Jeep is slowly ramping up the teasers for the unveiling of the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL in Los Angeles on Nov. 29., Last week we saw the first official exterior pics, and today Jeep just posted the first official up-close interior shots. It’s a lot nicer in there now, but still rugged as you expect.
Here’s a look at the new dashboard compared to the outgoing JK’s:
The setup still looks simple, but with the new steering wheel, infotainment screen, colorful trim on the dash, and silver accents around the switches, I think it looks a bit more modern. But not too modern. There’s a fine line you have to walk when designing an interior that has to be water and mud resistant.
The headlight switch appears to be on the dash now instead of on the stalk, and there appears to be dual-zone climate control. Speaking of climate control, the circular HVAC vents with rotating and pivoting shutters appear to have been retained from the JK, thank goodness. Those are some great vents. Also, the “oh shit handle” is still there to keep the passenger from vomiting during off-roading.
Zooming in, we see the most important bits on the center console/center stack area. There’s the six-speed transmission shifter and the transfer case lever (both of which have strangely tiny shift boots—the JK’s trans shift boot, on the other hand, was a massive rubber beast). You’ll also notice that the window switches are still on the center stack, and not on the doors. (Many people don’t like this, but I’m a big fan of the setup on manual transmission vehicles).
There’s also a part of the center stack labeled “media,” which presumably hides USB ports—an area in which the JK was sorely lacking.
Also notable is what looks like a rocker switch for the lockers; toggle down to lock the rear differential, and toggle up to lock both the front and rear (locking only the rear helps with maneuverability in tight spots). There appears to be a separate “off” switch to disengage both lockers, and just to the right is a small button to disconnect the sway bar for maximum articulation.
On the outgoing JK Wrangler, the red sway bar and locker buttons sat just to the left of the steering wheel (you can see them in one of the images above). To activate the rear locker, you’d press the bottom of a rocker switch; you could push it again to turn the front locker on, and you’d push the top of the rocker switch to turn the lockers off. The new JL setup seems like it might be more intuitive.
You’ll also notice four auxiliary switches, which are likely there to allow for easy plug-and-play of accessories like winches and light bars, and there’s a new LCD screen in the center of the gauge cluster—the JK’s gauges were hilariously antiquated (14-segment displays!).
From the two pictures of the top-end Rubicon, it looks like a solid evolution in design, but we’ll see what it looks like in person in a few weeks.