2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited - The First-ever Cool Hybrid

I want first to apologize to the Jeep owners of northern Columbus, and by extension all brethren of the seven-slot grille everywhere. In my week driving this 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, I neglected to properly wave in most cases.

It’s a Jeep thing, and apparently I don’t understand.

I suppose it’s an ethical thing — can I be a properly unbiased journalist if I gonzo myself into the Jeep subculture? Moreover, is this, a Jeep Wrangler with a hybrid system, a proper Jeep?

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The Games We Play: Advertising Chicanery Begins on '2018 Jeep Wrangler'

Late last year, I selected Jeep’s JL Wrangler as an Ace of Base once pricing for the snazzy new off-road rig was freshly announced.

That was 43 days ago, at which point I theorized that Wrangler shoppers would likely need to be weary of dealer bait-and-switch tactics, as both the new JL and the old JK are 2018 models. Specifically, I said:

Readers can be assured, then, of hearing hyper-caffeinated sales staff blaring in radio ads about ZOMG GREAT DEALZ ON 2018 WRANGLERS – only for frustrated shoppers to discover they are actually talking about the lame-duck Jeep and not the shiny new off-roader.

Well, that didn’t take long.

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2018 Jeep Wrangler Timeline Leaked; Next-gen Model Could Arrive Sooner

With every leaked detail of Jeep’s next-generation Wrangler, hardcore enthusiasts become a little more ravenous for information. But there has been one pressing question circling every shorts-tightening tidbit: when will it arrive?

The short answer is soon. The JL Wrangler may even launch as early as October, if a new report is to be believed. That would place it almost a full month ahead of its reveal at the Los Angeles Auto Show — which Jeep CEO Mike Manley previously confirmed as the official debut.

However, there is a longer and more storied explanation of every major component addition as the 2018 model gradually takes shape. Entry-level variants appear to host a 3.6-liter engine with stop-start and a manual transmission. But production of the first round of quad-door hardtops will eventually open up to two-doors (and different engines) as previous-gen JK assembly ends sooner than expected.

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  • 3SpeedAutomatic "...to make room for reality TV reruns..."What an insult!! Shows how far broadcast TV will stoop for a few extra bucks.I much appreciate Jay for keeping the "motor head" world alive in a Zoom society. However, maybe it's time for him to retire or semi-retire. There's enough material for him to do YouTube with most auto related companies willing to underwrite....but the number of shows would be at his own pace.I wish him well!!
  • Gregtwelve I had an '88 Turbo Coupe with 5 spd bought used and really liked it. I loved the looks, it had decent power for the time and a nice interior. Unfortunately the head gasket went at around 60K miles. I repaired it myself and sold it.
  • Mattwc1 I bought a Maverick specifically because I wanted utility and great fuel economy. My wife has a RAV4 hybrid that we really like. I think Toyota would print money with a smaller RAV4 based truck.
  • Varezhka Dunno. Looking at Maverick and Santa Cruz, having the engine in the front of the driver and a crew cab layout will mean the rear bed will be about the same size as kei trucks. And it will still be more than 16ft long. I'd rather get a Tacoma and/or a Hilux at that point.If we actually want a small truck with usable bed, it will have to be cab over layout with standard cab like Toyota TownAce Truck. We already know how popular that would be, even without getting into federal safety requirements.
  • SCE to AUX "Its militaristic, drab fortress presence, is some sort of reflection of the times."Very insightful comment in your excellent summary. The Cybertruck vs Hummer EV comparison tests will be enjoyable, sure to enflame their fans.