Types of JL WranglersLast Updated August 4, 2019 | Sam Padgett
Debuting in 2018, the JL Wrangler continues to refine the Wrangler experience. There are a number of modern comforts and tech options that would make a TJ Wrangler blush. Coming off of the tail of the successful and popular Jk Wrangler, the current Jeep Wrangler has a lot riding on its wheels. While there aren't as many varied models as there are on the JK, the available JL Wrangler models offer an impressive variety of driving experiences. From the luxury-focused MOAB to the gritty, mud craving Rubicon, the JL Wrangler has a model suited for every type of Jeep enthusiast.
This is the base model JL Jeep Wrangler. From here on out, each higher level of trim is Trail Rated, so you don’t have to worry about what that means anymore. This JL Sport is a Wrangler starter pack, only consisting of the most important gear to get your Jeep on the road.
That being said, Sport level JL Wrangers do come with a Command-trac two-speed transfer case, a 5-inch Uconnect screen, and a parking/backup camera. Unfortunately, though, stock 2-door Sport models don’t come with A/C by default. That being said, the lack of A/C does give you more excuses to take both the top and the doors off.
There’s something wonderful about the JL Sport. Because of the wonderfully robust Jeep aftermarket scene, a JL Sport is the automotive equivalent of a blank canvas. This “choose your own adventure” on wheels is a big reason why the Jeep fandom is so large.
This is mostly quite similar to the Sport model. That extra S isn't just for show though; the Sport S trim has a few key benefits over the absolute starter Sport trim. The Sport S trim comes with the Power Convenience bundle, which is a list of features that most modern drivers would just assume comes with every car (like AC). This means that the Sport S trim of the JL Wrangler has both powered windows and locks, as well as a heated side view mirrors.
The upgrade to Sport S, in turn, opens up more options for customization. For example, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available on the Sport S trim while they aren’t on the base level Sport Wranglers.
The Sahara is the middle of the line Trim for the Jeep JL Wrangler. There aren’t any noticeable performance upgrades, but instead, plenty of the features that the relatively spartan Sport and Sport S trims lack. It’s fully equipped with dual-zone climate control, the power convenience bundle and a slightly larger 7” screen for the Uconnect system. The wheels also receive a slight upgrade on this trim with 18” polished aluminum wheels coming standard on the Sahara.
The Sahara also lacks the option for the two-door model, being sold exclusively with four doors. Additionally, the Sahara does not have a typical Wrangler transfer case. Instead, it comes with the option of a Selec-Trac Full-time 4WD system. Considering its relative capabilities to other trims, like the simpler Sport and the trail-crushing Rubicon, the Sahara is a Jeep model made more with daily driving in mind.
With each successive generation of Wrangler, Jeep is slowly inviting more and more drivers to partake of the Jeep experience by making them safer, smoother, and simpler. There will always be options for the more hardcore, “flip me over if you can read this” type of Jeep fans. The Sahara, on the other hand, is a trim meant more for families; it’s a comfier and safer Jeep. The full-time 4WD isn’t just for rock crawling, it’s also for keeping traction in bad road conditions. In addition to this, the Sahara comes with a heavy-duty suspension system with gas shocks. This suspension system is distinct from the upgraded performance suspension that goes on the Rubicon. This is more to smooth out the JL Wrangler’s ride. Anyone who has ridden in an older Wrangler can tell you how much those can shake.
The Rubicon is the culmination of all things Jeep. As is tradition, the Rubicon Wrangler has always been the most capable Jeep of each generation since the TJ. As should be expected, the JL's Rubicon continues to push the limits of what the Wrangler can accomplish.
The Rubicon is able to be as capable as it is through a series of performance add-ons, some of which includes the Rock-Trac 4:1 low range 4X4 system, stock 33-inch off-road tires, and locking front and rear Dana 44 Axles. The off-roading enhancements don’t stop there, the JL Rubicon also comes with a winch-capable bumper, a 4:10 axle gear ratio, a selectively detachable front sway bar, 33-inch off-road tires, and a performance suspension system. Needless to say, there is a grocery list of additional upgrades available for the Rubicon. Even though the Rubicon is already an off-road champion, many owners continue to modify their Wranglers till kingdom come. That's just a Jeep thing, surely you can understand.
If you are looking for an incredibly capable off-road machine that you don’t have to build yourself, the JL Rubicon is undoubtedly your best bet. The JL Rubicon is to offroading what a Shelby GT500 is for the track. Given that this is the pinnacle performance vehicle for the JL Wrangler, let's see how it stacks up with other JL trims in terms of off-roading statistics.
|Approach Angle (degrees)||44||41.8||41.4|
|Breakover Angle (degrees)||27.8||21||20.3|
|Departure Angle (degrees)||37||36.1||36.1|
|Running Ground Clearance (inches)||10.8||10||9.7|
The MOAB trim is basically a combination of the Sahara and the Rubicon trims, although it does lean closer to the Sahara. It follows the same basic outline as the Sahara, 4 doors only, full-time AWD and heavy-duty suspension. The Moab is the most expensive JL Wrangler trim available, and that cost is justified by loading the MOAB Wrangler with all of the luxuries that remain optional on the other Wranglers. Essentially, the MOAB is like the Rubicon but for mall crawling. This is not to say that the MOAB would struggle off-road, it is just not its focus. While it does come with a steel bumper and rock rails, and better off-roading angles than the Sport, the MOAB is meant to be a luxurious vehicle. This is quite apparent since one of the biggest draws of the MOAB is its gargantuan infotainment touchscreen. Measuring in at 8.4 inches, this is the largest screen available on the JL Wrangler, a full 1.4 inches larger than the Rubicon's screen.
To accompany the nearly IMAX proportioned Uconnect screen, the MOAB's interior is chock full of leather, with both the seats and dashboard being covered in it. Additionally, the MOAB comes with the 9 speaker premium Alpine sound system.
JL Wrangler Prices
In the case that one (or more) of the types of JL Wranglers caught your fancy, we have listed the following prices for the 2019 JL Wrangler. The following prices are the starting price, which is important to consider since buying a Jeep is like eating a potato chip, once you have a taste, you just can't stop.
Along with each generation of Jeep Wranglers comes a new batch of different models. In order to keep your Jeep knowledge inexhaustible, read up on the different types of JL Wranglers so you can spot the differences between a MOAB and a Rubicon.
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