There are few 4x4s that have the mythical aura of the Jeep Wrangler. This SUV continues to make history after the release of version 2018, which comes with remarkable mechanical changes and some aesthetics . He remains undisturbed in his philosophy, but it is duly updated. What changes in the new Wrangler? You will ask. Because its external image is practically the same as that of the model that has been selling so far . In fact, it is very similar for several generations, since the Wrangler YJ of the late eighties marked the way in the design of the model. True, the exterior changes are in detail, but not the mechanics. It has a new range of engines and new transmissions , which improve its performance and consumption, on the one hand, and its effectiveness on and off the road on the other. In addition, it offers a more refined interior, a new modularity for dismantling the roof and doors and better connectivity and security equipment. The Jeep Wrangler 2018 changes little apparently, but the truth is that it is updated a lot, especially in relation to engines and transmissions. We go by parties. The aesthetic changes focus on several details, most located on the front. The Jeep Wrangler 2018 differs from the previous one, among other things, because it loses the Jeep logo on its typical 7-blade trapezoidal grille , which now has a slightly, slightly more, more aerodynamic shape at the top. They also change the headlights, which are still round but now have LED technology. You will also quickly distinguish the Wrangler 2018 if you observe the fins, on which the turn signals and the daytime lights have been placed. The robust and bulky front bumper has a new design and houses the fog lights, which are also LED.
The 4-door version has a battle of 3 meters in length, somewhat superior to the previous model. Although the platform on which the new Wrangler is built is the same, the engineers of the brand have thought it appropriate to extend their battle to 3 meters (2.94 meters in the previous Wrangler) in the 4-door version. In this way, it grows in habitability and improves its straight stability. If you look at it from the side you will not notice that greater wheelbase, it’s a question of centimeters. Yes it will be easier to see that it has a lower waistline and a larger glazed surface , which gives more light to the interior and allows greater visibility of everything that happens outside the car from any of the seats and jeep wrangler unlimited cover for jeep safty. Finally, they have changed the rear optics, also LED, a bit the shape of the bumper and, if you look, you will see that the spare wheel (of course, still in the tailgate) is accompanied by a small camera to facilitate maneuvers of parking. You can also see the parking sensors on the bumper.
Always original aesthetic
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler does not lose TT skills at all. On the contrary, it improves them. The Wrangler is still as striking and original as ever, faithful to its principles and the image it wants to convey. In this SUV, the doors can be dismantled, the windshield can be folded down and the roof can be opened, which can be either canvas or hard top. Now, Jeep adds another modality: the roof of folding canvas of electrical form , so that we do not have to go dismantling bolts and fixings. The opening system is very similar to what we can see in a Fiat 500 . It is a “curtain” type that picks up the canvas as an accordion on the back of the roof, in about 20 seconds . Jeep has christened this roof with the bombastic name of “Sky One-Touch Powertop”. Jeep has also improved the hard top disassembly system, which now uses lighter panels and requires fewer bolts to fix them. These can be collected in a tray placed in the bottom of the trunk, so they do not get lost. Finally, the interior door handle has been modified so that the owner of the car has it easier to move them once disassembled. Those responsible for the brand are aware that more than one customer from previous generations of the Wrangler, when he has dismantled the door, has fallen to the ground by not picking it properly, hitting it.
Interior more careful
The new Jeep Wrangler is distinguished by having the turn signals and daytime lights on the fins. The headlights are LED type. It is easier to perceive that we are facing a new edition of this mythical Jeep when we sit at the wheel. The designers have incorporated a new dashboard, very different and above all, more refined. At least, from what I could see in the Wrangler Rubicon that I drove for two days in the presentation that Jeep organized in Spielberg (Austria) to show us the car. The first feeling is very good, not only for the general design of the dashboard, but also for the materials used for its completion. Soft plastic is used on its upper part, finished with double stitching, metal inserts in various parts of the center console, rubber around the central digital display, leather on the steering wheel, handbrake lever and shift and transmission knobs … wherever Touch and look, the feeling is nice. Undoubtedly, the perceived quality of the interior has improved, and that in a car that has precisely sinned for years to be quite spartan, is very good news. It was necessary to improve everything that refers to connectivity and digital information, and in the new Wrangler we find the required digital screen in the center of the dashboard (which can be 5, 7 or 8.4 inches) and a second screen between the two watches (analog) of the instrument panel. This screen can be 3.5 or 7 inches, and offers the usual information on speed, consumption, sound equipment or navigator indications. The 7-inch that equipped the unit Rubicon that I tested in Austria, is accompanied by beautiful graphics on the operation of the transmission system or the degree of inclination of the body, quite useful when done off-road.
The central digital screen corresponds to the UConnectsystem , it is tactile and is handled with the typical gestures of a Smartphone and through a menu based on applications. Jeep says that the operating system has been updated for a higher operating speed , in addition to incorporating compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, among others. Jeep has incorporated a new canvas roof that can be collected electrically. The versions with hard-top also improve their system of disassembly of the panels. One aspect that I think we need to improve in this car is the functionality of the gaps available in the console, which are still somewhat scarce and small. There is a double cup holder with a slot in which we can place the key or hold the Smartphone, in addition to a glove box where you can place larger objects. But I think that there is a bigger gap in front of the shift lever where other objects can be left to hand. I understand that it is difficult to have it, taking into account that the differential lock switches and the disconnector of the front stabilizer bar (in the Wrangler Rubicon) have been placed instead. There is also a space dedicated to USB sockets. But if you decide to recharge the mobile, the placement of it is not easy. The rear seats do not change significantly, nor does the space intended for trunk. This is not an SUV with family character, it is clear, but it can travel in it five passengers with a correct space and an acceptable level of comfort. I say acceptable, because something that does not change are the typical rebounds of your suspension when you travel by road, as a result of keeping rigid axles with springs, a somewhat obsolete configuration. Of course, robust and simple as any to do SUV.
The interior is totally new, although it continues with the horizontal and vertical lines typical of the model. The road is not a scenario in which the Wrangler is completely comfortable. Prefers forest tracks, the more complicated the better. In asphalt, it sins from an imprecise direction, which sometimes requires slight corrections, much like the old SUVs. It’s something you have to get used to, that you can forgive a car designed primarily to be effective off-road. If you want a more refined 4×4 for asphalt, the Jeep Compass is a better alternative. It is true that generation after generation, the American brand has been improving this aspect little by little. In this 2018 version, emphasis has been placed on improving soundproofing , which is notable in the hard-top version. The same is not true for the canvas roof, which does not isolate just outside noise.
More economical, but powerful engines
Between the two analog clocks has been placed a digital screen that offers, among others, information of the geared transmission mode. The passenger compartment is not rid of the mechanical noises of the new diesel propellers that are incorporated into the range . There are two for the European market: a 2.2 MultiJet II turbodiesel of 200 hp and 2.0 turbo petrol of 272 hp , which will arrive in Europe later this year. For other markets a 3.0 V6 Pentastar will be available. All are accompanied by a new 8-speed automatic gearshift . There is no manual change option. Those responsible for the brand also announced that plug-in, plug-in hybrid version will be launched in 2020. This version will end with one of the classic objections to this model, the high fuel consumption, and will place the Wrangler in a new stage, unthinkable a few years ago. In Austria I was able to drive a unit with the diesel engine, which seemed the most logical if you are sensitive to consumption, always high in this model. On a motorway and road route, he marked 10l / 100 km. in the instrument panel. In the absence of a more in-depth test, we must take it as a first reference. Undoubtedly, even being a high consumption, nothing has to do with the first versions of the Wrangler, drinkers where there are.
Jeep Wrangler: The icon is updated
The automatic change is new, and has 8 speeds. The two-speed transfer is handled by lever, as always. With this same unit with diesel engine and Rubicon finish I faced the off-road area that Jeep had prepared for us in the mountains near Spielberg (Austria). It is precisely where Jeep will organize the Jeep Camp 2018 in the middle of this month . The route ran a mountain along very broken roads, of stone and roots, with some small wading, perfect to check the effectiveness of Wrangler transmissions. Now, for the first time, this model incorporates a central differential that allows, in addition to being able to circulate with the 4×4 transmission blocked at 50%, it can do so permanently distributing the driving torque in the necessary proportion between the two axles. In this way, the Wrangler can travel on the road like any other TT with permanent integral transmission, in addition to doing it in 4×2 if we want. Of course, it also has a two-speed transfer that allows you to insert the reductive. Depending on the version, this development reduction can be 2.72: 1 (finished Sahara) or 4.0: 1 (Rubicon finish). In the Sahara finish the system is called Command-Trac and in the Rubicon Rock-Trac.