100,000 km Review

Wrangler JL 100,000 km Review

This is a Jeep Wrangler JL 100,000 km review written by a first time Jeep owner. The Jeep is a 2018 Wrangler JL Sahara. Ten categories will be reviewed and supported by the actual owner’s experiences, and each category will be issued a rating. By the end of this review, you will be better informed to determine whether or not the Jeep Wrangler JL is a long term proposition. This review is also available in this video.

About the Author of this Jeep Wrangler JL 100,000 km Review

The author of this review is the blogger on CheaperJeeperTV.com. He has owned and driven a variety of vehicles in his life, from small cars to minivans, including a 1977 VW Bus. This is the first Jeep he has ever owned.  So he will offer his review from that lens.

The Jeep in this Review

The Jeep in this review is a 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Sahara, purchased in May 2018. It has been exactly two years and one month since the Jeep reached 100,000 kms.  The Jeep is a daily driver and used in its first year for commuting to work and now for driving up north for cottaging, camping and fishing.

The Categories and Rating System

The categories in this Jeep Wrangler JL 100,000 km review are shown in the table below.

There are ten categories for which real world evidence/experience will be shared in order to determine a rating.  The rating system will be either a red dot🔴 for poor outcome, a caution symbol⚠️ for areas of concern, and a green checkmark✅ for when things look good, in the corresponding categories.

The Jeep Wrangler JL 100,000 km Review Category Data

The information below gives a brief summary of the evidence for each category, and illustrates the rating assigned by this reviewer.

BUYING EXPERIENCE

I was able to use information obtained from Wrangler forums to pay the invoice price for the Jeep. This information is also shared in the cheaperJeeperTV video on how to Pay Invoice Price. This made the purchase aspect of the Jeep ownership a positive experience.✅

DEALERSHIP EXPERIENCE

During this Jeep experience, there have been three dealerships for which I had some experience.  There is the dealership where I was able to pay invoice price, the one near my place of work, before I retired, and then the one near my home. There have been no horror stories to share. All dealerships were professional and courteous.✅

FCA DEALINGS

During times of vehicle ownership, there may be cases where one might need to make an appeal to the manufacturer. In this case, FCA.  I had two items which required repair, but occurred beyond the time limit of the warranty. In both instances, I made an appeal to FCS for which they honoured the warranty, despite being past the term.  This left me with two examples of where I felt fairly treated by the manufacturer, and left with the impression that they were interested in having a satisfied customer.  The examples are covered below in the CLAIMS UNDER WARRANTY category.✅

RECALLS

Review of Wrangler JL recalls can occur at nhtsa.gov.  There are at the time of this report, 10 recalls that exist for the Wrangler JL.  You can enter your VIN on this website to see which ones would apply to your particular Jeep.  I was fortunate in that none of the 10 recalls applied to my Jeep.  There was a TSB, where my steering damper was replaced. All-in-all, for this Jeep being the first of the new model Wrangler JL, not having any recalls affecting my Jeep, left me feeling pretty good about it.✅

CLAIMS UNDER WARRANTY

There are three claims that I had to make under warranty during this first 100,000kms of Jeep Wrangler JL ownership. The first item was the rear window defrost connection. There were three separate visits for these repairs. I am on my fourth rear window, and I hope it’s good now. 

The check engine light came on and the code indicated that the fuel pressure regulator needed to be replaced.  This occurred beyond the 60,000 km mark, hence past the term of the warranty. I appealed to FCA, and they honoured the warranty. 

Lastly, at 99,900 kms, well beyond the 60,000km term of the warranty, but only 2 years into ownership, I brought the Jeep to the dealership showing corrosion on the leading edge of a door and at the hinges. I made another appeal to FCA, and again FCA honoured the warranty for this item.  

Although, I am not happy that I had to make warranty claims, for a first year Jeep of the new model, only 3 claims is not bad. I continue to maintain, at least from my experience, FCA has demonstrated interest in maintaining customer satisfaction, by honouring my claims.✅

REPAIRS OUTSIDE WARRANTY

During the time of this Jeep Wrangler JL 100,000 km Review, there have been no other repairs needed on the Jeep, other than those identified above.  Again, after more that 100,000 kms, and this being a new model Wrangler, that’s not bad.✅

FIT, FINISH and FUNCTION

On the exterior of the Jeep, all the plastic and body components have held up extremely well.  Considering the Jeep has seen 100,000 kms of city and hwy driving, in Southern and Northern Ontario, there are only a few minor paint chips, and all the plastics, and rubber components still look good. The wipers are still original, and function perfectly.

On the interior, the leather seats show little wear thus far, and all the rest of the plastics are holding up nicely. There is a gap where the metal and plastic meet at the entry threshold however, that seems to be widening, thereby allowing dirt to collect. This gap seems to be more of a design element than anything.✅

MAINTENANCE, SERVICEABILITY & PERFORMANCE

There are six sub-categories for Maintenance, Serviceability & Performance. There are a number of CheaperJeeperTV videos that address Maintenance and DIY topics for those interested.

ENGINE

This Jeep has the 3.6L Upgraded Pentastar engine.  As seen in a couple CheaperJeeperTV videos, it is extremely easy to perform the service on this engine, such as a DIY Oil Change.The engine has performed flawlessly, has been easy to look after, and has also provided relatively good fuel efficiency.✅

TRANSMISSION

The new ZF 8 speed automatic transmission in the Wrangler JL has received fantastic reviews among automobile journalists, and it has been my experience as well. It’s the best performing transmission in a vehicle that I have ever driven. However, there is concern for me as an owner when ZF, the manufacturer of the transmission suggests performing a service at 100,000 kms, yet FCA states the transmission fluid is good for the lifetime of the transmission.  Given my interest in keeping my Jeep as long as possible, I am looking into what I have to do to perform a service on the transmission, to avoid the more costly alternative should the transmission fail.⚠️✅

WHEELS & TIRES

The stock wheels and tires are very good.  The wheels(rims) are good quality, and the tires have been very quiet on the road, and have lasted the whole 100,000 kms so far, with still ¼” of tread.  This is also due to the fact that I put winter tires on the Jeep as well. Although the Bridgestone A/T  tires are more of a road tire than an A/T tire, I am still very happy with them. Also, the fact that I regularly rotate them, with each oil change probably helps as well.✅

BRAKES

The brakes on my 2018 Wrangler JL Sahara at 100,000 kms are still the original brakes. Reasons that could explain that are; i) hwy miles do not impact the brakes much, ii) the Sahara and Rubicon Wrangler JLs have the Heavy Duty (HD) Brakes, and finally iii) I regularly inspect and service the brakes at each tire rotation. They perform extremely well, and the already installed HD brakes make it easier to upgrade to a larger tire later if so desired.✅

BODY & FRAME

The doors, hood and tailgate on the Wrangler JLs are made of aluminum.  Unfortunately, two years into ownership, and I have discovered corrosion on a leading edge of a door, and where the door meets the hinges.  Even though I appreciate that this will be addressed in a warranty claim, I am disappointed that in a newly purchased vehicle, with aluminum doors and such, is showing corrosion so early in the game. I also worry if this will become a longer term recurring issue for me.  SOme frame welds also look suspect, and many members of Wrangler JL forums have complained about the quality of such. Even given that I have my Jeep Rustproofed, I am disappointed that this is still an issue, and that I am worrying about this so early in my Jeep Wrangler JL ownership experience.🔴

ELECTRICAL

In 2018, along with the introduction of my Wrangler JL, new items to the Wrangler such as the engine start stop system, dual batteries, and the rear camera were introduced. Early in my ownership experience, I witnessed some minor glitches with the rear camera system, such as the screen not operating, or the guidelines were not appearing. Other than the early experiences, it has worked flawlessly ever since. Perhaps a flash or update was performed. Some owners on JL forums have shared electrical gremlin horror stories online.  This is an area where FCA’s poor reputation for electrical quality & control has me worried for my long term ownership intentions.⚠️✅

DRIVABILITY & HANDLING

In a daily driver capacity, my Wrangler JL experience has been very positive.  The hwy ride is surprisingly smooth with few to no rattles and squeaks.  The steering feel in my Jeep is a little loose compared to cars I have driven, but not bad at all. The high seat position and visibility is superior to other cars or SUVs I have driven. Although many on forums have complained about the steering in their JLs, mine has been very good.

Although my off road experience has been limited to forestry roads with some washouts, the Jeep handles them easily. In the two Canadian winters I have experienced so far, I can’t say that the Jeep has been challenged by anything at all.  Although I had joined some 4WD Clubs to enjoy some off roading, the COVID-19 Crisis has put those plans on hold. True off road experiences may be in the future.✅

OTHER

Owning a Jeep is different than owning other vehicles.  Being trail rated makes for some compromises in construction and handling, but then offers benefits in style, ability and association. Often you will see Jeep Wrangler owners waving to other Wrangler owners. As such, you will find many Jeep owners clubs, web sites(eg. CheaperJeeperTV.com), FaceBook groups, and online forums to share in your newfound interest. The Jeep Wrangler can be taken offroad, and can take you overlanding or camping.  Many even sleep in or on it when camping. It can easily be used to carry all sorts of items. The Jeep Wrangler is a very versatile vehicle.✅

CONCLUSION

All in all, this Jeep Wrangler JL 100,000 km review summarized above, and in the table below, clearly suggests that the Wrangler JL is an excellent vehicle after 100,000 kms of ownership.  Aside from the corrosion issue, which we will keep our eyes on, there are very little issues after 100,000 kms of driving.

Fantastic!