Topping something as popular as the current Jeep Wrangler is the kind of challenge that seems insurmountable. After all, the brawny, open-air off-roader has become the SUV that all others aspire to be.
So when Jeep announced plans to launch an all-new Wrangler, with a goal of broadening the consumer base for the vehicle, it raised more than a few eyebrows. I, for one, feared it might ultimately lead to the demise of the legendary vehicle.
However, after spending some time with the 2018 Wrangler, I’m convinced the new Jeep could very well be the most drool-worthy off-roader ever rolled out by the American carmaker. Here’s why.
1. Classic Throwback Appeal
The 2018 Wrangler has taken some design cues from some of the popular vintage Jeeps of years past, highlighted in details like the front headlights, which now overlap into the outer slot of the Wrangler’s seven-slot grille. There are also a few vintage Jeep design elements carried over on the inside of the Jeep.
2. Easier to Enjoy
To make it easier to enjoy the Wrangler’s thrill factors, the Jeep is now available with a new one-touch power top for canvas-equipped four-door models and a new sliding-track mechanism for the removable side windows, making it a lot simpler to roll in convertible mode. Meanwhile, the option to fold down the Jeep’s windshield, a feature rooted in the SUV’s days as a military vehicle, has been reduced to a mere four bolts.
3. More Comfort on Tap
From the availability of a huge new 8.4-inch touchscreen to the addition of reclining rear seats, the 2018 Wrangler is loaded with features aimed at improving the ride experience for the both the driver and passengers. The overall feel of the Wrangler’s ride and handling (on road) is also far more refined, a substantial improvement from years past.
4. Multiple Engines
Unlike the current model, the new Wrangler is available with a couple of new engine options, including a new turbo version, a diesel variant and an updated version of the Jeep’s longstanding standard V6 with the engine stop-start feature. Jeep also plans to launch a plug-in hybrid Wrangler as well.
5. Unparalleled Capability
Make no mistake, the real heart and soul of the Wrangler has, and always will be, the SUV’s proven off-road chops. It’s one of the major things that’s made the Jeep so coveted for years. And the all-new Wrangler ups the ante in that area with even more capability, including the ability to now tackle up to 30 inches of water. That’ll do, Jeep. That’ll do.