Is My Jeep a JK or JL?

Newcomers to the Jeep community might find themselves confused about the different models and generations. One common question that arises is, “Is my Jeep a JK or JL?” 

  • JK (2007-2018): The Jeep JK is started in 2007 to 2018.
  • JL (2018-present): Jeep Wrangler JL is started from the end of 2018 to till now.

Jeep a JK vs JL: Comparison

Jeep Wrangler which is of 2018 or older than that is “Jk” and the jeep which is from end of 2018 to 2023 is known as “JL”. Person who purchases Jeep wrangler in 2018 got a bit confuse to determine between JK or JL. So, we have got your back. We have given below each and every difference between both of them.

Exterior Design Differences:

The exterior design is one of the easiest ways to differentiate between a JK and JL model.

Grille: The JK features a seven-slot grille while the JL has a slightly wider and more prominent grille with a more aerodynamic appearance.

Headlights: Jeep JK headlights are typically larger and rectangular whereas the jeep JL sports more compact, rounded headlights.

Turn Signals: On the JK, the turn signals are located on the fender but the JL integrates them into the front fenders themselves.

Windshield: The JL has a slightly raked windshield for improved aerodynamics and the JK has a more upright windshield.

Transmission Difference:

The JK Wrangler offered an optional 5-speed automatic transmission called the W5A580 or NAG1 while the JL Wrangler came with a new 8-speed automatic transmission called the 850RE or TorqueFlite 8HP75.

Interior and Technology Features:

Examining the interior and technology features can also provide clues to identify your Jeep Wrangler model.

Infotainment System: The JL models introduced the latest Uconnect system with larger touchscreen displays and improved connectivity options compared to the JK.

Dashboard Design: The JL’s dashboard has a more modern and refined appearance, featuring updated controls and a revised layout.

Steering Wheel: The JL typically has a thicker, more ergonomic steering wheel design compared to the JK.

Safety Features: The JL models come equipped with advanced safety features like blind-spot monitoring and forward collision warning, which were not available on most JK models.

Undercarriage & Suspension:

While it may not be immediately visible, examining the undercarriage and suspension can offer further insights.

Suspension Design: The JK Wranglers typically feature a solid front axle and rear axle, while the JL introduced an optional independent front suspension (IFS) on some models for improved on-road comfort.

Differential Covers: The JL models often have a noticeable “Rubicon” inscription on the front and rear differential covers, which is absent on the JK models.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN):

If you’re still uncertain about the model, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can provide definitive information. The VIN can be found on the driver-side door jamb, the dashboard near the windshield, or the vehicle registration documents. The tenth character in the VIN represents the model year (H for 2017, J for 2018, K for 2019, etc.), which can help determine if your Jeep is a JK or JL.

Conclusion:

Determining whether your Jeep Wrangler is a JK or JL can be an exciting endeavor for enthusiasts and new owners alike. By examining the exterior design, interior features, undercarriage, and VIN, you can confidently identify your Jeep model.

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Bransford Smith
Bransford Smith
Bransford Smith is a Founder of “Jeepwrenching” and a Jeep enthusiast for over a decade and has extensive knowledge & experience with all things Jeep.

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