Jeep Wrangler JK vs JL – What’s The Difference?

Jeep Wrangler JK vs JL

Are you looking for a jeep but confused between the JK and JL? Don’t worry because I will present you with an article containing all information about the jeep Jk and JL.

The most significant thing one needs to know about jeep Jk and JL is the difference between both and how they may vary from each other. Both models have differences in their interior and exterior designs.

Though there is a lot of difference between both, the highlighted difference is the use of steel and wheelbase. Jeep JL comprises a stretched wheelbase and strong steel. Moreover, the JL Wrangler has newer, latest designs and better quality than the JK Wrangler.

Let’s dig into the following guide and explore the differences and features of JK Wrangler and JL Wrangler.

Jeep JK vs JL – Detailed Comparison

Jeep Wrangler JK vs JL

JK Wrangler

JK Wrangler is the third version of the jeep Wrangler. Its manufacturers released the first JK Wrangler in 2007. It is one of the most selling jeeps that stayed in the market for many years because of its demand.

Furthermore, it consists of bigger tires and flares than the older versions. One of the highlighted differences between the older versions of the jeep and jeep JK is the redesigning of the door.

JK Wrangler

The older jeeps usually consist of the two-door models, while JK Wrangler is the first model of the jeep that introduced the four-door model. Talking about its interior, exterior, and engine, this generation of jeeps consists of a powerful engine and simple yet elegant interior and exterior designs. Moreover, it comprises three types of engines and a power output of 285 hp. One is a 2.8L VM Motori RA 428, the second is a 3.6L Pentastar, and the third is 3.8L EGH.

The jeep has a front engine and a rear-wheel drive. In addition, it comes with two doors and four doors. A two-door jeep has a wheelbase of 95.4 inches, while a four-door jeep has 116 inches, and the curb weight of the jeep is around 3760 to 4340 lbs. or 1706 to 1969 kgs.

It has a four-speed, five-speed, six-speed transmission, and a four-wheel hybrid drivetrain. The manufacturers of JK Wrangler stopped the production of the jeep in 2018.

JL Wrangler

JL Wrangler is the fourth version of the jeep. The manufacturer released its first model in 2017. In addition, the vehicle consists of various engines known as 2.0L Hurricane14-T, 2.2L Multijet, 3.0L EcoDiesel, 3.6L Pentastar, and 6.4L Hemi. The electric motor of the jeep has a power of 33kW and six-speed and eight-speed transmission.

JL Wrangler

As JL Wrangler is the newer model jeep, it has improved quality, durability, and features than older models. In addition, it comprises larger tires and flares that make off-road driving more stable, easy, and fun.

A larger wheelbase of 96.8 inches in a two-door jeep and 118.4 inches wheelbase in a four-door jeep enhances its appearance and ensures stable and clean drive off the road. The large-size flares provide extra support to the tires.

The vehicle’s curb weight is around 3948 to 5103 lbs or approximately 1791 to 2315 kgs. Furthermore, this jeep comes with a removable windshield, aluminum material doors, and advanced technology buttons to control the other functions of the jeep. JL Wrangler is still available in the market due to its high demand. Also check the difference between Jeep TJ vs YJ.

Difference Between Jeep JK And JL

The difference between both models is that JL is the newer version that contains better quality, strength, features, and specifications. The reason they differ from each other is their interior design, strong steel, and stretching wheelbase. I present you with the differences between their interior, exterior, engine, maintenance, trims, price, and offroad performance.

Difference Between Jeep JK And JL

Interior

The main difference between the interior of JK and JL wrangler is the dash and the interior design. As JL is the latest version, it has a unique waterproof design interior and a flat dashboard.

Furthermore, the improvements in the newer version also highlight the 5.0, 7.0, or 8.4 inches touchscreen. On the other hand, a JK wrangler does not consist of the latest technologies like a touchscreen. A JL wrangler comes with improved seating, digital technologies, more comfort, and a Trail Rail Cargo Management system that helps you secure load in the vehicle. You can also check the difference between Jeep JKU and JK.

Jeep Trail Rail Management System

Moreover, the JK Wrangler lacks switches for off-road commands. In contrast, JL Wrangler contains an improved steering wheel and buttons on the panel that can control the adjustment of various gadgets.

Exterior

Both the jeeps look similar on the exterior, but the newer model has a much more durable frame. In addition, the bumpers of JL are also improved than the older ones. The vehicle comprises durable and sturdy aluminum-material doors.

One might notice a change in the positioning of the license plate in a JL wrangler. Moreover, the JL wrangler has a better grille design that protects the vehicle’s interior parts.

Another difference between these models is the positioning and quality of their headlights. The newer model consists of LED headlights and turn signals.

Furthermore, the manufacturers made minor changes to the doors, door handles, mirrors, and windshield. The JL Wrangler consists of three advanced options. A hardtop provides more airflow and insulation, while a soft top convertible helps you to start and stop the vehicle.

Flares And Tires

As the JK jeep is an older version, it has small flares and tires compared to the JL jeep. A Jl wrangler contains 33-inches tires and big flares that can protect the heavy tires. Furthermore, these bigger tires help you drive the vehicle on irregular areas and roads.

The jeep makes less noise with bigger tires, and the big flares will provide extra protection to the wheel and make it durable and long-lasting.

Engine

JL Wrangler consists of three types of engines. The first engine, 2.0L Turbocharged, has a horsepower of 270 hp and a torque of approximately 295 lb-ft. The second engine called the 3.0L EcoDiesel has a horsepower of 260 hp and a torque of 442 lb-ft.

Furthermore, the third engine 3.6L Pentastar has a horsepower of 285 hp and torque of around 260 lb-ft. On the other hand, the JK Wrangler does not contain a high horsepower engine. Therefore, the JL Wrangler has a more durable engine than the JK wrangler.

Performance

It is clear enough from the above article that jeep JL is far better than jeep JK in the interior and exterior designs. Now, the main question about both the vehicles is which one is better in terms of performance? Well, you don’t have to worry because this article has all the answers to your questions regarding their differences. It is clear enough that JL Wrangler is the newer version, so it performs better than the jeep JK.

The JL Wrangler consists of a powerful and advanced engine that helps one to drive the vehicle off-road and on the road. Furthermore, the strong and durable engine also reduces the noise of the jeep.

Another significant difference between both vehicles is the size of their tires. As JL Wrangler comes with big tires and flares, it performs way better than the Jk Wrangler off the road. JL Wrangler contains an advanced automatic transmission that helps to optimize the engine, reduce noise, and much more.

In addition, the newer model has many advanced features that enhance its performance. These advanced features include improved crawl ratio, gear ratio, gear design, reduced vibration, and a six-speed transmission.

All these features play a significant role in enhancing the performance of the JL Wrangler. In contrast, JK Wrangler lacks some of these features, while some are old. In simple words, JL Wrangler is better than JK Wrangler in terms of performance.

Price

As JL Wrangler is the newer version with the latest technologies and features, it is a bit more expensive than JK Wrangler. Although jeep JK stayed in the market for a long time, it fails to provide you with the latest features and technologies.

A simple example is the presence of advanced buttons near the steering wheel. JK Wrangler does not consist of these advanced technology buttons, while JL Wrangler is available with these modern technology buttons to control the other gadgets, airflow being one of them.

As a new thing costs more than the older one, the JL is pricey compared to the JK Wrangler. Let’s discover how the two vehicles vary based on the price. It is clear from the above guide that JK and JL wranglers are available in two doors and four doors.

Therefore, their prices vary based on the doors. A two-door JK Wrangler starts from 28,000 USD, while a four-door JK Wrangler starts from 32,000 USD. Coming towards a two-door JL Wrangler, it ranges from 27,000 USD to 37,000 USD. A four-door JL Wrangler ranges from 30,000 to 50,000 USD.

Maintenance

It is a known fact that if you own anything, you need to take care of it to make it last longer and prevent its breakage. The same is the case with vehicles. One needs to take proper care and precautions to reduce the risk of any damage.

The maintenance of the JK Wrangler in the first five years can cost you up to almost 6,000 USD. The first-year costs around $1,939, the second costs $493, the third costs $859, the fourth costs $159, and the fifth cost around $2,470.

In contrast, the JL Wrangler has a maintenance cost of around 10,397 USD for the first ten years. The first year of maintenance costs around $357, the second costs $418, the third costs $514, The fourth costs $669, and the fifth costs around $797. Its maintenance cost has gone up in the last five years.

The maintenance cost of both jeeps in the first five years is different. The JK Wrangler costs up to 6,000 USD, while the maintenance cost of the JL Wrangler for the first five years is almost 3000 USD.

Off Road Performance

As JL Wrangler has large tires and flares, it provides more stable driving off the road. This jeep is the best for off road trails and muddy areas. Moreover, the articulated design of the jeep turns the vehicle more sharply.

An off-road jeep must have heavy tires because they help to cross the mud and overcome the big rocks. On the other hand, the jeep JK has smaller tires than the JL. Therefore, it can not perform well as a JL Wrangler off the road.

Trims

The JK Wrangler is available in various trim levels, including Sports, Sports- S, Sahara, Rubicon, etc. On the other hand, the JL Wrangler is available in Sports, Sports- S, Islander, Freedom, Shara, RHD, Sport Altitude, Sahara Altitude, Rubicon, etc.

These various trim levels help you choose the most appropriate jeep according to your requirements. Moreover, you notice that the JL Wrangler has more trim levels than the Jk Wrangler, making it more convenient than the jeep JK.

FAQs about JK and JL

Is Jeep JK or JL better?

From the above guide, it is clear enough that jeep JL is far better than jeep JK because of its latest design and advanced features.

What years are Jeep JK?

The production of jeep JK started in 2007 and ended in 2018. The reason for stopping its production was the release of a newer generation known as jeep JL.

What years are Jeep JL?

The production of jeep JL was initiated in 2018 and is still going to the present day because of its high demand and advanced features.

What is the difference between JK and JL Wranglers?

The highlighted difference between both vehicles is their interior, exterior, tires, engine, price, maintenance cost, performance, and durable frame.

Is the JL quieter than the JK?

Due to the heavy tires and advanced features, the jeep JL is quieter than the jeep JK. The common issue with the jeeps is their noise, but JL Wrangler is one of the quietest jeeps on the market.

Final Thoughts

The above guide will help you differentiate between the JK and JL Wranglers based on their design, features, and performance. You can choose the most appropriate vehicle for you from the above difference.

Although the JK Wrangler was one of the most commonly selling jeeps between 2007 to 2018, it failed to perform like the JL Wrangler due to the lack of new features. Hopefully, this article will clear your confusion about the JK and JL Wranglers.

Hi! Roy Penny here, a passionate adventurer who has been driving jeeps all his life. My passion for the thrill of off-roading has allowed me to learn what modern-day jeeps have to offer. Exploring the popular trails and seeking thrills in the unexplored terrains allowed me to discover the true intimacy nature had to offer and become an avid learner of Off-roading with Jeeps. Hence, I decided to create this blog to share my experiences of jeep riding and off-roading with the world. My only goal is to provide the readers with quality reliable information about jeeps.