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WL Nice subtle changes over WK2

3616 Views 51 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  hobbie1
Still finding minor changes that are much improved over the previous gen.

This weekend I noticed...

1. The front camera in the windshield has heat strips in front of it now to defrost the cameras view.

2. The power windows are smoother and really quiet compared to the WK2's.

What are others you've noticed?
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Humans generally don't like imposed change, and most new designs face backlash from fans of the old design. Sometimes one comes along that the majority fall in love with right away, but most new designs are ultimately compromised versions of the designers original vision, due to all manner of engineering, production and cost considerations, layered over the top of the original vision. This phenomenon is why Jeep was so conservative with the last Wrangler update (aversion to change within the customer base) while the Bronco was almost universally loved (not following a recent model).

That said, I loved the WK when it came out, and thought the WK2 was a mistake at first, especially the headlights, but it grew on me and I still really like the way they look now. The forward cant of the WL wasn't my favorite either, but the new car has a decidedly more upmarket goal, and they wanted to differentiate it I'm sure. Does it work? Will it grow on me, or any of us? I think it will. The WL has a more 'stern/conservative' affect up front, where the WK2 looked more svelte and athletic up front.

Looking at the future midlife refresh schedule and platform replacement, this design is going to be around a long time (until 2027 for a refresh, and 2033 for a new platform on the L, 29/35 on the two row). The below production schedule (which does look to come from the Stellantis system based on other things I've seen) is obviously subject to change, but it seems like this platform is going to have a long life, which is nice with regard to our cars not looking 'last generation' longer than most.

Also, the CEO is on record as expecting battery tech to fall in cost, double in density, and recharge times to drop substantially 'but won't be seen in today's platforms'. If that is their outlook (and it seems reasonable based on various industry news) they will be throwing their resources into next gen EV-only platforms. If the battery tech matures and improves as they have good reason to expect, they won't throw huge sums of money into dinosaur-powered platforms in the interim, knowing EV SUVs with 600 mile range (maybe 250-300 while towing) are on the horizon, which will pretty much obviate all arguments for gas engines when it happens, in all but HD diesel pickups probably.

Looking at the below, I'd guess they might be targeting 2027 to introduce a Hurricane-based 4xe WL75 (it's been noted already, but no timeline announced), which will carry through to 2033 when we might see the dawn of an EV-only platform.

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I don't dislike the WL 'L' exterior, but the two row looks a little weird to me, and some colors look better than others. I liked the WK2 better overall (on the outside), but I flat out HATED the E60 BMW when it came out, and now we can't get rid of my wife's 535xi wagon because (1) the driving experience is better than anything this side of an RS6 avant or an E63 wagon, and they stopped importing 5 series wagons. It was a weird design out of the gate, but it looks more modern now than anything else that was around when it came out.

The WL is acceptably 'handsome' in the upper trims. It looks weird with less than 20" wheels to me, proportionally (I wish it didn't). It's more 'staid' than 'athletic'. But the interior is extremely nice for an American car, although still a slight step below upscale 2021+ euro offerings. It's in the "I definitely like it" category, but it's a long way from the drool factor of, say, the Audi RS6 wagon, for me. That said, I still look at it and think "this is a nice 🤬 car" (if everything actually worked, hopefully my new one, due this week, will).
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The WK2 was a great design, but it's old, and starting to get long in the tooth. I like the WL, but I wish they had ventured a little more towards 'modern', and a little further from 'conservative'. It's not an easy game to play, though. Not only does it have to not 'offend', but it has to look good for at least 5 years or more before a refresh, and the main architecture will apparently be around for over a decade, so they can't take too many chances either.
As an aside, whatever it is, it will not be called that. :). "WK2" is actually a made-up name because Jeep, in their infinite wisdom actually forgot to change the manufacturing code when they switched from making WK to what came next in 2010. So the Internet invented "WK2" to differentiate the 2005-2010 platform from the 2011-2022 platform. 2022 is interesting because there was parallel production (time wise) of both early WL-74 and "WK2" (Laredo and Limited only) for a short period of time. Whatever comes after WL will likely be WM as has been mentioned and that's most likely at least five years out if you look at the most typical life of a given generation.
Well, apparently they will be called the WL74-2 (2 row) and WL75-2 (3 row), if this post from another Jeep forum is 'real', and it does appear to be the same as other internal Stellantis document formatting.

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That table you show appears to be for the future...look at the start of program (SOP) dates. :) Perhaps the "two" is for a refresh? No way to know that at this point. WL74-2 and WL75-2 could be placeholders for a future official designation...likely WM if they stick to the sequence history...that they just don't want to put in print now.

For the moment, WL74 (2 row) and WL75 (3 row) are unique already in their current form.
Whether they change the designation, the intent of the document seems to clearly designate the start of the refresh. Given the CEO's public expectation that the battery tech they need to put trucks/SUVs in the 'electric only' lineup, to fully replace ICE, it would all make sense with regard to that protracted timeline. My guess is they hope the EV-only vehicles will come out a year or two earlier and they will continue to offer the WL along side it at first, too - like they did with the WK2 and the WL74.

2027 could be the start of a hybrid or PHEV Hurricane offering for the three row, as a transition/test-the-waters move to straight EVs in 2033. It's a long way off, though, and based on how long the Hurricane has been in development (15 years IIRC, due to the move to an I6 instead of a V6), so I kind of feel like my guess is as good as theirs.
Hey Sarge - did you ever get your new one?

We've hit week 3 / 700 miles and no issues on the 4Xe.
Nope. It's about to get ugly, and expensive, but they won't have it any other way. That much is self-evident after the last ELEVEN MONTHS of their utterly indifferent incompetence. It's just unbelievable.

To think my dealer offered to take mine in on trade for MSRP and order me another one almost 12 months ago... New car, zero cost, zero hassle.

The whole process has been the poorest, most frustrating use of my time, and has absorbed more of it than anything else in my life, ever, and they just won't let it end.
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