2018 JL Wrangler in camo

Rumor: 2018 Wrangler Will Be Automatic Only


A recent rumor circulating around the internet points to the possibility of there being no manual transmission in the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.Pointed out on JLWranglerForums.com and reported on by Jalopnik.com, there has been no official mention of a manual for the next generation Wrangler, with Jeep directly asking enthusiasts in a Q&A session how they’d feel if there were no manual option offered.

The questions from the Q&A were, “How do you feel about no manual transmission option? Would you be interested in a 3-spd transfer case? Are you okay with not having a windshield that folds down? What about a hybrid power plant option? How much towing capacity and payload should the 4-door have?” Yikes. The fact that Jeep would even be questioning this as a possibilty for the updated Wrangler drivetrain is alarming.

Confirmed 2018 Wrangler Transmission Options

What we do know for sure already is that the 2018 Wrangler will utilize an 8-speed auto, ZF-made 8HP75 transmission to help boost fuel economy. Jeep has been subtly boasting about this new transmission, yet there has been little to no mention of a possible manual setup. The assumption was that the six-speed NSG370 would be carried over the to JL Wrangler.

Why The 2018 Wrangler May Not Have a Manual Transmission

There are a few factors conspiring against a manual-equipped JL Wrangler. For starters, when confirming and discussing their new turbo 4-cylinder “Hurricane” engine and the return of the Pentastar V6, the new 8-speed auto was mentioned, but there was a complete absence of any sort of manual option.

Aside from that, people are buying manual-equipped new cars less and less. Less than 20% of new cars have a manual transmission and not that many people are going for them. Pair that fact with Jeeps mindset for making a more fuel-efficient Wrangler and things look grim for the future of Wranglers with 3-pedals.

Ultimately, Jeep has yet to confirm or deny anything surrounding this issue, so we are still in a speculative state. But given the mounting evidence and surrounding factors, it’s hard to say if we will get a manual or not.

Do you think this just a bunch of internet gossip trying to grind people’s gears? Or are we starting to see the signs on the wall for the end of the manual transmission Wrangler? Comment your thoughts below!

4 comments

  1. No manual transmission, no Jeep! So glad I just bought my 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Wiillys Wheeler. If there hadn’t been a manual transmission offered, I wouldn’t have bought it. This is my 5th Jeep. Have owned CJ5’s, CJ7’s, YJ’s and now a JK. Keep it real Jeep! Some of us want more than an Urban Assault Vehicle!

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  2. No manual transmission will raise the resale value of the manuals that do exist. It will also hurt the resale value of the new models. I guess if you want a 2018 manual someone will come up with an aftermarket solution. Bad move on Chryslers part to do away with the 3 pedal option.

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  3. Automatic transmission has evolved tremendously and manual transmission is just another form of system more traditional system than anything else, and automatic is the way to go now in an incredible congested roads everywhere. We bought a 2015 Weangler and if does everything like a true champion off road.

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  4. Mixed emotions about manual tranny, I can think of several pluses and several in the minus column. What I would really like to see is a diesel engine.

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