Built or bought? We answer that burning question in today’s Wrangler JK vs. JL off-road review.
The Jeep community are a passionate bunch. And rightly so – the CJ series and subsequent Wrangler models have cemented Jeep’s reputation as an off-road icon over the past seven decades. We’ve covered the brand new Wrangler JL to great lengths, but now we have a new challenge. Pennsylvania Gulch, just outside our hometown of Boulder, Colorado, is the stage for our latest off-road adventure.
In one corner, we have the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Rubicon. But that’s not all – this $45,380 Rubicon is the two-door model with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and a six-speed manual transmission. In many respects then, it’s similar to our long-term, 2016 Jeep Wrangler JK, as it has the same Pentastar V6 and a six-speed manual transmission. However, our long-term JK is a built-up Sport model. Compared to the Rubicon, which comes as the most off-road capable off-road Wrangler you can buy off the shelf, the JK has a few modifications. Notably, however, it does not have full-on front and rear locking differentials, since it’s the Sport model. The Wrangler JL Rubicon comes with front and rear lockers and an electronic sway bar disconnect.
With new bumpers, a 3.0-inch Alpine CT3 lift, Rugged Ridge wheels, and 35″ Firestone Destination tires, our long-term JK is also ready to head way off-road. How will they fare up what may be our “Cliffhanger 3.0”? Check out the video above to find out! Which one would you rather have – a cheaper, built JK or an off-the-rack Rubicon JL? Let us know in the comments below!
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