The latest Wrangler JL edition has been around since the 2018 model year, and is something many in the Jeep community have absolutely embraced since its launch. Sure, there were plenty of people who were worried when Jeep first announced the Wrangler redesign earlier in the decade, especially when rumors started flying that all kinds of changes were being debated. But when the first model rolled into view, just about everyone breathed a sigh of relief because, quite simply, it looked like a Jeep. Plus, nearly every (then owner Fiat Chrysler) executive grilled about the new Wrangler's design said there was no way they would stray from what has made Wrangler a success since its 1987 inception.
So what makes the Wrangler JL different from previous editions:
Well, the short answer is a lot. The better answer is that the vehicle is a full-on redesign – only the third in Wrangler history - with all features, performance gains, top and engine offerings, axles, hinges, bumpers, buttons and a back-up camera that all work together to continue the legendary Jeep’s 4x4 capability, while balancing the requirements of modern day driving. Maybe it was a bit daunting for designers at the start, especially when you consider legions of hardcore Jeep enthusiasts were ready to pick apart the smallest thing. But over the past few years, Wrangler sales have remained strong and the new options have made life much easier for new owners.
Perhaps the biggest news involving the Wrangler JL is something Jeep didn’t do when it decided to redesign the nameplate. Jeep designers thankfully did not change out solid axles for an independent suspension. Rest assured, the Wrangler JL keeps the same ladder on frame, solid axle design it has always used — making the vehicle a premier off-road machine while offering tons of modification options. Many of the meatier changes for the JL are really weight related. Specifically, an all-aluminum hood as well as aluminum doors. Plus, aluminum in the windshield, hinges and tailgate (mixed with magnesium). All these design changes help shave around 200 pounds off the JL's gross vehicle weight when compared to the Wrangler JK.
Adding aluminum to the vehicle is not the only interesting design overhaul for the JL as the vehicle also carries next-generation Dana axles that are lighter and stronger than ever. Inside the cabin, you'll notice a new, cleaned up, dash design, revised gear and transfer case shifters and state-of-the-art infotainment system. And if you love options, Jeep has given you multiple engine choices (including a diesel and Hemi) that have never been seen before on a factory Wrangler. There are also plenty of upgraded safety features and re-engineered tops, as well as an all-new aerodynamic front grill and windshield design that make the JL the best performing (and most comfortable Wrangler) ever.