The 2024 Jeep Wrangler is the mid-cycle refresh of the JL generation. Although it adds a new touchscreen and updates the front grille, it still isn’t necessary and makes unneeded style and design changes that don’t mesh well with the rest of the vehicle.
The JL generation, introduced in 2018 to replace the outdated JK generation, added a touchscreen, modernized interior with accent colours, mandatory rear cameras, LED lights and an updated exterior.
The change to the exterior mainly affects the front and arguably the most iconic part of the Wrangler: the grille. The redesign changes the grille, moving away from the streamlined and simple seven-slot grille from previous JL-Wranglers, making them shorter and adding some decorative plastic around it.
Although it is a fresh change, the Wrangler seemingly took a step backwards with the new grille. The plastic almost overcomplicates the front end and does not add any more detail to it.
Unfortunately, LED lights still aren’t standard in the redesign, with halogen lights remaining an option on the lower trims. This aspect makes the new Wrangler seem like less of an upgrade.
For a vehicle mainly designed to be all-terrain and off-road, it does not make sense that plastic would make up most of the front grille, as there is a risk of faster damage. It is less dependable if it were to get into a collision.
Another change to the Wrangler is the addition of a hood vent to the Rubicon models. This makes these models look much more aggressive and gives it more of an off-road look than previous versions of the JL Rubicon did, making the trim much more unique.
The big new feature, however, is the 12.5-inch touchscreen with Uconnect 5, which sports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The screen is very responsive, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. During testing, the screen showed no major lag or glitches.
There is also a change to the layout of the interior, replacing a covered media slot with two USB type A ports, one USB type C, and an auxiliary port. The placement of the vents has also changed, replacing some of the circular air vents with rectangular slots below the new screen.
Jeep Wranglers are interesting vehicles to drive. The 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 is very respectable, and the 2.0L four-cylinder engine is much better with the new 8-speed transmission, making it a worthwhile option for potential buyers.
The new 8-speed transmission in the JL generation makes the Wrangler a quicker and easier vehicle to drive in and around town. It also adds to the gas mileage, with some owners reporting an average of 11 litres per 100 km compared to the 13 litres per 100 kilometres that the JK gets.
Anyone who has owned any generation of Wrangler will feel familiar with the 2024. The vehicle drives like any other Jeep would, and the interior still feels quite open and rugged even with the changes to the centre console.
Nothing changes outside of it, so owners of an older JL Wrangler will quickly get used to the controls and infotainment.
While a general upgrade to the front grille and entertainment centre feels like good changes at first glance, they weren’t necessary when looking at the potential changes they could’ve made.
Overall, the 2024 Wrangler isn’t necessary, and it is a better idea to save the extra dollars and purchase one that’s a few years old.