First look: 2018 Jeep Wrangler SUV

  • Purists will be happy with the styling
  • Removable body panels remain
  • Likely to be impressive off-road

Jeep Wrangler summary

Details are so far scant, but such is the familiarity of the styling, there are no prizes for guessing you’re looking at the latest generation of the Jeep Wrangler in short- and long-wheelbase guises, due in Britain in 2018.

New? Are you sure?

You can’t blame Jeep for tasking its designers with coming up with something new yet easily identifiable. The Wrangler is, after all, the brand’s halo model with a direct, continuous lineage that traces back to those pioneering 4x4s that saw service in WWII.

As such, it’s likely that the Wrangler will remain tricky to pigeonhole in the British market. Like its predecessors, it should be astonishingly capable off-road, particularly in shorter two-door form, but its cartoon-like styling might attract customers looking for a curious-looking crossover.

Jeep Wrangler 2018 news

It’ll be free of direct competition until the next generation of Land Rover Defender finally appears, but until then its rivals could theoretically be any vehicle that makes a statement.

Jeep promises that the new Wrangler will be more aerodynamic - and hopefully fuel efficient - than its predecessor, and there’s evidence of this with the chamfered-off edges to its otherwise perpendicular appearance.

It will also remain highly adaptable and - once you’ve removed the roof, unhinged the doors and folded the windscreen forwards - especially airy. Whether UK-market Wranglers will be quite so open to the elements remains to be seen.

Jeep Wrangler 2018 bird's-eye view

What will definitely make it to these shores are the circular headlamps flanking a seven-slot grille, while hallmark squared-off, protruding tail lights feature out back.

There’s little word yet on the engine range, other than it will be fuel efficient, so expect diesel powerplants to dominate, with a V6 petrol for those who feel American cars work best with a large-capacity motor up front.

Expect a slew of information to be forthcoming around the time of the Wrangler’s formal debut at the LA motor show at the end of November, including details about its suspension and four-wheel drive system, as well as pictures of the interior.

Parent company FCA has already announced that its Mopar accessories division will be offering over 200 Wrangler-specific accessories available, including shovels, shorter off-road-specific bumpers and beefed-up underbody protection for hardcore trail explorers.

First drives of European-spec models are likely in spring 2018 ahead of sales beginning in the summer at prices expected to be slightly higher than the outgoing model.

Parkers will be among the first to drive the newcomer so check back with us then for the full Jeep Wrangler SUV review