The Jeep All-New Wrangler Unlimited – cursed with such a silly name because Jeep is selling this redesign alongside the old model, rebranded as Wrangler JK Unlimited and listed separately – represents a significant advancement in design while being able to maintain, and even expand upon, the rugged looks and ultimate capability that has made it an American icon.
What's New for 2018
This model year marks a full redesign resulting in a Jeep that is improved in nearly every measurable way.
Choosing Your Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Jeep has expanded the 2018 Wrangler’s powertrain lineup to include a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that is mated to an eight speed automatic transmission. Capable of producing 270 horsepower and 295 pound feet of torque, the 2.0-liter turbo is expected to be more efficient than the standard 3.6-liter V6. Helping on the efficiency front is a 48-volt mild hybrid system which swaps the alternator for a generator. The system enables the Wrangler to cut fuel to the engine and “sail” during coasting situations and it can also provide enough power for the air conditioning and other electrical loads with the engine off while sitting in traffic. The EPA ratings have yet to be released, which makes sense, as the 2.0-liter Wrangler won't arrive in dealers until later this year. It will eventually be joined by a diesel-powered V6, too.
In the meantime, the standard and familiar 3.6-liter V6 will have to do, with 285 horsepower and 260 foot-pound of torque. It too is equipped with a start-stop system and can be mated to an improved six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Four-wheel drive is standard and there are three different systems available. The Sport and Sahara come standard with a part-time, two-speed transfer case that is manually controlled, just as the Jeep gods intended.
A more advanced transfer case is newly available on 2018 Sahara models, and offers an automatic mode that engages both axles depending on vehicle sensor data. It's the first full-time four-wheel-drive system in the Wrangler's history.
At the top of the four-wheel-drive food chain is a heavy-duty part-time system that comes standard with the Rubicon trim. It features specific gearing that favors low speed rock crawling, and is one of a bevy of unique systems for Jeep's most capable Wrangler trim.
Those looking to tow often may appreciate the Unlimited’s increased towing rating, up to 3,500 pounds, compared to the two-door model's 1,500-pound rating..
The EPA estimate for the Wrangler Unlimited V6 automatic is 18 miles per gallon city, 23 mpg highway, and 20 combined which is a notable improvement over the previous generation. The six-speed manual earns 17 mpg city, 23 highway, and 19 combined.
Jeep offers three trims that range in equipment levels from extremely basic to remarkably luxurious (for a Wrangler).
It may be very tempting to jump for the Rubicon but be sure to consider you need the capability that its hefty price tag provides (you probably don't). Instead, we recommend starting with the Sport S before going hog-wild on the options catalog.