A new design is just the beginning

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is finally here and its new interior is one of its best selling points. The seats are more comfortable, there is more storage room, the materials are all nicer, and the dash has way more functionality baked in. From the buttons on the steering wheel to the dual-zone climate controls, the JL’s dashboard makes for a much better user experience over the outgoing Wrangler JK.

We’re going to take a quick look at Jeep’s improvements to see exactly what has changed. Of course, the Wrangler JL still comes in several trim levels, so not every feature will be available on all models.

Continue reading for more information.

New digs make us dig it more

A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard Interior
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Real metal accents add a touch of class while the center section’s Y-shaped outline recalls the CJ’s steering wheel

Let’s start with the steering wheel. Jeep wrapped it in soft-touch leather held together by contrast stitching. Real metal accents add a touch of class while the center section’s Y-shaped outline recalls the CJ’s steering wheel. Buttons operate the driver information screen, the phone controls, and the cruise control.

Left of the steering wheel are the headlight controls and dimmer switches. They are incredibly easy and intuitive to operate, and the two dimmer switches separate the dome light controls from the brightness of the dashboard’s backlighting. That’s handy.

A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard Interior
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As for the gauge cluster, the Wrangler has two versions

As for the gauge cluster, the Wrangler has two versions. The base model comes with a smaller driver information screen and analog gauges for the fuel and coolant temperature. Upper trims get a larger screen with digital fuel and coolant temperature readouts. The screen displays several menu pages and vehicle information like transmission and oil temperature, oil pressure, individual tire pressure, and even off-road information like angle and pitch, steering position, and transfer case gearing.

Three infotainment systems are available. They all now run FCA’s well-loved Uconnect system. The base has a 5.0-inch screen with the basic Uconnect 3 software. The mid-level option has a 7.0-inch screen with the new Uconnect 4 software. Available on the Sahara and Rubicon models is the 8.4-inch screen, again with Uconnect 4, but with navigation and obviously the larger screen.

A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard Interior
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All but the base Sport trim gets dual-zone climate controls – something not offered at all on the Wrangler JK

All but the base Sport trim gets dual-zone climate controls – something not offered at all on the Wrangler JK. Available creature comforts include three-position seat heaters for the front seats and (for the first time) a steering wheel heater. Other buttons control defrost and vent location controls, while the three knobs control radio volume, fan speed, and radio tuning. Thankfully, Jeep also includes a button for temporarily disabling the automatic start/stop feature that comes standard with all three engine options. There’s also a handy mute button for the radio and controls for the traction control, ParkSense system, and downhill descent control. For those nights driving down dark roads, there’s also a button to completely turn the screen off.

Like the Wrangler JK before it, the new JL positions its power window controls in the center stack. This eliminates the controls on the removable doors, helping keep them light. The window lock button returns in the center but is now a roller switch. Adjacent is a 12-volt power plug and a “media” center with a dust cover. Inside is a USB port, a USB-C port, and an AUX input jack.

A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard Interior
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Adjacent is a 12-volt power plug and a “media” center with a dust cover. Inside is a USB port, a USB-C port, and an AUX input jack.

Down below is a shallow cubbyhole designed for small items. Unfortunately, Plus-sized cell phones are too wide for the space, though the cup holder area is specifically designed to hold larger deceives. Optional in this cubby space are the four auxiliary switches. These allow customers to control aftermarket equipment like off-road lights without having to install an aftermarket control panel. The switches come with an easy electrical tie-in point under the hood. Rubicon models have their main off-road controls placed in this space, too. A toggle switch turns on the front and rear electronic locking differentials and a button to the left turns them off. A separate button disconnects the front sway bar, just like on the previous Wrangler JK Rubicon.

A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard Interior
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And speaking of those cup holders, their center divider now has a spot specifically for the Jeep’s key fob

And speaking of those cup holders, their center divider now has a spot specifically for the Jeep’s key fob, so there’s no more losing the key under the seat for those not keeping the fob in their pocket. Better still, the doors now have longer, more thickly padded armrests that are actually comfortable to use. A secret handle is embedded on the underside of the armrests, helping ease the task of carrying the doors once they’re removed. Thankfully, the doors are also lighter, too, due to their aluminum construction.

A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard Interior
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A secret handle is embedded on the underside of the armrests, helping ease the task of carrying the doors once they’re removed

All told, the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL’s interior is far better and more comfortable than the JK’s ever was. There are more controls, more creature comforts, better ergonomics, far better infotainment and info screens, and an overall more upscale feel thanks to better materials and fitments. Those turned off by the previous Wrangler JK’s dull cabin should be more than happy with Jeep’s progress.

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler

2018 Jeep Wrangler
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Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler

2017 Jeep Wrangler High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler

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