Winnipeg Free Press

Jeep steps up game with new Wrangler JL

by Myron Love  . Feb 09 2018
suppliedJeep’s legendary Wrangler has received a mountainous dose of upgrades for 2018, including an available eight-speed automatic transmission. The vehicles arrived on Manitoba Jeep showroom floors in mid-January.


Jeep’s legendary Wrangler has received a mountainous dose of upgrades for 2018, including an available eight-speed automatic transmission. The vehicles arrived on Manitoba Jeep showroom floors in mid-January.

The question to ask when introducing the all new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL, says Gauthier’s Waverley Chrysler Dodge Ram Jeep sales consultant Alan Asher: “How do you improve on an icon?”

Well, with the new model — which debuted in Manitoba Chrysler stores in mid-January — Chrysler certainly succeeded in answering that question, according to Asher.

“There have been a lot of changes inside and out,” he says of the successor to the JK.

One of the key changes he points out is an available new eight-speed transmission, a noticeable upgrade on the former five-speed transmission. “The new transmission,” he says, “provides an overall better ride and handling experience.”

He notes there are a couple of new powertrains on the new model. The base model has a Pentastar 3.6-litre V-6 engine which produces 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

“What will be really cool,” Asher says, “is that we will soon be seeing a two-litre turbo inline four-cylinder option, which will provide better fuel consumption.”

Coming next year, he adds, will also be a 3L V-6 EcoDiesel option rated at 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque.

The new JL is a little lighter than its predecessor.

“They’ve added aluminum components to the doors, hood and window frame, and used magnesium in the swing gate,” Asher says. “Altogether, they shed about 200 pounds.

“The Wrangler JL also has a more aggressive-looking front and rear bumper, and new scalloping on the doors,” he adds.

Inside, the reconfigured dash includes more electronic features, a heated steering wheel and the all-new standard Uconnect 3 infotainment system, with a five-inch touchscreen. The technology package has a Uconnect 4 setup, with a seven-inch touchscreen as well as a seven-inch instrument-cluster display, satellite radio, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The infotainment package ups the ante to an 8.4-inch touchscreen with navigation, an electrochromic rearview mirror, and nine-speaker premium audio. The two larger touchscreens offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.

Also of note, Asher says, is the JL’s new power sliding soft top, activated with a button located in the overhead console.

The power soft fabric top slides back accordion-style.

And, for the first time ever, Asher says, the Wrangler offers a backup camera.

The 2018 Wrangler JL is available in two- and four-door models. The two-door trims are the Sport, Sport S, and Rubicon, while the four-doors add a Sahara trim level between Sport S and Rubicon. The sticker price for the new JL ranges from $34,000 to just over $60,000.

“We expect that, as in the past, the Sahara will be our top-selling model,” Asher says.

Sleva rejoins Birchwood Keystone Ford

After some time away, sales star Chris Sleva rejoined the Birchwood Keystone Ford sales staff on Regent Avenue at the beginning of December — and he is happy to be back.

“I want all my customers to know that I am back, and that I am looking forward to helping them with their automotive needs,” Sleva says. “I am also looking forward to helping Birchwood Keystone Ford grow its new vehicle sales totals.”

Sleva has been appointed the specialist for Shelby, Raptor and Roush performance parts — for which Birchwood Keystone Ford is the exclusive distributor in this area.

To help Sleva in handling the anticipated growth in sales and improve customer service, he is putting together Team Sleva. Currently, the team consists of Sleva and Liam Berg. He expects to add a couple more team members in the next few months.

Award for Carman Ford’s Unger

Our congratulations to Felix Unger, Carman Ford’s longtime commercial and fleet manager, for earning a ranking as a Ford of Canada summit award winner in his category for the fifth year in a row.

In his 30 years in the business, he says, he has achieved the distinction eight or nine times.

Unger notes his client base represents a wide range of businesses, both small and large.