2018 Wrangler JL Rubicon
2018 saw the last year for production for the JK generation Wranglers. The all-new Wrangler JL Rubicon keeps most of what makes a Wrangler a Wrangler, but with some added improvements. Here are the quick specs on the top on the line Rubicon.
- There are two engine choices, a 3.6L V6 gas and new for this year is the added 2.0 L Turbo eTorque. Coming for 2019 will be a 3.0L EcoDiesel option but not sure at this point of it’ll be available on the Rubicon.
- Transmissions available are a 6-speed manual or the new 8-speed automatic. (The 2.0L engine requires the auto transmission).
- Choice of 3 tops; the ‘Sunrider’ canvas soft top, the ‘Freedom’ hardtop available in black or color matched. Also new is the ‘Sky One-Touch Power Top’ which is a power canvas roof.
- Improved crawl ratio (84.2:1, and 77.2:1 with new eight-speed automatic transmission).
- Tru-Lock electric front- and rear-axle lockers for off-road.
- Rock-Trac 4×4 system with Dana 44 axles.
- Electronic sway bar disconnect.
- Trac-Lok limited-slip differential and 33-inch off-road tires.
- Slightly longer and wider than the JK.
How to tell the difference between the JK and JL easily just by looking
The biggest difference you’ll see by looking at a quick glance is the distinctive 7 bar grille. On the new JL Wrangler, the two bars on either end are curved around the headlamps.
Driving the new JL Wrangler
Despite the 17″ off-road tires wrapped in 33″ wheels, the most noticeable difference for me was the smoother ride. During a vehicle testing day in Denver, Colorado, I got to experience driving the Wrangler on the highway. Not exactly where you think would be the best place to show off the skills of the off-road Rubicon, but we still have to get from the house to the mountains. For some, that might mean interstates, highways, urban areas and traffic. So how did the Wrangler JL do? Compared to earlier generations, it felt more car-like than small truck-like. It was smoother and didn’t jolt me around like I was anticipating.
The 3.5L V6 engine is very responsive. Weaving in and out of traffic and merging onto an undivided highway is effortless, followed by the exhaust note. Having the ‘Sunrider Soft Top’ means the exhaust can definitely be heard when accelerating hard. It’s not ridiculously loud. The exhaust note is somewhere between a lion cub roar and a fully grown lion, maybe a teenager?
Steering is also responsive without much of a delay, which also made driving in heavy traffic effortless. Having not driven this one off-road, I can only imagine this would help enormously with accuracy in placing the tires.
This color really stands out and on the Rubicon with the black canvas roof looks great. With the sun shining, and the roof down in a bright orange Jeep, you can’t help but smile. You also can’t but help laugh or smile just reading the names of some of the Wrangler JL colors. I was also told by a spokesperson from Fiat Chrysler that there will be a new color for 2019 called, ‘Bikini’.
- Black Clear-Coat
- Granite Crystal Metallic
- Sting-Gray Clear-Coat
- Billet Silver Metallic
- Ocean Blue Metallic
- Firecracker Red Clear-Coat
- Punk’n Orange Clear-Coat
- Hellayella Clear-Coat
- Mojito! Clear-Coat
- Bright White Clear-Coat
The Wrangler JL Rubicon has a 7.0″ or 8.4″ touchscreen is available with the latest fourth-generation Uconnect. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard for smartphone integration. This allows the ability to connect contact, music, and maps all through your smartphone. Pages are faster at loading, good use of colors, simple icons, and the layout make it easy and intuitive use. There are even integrated off-road pages in this Rubicon.
This one had the ‘Sunrider’ soft top. A heavy duty layered canvas I’m told will withstand a Wyoming snow storm. Having the soft top makes it a whole lot easier to have that open-air experience without having to remove panels. It does, however, come with a nifty little toolkit should you also want to remove the doors/wipers and drop the windshield. Windshield drops are a lot easier than previous models. Another all-new soft top available is the ‘Sky One-Touch Power Top’ that with a press of button can be a deployed even at 60 mph! Just be prepared for a little wind noise.
Hopefully, the Wrangler JL Rubicon is as impressive off-road as it is on-road! Want to take a guess at what the ‘Bikini’ color might be? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!
Find out more, take a test drive or find Wrangler JL Rubicons for sale at Fremont Motors.
Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. A car geek, photographer, big game chaser and bagpipe player, powered by coffee. Send your questions to: