By on April 16, 2019

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon

Studies have shown that purchasing a new Jeep Wrangler is almost as stable an investment as buying gold. In terms of retaining value, the Wrangler is king, boasting a rate of depreciation that undercuts the industry average by half.

With this in mind, it’s not common to see people shopping around, sniffing out boffo bargains on hard-to-sell Wranglers polluting local dealer lots. It simply isn’t a thing. If you’re in the market for one, however, now may be a good time to start searching.

After taking a look at dealer inventory, CarsDirect reports a bevy of unsold 2018 JL Wrangler models still kicking around, eager to find a home. The models arise from a unique time in the Wrangler’s life — when previous-generation JK and current-gen JL production overlapped briefly, resulting in two Wranglers for the same model year.

Because the 2018 flood hasn’t yet receded from dealer lots, Jeep is offering a countrywide $500 bonus on 2018 JL Wrangler models — “one of the only factory incentives we’ve ever seen on the Wrangler,” CarsDirect claims.

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Sahara

While 500 bones might not be enough to sway a buyer into a Wrangler, some dealers are going above and beyond to sweeten the pot. Numerous examples exist of steep dealer discounts, which, combined with the $500 factory bonus, could mean a lucky day for a Jeep shopper. The best deal found so far is in Huntington Beach, CA, where a 2018 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara can be had with $9,485 in savings, or 22 percent off MSRP.

Other examples include $7,334 off an Unlimited Sport in Alexandria, VA, $6,664 off an identical model in Wichita Falls, TX, and $6,495 off another Unlimited Sport in Downers Grove, IL.

Jeep’s overabundance of 2018 Wranglers could be your ticket to top-down, go-anywhere bliss, assuming you’re in the market and aren’t afraid of looking cheap. (When carbuying is involved, no one’s afraid of looking cheap.)

With two models on hand, Jeep sold a record 240,032 Wranglers last year, with March of 2018 kicking off a stratospheric sales spike that lasted through the summer. The first quarter of 2019 shows Wrangler sales down 10 percent compared to Q1 2018, but all of that volume loss can be tied to last year’s heady March. March 2019 Wrangler sales easily surpass same-month tallies from years prior to 2018.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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24 Comments on “As Deals Start Appearing on JL Wranglers, Is it Time to Spring Into a Jeep?...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Locally my Jeep dealer is giving HUGE discounts on 2018 Renegades

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I was watching one of those TFLCar YouTube videos “I LOVE or hate” my vehicle with a heavily modified Renegade. Lady had purchased a loaded Trailhawk new for $22K after discounts. (Leaves more money for modification.)

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Modification how? Its not a Wrangler.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          @28-Cars-Later

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-aFY7gF9pM

          Watch and learn. BTW if she’s telling the truth about fuel economy that’s pretty good all things considered.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I love the arrowhead in the background.

          • 0 avatar
            SoCalMikester

            shes a cutie. <3 big girls and little cars.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “I love the arrowhead in the background.”

            I’ll never get to own a new Pontiac. And it’s relatively likely that I’ll never own *any* new GM vehicle.

            I would have laughed in your face if you would have told me before 2009 that I would buy new $35K+ MSRP Dodges and Kias over a Pontiac-Buick-Cadillac or that I would prefer the V8 Mustang over GM’s competing V8 pony car.

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      Yeah NOT the same thing.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d have to think a Renegade would be a tough sell with the new Compass on the same lot.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Kinda wish the Compass had the Cherokee’s turbo 4 as an upgrade option.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          My girlfriend saw one not too long ago and said the taillights looked like a Looney Tunes character that had been knocked out (with the X over the eyes).

          It’s a shame – she’d be a perfect buyer for that car (small, rides high, AWD, plus deals can be had).

          • 0 avatar
            MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

            Except they don’t ride high.

            The taillights are intended to evoke Jerry cans like on Military Jeeps.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, it rides higher than her Accent, so to her it rides high. Perception is everything.

        • 0 avatar
          MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

          “Kinda wish the Compass had the Cherokee’s turbo 4 as an upgrade option.”

          That would be ideal (I had a new style Compass as a loaner for 2 weeks, I didn’t hate it but I sure DID hate the half-a$$ed attempt at taillight design, with just a single red light per side doing all duty, running/parking/brake/turn, and 1935-tech incandescent at that – I see ZERO excuse that a brand new design does not have LED’s these days).

          • 0 avatar
            MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

            I also think it should be called Patriot, not only is it a better name but the previous Compass was such a namby-pamby weaksauce vehicle, and so UNJEEP looking, why would you hang onto that moniker….

          • 0 avatar
            Yankee

            As 30+ year mechanic, I can give you a reason. When LEDs started appearing on cars we all thought that would be the end of petty bulb changes. Turns out we were right: now it’s $600 tail light replacement! While the LEDs themselves supposedly last forever, the circuit boards that are soldered together by 9-year-olds in Malaysia aren’t as robust. The failure rate is alarming.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            And most of the LED light issues I’ve seen so far have been tail lights and license plate lights on Jeep Grand Cherokeess and Fiat 500s. IIRC, wholesale on the JGC bulb was $165. The Fiat license plate bulb is part of the rear bezel. It’s more like $365. Incidentally, the replacements don’t last as long as the ones they replace. I have LEDs throughout my home, but they come with a huge idiot tax on cars so far. Maybe someday they’ll be standardized and cheap, but that is nowhere close to true today. Perhaps if you’re a good electrician or EE you can improvise a replacement. Otherwise, you’re caught between getting gouged on the part and paying three figures in labor to have a tech fabricate a part.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Every single customer who has needed an LED bulb replaced makes the same request when they find out the price. They want an incandescent bulb and socket installed. Too bad part of LED lighting it about taking weight out of the wiring harness, meaning they can’t support ninety cent bulbs that last a decade or more. Does anyone think that LED bulbs save enough gas to pay for replacing a single one in the life of a car, let alone most likely considerably more than one of them?

          • 0 avatar
            HaveNissanWillTravel

            You have obviously NEVER had to replace an LED taillight assembly.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            LED lighting for markers, plates, etc. was not really a gas-saving measure, though they do draw notably less current. Those savings, however, are like tossing a deck chair off a cruise ship and saying it weighs less. Today, when you consider assembly costs as well as material cost, it is just cheaper to install LED units. No worries about providing access to the screws or lamps, just design what is cheaper to assemble. Also, consumers equate “LED” with automatically being better and more modern so there is a marketing angle as well. I looked at changing the tail lighting units on my C7 to clear ones. Once I saw the amount of disassembly required I changed my mind quickly.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Subscription is required. This is a good article about Wrangler inventory.
    https://www.autonews.com/sales/jeep-wrangler-inventories-grow-even-sales-climb

    A few points from the article.
    1) Wrangler fleet sales to rental companies have greatly increased.
    2) Dealer inventory began balooning last year and has gotten worse this year
    3) Resale values of Wrangler are dropping
    4) Wrangler prices have increased significantly. Pricing has finally hit the tipping point.

    Buy a Wrangler or Gladiator if you can afford it and it’s the right vehicle for you. Don’t buy one and count on being able to sell it for nearly what you paid for it. Wrangler of recent had fourth highest retained value. That trend is downward of recent. Like the stock market it may go up or down.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      The number one trade in on the Gladiator will be the Wrangler Unlimited. The Wrangler will be number two.

      cars.com shows 54,645 new Wranglers(including Unlimiteds) in dealer inventories. That compares to 23,809 new Acuras and 29,688 new RAV4s in the country. How many Wranglers does Fiat sell? I don’t think it is enough to justify that sort of inventory level.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    No I have never changed an LED unit on a car, because I’ve never had one fail. And we have owned several. And what I said about the cheesy “one red light” on the new Compass is not just about “shoulda been LED”…..there is plenty of room in the lighting elements to have had amber turn signals, separate brakelights, etc.
    Look at how some cars (mostly Euro) have a set of red lights for running/parking lights, then TOTALLY SEPARATE red lights come on when braking – it is far more attention-getting and noticeable.
    Sorry for the soapbox, I’m kind of a lighting freak :)

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      If I had to choose between two different makes/models of cars and was at an impasse, one having amber rear turn signals would push it into the “buy me” column.


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