An in-depth look at the new JK Wrangler. Inside, outside, on the trail, and on the road.
We took the opportunity to visit some trails in the central PA mountains to do an in depth review of the new JK. We already did a trail debrief from the OK Auto Grand Reopening weekend but this would be a little different. We were going to dig into the nitty-gritty details of all aspects of the new JK. From street driving to trail driving to likes and dislikes, and even driver perspective and passenger perspective.
The new four door Wrangler JK provides so much more space than previous Jeep Wranglers and CJ’s it’s almost ridiculous. We had all of our stuff; tools, clothes, coolers, and food in the Jeep and still had plenty of room for passengers. If we had needed we probably could have stuffed everything just in the rear cargo area. Access to the rear cargo area is a bit cumbersome with the soft top window in place. Removing the window is not a quick job, you need to unzip the window and pull out the support rail. We actually found it easier to access the cargo area from the back seat area and folding the back seats forward.
cargo area from the rear seats
rear passenger area
all doors open
driver and passenger seat area
rear cargo hatch
The new JK is loaded with convenient and useful features. Two 12V power sources in the dash for on-board electronics like CB radios, GPS, lights, etc. Nice instrument layout and controls. Good visibility over the sloping hood and fenders. The Sunrider Soft Top is easy to use and quiet. The Freedom top is awesome too. The removable panels make nice fall and spring days a pleasure. Factory tow hooks.
Room for Improvement
Like anything nothing is perfect. The Jeep JK Wrangler is the most sophisticated Wrangler so far and possesses many features that makes modern vehicles safer and useful but there still is room for improvement. We have put together our list of what we think the Jeep should have…
- 50 more horsepower – come on Jeep! This thing is over 4000 lbs a small V8 or higher torque/horsepower V6 would be nice.
- A locking mechanism to hold the rear gate open. Try holding the gate open on a side hill and get a cooler out of the Jeep.
- Something to hold the front and rear doors open.
- More interior storage trays/compartments. There is no real good place for a pair of sunglasses.
- 110V converter power outlet in the cargo area.
- 12V power outlet in the cargo area.
- Lower ratio reverse – The 6 speed gearing is well suited for the Jeep but reverse seems a bit high.
- Better defroster ducts – In the snow ice forms on the sides of the windshield AND the wipers freeze to the windshield when not moving because they are below the defrosters reach.
- How about an optional on board air system?