Consumer Reports review of the 2018 Wrangler JL

pantheman75

Well-Known Member
First Name
Ryan
Joined
Feb 9, 2018
Messages
159
Reaction score
145
Location
Washington
Vehicle(s)
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit, 2019 Jeep Wrangler MOAB
https://www.yahoo.com/amphtml/news/...ocial-sh&soc_trk=tw&__twitter_impression=true

"Redesigning the Jeep Wrangler is a delicate job. Designers have to honor its history and respect its loyal owner base, while addressing significant shortcomings in a marketplace that has seen dramatic evolution since the last version was introduced back in 2006.

The template is clear: Make improvements throughout, but don’t change the silhouette.

Judging by the four-door Wrangler Unlimited Sahara we recently purchased, Jeep seems to have successfully performed this tricky feat. As our testers drive the Wrangler during its 2,000 mile break-in period, they all agree that this version is better than the last one and still retains its rustic charm.

The Wrangler is such a unique animal that it is hard to resist drawing endless comparisons to the previous generation. Nothing else is like it because nothing else has the character, heritage, romance, and mystique of a classic Jeep.

All of the Wrangler's defining elements carry over: seven-slot grille, removable doors, removable top, fold-down windshield, exposed roll cage, tricky access, rear swing gate and hatch, and abundant ground clearance. There's no real hardware revolution here, either, as the new Wrangler retains its body-on-frame construction and front and rear solid axles. The Wrangler is once again available in numerous trims, with a lengthy list of options, from powertrains and equipment to dealer-installed modifications.

We bought the popular four-door configuration, with the uplevel Sahara trim. But to get common comfort features, such as the cold-weather package, tow package, and upgraded infotainment system, we had to pile on the options. Throw in an automatic transmission and blind-spot detection system, and this adventure-ready machine brushes $50,000.

That feels like a lot of money for a vehicle that at its core is bred to get dirty and scratched, and lead a treacherous, adventurous life. Then again, most Wranglers are so-call “mall crawlers,” embodying the lifestyle but living on pavement.

How It Drives
Because it's designed to climb boulders, expectations for the Wrangler's on-road performance are not high. While its handling is improved with quicker steering, it’s still no match for a modern SUV in terms of agility.

This powertrain is significantly improved. The 285-hp, 3.6-liter V6 engine teams smartly with an eight-speed automatic transmission, making for a smooth, refined speed buildup and a prompt throttle response. (A turbocharged 270-hp four-cylinder engine will soon join the ranks, followed by a 3.0-liter diesel in 2019.)

Jeep offers a selectable, full-time four-wheel-drive system—the Wrangler's first—but only in the Sahara trim. The advantage is that it can stay engaged indefinitely, eliminating the need for drivers to make a decision as to when to engage or disengage 4WD.

The ride is stiff, with bumps coming through. Constant short motions make the Jeep jittery even on smooth roads.

On the highway, the Wrangler is clearly out of its element. Because of its boxy shape and lack of a headliner to add isolation, the wind noise can be overwhelming. (Jeep offers headliner panels for the hardtop that may muffle some noise, but they don’t cover the entire roof.)

It's really tough, almost impossible, for occupants to have a natural-volume conversation on the highway. However, the Alpine stereo is powerful, and we did note that hands-free calls worked well.

Inside
Getting in or out is awkward, and that remains a Wrangler tradition. Climbing in, riders must step onto the running board, which positions their body too high, or they must stretch over it. Getting out, there is no way to avoid rubbing pants across the running board—a nuisance in a salty winter or when playing in dirt.

The cabin gets a welcome update in function and appearance. The basic design is familiar, but the digital screens, accent trim, and modern features give the Wrangler a decidedly modern feel. There are nice touches, such as the gear selector with a red trigger release and a classic Jeep on top, the outdoorsy graphics on the displays, and the available auxiliary controls awaiting the installation of aftermarket equipment, such as extra lights.

The controls are arranged on a very flat plane, including the center-positioned window switches. This unusual placement requires some mental reprogramming, and they're a bit of a stretch for the driver to reach. We wish the driver’s window had an auto-up feature, especially on rainy days. We like the push buttons for common functions, like adjusting the heater or turning on the heated steering wheel. (And yes, that is how coddling the Wrangler has become.)

The stalks behind the steering wheel are a bit stubby, making them harder to reach than with most vehicles.

The traditional short, vertical windshield limits the forward view, but visibility through the side windows and rear glass is good.

The seats are wide, accommodating, and spongy. Their initial appeal can wear thin as support fades on long drives. Some testers wished for more bolstering to help hold their bodies in place.

The rear seat has lots of room for adults, though access is more difficult than in most midsized SUVs due to those running boards, a narrow door opening, and tall step-in height.

There is a fair amount of cargo space in the rear with the Unlimited trim. Accessing that area is a two-step process, with the side-hinged gate and the glass hatch. Once open, there is a large cube of open space available.

Safety
The Wrangler does not have many advanced safety features. Higher-trim models offer helpful driver aids, including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines. However, forward-collision warning and automatic braking are not offered for 2018, which is surprising on a vehicle that can top $50,000.

Bottom Line

The Jeep Wrangler has an undeniable appeal that can’t be measured. It is the embodiment of a storied history that evokes freedom and adventure.

Yet clearly it isn’t the easiest vehicle to live with. For those seeking a refined SUV, look elsewhere. For those buyers who have owned a Jeep or always dreamed of one, the redesigned Wrangler has fewer trade-offs—and more appeal—than it ever had before, all without compromising its character or off-road credentials.

Formal testing will begin soon, including time on our challenging rock hill course. We'll let you know how it does."
Advertisement

 
Last edited:

Snerf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2017
Messages
95
Reaction score
132
Location
SoCal
Vehicle(s)
JLUR
IMO, using a Jeep as a DD would be a real labor of love. For heavy, stop-go commute traffic, nothing really beats a nice, quiet CUV.

But outside of the 9-5 routine, top down, weekends free, is there really anything else that compares?
 
OP
OP
pantheman75

pantheman75

Well-Known Member
First Name
Ryan
Joined
Feb 9, 2018
Messages
159
Reaction score
145
Location
Washington
Vehicle(s)
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit, 2019 Jeep Wrangler MOAB
Not a very flattering review for somebody like me that was considering getting it as a daily driver. Not that there's anything against what it truly is... it's just making me rethink if this would in fact fit my wants and needs as a daily driver. I'll need to do more test driving once the slider roof and 2.0L or diesel hit the lots.
 

The_Phew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
428
Reaction score
697
Location
USA
Vehicle(s)
'17 GTI 6MT
Not a very flattering review for somebody like me that was considering getting it as a daily driver.
Consumer Reports assumes that attributes like "quiet" and "comfortable" make for a better daily driver, but commuting is pretty boring in a quiet/comfortable car. There's something to be said for commuting in an objectively terrible vehicle for keeping things interesting.
 

i64X

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jason
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
99
Reaction score
155
Location
USA
Vehicle(s)
2018 JLU Rubicon, 2018 Golf GTI SE, 2015 Ducati Diavel Carbon, 2019 Ducati Panigale 959 Corse, 2019 Yamaha Raptor 700SE
Vehicle Showcase
2
Consumer Reports assumes that attributes like "quiet" and "comfortable" make for a better daily driver, but commuting is pretty boring in a quiet/comfortable car. There's something to be said for commuting in an objectively terrible vehicle for keeping things interesting.
This x 100. I traded a Mitsubishi Evo X in on an Acura RL once. Worst mistake I've ever made. Quiet and comfortable gets boring quick. Zero soul, zero fun. Vanilla sedan people will always be vanilla sedan people... well, until they went with the flow, and now they're vanilla CUV people. Sad that the vanilla CUV is what the Wrangler is being compared to here. You can tell that Consumer Reports isn't staffed with automotive enthusiasts.
 

i64X

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jason
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
99
Reaction score
155
Location
USA
Vehicle(s)
2018 JLU Rubicon, 2018 Golf GTI SE, 2015 Ducati Diavel Carbon, 2019 Ducati Panigale 959 Corse, 2019 Yamaha Raptor 700SE
Vehicle Showcase
2
I bought mine as a DD. I disagree with a lot of their points on this.
Same here.

Did I read the article to quickly, or did they not even mention a big reason people buy/love Jeep's? The ability to go topless, doorless are both big reasons to get a Wrangler over any other SUV. I understand a lot of people don't go off-road, but most Wrangler owners go topless don't they??
I'm betting that the woman who reviewed this climbed out of her Nissan Rogue, drove it around the block, came back and said "Ooh, that's bumpy" and then wrote this 'review.' She probably doesn't even know that the roof or doors come off.
 

Jrbrannan

Well-Known Member
First Name
Joe
Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
585
Reaction score
697
Location
Bloomington, Il
Vehicle(s)
2018 JLUR Ocean Blue 2008 Highlander Hybrid (previously several CJ-7, YJ, TJ, JK)
Vehicle Showcase
1
Did I read the article to quickly, or did they not even mention a big reason people buy/love Jeep's? The ability to go topless, doorless are both big reasons to get a Wrangler over any other SUV. I understand a lot of people don't go off-road, but most Wrangler owners go topless don't they??
Sad to say I see more hardtop Wrangler, especially unlimited that it is clear the full top has never been taken off. :( When it is sunny in the 90's with no rain in the forecast and your hardtop is still on.... that makes me a sad panda.
 

PaulD

Member
First Name
Paul
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
18
Reaction score
33
Location
Nashville
Vehicle(s)
98, 03, 09 &13 Wranglers
Funny, I think they make great daily drivers. Visibility and maneuverability are awesome and the upgraded stereo sounds fantastic. These reviews almost made me afraid to buy my first TJ 20 years ago but here I am 5 Wranglers later looking forward to my new daily driver to be shipped!
 

The_Phew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
428
Reaction score
697
Location
USA
Vehicle(s)
'17 GTI 6MT
I'm betting that the woman who reviewed this climbed out of her Nissan Rogue, drove it around the block, came back and said "Ooh, that's bumpy" and then wrote this 'review.' She probably doesn't even know that the roof or doors come off.
Consumer Reports actually has the most advanced automotive test facility of any publication (https://www.consumerreports.org/cars-how-consumer-reports-tests-cars/), and they have very rigorous testing procedures. But this blurb was a "first look" kind of thing, so they haven't applied their rigorous methodology yet. And nothing they said is inaccurate anyway.

A bad grade from Consumer Reports for a 4x4 is a massive blessing; The Taco, Wrangler, FJ, and every other 4x4 that has ever been given awful scores by CR goes on to enjoy sales success and incredible resale value. Probably because CR uses rational methodology, but consumers are irrational creatures. There is no rational reason to buy a $50k Wrangler to use mostly for commuting, but a million irrational ones.
 

Kevman

Well-Known Member
First Name
Kevin
Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Messages
105
Reaction score
82
Location
Dallas TX
Vehicle(s)
2018 JL Wrangler Sahara Granite Crystal, Audi A5
Consumer reports absolutely blasted the JK, and it didn't stop jeep from selling nearly 200k a year. They're notoriously tough on vehicles and tend to reward grade A safety family vehicles the most.

Hey, if you want a boring crossover, then go ahead and get one. The Wrangler is always going to go against the grain.
 

JHJLUR

Well-Known Member
First Name
Justin
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
530
Reaction score
580
Location
SE PA
Vehicle(s)
17 GC Overland, 18 JLUR
CR is bench marking it against typical SUVs/CUVs, they don't like the wrangler, and never have...they also don't like anything besides vanilla ice cream.....The wrangler isn't an appliance, not that there is anything wrong with appliance cars...If you are expecting an appliance you will be disappointed....if you are looking for something that is considerably more fun and capable but because of such has drawbacks as a DD ( although fewer then ever before) the wrangler is for you.
 
OP
OP
pantheman75

pantheman75

Well-Known Member
First Name
Ryan
Joined
Feb 9, 2018
Messages
159
Reaction score
145
Location
Washington
Vehicle(s)
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit, 2019 Jeep Wrangler MOAB
Funny, I think they make great daily drivers. Visibility and maneuverability are awesome and the upgraded stereo sounds fantastic. These reviews almost made me afraid to buy my first TJ 20 years ago but here I am 5 Wranglers later looking forward to my new daily driver to be shipped!
Interesting points!
 

KaDeTime

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2017
Messages
154
Reaction score
76
Location
Munich DE
Vehicle(s)
Tiguan RLine 2018 2.0TDI
Wrangler is not for everyone.

as a SUV it is to expensive and not "modern"
it is not good on MPG
It is not a comfortable daily driver

but its a wrangler, its in its own special category.

Now given that most people that purchase the the wrangler (most of them not on this forum) are looking for a normal SUV, this is what the others are comparing this to and the wrangler is coming up short.

The review is spot on and addresses multiple points that i stated months ago like the minim options on a 50k plus trim.

In the end if you need anyone to tell you why to buy a wrangler, or how good/bad it is, you are probably looking at the wrong vehicle.
 
Advertisement

Chrysler Factory Warranty
 
Advertisement
Top