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.
Part 1 – Introduction, On the Road, Performance
A driver perspective – On the road
Our destination was well over 200 miles from home, this would give an excellent feel of what the JK was like to ride in for several hours. We left around 7:30 am on a rainy springtime morning. It was damp and a bit chilly, with an adjustment of the JK’s heat and some defrosters we hit the highway. The cruise control was set at 65 mph and the Sirius satellite radio was pumping out some classic rock. Even with the lift and larger tires the JK rides very comfortably (at this point the Jeep still suffers from it’s steering pull – haven’t had time to have it looked at).
Sirius satellite radio
center console controls
The Toyo Open Country M/T tires are quiet compared to most mud terrain type tires, comparable in noise to an all terrain. One thing to keep in mind regarding the ride, this vehicle is still a Jeep and by design can only ride so good to an extent. With solid front and rear axles the Jeep still has ride characteristics of it’s predecessors but if more refined and smooth thanks to a long wheelbase and softer coil spring rates.
We drove for about an hour in a steady rain without incident. The Jeep drove very confidently in the rain, the defrosters and the wipers work well too.
From the butt, legs, and finger tips
The driver and passenger space is cozy but roomy, we drove for about 1.5 hours without stopping and we both were still feeling fine. The seats are very comfortable and adjustable. With the cruise on there wasn’t much more to do than steer and have endless conversation about Jeeps. The controls for the lights, hvac, windows, etc. are pretty convenient with exception of the off-road controls for the sway bar and lockers. The buttons are positioned at the bottom of the center console, not really a bad location but does take some getting used to.
locker, sway bar, hazard, and ESP controls
Performance and Fuel Mileage
The Jeep has been averaging 17-19 mpg. The majority of this Jeep’s driving is highway, even with the addition of the taller Toyo tires there wasn’t any significant reduction in fuel mileage. This trip the Jeep’s mileage was closer to 20 due to the extended highway time. It is well known that the Jeep’s 3.8L V6 is not a power house by any means but was capable of maintaining speed even on some of the longer hills. A power chip, open air intake system, and cat back exhaust would probably add some much needed horse power. Visit the modifications and reviews section to check out some available performance systems for the JK.