2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Engines and Drivetrain Reviewed – In Depth Look At The JL’s New Engines
100 Comments


I’m Ryan from ExtremeTerrain.com and in this
video, we’re gonna talk all about the engine and drivetrain options in the brand new 2018
Jeep JL. Make sure that you’re subscribed to our YouTube
channel. That way, you’re gonna be able to check out
all of the other review videos that we’ve done, the compare of the JL to the JK and
all of the great stuff to come. So, with the new JL, every part of the Jeep
has been completely redesigned on the inside and the outside. And that means the engine and the drivetrain
as well. So, there are a couple of engine options available
in the JL as opposed to the one engine option that you got in the JK, as well as a few different
transmission and transfer case options that I want to tell you about. So, let’s jump into it. There are going to be a total of four different
engine options in the JL. The first one is available now, that’s what
you’re looking at here. Two more are going to be coming soon. And then in 2020, we’ll see the final one. And I’ll go through each one of them individually. So, the first one, as I said, is what you’re
seeing here. And this is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. And this has been redesigned a little bit
from what we were used to seeing on the JK. However, mostly it is going to be pretty much
the same engine. And this is what the JLs are shipping with
now. If you’ve ordered one, this is going to be
the only engine option that you have. So, this is going to be about 6% more efficient
than the old Pentastar engine. Part of that has to do with the fact that
this has engine start/stop. So, when you stop at a red light, if the engine
is fully up to temperature, it’ll shut the engine off for you. You let off the brake, it starts the engine
again. This isn’t new technology. It’s been around for a while now. Personally, I’ve never had a vehicle that
has it as a daily driver. And just driving this thing around for the
few times that I have, it drives me absolutely nuts. I’m very glad that they put a button on the
dashboard to be able to disable that. Unfortunately, even if you disable it, you
turn the engine off and start it again, the next time you go for a drive, it is going
to be re-engaged. So, every time, you’re going to have to turn
it off if you don’t want that feature. However, if it doesn’t bother you, it is going
to provide some additional efficiency. So, you can go ahead and just leave that in
the on position. This engine is going to have about 285 horsepower
and 260 foot-pounds of torque, which for a V6 gas engine, isn’t gonna be bad. It’s gonna be more than enough to turn some
big tires off-road, especially if you have the proper gears. The next engine that’s going to be available
in the JL, but it’s not shipping with yet, is going to be a 2-liter inline 4 turbocharged
gas engine. And again, this is all new for the Jeep. This hasn’t been offered before. But it’s not a brand new engine. It’s been around for a little while, so they
have had a lot of chances to tweak on it and make sure that it’s going to do everything
that they need it to do. Now, this engine is going to be considered
a mild hybrid because it has a belt start generator on it. And essentially, what that does is take the
alternator and put a generator in its position. So, it’s still going to charge up the battery
when it needs to. But when the battery is fully charged, it
can actually provide some additional power, helping the engine spin and giving you a few
more miles per gallon. That engine is going to produce 270 horsepower,
295 foot-pounds of torque. So, a little bit more powerful than the V6
that we’re looking at here. Now, one of the things I’m excited about with
that engine is generally when you have a small turbocharged engine like that, it’s detuned
a little bit from the factory. So, with just a tuner, you can really uncork
that engine and get a lot more power out of it. So, we’ll see what the aftermarket can do,
but chances are, you’ll see the power and horsepower numbers going up with a quick and
easy tune. The third engine option is a 3-liter V6 Eco
diesel engine. So, this is going to be the first time that
a diesel has been offered in a Wrangler in North America, and that is very exciting. A lot of people have wanted the diesel for
a long time because of the very high torque numbers that you can get at a very low RPM. And that’s really what you want when you’re
spinning big tires off-road. This engine is going to produce around 260
horsepower but 442 foot-pounds of torque, which again, is a massive number for a Jeep. This should also offer right around 30 MPG,
even though it hasn’t been tested yet. So, you’re gonna get some efficiency and a
lot of power out of that diesel. Now, the diesels are very similar to the small
turbo engines that I talked about before. Usually, you can uncork even more out of those
with a simple tune. So, I’ll be very excited to see what happens
there. Now, that motor being so torquey at low RPMs
is also going to pair really well with some of the new drivetrain options that we’ll talk
about in just a minute. The final engine option, the fourth engine
option, isn’t going to be available until 2020 and that is going to be a full plug-in
hybrid. And that’s something that I feel Jeep really
needed to do to stay relevant. Everybody is going with efficiency. And that’s what these three engines are gonna
give you. But a full plug-in hybrid is a whole nother
level. The torque that you can get from a full electric
is instant and it’s really something that you can’t get from a gas engine or even a
diesel engine. So, we’ve talked about torque a couple of
times now, spinning big tires off-road. It would be really interesting to have a full
electric off-road Jeep. And I personally am pretty excited to see
what it feels like and what it handles like when it finally comes out in 2020. So, along with the multiple engine options
that you’re going to get on the JL, you’re also going to have a couple of different choices
when it comes to transmission and transfer case. So, you’re still going to have a 6-speed manual
if you’re somebody who still likes to row through gears and have that very mechanical
connection to the engine. You can still get that. And that has been really optimized for efficiency,
just like everything else when it comes to the new JL. The new option is going to be the 8-speed
automatic transmission. And those additional gears are there for a
reason. When you drive this thing, you are going to
be going through gears very quickly. It’s going to be keeping you exactly in the
powerband where you need to be. So, when you’re on the highway, it can drop
you down into a lower RPM, giving you more efficiency. And when you’re taking off around the city,
you are going to be in a little bit of a high RPM band where you need that power. But having those additional gears really lets
the RPMs match the need of the driver at the time, giving you maximum efficiency. And that’s what that’s really all about. I noticed, when driving this Jeep around,
that does have the 8-speed auto, that it hangs in first gear a little bit longer. But again, it’s designed to do that. It’s designed to keep you in exactly the RPM
where you need to be. Now, directly behind that transmission, whether
you go automatic or with the stick shift, is going to be the transfer case. And you are going to have three different
options. So, you have the command track. That’s going to be the transfer case that
is going to be in most of the Jeeps without getting any additional options. That’s going to be the standard. And you’re going to have a 2 High, a 4 High,
a neutral, and a 4 Low. So, that’s pretty much what we’re used to
having on a transfer case in a Jeep. Now, if you want to go up to an optional transfer
case, you can do that in the Sahara model. And what that’s gonna put you in is the select
track. And that’s going to give you a 2 High, a 4
High auto, a 4 High part-time, a neutral, and a 4 Low. So, you’re gonna have one additional transfer
case option. And the idea behind that is you can put it
in there if you’re driving on a road that’s a little slushy but also has some dry spots
so you’re not constantly shifting from two to four. The Jeep is automatically switching for you,
changing whether it has the transfer case locked and is putting power to both the front
and the rear wheels or just one or the other. It’s doing all of that for you. I personally come from a TJ. I have the old MP231. Sometimes I am in that situation where I’m
driving around with a hand on the transfer case, going from 4 High to 2 High because
you don’t want to put any additional undue stress on the transfer case. And that 4 High auto is going to do all of
that for you. So, that’s going to be a nice option. And then finally, if you do step up to the
Rubicon, you’re going to have the rock track transfer case. That’s going to give you a very, very low
crawl ratio, 84:1 from the factory with the 4.10 gears in that Rubicon. So, even with the 33-inch tires that are on
that thing, you’re going to have a ton of power and the ability to really crawl that
Jeep. Now, if you pair that with the 3.0-liter diesel
engine, which has 442 foot-pounds of torque, you’re going to have an absolute monster when
you’re crawling off-road. That’s going to be a crazy combination. So, I mentioned that the Rubicon does have
4.10 gears. All of the other Jeeps are going to come from
the factory with 3.45 gears, which is going to be a little bit of a higher gear ratio
than we saw on the JK. So, that’s gonna help with spinning those
tires, especially down low. You pair that with all of the gear ratios
in both the automatic and the manual transfer case, and again, word of the day, efficiency,
it’s all about getting more MPG out of the JL than you were able to get out of some of
the past Jeeps. So those are all of the engine and drivetrain
options available on the Jeep JL. Obviously, a lot more options and a lot more
decisions to be made if you plan on purchasing a JL for yourself. And hopefully, this video helps you make that
decision just a little bit easier. Make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube
channel to check out all of the other review videos that we have on the JL. And make sure you comment below to let us
know which engine and drivetrain options you’d want on your 2018 JL.

100 thoughts on “2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Engines and Drivetrain Reviewed – In Depth Look At The JL’s New Engines

  1. the JL transmission might be the tipping point for me to trade in my JK for the JL. Otherwise I would be content to keep my JK.
     My JL pros
    -possibly the engine(s) 
    -8 speed transmission
    -quicker throttle response
    -soft top without ‘cross bar’
    -soft top no zippers
    -quieter soft top
    -body color roll bar
    -flat horizontal dash
    -lighter/aerodynamic tweaks = better MPG
    -real metal interior detail
    -real hardware (not faux bolts) interior
    -larger cup holders 
    -air vents for cooling under hood
    -more slant in windshield (think rock damage)
    -doors stay opened
    -cabin is slightly longer
    -doors remove easier/faster
    -telescopic adjusting steering wheel
    -bigger storage tub

    My JL cons
    -push button start
    -auto start/stop
    -the bumpers (front and back)
    -front running lights on fender flare
    -too much digital visual “noise” on dash 
    -rear camera 
    -no hard drive in radio to store music

  2. Well for wheeling the diesel is the engine. But if your daily driving more often than wheeling I would take that 4cyl turbo. Unfortunately all the new emission requirements on new diesels have their set of problems. As for that stopping the engine when you stop your vehicle at a light is totally annoying.

  3. I am very interested in seeing what the 2.0 can do from what I've read it's torque is in the lower bands. But that Diesel makes me think pure power!

  4. RPM is not what give efficiency, engine load is what matters… Low rpm with ur foot to the floor burns a tonne of fuel.

  5. Great video, Ryan and XT! I would lean towards the diesel option, but the turbo is interesting, too. I’ll hang on to my 2015 2-door until the other engines become available.

  6. Diesel? Don't believe it till it's on the showroom floor. When I bought my 2013Rubicon they told me if I wait it will be out in 2014…….ha ha

  7. All the shut downs and restarts will where the starter slap out…..I'm sure it will be a very special starter with a special price.

  8. Starting an engine, even when warm, means starting with zero oil pressure. Some may argue it won't hurt anything, but if that were true, then any normal oil pressure deviation wouldn't be a high concern for engine life. Not to mention the repeated torque load stress on the internals to bring them up to running speed at every fucking stop sign. I'm certain there will be aftermarket hacks to disable this.

  9. 2020 engine option: Water crossing in an electric jeep… also where to plug on the trail? I hope i misunderstood that option. Maybe a independent suspension with a 'mall rated' badge on the fender.

  10. I like the diesel.. but know the ram with that engine was an absolute nightmare with cam shafts breaking and blowing up engines

  11. Speaking to the manual or automatic transmission. It's my understanding that the manual will only be offered paired to the 3.6 pentastar, a decent engine but compared to the other 3 not as great IMO. I wish and hope they offer it with the diesel but I doubt they will. I guess we should be lucky they even have a manual option in the first place though.

  12. JEEP. If you are listening…
    We want a Wrangler w/ a 5.7 HEMI !!! They have been built aftermarket. And hats off for MOPAR having man sized balls and creating a HellCat and Demon Charger and Challenger why such an underpowered Wrangler? Why?
    In the old days one of the most popular mods for our CJs was a Chevy 350 swap. WTF JEEP?
    We had a production 360cid CJ5 and CJ7 back in the AMC days, why the castrated present day Wrangler?
    SEE Advance Adapters for 5.7HEMI swap kits fellas…
    Until then Jeep, how about growing a pair?

  13. I think throwing a tune on that little 2.0L is gonna be legit. I am interested in the diesel just because there is no V8 and the other engines are boring :(……

  14. hybrid will more than likely be useful only on the sahara. Eco diesel is a horrible engine, I'm sorry but america makes great v8s but they have no idea how to make a proper and reliable diesel engine. 2.0 turbo might be great mpg and better torque but with jeep's reliability, it'll most likely end up costing tons of money in repairs. Only the tried and tested pentastar seems to be the viable choice. Hope I'm wrong about the turbo though and it turns out to be an amazing engine.

  15. Thanks for the review. Those Pentastars in JK's are set to run stupid hot. Do they do the same in JL's?

  16. Does the 3.6 still has the same problem with removing the intake manifold to change the spark plugs?

  17. Is the 3.0 diesel the same one that's in the RAM 1500 and the GC? With any new design of an engine you're going to run into bugs. My money would be on the 3.6 Pentastar with the 6 speed manual, it's been around since 2012. I would love the diesel but the emissions garbage is killing these newer diesels.

  18. If im paying 50k + for a jeep which is fucking awful i want an inline 6 turbo or a hemi 2 engine options 6 speed manual standard on both jeep get your shit together but people keep buying this garbage so they will never do it

  19. have you tried a trailer test light on my f150 that turns off the stop go it thinks it's towing a trailer

  20. With that being said about for the Rubicon and the gearing 80421 there's an aftermarket transfer case adapter it's by Kuhn V they have one called the Goliath and the David where you can triple double or triple your racial you think that's the monster now with the diesel which you buy this adapters for that transmission and you know they're working on it right now that's going to be a bastard of a 4 by vehicle in a jeep with that being said I like to Jeeps I've always wanted one and I've always liked the Land Rover the Land Rover is the caviar of the two don't get me wrong both vehicles had a background in the military during the second World War for all you numbnuts out there who don't know you could take a Land Rover from the dealership pick a spot in the country and drive it right off without any modification that's how they're built My Buddy actually seen that many years ago it was a caravan a Land Rover drivers they just decided one day driving down the highway this looks like a good spot let's take it and they did that's how Land Rovers were built I would have a Land Rover and then it was Jeeps and that fact any of the Land Rovers and the Jeeps from the past Land Rover is bringing back the square boxes version that they had many years ago my buddy Road 1 in Africa when he was big game honey they're badass vehicles

  21. Has anyone heard an official announcement of the 3.0 diesel? If so is there a link, all I have found is the 2.0 and that’s for 2019.

  22. The electric version should be optional. The gasoline should be standard, then the diesel, then the highest trim the electric.

  23. Diesel would be fine if it wasn't electronically controlled and didn't have all the emissions garbage on it. Today's diesels are far less reliable and a lot higher maintenance than they used to be, and way too expensive for the majority of the population…and with many that make really short trips and lots of stop and go driving a diesel is NOT the answer.

  24. You are driving a box down the road, they're not efficient, doesn't matter how many gears they add. Throwing 3:45 axle ratios in it though is ridiculous, I thought they were meant for driving offroad not being a fuel efficient Toyota Prius….because that's exactly the way they seem to be headed with all vehicles that have any sort of 4WD capability. Jeep really needs to part ways from Fiat before Fiat completely finished off the Jeep heritage. Electric Jeep makes me think of the little Barbie Power Wheels…if they keep going that's exactly what they're going to turn them into.

  25. I would go with a V6. It’s proven itself. And also I think the start stop feature would come in handy at the drive thru window restaurants.

  26. haa,we got a 2.8 diesel here in aus,yrs ago,..that stop start is bullshit,do you carry a spare starter,it doesnt offset the fuel save.

  27. i have an f250 2002,with an mwm 4.2tdi,german tractor engine,built in brazil,you never got them,just the 7.3,chunk.it puts out std 510nm,135kw,bit bigger turbo,700nm,165kw,no computer,all mechanical.great engine.

  28. Just got back from the local Jeep dealership. I drove two 2018 Wranglers with the 3.6 V6, then I drove one with the 2.0L turbo. The 2.0 was so much quicker. Wow!!!

  29. I bet diesel engine won't sell .gas engine more power better mpg than diesel .diesel costs too much to maintain oil change $300 injectors 1000 a piece .. I hate diesel engines I owned many of them

  30. 1980-1981 jeep was offering a wrangler with a Peugeot turbo diesel
    The jeeps were shipped to dealer in Placerville Ca where they installed the engine

  31. My question is the 2.0 durability over time in a vehicle that large ,, i have 240k on my wives 2006 liberty with the 3.7 V6 in it and still runs like brand new , doesn’t burn any oil and doesn’t leak any oil ,, lets see a 4 banger do that in a jeep that size ,, haven’t seen one yet.. just my opinion..

  32. I will never buy a stupid fucking vehicle with engine stop start. So, I guess I'll be riding my motorcycle in the near future. Morons. Hey idiot manufacturers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!: START LISTENING TO YOUR CUSTOMERS!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe you just might start making profits if you did.

  33. a buddy got a 2019 Jeep Wrangler automatic with V6. and he asked me 'why is there a Neutral position in the transfer case. I told him, based on my many years of experience, the neutral is for an accessory installed on a 3rd output of the transfer case… ie: a driveshaft winch, a hydraulic pump [ for dump box etc ], or a rear 550 RPM PTO. However, all these drive items were very foreign to him and he just couldn't understand what the neutral position was for… ok, please answer; in today's environment, what's the Neutral for ????

  34. I bought a 2018 Sport S with a V6 a couple of months ago. I really enjoy it. The Start/Stop feature doesn't bother me. When I get to a light, I let the engine shut off, and when the light is getting ready to change back to green, I lightly lift the brake pedal to allow the engine to start back up again.

    One thing I will say, since my Wrangler was built in April 2018, the battery that the Start/Stop uses, had died and needed to be recharged. Since then, I've not had any issues with it.

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