The streets of America are filled with off-roaders—now more than ever, if you count the legions of crossovers theoretically capable of at least some minimal level of bounding around past the end of the beaten path. But few, if any, command quite the respect the Jeep Wrangler does. Between its iconic appearance, its terrain-conquering capabilities, and its open-air spirit, this military-born machine has won over the hearts of millions in both two- and four-door forms.
For 2018, Fiat Chrysler gave Jeep's best-known vehicle a total makeover—though, as is tradition with the Wrangler and its predecessors, you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference at first glance. But beneath that familiar exterior lies an all-new SUV, one that's more capable and more advanced than ever before. There's a choice of three new engines, including a torquey turbodiesel and a turbocharged inline-four, as well as two four-wheel-drive systems—a traditional part-time system called Selec-Trac, and a new full-time one known as Command-Trac. (A plug-in hybrid Wrangler is in the works, as well.) There are four tops to choose from, two hard and two soft—the latter set now including a power folding roof. There are a ton of tweaked and improved features designed to make life easier for owners, from a rear-view camera that protrudes through the aft-mounted spare to a fold-down windshield that's easier to lower than ever before. And that's not even mentioning the list of Mopar-developed accessories coming soon, sure to guarantee that no two 2018 Wranglers ever need look identical.
So with the all-new SUV making its world debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, we at The Drive clawed our way through the throngs of shrimp-stuffed, bacon-wrapped automotive journalists to take a first-hand look at Jeep's new sweetheart. (It was a greasy struggle.) Check it out above...and be sure to stay tuned for our forthcoming first drive of this baby.