I’m Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and in this video, we’re gonna talk all about the exterior
of the brand-new 2018 JL that’s behind me.
Jeep completely redid pretty much every nut and bolt, every surface, and every piece of
trim on the brand-new 2018 JL, and this video is going to focus on all of the exterior changes
and exactly what you’re gonna get if you purchase a brand new 2018 JL.
Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel.
That way, you can check out the other videos that are focused on the interior, the JL versus
the JK, and of course, our overall compare video as well.
But for now, let’s jump into the exterior.
So as I mentioned, Jeep really touched every different surface on this Jeep inside and
out, and anytime a vehicle is as drastically different from one generation to the next,
there are gonna be things that people love and things that people hate.
So I really want to go over every little bit of the exterior of this Jeep.
In order to do that, we’re gonna start at the rear.
Some of the very big changes happen upfront, but because they touched everything, even
back here, there are some things that I want to talk about.
So starting in the back of the Jeep, we’ll start from the top to the bottom and this
Jeep has the three-piece hardtop on it.
So this is going to be most like the top that you would have found on the JK.
There have been some changes, some redesigns.
It has this drip rail coming all the way to the back.
It has a little bit of a spoiler, and that’s to create a little bit less of a low-pressure
area behind the Jeep, improving miles per gallon.
The wiper has been moved to the bottom here so it hides it a little bit more behind the
spare tire giving a little bit of a cleaner look to the back of the Jeep.
So overall, redesigned but still a pretty simple setup with having the Freedom Panels
in the front and then your third piece being in this much larger section that’s all one
Now, there are some new top options from Jeep, and those are going to be either the power
soft top which looks like a hardtop from the outside but has a power section in the center
and also has removable side windows.
And then a redesigned soft top, so that soft top is going to be a lot easier to take up
and to take down again, and we’ll have some videos that are specifically about those additional
So make sure you check those out, especially if you’re interested in possibly purchasing
a new JL.
That’ll definitely help you out with making the decision of which top you want to go with.
Now, if we move down from the top a little bit, something else that you’re going to notice
right off the bat are these design taillights.
Now, this is a Sahara with the LED lighting group, so this is going to have the LED taillights,
and this is something that’s drastically different from the JK and is probably gonna be one of
those polarizing things that people either really like or really don’t like.
Now, in some of the leaked photos and some of the camo photos that we saw a while back
about the JL, they had a more renegade style X-taillight.
I like this one, the one that Jeep actually settled on, a lot better.
It has almost a fiber optic looking lit up ring around the outside that’s gonna be your
Then you have these two sections here that light up for your turn signal and also for
And then in the center, you have a very bright LED reverse light again with the LED lighting
It is going to be something that drastically changes up the look of the Jeep.
It’s still going to be nice and bright.
You’re gonna get that crisp clean LED if you get the LED lighting group.
And overall, while it does look very different from the JK, I still really like the look
of these new lights.
Now, what you’ll notice is missing from this area right here is the license plate.
That’s gonna be down here on the rear bumper of the Jeep.
Initially, I was thinking maybe they moved the license plate because a lot of people
would catch that plate on different things on-road or off-road and break that bracket
Now, I don’t think that’s the case because this new taillight sticks it out further than
even the license plate bracket would.
So if they were trying to get rid of things to snag, they definitely didn’t accomplish
that by having this taillight stick out so far.
The whole bumper has been completely redesigned, of course, the license plate that we just
It also has a couple of reflectors here in the lower section of the bumper.
That’s something that’s gonna add some style, it’s gonna add some safety.
Maybe the aftermarket can actually do something with that, swapping those reflectors out for
an actual auxiliary reverse light maybe, or making them additional turn signals and brake
We’ll see if somebody tackles that or if they just stay as reflectors.
And then you have your outside-mounted spare tire.
It wouldn’t be a Jeep if they tried to tuck this under the Jeep.
It’s gonna be right here on the tailgate where we’re used to seeing it.
Now, the mounting bracket is a little bit different.
This is a plastic material.
On the JKs in some of the years passed, it was metal.
Still not designed to hold a ton of weight or a very large aftermarket spare, but it
Here, it’s going to be plastic so I have to imagine if you’re going up to a bigger tire,
you are going to definitely want a tub-mounted or a bumper-mounted tire carrier on your JL.
Down here there’s a little bit of a dip so that the bumper clears the spare tire, but
there’s not too much additional room there.
So even if you went up to a big 30, a 31-inch tire, probably not gonna have enough room
to run that on this carrier.
The third brake light has also been redesigned a little bit.
It almost looks like it should be adjustable or more easily removable, but it’s not.
It’s just the way they redesigned it.
It tucks very nicely here behind the spare tire.
I think it looks pretty good.
It’s a third brake light, not a ton to say about it.
Something that I definitely do want to mention to you is this reverse camera here.
So if you have one of the Jeeps that has the bigger screen in the center with the reverse
camera, that camera’s gonna be mounted right here in the center of your spare tire.
And it has a little bit of a cover that goes over top of it that’s going to help make things
look a little bit more finished and also help to protect that camera a little bit.
Now, some of the other manufacturers out there have found a way to really tuck the camera
away, really hide it so that it’s not a focal point of the vehicle.
This one, it sticks out a good bit.
It’s big, it’s a little chunky.
It kind of sticks with that utilitarian look of the Jeep, but it also sticks out a little
bit more than it needs to in my opinion.
I think Jeep probably could have hid it maybe up in this area a little bit better.
However, the nice thing about it being as prominent as it is is the fact that it sits
up nice and high and it sits out as the furthest out point on the Jeep, so it’s going to give
you a very nice viewing angle.
So that’s one benefit to the camera being the way that it is.
A couple other things that have changed.
You have the tailgate hinges are going to be painted and exposed now.
On the JK, they kind of half painted them and then covered them up with a piece of plastic,
so these are going to be a little bit nicer finished.
So that is going to be another change that you’ll see when you look at the back of the
So as I started out saying in the video here, they really did touch every little piece of
You can see that the back is going to be completely different, and as we work our way to the front
you’re going to see some even bigger changes.
So let’s step around to the side.
So starting on the side of the Jeep here from them back to the front, one thing that you’ll
notice is that Jeep kept the exposed gas cap, and that’s something that I like.
I know a lot of you guys are gonna get an aftermarket cover to put over top of the gas
cap to finish off the look of the Jeep, make it look a little bit more custom.
But I like the fact that from the factory this is still exposed.
It gives it a little bit more of that rough, that utility look, and lets you know that
this thing is still a Jeep.
So as you can see, with it being a Sahara, this does have the body painted fender flares,
and these flares are gonna be a little bit of a different design from the JK and some
of the years past.
This is essentially a two-piece flare, so you still have a black plastic here and then
the body color up top.
Speaking of body colors, this Jeep is going to be available in a couple of different exterior
colors than what you’re used to as well as some of your old favorites.
So the colors that you’ve seen in the past are going to be black, bright white, firecracker
red, billet silver metallic, and granite crystal metallic.
And a couple of the new ones are going to be pumpkin, mojito, sting grey, ocean blue
metallic, and it’s also been rumored on the forums that there’ll be another orange color
However, that’s not available right now on the website.
Those new colors are also going to be only available for late availability so you’ll
have to wait a little bit if you want one of those.
As we work our way onto the side of the Jeep, all of the handles have been completely redesigned.
So what you get from this handle is instead of a big button here, you get something where
the whole handle pulls out.
This is something that really changes up the look of the side of the Jeep and makes it
look a little bit smoother, a little bit more finished as well.
And what you can get on the Sahara that we don’t have on our option is going to be a
keyless entry option.
So you have that key fob in your pocket.
As long as you’re close to the door, there’s going to be a button on the outside that’ll
lock, and if you touch on the inside, it’ll unlock.
So you can leave that key in your pocket all the time.
You can see already starting back here, you have this body line and we’ll talk a little
bit more about that as we move up to the front of the Jeep as well.
And that goes all the way from the A-pillar to the back of the Jeep.
It really breaks up these otherwise completely flat surfaces, these completely flat doors
that we had on the JK.
Again, adds a little bit of flare but you still know this is a Jeep.
This is actually very reminiscent of the TJ, has a very similar body line through the doors.
Being a TJ owner, I picked up on that as well as a lot of other people on the forums did,
and again, it’s one of those styling cues that is subtle enough.
It adds something but doesn’t completely make this thing not a Jeep anymore.
It’s still very, very much a Jeep and that’s what I like.
Here on the hinges, you can see that they’re more or less the same style that we saw before,
but sticking with the theme of details and Jeep really thinking through a lot of things,
it says T-50 right here with an arrow.
That’s of course indicating the size of the nut that holds the door on.
For those of you that want to be able to pop your doors off, you know you need your T-50
that comes in your Jeep toolkit to get the doors off.
Of course, they are still removable.
That was something that was rumored very early in the talk of the JL that these would not
It wouldn’t be a Jeep if you couldn’t take the doors off.
So jeep stuck with that.
In fact, in order to get some more efficiency out of the Jeep and to make it a little easier
to remove those doors, they made them aluminum.
So they’re going to be the lighter weight and a lot easier to move around than some
of the doors of the past.
They also made some other panels on the Jeep aluminum, the hood, and the front fenders
as well, all with the theme of keeping things light and getting a little bit more MPG out
of this Jeep.
Down here, you can see a running board.
That’s going to be a standard feature on the Sahara.
If you step up to the Rubicon model, you’re going to be getting a rock slider, and if
you step down to a Sport S, you can still get the running boards but they’re going to
be a factory option that you’ll have to add and spend a little bit more money to get.
The mirrors, they look fairly similar to the mirrors of the JK.
They are redesigned but nothing really remarkable here.
These ones on the Sahara are, of course, power, and of course, heated as well so you get some
nice features there.
And from the inside of the door, you can remove them still very easily with just a couple
of torx bolts.
So speaking of the inside of the door, I’ll show you how that hinge was actually redesigned.
So here’s how you would go ahead and just pull to open, and this is going to be a little
bit more like a car.
On some of the older generations, they just had this vinyl stay that would keep the door
from completely swinging open and crashing into the front fender giving you that dimple
on your cowl.
Here it actually has an additional stop, so this is the door completely open and it stays
You can also go to a 50% position just like your regular door, and if you go just past
50 and let the door go, it completely closes on its own.
So a little bit more car-like, a little bit more modern convenience and one more step
to do when you’re removing the doors, but in your everyday on-road driving, I think
a lot of you are going to enjoy that feature and that upgrade.
So as we move forward of the door, you get into the fender and this is something that,
again, from those first leaked pictures if you remember from our news pieces, this is
a piece that we weren’t sure exactly if it was gonna make it into the production model,
if it was only gonna be on the Rubicon.
This is the fender vent and this is going to be standard on all new JLs.
So this is what’s really gonna set things apart.
If you’re rolling down the road, you’re not sure what gen you’re looking at, you can check
this out and this is a huge design feature when you’re looking at the Jeep from the side
And this isn’t just for design, this is also going to be functional.
This is going to let some hot air out from underneath the engine of the Jeep.
So that engine bay used to get pretty hot.
They had some heat soak.
This is going to help to vent some of that air out.
Another thing to note down on the side of the Jeep here, you have a very prominent Jeep
badge, and that’s because there’s no Jeep edge on the front grill of the JL.
You certainly don’t need it.
Once we get around to the grill, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
This is so clearly a Jeep coming from miles away that you don’t need that, but they had
to put some badging somewhere so they went ahead and put it down here on the fender.
Something else I want to mention while we’re on the side of the Jeep is the windshield.
So this has been raked back an additional about 6 degrees over the JK, and that’s all
So having it laid back, it’s a little bit more aerodynamic.
You’re going to get a few additional MPGs from that.
However, it’s still been designed so that you can completely fold it down very, very
There are actually four bolts on the inside across the top of the windshield frame.
Once you remove that, the whole thing just flips down.
Of course, you have to get the wipers out of the way, but that flips down the windshield
very, very simply and you’re left with a structural frame there that’s still holding your visors
and is holding your rearview mirror in place.
So it’s still going to be pretty functional for you and it does keep a little bit of that
Jeep heritage being able to fold the windshield.
A couple of these screws here are going to be to hold this cover on but also really there
so that you can add some accessories onto the Jeep.
There aren’t going to be another 16 bolts, 8 per side up here on this hinge area for
A-pillar light mounts or 50-inch light bar mounts.
So you’re gonna have these screws here and these screws here.
That’s going to give you your accessory mount for any sort of A-pillar lights.
Moving a little bit more forward here into the hood, you have a couple of hood bumps
here and these are gonna be redesigned.
They’re still going to be functional for when you flip that windshield down, but it cleans
up the look of the hood a little bit, especially being that they integrated the washers right
into those new bumpers.
So instead of having individual bumper, footman loop, and sprayers, everything is going to
be all one there, again, just cleaning up that look a little bit.
As we get to this fender here, I want to mention that with the Sahara, this is how everything
If you went with a Rubicon, these fenders actually sit a little bit higher.
The Rubicon is gonna ship with a set of 33-inch tires on it.
And if you want to go bigger, especially if you want to disconnect their sway bars and
you want to start doing some more articulating off-road, you’re gonna have a little bit more
room in this fender well by having the fender up a little bit higher.
Again, this is the Sahara, so this is how it’s gonna sit on the Sahara, the Sport, and
the Sport S models.
Coming around to the front, we can really see a couple of the other big design changes
and big design features of this Jeep.
Firstly, right here in the fender flare, and you’re going to have a daytime running light
here and also a marker light on the corner.
This has that LED lighting group that I’ve talked about a couple times now.
So these are going to be LED instead of an incandescent bulb, but either way, you still
are going to get this and you’re gonna get this on every single model.
This isn’t something that’s just on the Sahara.
This is going to be on everything.
And that’s another thing that completely sets this apart from gens in the past, really changes
up the look of the Jeep.
The LED headlights that are included in this lighting group are very bright, they’re very
well focused, they’re a well-thought-out light.
The JK headlights left a lot to be desired and a lot of people were changing them out
for an LED projector headlight.
Jeep heard that and even in the later year JKs, they started offering these as an option.
So they’re going to be an option for you here on the Sahara.
And take a look down to the bumper.
This has also been redesigned.
You have a couple of silver accents that are going to be on the Sahara that aren’t going
to be on some of the lower trim packages, but the bumper itself is going to be more
or less the same aside from those accents.
You have the LED fog lights in this.
Of course, if you don’t have the LED package, those are going to go back to incandescent.
And otherwise, the bumper has been redesigned, but as you can see, this is still a plastic
If we step up to the Rubicon, we have the option to get a winch-ready steel bumper on
the Jeep right out of the factory, so a couple of different options that weren’t offered
in the past.
One other area that I do want to point out is right here between the fender flare and
On the Sahara and the Rubicon, this is how the Jeep sits.
If you go down to a Sport or Sport S, there’s a piece of plastic here that almost gives
you more of that European bumper look that we saw on the JK where it fills in that space.
Here, that’s going to be completely open, and even on the Sport and the Sport S you
could remove that piece if you chose to, giving it a little bit more of this appearance.
One other thing that I want to mention while we’re up here on the front of the Jeep is
going to be these hood catches, the hood tie-downs.
And these have been completely redesigned.
They not only look a little bit nicer but they function very, very well.
So it’s very easy to open this up and to pop it off.
You don’t have the rubber piece in the center like you did in generations of the past that
can get stretched out, that can get dry-rotted, that can eventually break, and all of those
things will also give you some hood flutter.
Those guys with the JKs will know about the hood spring delete that a lot of you were
doing to keep that hood from bouncing around on you.
This is going to eliminate all of that, and it’s something that I really like as both
a design feature and a functional feature of the new JL.
The grill in general here is going to be different.
Of course, that’s something that you’ll notice right off the bat.
No Jeep badge here.
The headlights protrude into the first and the last slot here giving it a little bit
more of a CJ look.
So that is going to be a little bit of a throwback to some of the older Jeeps and just giving
the front of the Jeep a very different look.
This is also going to be a two-plane grill.
So instead of a really straight up and down flat grill that we got on generations of the
past, this comes up and then here has a little bit of a bend to it.
So that, again, is for style and it’s also for MPGs.
It’s also for efficiency.
A lot of the redesigns that we saw on the exterior of the Jeep here were really twofold.
Jeep was trying to get more efficiency out of this Jeep, some more MPGs out of it, but
also change it up enough to make it a new generation and something a little bit more
modern but still keep the soul of a Jeep.
And I know a lot of you guys, you’re not gonna like this right off the bat.
It always takes a little while to get warmed up to a new generation, but having had some
time with this Jeep, having spent some time looking at it, going through it, taking it
apart, putting it back together, and of course driving it, I can tell you that this is still
absolutely 100% a Jeep Wrangler.
It’s just a new and improved one.
So if you’re still on the fence between the JK and a JL, I would definitely recommend
going with the JL.
I think there have been a lot of very nice improvements made to this Wrangler.
So that’s gonna do it for this video all about the exterior of the JL.
Make sure you comment below to let us know what you like, what you don’t like, and if
you plan on picking one up for yourself.
Also make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel.
That way you can get updates on all of the newest JL review videos as they come out.