Jeep JL Wrangler sneak peek

Jeep JL Wrangler MY19

The 2019 Jeep JL Wrangler launches in Australia on the 9th of February at some dealers with most aiming for the weekend after.

We were lucky enough to have a sneak peak at two MY18 JL Overland Unlimited Wranglers courtesy of Nepean Motor Group at Penrith, Sydney. There are apparently just over 120 JLs in the country, all MY18 Overland spec four-door (Unlimited) and all either Granite Crystal (grey) or Punk’N Metallic (orange). With 22 pre-sales sight unseen, and delivery expected just after Easter, Jeep are looking positive about sales figures.

External differences to the outgoing JK are few but noteworthy. A more relaxed windscreen and matching front grille fold; indicators in wheel arch flares and slightly different wheelbase and overhangs. LED headlights and tail lights on the Overland and Rubicon spec are standard too.

We had a crawl underneath, all the important bits are tucked up safely out of bash-range. Nothing much to catch on rocks or logs. Great work Jeep.

Under the paint, changes include lighter-weight aluminium bonnet and doors, an eight-speed automatic gearbox, improved towing capacity, a host of in-car infotainment technology including a larger screen with Android Auto and Apple Carplay as well as keyless entry and start on all bar the base models. The JK’s 2.8-litre diesel engine has been superseded by a 2.2-litre donk offering the same 147kW of power but down 10Nm to 450Nm of torque.

V6 3.6L Pentastar engine peaks at 209kW and 347Nm

ANCAP test ratings

The most damning report around the new Wrangler is the gloriously terrible 1-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating. Our local ANCAP rating uses the European score too. Fortunately most Australian models will be higher-specc’d for safety than their Euro siblings, though the NCAP rating will still hold.

The Overland and Rubicon models will come standard with adaptive cruise control, Full Speed Forward Collision Warning Plus, blind spot monitoring and rear cross path monitoring. The inclusion of the Full Speed Collision Warning Plus, another name for autonomous emergency braking, should increase the Wrangler’s safety score remarkably. Airbags are still limited to two front and two side seats, due to the nature of the removable roof and doors.

Reality is, Wrangler customers aren’t as concerned about ANCAP ratings as they are about lifestyle, appearance and off-road performance.


MY19 JL Wrangler
SpecificationVariantPrice exc. On-road costs
Sport S2-door$48,950
Sport S4-door$53,450
Rubicon Petrol4-door$63,950
Rubicon Diesel4-door$68,950


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  • V6 Diesel will be in the Gladiator, so hang out for than. Hey Minako, you serious dude? It’s a convertible, you can jump out through the roof.

  • Very disappointed with the v6 diesel not coming to Australia huge error in judgment by Jeep Australia. We tow boats and caravans here the wrangler (jk) I own is the best 4×4 off road but towing capacity is not good enough can’t believe I’m the only person bitterly disappointed with the lack of customer feedback Jeep have apparently done to fail it’s cus so badly.

  • Love the look of the Jeeps and their off the shelf abilitiy.

    As usual though, we’re getting screwed on the pricing. Considering our Dollar v US and other potential costs, they seem to have a huge mark up when delivered in Australia compared tothe USA.

    The Jap based utes are no different though – must be huge margins in Australia compared to overseas.

    Watch the Chinese products over the next few years, when the quality & perception thereof improves – the incumbents will be rewriting their pricelists.

    For now the good ole ML Triton will get a new set of Treads and maybe a new clutch in a few months and go for another ten years.

  • one of the things i hate with a lot of 4wd is the back window is far too small not wide enough , if you end up in the drink you are screwed , there is no way you get out part. with so many fat ppl! and i dont like the sparewheels at the backdoor either , every escape area is too small, not good, like the reddish colour and some of the interior , but one of my pethate is the footroom for the backseat passengers is a joke a bad one, they can not stretch legs , and now were they all grow so tall , are you sure you have ppl with brains there?

  • That V6 diesel is so badly needed. Okay its specs are not so high, but I bet it’ll be around years after the 2L donk has carked it. Better crawling/pulling power despite the figures I’ll wager.

  • I’ve been watching the LiteBrite YouTube channel – Kevin and Britney, a Colorado couple who bought a stock JL Rubicon and thoroughly hammered the snot out of it, slowly upgrading it along the way. The first thing they did was throw 35in types on it with just a bumpstop mod – so jealous you can’t do such tyre diameter increases here in Australia. They run 38’s now. It looks awesome.

    In any case, other than the windscreens constantly cracking, the new JL seems like one of the best, most capable 4WD’s getting around. Albeit pricey as heck compared to over there.

  • The Rubicon Diesel is pretty much the same money as the Landcruiser 76 series GXL wagon which is a Turbo v8 diesel.
    With the big price jump, why would you by the Jeep?

      • The 4.5L turbo diesel in the tojo tractor is making its 430Nm from 1200rpm to 3200rpm. Jeep is making its 450 from 2000rpm. Surely it’s time for Toyota to soon bring out another donk though!!

  • Jeep Australia has made a mistake by not having the V6 diesel and the rubicon doesn’t have the 33″ tyres standard in America.

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