1. A Variety Of Engine Options
In North America, the Jeep Wrangler JK is available with only one engine: a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. VM Motori’s 2.8-liter diesel four-cylinder engine is available in the vehicle outside of the U.S. and Canada, but it doesn’t meet emissions standards in the two markets, so it can’t be offered.
That’s all set to change with the Jeep Wrangler JL, thankfully. Rumors point to the new SUV receiveing not only an updated version of the 3.6-liter engine but a turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine. Between these three powerplants, there should be a Wrangler JL for almost everyone.
2. A Manual Transmission
Just about every large SUV or crossover on the planet is offered with an automatic transmission only and hardly anyone complains. The only vehicles that truly need a manual transmission anymore are very cheap cars, sportscars for enthusiasts and, in our opinion, the Jeep Wrangler.
Few vehicles have changed as little over the years as Jeep’s mainstay SUV, so it’s only fitting that the old school Wrangler retains a manual transmission. There’s plenty of Jeep faithful that wouldn’t be caught dead driving a slushbox Wrangler, so if Jeep wants to retain their business, a manual will have to be on the cards for the JL. Luckily rumors point to both six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions being offered.
3. A Bare Bones Model For Off Roaders
One of the biggest changes in store for the Wrangler in moving to the new JL generation will be added refinement. A quieter cabin, comfier seats, reduced NVH (noise, vibration, harshness), an available panoramic roof, power folding soft top and more will all contribute to the more upscale attitude, but not all Jeep buyers want that.
For the true Jeep enthusiasts who only want the vehicle to drive roofless and doorless in the summer and go off-roading and rock crawling with their friends, a power roof, leather seats and a fancy infotainment system are hardly important. For these buyers, of which we’re sure there are many, we’re hoping Jeep offers a stripped out, bare bones Wrangler JL. Such a model would not only be cheaper than the fancier versions of the SUV but also lighter.
4. A Quieter, More Refined Cabin
While we do hope a bare bones Wrangler is offered, we’re also hoping Jeep steps the game up in regards to luxury with the new model. There are lots of Jeep enthusiasts that don’t need interior luxuries like heated and cooled seats or a heated steering wheel, but for the countless people who buy Wranglers to commute to and from work daily or take the kids to school, these features could be the deciding factor between them getting a Ford Explorer or a Jeep Wrangler. All signs point to the Wrangler JL being much comfier and refined than the Wrangler JK, thankfully.
5. A Folding Front Windshield
This one may not be important to all, but for Jeep faithful, it’s a big one. The folding front windshield has long been a staple of Jeep products and having it on the Wrangler helps to give the vehicle a unique identity among the hoards of forgettable SUVs and crossovers on sale today.
Spy shots indicate the Wrangler JL will retain a folding front windshield despite rumors saying otherwise. A small hinge has been spotted attached to the lower part of the windshield on pre-production prototypes. If you were pulling for the classic folding windshield in the next-gen Wrangler, it seems as though you’re going to get what you asked for.
Let us know what else you’re hoping to see on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL in the comments below.