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2018 Jeep Wrangler Review

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler ranks near the back of the compact SUV class. The Wrangler has exceptional off-road ability, but its stiff ride quality, high projected ownership costs, and subpar predicted reliability rating leave a lot to be desired.

Pros & Cons

  • Terrific off-road ability
  • Roomy seating and cargo space in four-door models
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Potent and refined engines
  • Low fuel economy
  • High projected ownership costs
  • Firm, jittery ride on-road
  • Cramped interior in two-door models

7.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Jeep Wrangler Overview

Is the 2018 Jeep Wrangler a Good Used SUV?

The redesigned 2018 Jeep Wrangler is a fine option if you want a used compact SUV that can handle serious off-road driving. It boasts a highly flexible suspension, sturdy axles, and big tires – allowing it to traverse extremely rough terrain. For everyday commuting, however, you'll want to look elsewhere.

The 2018 Wrangler’s highlights include:

  • Outstanding off-roading ability
  • Punchy four- and six-cylinder engines
  • An easy-to-use touch screen
  • Two body styles (two-door and four-door)

Its drawbacks include:

  • A stiff ride quality on uneven pavement
  • Poor gas mileage
  • Few advanced safety features
  • High ownership costs
  • A below-average predicted reliability rating
  • A higher average list price than most used compact SUVs

If you don’t plan to venture off the beaten path, consider higher-rated and more-practical alternatives like the 2018 Ford Escape and 2018 Mazda CX-5.

Compare the Wrangler, Escape, and CX-5 »

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

We’ve analyzed 15 Jeep Wrangler reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

How Much Is the 2018 Jeep Wrangler?

Based on listings for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler on our site, the average price is $33,600, which is well above average for the class. Prices range from $27,600 to $44,900 and vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Cost to Own?

The Wrangler’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $25,200, or $5,040 per year. That’s much higher than average for a compact SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Wrangler?

The 2018 model year marked the beginning of an all-new generation for the Jeep Wrangler (dubbed the Wrangler JL). Updates for 2019 are minimal. The 2019 Wrangler starts at $28,045 and is now available with forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control. Unless you really want those active safety features, stick with a used 2018 JL model, which will likely cost less.

Read about the new Jeep Wrangler »

You can save even more money by shopping for a previous-generation Wrangler, which ran from 2007 through 2018. (For 2018, Jeep offered both the redesigned JL model and the older model, which was labeled JK.) The older Wrangler's styling is similar to the JL, and it offers comparable off-road performance. However, the JK isn’t as refined. It doesn’t have a rearview camera or blind spot monitoring, it’s not available with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, its cabin materials aren’t as nice, and it’s not offered with the newer Wrangler’s zippy turbocharged engine. Test-drive both models to see which you prefer.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Wrangler »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Jeep Wrangler?

The 2018 Wrangler has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Wrangler reliability »

2018 Jeep Wrangler Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are seven recalls for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler:

  • Voltage regulator may fail
  • Intermediate steering shaft may split
  • Front track bar may separate from the frame
  • Can't cancel cruise control in some models
  • Transmission may not shift into park.
  • Rear frame may corrode
  • Rear door latch may be out of place

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Jeep Wrangler safety recalls »

Which Used Jeep Wrangler Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler is available in four trim levels: Sport, Sport S, Sahara, and Rubicon. The entry-level Sport trim is a bit short on convenience features – it doesn’t come standard with air conditioning, keyless entry, or power windows – so you’ll want to opt for a higher trim if these amenities are important to you.

Every trim level is available with the same engine and transmission options. Every trim except the Sahara is available in either the two- or four-door body style. The Sahara is only available as a four-door model.

  • Jeep Wrangler Sport: The base model Wrangler Sport comes standard with a 5-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, eight speakers, Bluetooth, a USB port, cruise control, cloth seats, a folding soft top, fog lights, and 17-inch steel wheels.
  • Jeep Wrangler Sport S: The Sport S trim adds air conditioning, remote keyless entry, power windows and door locks, heated side mirrors, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
  • Jeep Wrangler Sahara: The Sahara trim adds a larger touch screen (7 inches) with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an additional USB port, dual-zone automatic climate control, and automatic on/off headlights.
  • Jeep Wrangler Rubicon: The Rubicon trim is aimed at the off-road enthusiast, and it adds heavier-duty axles, front and rear locking differentials, larger off-road tires, and rock rails (extra protection for the rocker panels).

See 2018 Jeep Wrangler trims and specs »

What Does Jeep's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Jeep offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Jeep extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. CPO vehicles also get a three-month/3,000-mile Maximum Coverage Care warranty. Additional benefits are available, including a 90-day SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, a CarFax vehicle history report, 24-hour towing and roadside assistance, and a car rental allowance. There are mileage and model restrictions, so read the Jeep warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Jeep has one of the worst CPO programs in the industry. Honda, Ford, Chevrolet, and Volkswagen all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Wrangler?

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published full crash test results for the 2018 Wrangler.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • rear parking sensors
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert

See Wrangler safety scores »

2018 Jeep Wrangler Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Jeep Wrangler or 2018 Toyota 4Runner?

The 2018 Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Wrangler are old-school SUVs. These body-on-frame vehicles are highly capable off road, and their beefy suspensions and four-wheel drivetrains can hold up well to punishing conditions. Neither is a cushy on-road cruiser, though. That said, the 4Runner is a better pick for most shoppers. It can seat seven people when equipped with its available third-row seat. It offers a roomier cargo area and a greater towing capacity. The Toyota also rates much higher for predicted reliability.

Which Is Better: 2018 Jeep Wrangler or 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a more luxury-oriented SUV than its Wrangler sibling. The Grand Cherokee boasts a higher-quality interior, more active safety features, a smoother ride, and stronger engine performance (multiple V8 engine options are available). Both SUVs offer the same user-friendly infotainment systems. The Wrangler is certainly a better off-roader, but the Grand Cherokee should provide a nicer driving experience day to day.

Compare the Wrangler, 4Runner, and Grand Cherokee »

2018 Wrangler Performance

How Does the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Drive?

The Jeep Wrangler is a champion off road. Its suspension flexes nicely across rocks and bumps, and its rugged four-wheel-drive system grips tenaciously – clawing the SUV up and over rough terrain. The Wrangler offers between 9.7 and 10.8 inches of ground clearance, depending on the model, allowing it to ride high above most obstacles. Protective skid plates come standard, so it isn’t a big deal if you scrape a rock or two. Other standard off-roading items include solid front and rear axles, tow hooks, and a two-speed transfer case with high- and low-range gearing. Limited-slip and locking differentials are available.

The Wrangler’s four-cylinder and V6 engines are potent. Both hustle the Jeep up to speed confidently, and each supplies ample power for climbing hills and passing slower vehicles. The turbo-four feels punchy around town. The Wrangler’s eight-speed automatic is smooth and it shifts decisively. The six-speed manual is slick, but its clutch feels vague, and it can be tough to modulate.

The Wrangler feels composed around turns and steady at highway speeds. Its steering is quick, too, and the brakes provide good stopping power. It’s not a particularly comfy SUV to drive though. Its ride is firm and jittery on uneven pavement, and that’s especially true for the shorter two-door models.

  • Base engine: 3.6-liter V6 with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque
  • Available engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: four-wheel drive (4WD)
  • Transmission: standard six-speed manual; available eight-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Wrangler gets poor fuel economy for a compact SUV.

  • 2.0t I4, eight-speed automatic: 23/25 mpg city/highway
  • 3.6 V6, six-speed manual: 17/25 mpg
  • 3.6 V6, eight-speed automatic: 18/23 mpg
2018 Jeep Wrangler Towing Capacity

The Wrangler can handle light duty towing when properly equipped. The two-door Wrangler has a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. The four-door Wrangler Unlimited is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Read more about Wrangler performance »

2018 Wrangler Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Wrangler Seat?

The two-door Wrangler can seat four people, while the larger four-door Wrangler Unlimited can seat up to five. The Jeep’s driving position is comfortable, thanks in part to the wide range of steering wheel adjustments. The elevated seat height provides good visibility to the front and side of the vehicle. There’s generous seating space up front, and the four-door model’s back seat can accommodate adults comfortably. The two-door Wrangler’s rear seat doesn’t have much legroom though, and it’s awkward to access.

The Jeep’s standard soft top roof is simple to fold, and its available hardtop is fairly easy to remove. It’s quick and easy to fold down the windshield and remove the doors as well. The new Wrangler’s cabin is certainly more upscale than previous models, and there are padded surfaces in key areas. Still, the interior contains a lot of hard plastics elsewhere.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth seats
  • folding soft top

Available seating features:

  • heated front seats
  • leather seats
  • heated steering wheel
  • removable hardtop
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Jeep Wrangler?

The Wrangler’s second row has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats.

2018 Jeep Wrangler Features

Every Wrangler comes with a touch-screen infotainment system. These screens range in size from 5 to 7 to 8.4 inches, and they run Chrysler’s user-friendly Uconnect program. The graphics are crisp, response times are quick, and the on-screen menus are straightforward. There are also a few buttons and knobs for audio and climate controls that are conveniently grouped on the dashboard. Both the 7- and 8.4-inch screens support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which allow users to integrate their iPhone and Android apps with the display.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, eight speakers, and a USB port
  • Available infotainment features: a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an 8.4-inch touch-screen navigation system, and satellite radio
  • Additional standard features: cruise control
  • Other available features: air conditioning, dual-zone climate control, power windows and doors, remote keyless entry, remote start

See 2018 Jeep Wrangler specs »

Read more about Wrangler interior »

2018 Jeep Wrangler Dimensions

Jeep Wrangler Cargo Space

The two-door Wrangler has just 13 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 47 cubic feet with these seats folded. That’s not a lot of room for a compact SUV. The four-door Wrangler Unlimited is more practical. It offers 31.7 cubic feet of space behind its rear seats and 72.4 cubic feet with them folded.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Jeep Wrangler Length and Weight
  • Length: 13 feet, 9 inches (two-door) to 15 feet, 7 inches (four-door)
  • Curb weight: 3,955 to 4,215 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Built?

Jeep built the 2018 Wrangler in Ohio.

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