Jeep JK Wrangler Review – Part 3

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.

To the trail…

The jeepfan.com JK has seen trail use before and has been broken in so we already knew what to expect. See the article Post First Trail Run Impressions of the jeepfan.com JK Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. But this area offered some different trails so we could gather more data to provide more feedback. The trails were were running were old logging trails, not rocky but the washed out ravines, mud, and hill climbs made it interesting and relaxing.

The above images show the JK in action. The Jeep’s off road manners are excellent. Ride quality over the rough stuff is controlled and smooth. The coil spring suspension provides almost effortless suspension movement and the Rubicon gas charged shocks absorb the bumps and provide control. The Rubicon 4:1 Rock Trac transfer case provides the low crawl ratio key to keeping speed down.

Video

through the slop,
the audio in the background is a quad

hill climb

Lockers

The Rubicon version of the JK is factory equipped with front and rear electronic lockers. The X model and Sahara can be ordered with a rear locker. Locker operation in simple and at the push of a button. The lockers only work in 4WD low and under 18 mph (see the article: Locker Hacks). The locker engage/disengage button is a two direction button. Pressing the lower button once turns on the rear, pressing the lower again turns on the front (keeping the rear on – the front will only work if the rear is on) Pressing the lower button a third time will turn the front off while keeping the rear on. Pressing the upper button will turn all off.

Sway Bar

The Rubicon version of the JK is factory equipped with a front electronic sway bar disconnect. The X model and Sahara can be ordered with a sway bar disconnect option. Sway bar operation in simple and at the push of a button. The sway bar works in 4WD low and under 18 mph (see the article: Locker Hacks).

Trail annoyances and oddities

 

The Jeep tends to run on at 2000 rpm. For example, say you are running along in low range 2nd gear at 2000 rpm. Let off the accelerator and the Jeep just keeps on going like it’s on cruise control. A touch of the brake or clutch and the Jeep slows back down, weird!  The fuel gauge – we were going slowly down the side of a long hill, after 10 minutes or so on the hill the low fuel warning alarm and indicator came on. When we started our day the Jeep had nearly 1/2 tank of gas! It couldn’t be out? We stopped and checked outside the Jeep for a leak but found nothing. We reached a level part and after a few minutes the gauge started climbing until it returned to it’s original position. It turns out the sender is susceptible to extended down hill slopes and will report the fuel level being lower than it really is.

Continue to Part 4 – Specifications