cue.

    My new-car-buying life has spanned TJ’s and JK’s. This update fixes everything that has kept me out of those 2 models: AWD transfer case, options to get good gas mileage (though I’m likely to choose the gas V6 at this point), and stouter underpinnings (in the TFLCAR live video, one of the jeep dudes said “Take it home and bolt on 35″ tires”).

    Though I’m mostly holding out for the pickup, the plug in hybrid is super interesting to me. 90% of my driving is covered by its proposed range, plus think about all the deer and moose you could sneak up on running trail in full EV mode.

    Changes to the fabric top make it less sketchy, and I’ve always wanted a car with the sliding fabric roof, so it’s availability is very appealing.

    Surprise me down the road with air suspension and this could be the perfect jeep.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Angry? No. Curious? Yes. Enough changes to make me wonder if certain operations are easier or more difficult than before. In particular, taking the rear-quarter windows out seemed easy but re-installing them could be a bear if you didn’t get them placed exactly right. There were other things that made running with the quarters (and back) out more annoying, even though it didn’t affect the ride itself. As such, I didn’t take those panels out nearly as much as I wanted to simply because it took too long to put them back in. Easy off, yes. Easy on…?

    Potential here. I certainly want to know more.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Looks just like every other Wrangler. I don’t even think about Jeep, until you asked.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I don’t really like any of the engines but at this point I’m just yelling at clouds.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Having lived with a Pentastar 6 for over 50k miles, it has been a good engine. The last road trip with four people and luggage we got 32.5mpg hwy in the 4 door sedan. Commuting to work I get about 27 mixed and it has decent power.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve not had any complaints about the 3.6 Pentastar, only the transmissions to which they’re hooked.

        • 0 avatar
          KalapanaBlack7G

          Maybe they’ve fixed problems, maybe not. The Pentastar has certainly not been bulletproof. In my experience alone, i have seen multiple oil filter housing leaks, external cracks in heads, TIPM failures, many fuel pump relay failures (which also officially requires TIPM replacement since it’s soldered in), a couple of internal head gasket leaks, and even a cracked exhaust manifold. Enough instances that I would term it easily the least reliable mass market V6 available currently. For comparison’s sake, the Chrysler 2.4 is almost bulletproof, despite being just as numerous.

          Shame, too, since everything about the Pentastar is lovely, aside from the long term reliability.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Most oil filter housing leaks on these are from using the wrong or poor quality filter that doesn’t fit properly or engage the drain black valve correctly.

            The TIPM isn’t at all part of the engine, so I’m not sure what this has to do with the engine. They don’t really have exhaust manifolds either.

            The one thing early in the production run was a concern with the machining of the valve guides on the left head that could cause a misfire. That was corrected fairly early on and the warranty was extended to 10 years on the head.

            In terms of actual failures per unit volumes, they’re a very reliable engine and low cost overall. If you’re a technician, no doubt you’ll see a few issues with millions sold and the most widely used in FCA products. I’m sure I’ll be accused of bias or something, but these are the facts.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The TIPM failures are a long time, on going Chrysler thing and are not exclusive to the Pentastar.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “The TIPM failures are a long time, on going Chrysler thing and are not exclusive to the Pentastar.”
            —- True. They’re exclusive to the Daimler design team, meaning every Daimler-designed Chrysler vehicle running, at least until about 2012. That TIPM problem seems to have gone away with time and FCA re-engineering.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I will acknowledge the TIPM failures of the earlier versions of the JK and JKU Wranglers. But it seems those problems have been fixed because I’ve not heard of any such failures since about 2012 or so.

            As for the transmissions, I can’t speak for the 8-speed model but for all the negative commentary about the 9-speed in the Cherokee/Renegade… sorry, I don’t agree. I was concerned when my wife bought her ’16 Renegade because it didn’t seem to want to downshift on grades and when it did, it ‘hunted’ a bit, overshooting and undershooting on our first road trip to her parents’. Interestingly, within three months, on our third or fourth trip up there (central PA) I realized it was shifting smoothly, accurately and most of all, WHEN NEEDED rather than trying to hold a lower gear too long; it only needed time to get used to our driving habits and what shift points were needed for best economy and performance for our driving. That tranny is smooth as silk, now over one year later, and not giving any issues at all.

            And no, we did not have it re-flashed. Flashing it resets it to default, forgetting all the shift points it has learned since purchase. The only time I would suggest flashing it would be when buying one used, to clear the memory and get it started learning its new owner.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Not 100% sure about reliability, but the Pentastar/ZF 8 speed combo is about the best engine/auto combo I have experienced so far… Again aside from possible reliability issues, which I’m not aware of, that combo is pure can-do-no-wrong.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Looks good to me. A pickup with a V6 and 6 MT is on my 5-car “stable list” which will never be realized, so it’s kind of a moot point.

    I wonder if the hard core jeep sites are super-pi$$ed about anything?

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    It’s hard to be mad when the available best 6-cylinder they’ve ever offered (save the 4.0, which couldn’t make it in today’s emission’s restrained high efficiency world) can be paired with the best transmission they’ve ever offered, the six-speed, along with a dry pavement 4WD/AWD option. I’m not a Jeep as an only car kind of person, but if I was this would check all the boxes.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The 4.0L is a damned reliable workhorse, but they return rather lousy fuel mileage, have agricultural NVH, and not very much power by today’s standards. I hang out with a few Jeep clubs and I can’t say anyone who owns a Pentastar Wrangler has said they wished for a 4.0L. It had it’s time but the 3.6L is better in every way.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      I had a rental GJC Limited with the 3.6L/8 speed, and I absolutely loved the way it drove.

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    I REALLY want to like the Wrangler but I can’t stand what they’ve become. My personal opinion (for whatever that’s worth) is that with the intro of the 2wd 4 door, it attracted a crowd that just plainly shouldn’t own Jeeps. I realize that that mockery only lived for two years but it brought a subset of the market that has driven the price of these things thru the stratosphere… and then you have the bro-dozer mall crawler crowd.

    Ugh. Keep it as simple as it used to be, what it was intended to be, what its name implies. Wranglers have no place as suburban yuppie mobiles, which is exactly where the overwhelming majority of them end.

    Now get off my lawn!

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I have a disdain for 2wd Jeeps period – whether its a Compass or a mid 80s Cherokee. With 4×4 even a Renegade can get my respect because it is actually a pretty solid 4×4 system compared to the AWD competition. But in 2wd guise? GO BUY A KIA SOUL YOU CANDY A$$!

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        My comment about 2wd 4 door was specifically about the Wrangler circa 2010-2011, but yes. Jeep is no longer the brand it used to be. It’s a lost soul riding the coat tails of the reputation it once had. To some extent, I feel the Wrangler is following that same path but lagging well behind the rest of its stable mates. I understand market demand and “appealing to the broader audience” is paramount in the automotive industry, but Jeep was never about that. They’ve gone soft. Sure, the new Wrangler is the syringe inside the teddy bear, but if the teddy bear is what the market wants, the syringe buried inside somehow seems… less dangerous, less sharp.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “It’s a lost soul riding the coat tails of the reputation it once had.”

          10 years ago I would have agreed. But not now. The vehicles don’t have to be crude and violent to be authentic. That’s what killed the Viper. The latest TH models are tremendously capable and the new Wrangler caters extremely well to enthusiasts wants and needs.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “crude and violent”
            “That’s what killed the Viper”

            Well, now I’m going to spend my lunch break looking at SRT10 listings.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Well, now I’m going to spend my lunch break looking at SRT10 listings.”

            I’m always scanning for the right 2nd gen GTS.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      How many people actually bought the 2WD Wrangler, 2-door or 4-door? Sure, it was available but what are the numbers?

      I actually used the 4WD capability of my JKU Wrangler on a fairly regular basis. Never once got stuck in it… anywhere. Mud, snow, deep water, steep hills… didn’t matter; I was able to keep moving.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      The “how can people tell how hard-core I am if they make soft-core versions of my Jeep/Porsche/coffeemaker/mountain bike/vinyl record/etc” virtue signaling has got to be the most tiresome thing ever. Get over it.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Diluting MY brand, bruh.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “Virtue signaling”? Don’t you mean ‘Virility Signaling’?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Remember Jack’s horrible column where he said he wouldn’t buy a C7 Z06 because it had an automatic available and therefore wasn’t immediately identifiable as hardcore? One of the worst he ever wrote. And you’re describing exactly the same sentiment.

        • 0 avatar
          CoastieLenn

          Well thank you all for totally reminding me how this wasn’t a “Question of the day” where opinions on any given topic are solicited. You’re right. If you don’t love Jeep and what they’re up to lately, your opinion doesn’t matter.

          FWIW- I’m not a Jeep owner. I like Wranglers, but not enough to buy one.

          Seems there more of a few of you who need to “get over yourselves”.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            If you ever do own one, you’ll understand why owners don’t want to let them go. They’re everything that a 4×4 pickup is not. Pickups may have the advantage in dirt running but they lack the technical abilities without extensive re-working and often sacrificing the bed to lose weight.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    1. Would really like a 2dr Sahara, but we’ll see what a well-optioned 2dr looks like before I complain; I don’t need or want a Rubi.

    2. Really interested about the logistics of both the hard and soft tops. The slide out windows interest me, but as a practical matter how big are they? Can they be stored in the vehicle? Can I drive it to work, button up the top, then drop it when I leave? Or is it only a “point A to point A” type function? And the hard top, how easy to store and remove?

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    They did a good job. They are trying to keep a small core of luddites happy while being more inviting overall- which is a really tough challenge. They improved the core off roading abilities in the rubicon while giving other 4wd/AWD options. I personally know quite a few people that this would appeal to because they do go off road, but it’s not hard core crawling- it’s just playing in the BLM land, but still driving to work the rest of the week(I live in Idaho though, where the whole state is mostly public land- my opinion is skewed because of that).

    I like the soft top with the quick remove sides. I think a mild hybrid is potentially a great fit for an off road vehicle- extra instant torque, range extension, uprated electrical options, etc. all fit well. I like the coming diesel and pick up options. They even kept a manual-in 2018! It will have a take rate of 5 per 10,000.

    They done good.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I agree. Just like the Mustang, they have to walk a fine line between what the faithful require and what it takes to attract enough buyers to keep the model viable.

      You’ll always have someone who cries foul over some insignificant detail, and some who can’t understand why they didn’t go further than they did.

      I remember when the current Mustang debuted, some were crying loudly about it being nothing but a Fusion coupe, how in the history of all Mustangs, they’d ALWAYS been unique and never shared any design cues with other Fords. You know, like the 1987-1993 that could pass for a Taurus in the front with the shape of the headlights and the lack of a grille, or the 1979-1986 that shared the exact same dash with the Fairmont, or the II that clearly looked exactly like what it was, a Pinto with some Mustang elements tacked on.

      You can never please everyone, but I think they did a good job with the new Wrangler. It could have easily gone so much in another direction that they would’ve alienated all the current fans and had nothing to attract new ones.

      Instead, they kept its icon status while bringing it into the modern era, increasing its appeal to a broader audience. That is a job well done, IMO.

  • avatar

    The Wrangler doesn’t interest me in the slightest, but I get the desire by other people for it. I think they stuck close enough to the formula, and it’ll sell well. A natural evolution.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    TTATFC (The Truth About Trolling For Clicks)

    Farago is rolling over in his grave. At least, he will be if he’s careless with one of those semi-automatics he loves.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Yeah! For all the money we pay to be here, we shouldn’t have to put up with such!

      Geeze dude. We have these QOTD’s to stimulate conversation. How is that a bad thing?

      Feel free to skip them if it bothers you that much.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    I think that they should skip hybrid and go full-on electric, but provide a factory generator trailer. Crawl electric with amazing traction and then get it hooked to recharge back at the camp.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    TTAC QOTD: “Are You at All Angry With Jeep?”

    ANS: No.

    ====================


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