The 2018 Jeep Wrangler compact SUV has two engine options. The base engine is a 3.6-liter V6 producing 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The new engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 producing 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic can be chosen for all trims. All models come standard with all-wheel drive. With the six-cylinder power plant under the hood, the power delivery was immediate. It accelerated to 60 mph in under six and a half seconds, an above average performance in its category. The automatic transmission shifted smoothly and just worked seamlessly with the engine. The handling did not suit fast cornering speeds because of its tall and narrow stature. Body roll was more evident but then again, it wasn’t designed for sportier driving. At slower speeds, it was stable and tracked precisely. The steering was accurate and had a balanced weight to it. The braking performance was robust albeit slightly inconsistent. The best distance it achieved was 128 feet in braking from 60 mph, still a respectable figure in its category. The pedal provided good feedback and helped in modulating the bite.
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The base Sport trim comes standard with fog lights, keyless entry, cruise control, Bluetooth, a USB port, auxiliary audio jack and an infotainment system with a 5-inch touchscreen and an eight-speaker sound system. The Sport S trim adds automatic headlights, heated power mirrors, and power windows and locks. The Sahara trim comes standard automatic LED headlights, LED foglights, automatic climate control, 115V power outlet, a digital instrument cluster, an additional USB port, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a bigger 7-inch infotainment touchscreen display. The Rubicon trim has the same features as the Sport trim and adds an additional USB port and performance parts for off-road driving. Standalone options for most trims include remote start, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, navigation and an infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen and a nine-speaker sound system.
The 2018 model was not yet tested by the NHTSA nor the IIHS. The 2018 model is the start of the Wrangler’s fourth generation and does not share similarity with the 2017 model. Standard safety features for the base trim include only a rearview camera. Advanced safety and driver aids are available through packages and they include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. With the removable roof, Jeep has reinforced the A and B pillars with the Sport Bar made from ultra-high strength steel. The frame of the removable roof is now effectively a roll cage that helps maintain rigidity in crashes and rollovers.
The 2018 model of the Wrangler has a length of 188.4 inches, a width of 73.8 inches, a height of 73.6 inches and a wheelbase of 118.4 inches. The 2018 model has been redesigned and now enters its fourth generation. It still retains the iconic boxy and retro-inspired aesthetic. The collapsible windshield and removable doors allow for a more breathable vehicle during hot weather. The base trim comes with 17-inch wheels, skid plates, and tow hooks. The midrange Sahara trim comes standard with 18-inch wheels. For all models, a soft-top and a hard-top roof are available.
The higher ground clearance meant that stepping up to the cabin was more challenging for shorter passengers. Entering the front row was easier than the second row because the latter is narrower. The headroom and legroom were sufficient but it may be cramped to those with longer legs. Five people can be accommodated inside the two rows of seats. The seats were generally comfortable for everyday driving, which was a point of concern from the previous generation. The cushion for the rear seats, however, were flat as well as short in order to maximize legroom at the rear. The firm suspension resulted in a ride that was still disturbed by bumps on the road. Fortunately, it was smoother and harshness was dampened better. Wind noise was primarily audible inside because of the angular shape of the body.
There is 31.7 cu-ft of space behind the second row of seats, and folding those seats down opens up 72.4 cu-ft of space for loading cargo.