Jeep JK vs JL: What's the Difference?

Ladies and gentlemen, rev your engines and gather 'round for a showdown that's hotter than a trail on a summer day – it's the Jeep Wrangler JK vs. JL: The Epic Battle of Generations! In this corner, weighing in from 2006 to 2016, the OG off-roader, the JK! And in the opposite corner, fresh from 2016 to 2024, the sleek and savvy newcomer, the JL!

So, what's the difference?

Round 1: Design Duel

Ding, ding! The iconic 7-slot grill takes the stage, but wait – the JL's headlights are stepping into the grill ring! And look, the JK is throwing in a Jeep emblem for good measure. It's a style showdown where curves meet classics. Advantage? You decide!

Jeep Grills thru the years

Round 2: Tech Throwdown

Lights, camera, fenders! The JL rocks square LED lights, while the JK has aftermarket fender kits trying to catch up. It's like the JL said, "Hey, I've got built-in lights, do you?" It's a bright idea, JL!

Round 3: Interior Smackdown

The JK pulls a switcheroo with door handles, going from push-button to pull. Talk about a change of pace! But the JL fights back with modernized dash displays, ergonomic controls, and digital dashboards that scream, "Welcome to the future, baby!"

Round 4: Suspension Showdown

The JL struts in with a fresh suspension design that's all about comfort and clearance. Meanwhile, the JK's like, "I'm rugged, I'm boxy, I'm classic!" Suspension dreams clash in this ring, folks.

Jeep Wrangler JL features

Round 5: Off-Roading Rivalry

The taillights – oh, the taillights! The JK's got the classic rectangular look, but the JL's lights curve in like they're blowing a kiss. And let's not forget the fender vents for the JL. More air, more flair, right?

Round 6: Powertrain Punch

The JL enters the ring with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The V6 JK's like, "Am I not powerful enough for you?" It's like choosing between smoothies and energy drinks – both give a kick, but one's got a little extra oomph.

Round 7: Technology Tango

The JL waltzes in with advanced infotainment, larger touchscreen displays, and connectivity galore. The JK looks on like your grandpa trying to figure out TikTok. And the JL's been starting without a key since 2018 – talk about a fancy entrance!

Round 8: Overall Off-Road Glory

And there it is, the final round! The JL's more refined, the JK's more rugged, but both are ready to tackle those trails. The JK might be the older sibling, but the JL's got modern mojo. It's a tie – they're both Jeep-tastic!

Jeep Wrangler JL differencesOther differences include

  • Design: The JL has a more modern, refined look compared to the JK's more rugged and boxy appearance.

  • Suspension: The JL has a new suspension design that improves ride comfort and handling and increases ground clearance.

  • Interior: The JL has a more upscale, modern interior with more features and better materials than the JK.

  • Powertrain: The JL is available with a more powerful and efficient turbocharged four-cylinder engine, in addition to the traditional V6 engine.

  • Technology: The JL has a more advanced infotainment system, a larger touchscreen display, and more connectivity features than the JK. And since 2018 all new Jeep JL's come with Push Button Start, rather than a key.

Overall, the Jeep Wrangler JL is a more refined and modern vehicle than the JK, but the JK is still a capable off-road vehicle.

Gladiator Bonus Round: JT Takes the Crown

Oh, what's that? A new contender enters the arena – the Gladiator JT, the pickup truck of the Jeep world! "T" for truck, and "T" for totally awesome! Finally, Jeep Gladiator pickup.

So, dear off-road enthusiasts, when you're perusing parts and upgrades for your beloved Jeep Wrangler, make sure you know if it's a JK or a JL. If you're still scratching your head, don't worry, drop us a line, and we'll help you decode your Jeep DNA. Ready, set, Wrangle on!

Get in the Ring

  • For Jeep Wrangler JK Adventure Gear get your kicks here
  • For Jeep Wrangler JL Adventure Gear join the modern wave here
  • For Jeep Gladiator JT Adventure Gear hitch a ride to greatness here