Jeep's Wrangler stays true to its heritage

2018 SUV has high-tech upgrades, keeps iconic look

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jeep loyalists will likely have the 2018 Wrangler at the top of their wish list.

After a decade-long run with the current model, the first all-new Wrangler is hitting showrooms and fans will be happy to learn much stays the same.

"Wrangler for many years is what we describe as the icon of our brand," Mike Manley, head of Jeep, said. "It's where Jeep started back in 1941."

On the outside, the new Wrangler keeps its boxy styling. Up front remains the signature seven-slot grille and round headlights.

"This vehicle really is what our customers recognize as what Jeep stands for around the world," Manley said.

The inside takes cues from historic models and has a rugged but refined look.

"We started the design looking towards the past," Ryan Joyce, the interior designer, said. "The Wrangler loyalist is going to look at the interior and say 'oh, OK, I get it.'"

New customers will appreciate the amount of technology packed into the 2018 model. A new Uconnect seven inch touchscreen infotainment system is available, and drivers can customize the screen in between their gauge cluster.

In typical fashion, the doors are still removable. The new roof folds back after flipping a few latches and takes seconds the drop. Even the windshield folds down.

"We stuck true to the playbook, we didn't waiver," Manley said. "Instead of changing the recipe, we just made it better."

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