2024 Jeep Wrangler Finally Gets Power Seats After 37 Years
Better late than never, or more unnecessary complexity?
It may surprise you to hear the 2024 Jeep Wrangler has power-adjusted front seats—for the first time in the model's decades-long history. Why it took so long to get them won't, though, which Jeep explained to The Autopian.
The Jeep Wrangler is unusual to design parts for because of its unique emphasis on off-road performance. It can wade through up to 34 inches of water or enough to submerge the base of the front seats. That means its seat adjustment mechanism had to work after a dunk, which other passenger vehicles haven't ever really been designed for.
"We knew that we had to execute it properly," a Jeep spokesperson told The Autopian. "Wrangler owners, they're gonna take their Wranglers out, they're gonna go ford through streams, ford through rivers, they're inadvertently gonna leave 'em outside with the top off and it's gonna get rained on. So, we had to make sure that all of the mechanisms, all of the equipment was fully waterproof and could handle that sort of environment."
By mechanism, they mean everything from the motors and switches to connectors, sliders, and brackets. They're a much more complicated system to waterproof than, say, heated seats, which amount to an insulated resistive element with controls elsewhere.
Of course, the Wrangler hasn't offered the feature until recently. As The Autopian pointed out, cultural shifts toward trucks and off-roading have increased people's willingness to spend big on what were formerly barebones, raw off-roaders.
But whether it's a good idea to spec your Wrangler with additional electronics is up for debate. The Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid has had significant electrical problems, from an electric mode that doesn't activate in the winter to unexpected power loss on the highway. Electrical issues aren't exclusive to Wranglers, either: Grand Cherokee Ls were subject to a stop-sale last year due to key fob connectivity problems that could immobilize the vehicles. Jeep has also been sued over electronic sway bar disconnects that can allegedly fail in normal use, though the lawsuit has been partially dismissed according to Car Complaints.
Submersible or not, power seats are another part that can go wrong. We all know what Murphy's Law has to say about that.
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