The Jeep Wrangler JK Vs. The Jeep Wrangler JL: What's New?

2018 marked the advent of the all-new Jeep Wrangler JL, a redesigned model of the decade-old Jeep Wrangler JK platform. However, 2018 also saw the production of a new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JK - understandably confusing prospective Jeep owners seeking a new Jeep Wrangler, only to find two 2018 models with unclear differences and a similar outward appearance. However, while the Wrangler JK and Wrangler JL might look similar, mechanical differences between the models are far from negligible. While the Wrangler JK remains a mainstay of off-road performance, the Wrangler JL seeks to improve upon the Wrangler JK's shortcomings with an adherence to the Jeep community's feedback for on-road comfort and off-road capability.

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Mechanically Enhanced: Power, Performance, and Capability

The Jeep Wrangler JK, throughout its eleven-year production cycle, garnered support from countless drivers since it began production in 2007 - resulting in over 1.5 million units sold since then. Easily modified and upgraded and available in ten different trim levels, drivers from Columbia to Rock Hill, Lexington and beyond quickly developed an affinity for the robust and reliable Wrangler JK. Fitted with the legendary 3.6-liter Pentastar® V6 producing 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet and equipped with the Command-Trac® 4x4 system on base models, the Jeep Wrangler JK comes readily equipped to tackle the toughest trails across the globe.

The Jeep Wrangler JL, however, improves upon mechanical shortcomings of the Jeep Wrangler JK, including:

  • Rerouting the exhaust to avoid hitting the driveline when lifted
  • A Front axle disconnect to improve efficiency
  • Aluminum doors and knuckles to reduce weight while retaining strength
  • A standalone hydro-electric steering pump to provide full boost while at slow speeds
  • An additional heavy-duty crossmember reinforcing the transfer case
  • A sector shaft reinforcing the pitman arm to solve shaft sheering that occurred on the JK while off-roading
  • New-generation Dana® axles
  • Lifted rear track bar and outboard shocks with a redesigned exhaust route to reduce contact
  • New, optional eight-speed 850RE transmission with a lower first gear ratio for improved off-road handling
  • An optional all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged dual overhead cam inline four-cylinder engine with eTorque®, producing 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet

In short, the Jeep Wrangler JL sought to retain the steadfast nature of the JK, while addressing a variety of mechanical shortcomings encountered by drivers both on and off-road. By reducing the Wrangler JL's overall weight by approximately two-hundred pounds less than the Wrangler JK, everything from removing the Wrangler JL's doors to its overall efficiency are improved. Furthermore, the on-road comfort of the Wrangler JL is dramatically improved - addressing complaints of the overly stiff handling and ride quality of the Wrangler JK.

Updated and Innovative: Interior and Technology

The Jeep Wrangler JK, while fitted with ergonomic seating and various convenience features, was notoriously lacking in comfort and modern technology. Suited best for drivers seeking a no-frills approach to their off-road vehicle, the Wrangler JK delivers the off-road capability drivers desired, but ultimately fell short of being a comfortable daily driver.

Conversely, the Jeep Wrangler JL and its numerous interior upgrades result in a more convenient and luxurious ride. Incorporating an array of technological systems that enhance both convenience and safety, the Wrangler JL sets a new standard for Jeep vehicles. The available advanced Uconnect® systems and SiriusXM Guardian™ are intuitive, powerful systems that offer drivers unprecedented control over their Wrangler.

Discover Your Ideal Jeep Wrangler at Wilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

With the Jeep Wrangler JK available in ten trim levels, and the Jeep Wrangler JL available in four, drivers seeking their particularly preferred balance between affordability, comfort, capability and technology will find their preferred model at Wilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. Boasting an extensive selection of both Jeep Wrangler JL and Wrangler JK models, Wilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram strives to surpass expectations for drivers throughout Blythewood, Lugoff and Lexington. Stop by our dealership to speak with a sales professional regarding our available inventory of Jeep Wrangler models, or give us a call to schedule a test drive today!

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Wilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

301 S Congress St
Directions Winnsboro, SC 29180-1403

  • Sales: (803) 635-4923
  • Service: (803) 400-8676
  • Parts: (803) 712-4370


  • Monday 8:00am-7:00pm
  • Tuesday 8:00am-7:00pm
  • Wednesday 8:00am-7:00pm
  • Thursday 8:00am-7:00pm
  • Friday 8:00am-7:00pm
  • Saturday 8:00am-4:00pm
  • Sunday Closed
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