2019 Chevrolet Colorado vs. 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Colorado Crew Cab and Wrangler JL 4-door have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Colorado has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Wrangler JL’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Colorado are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Wrangler JL doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Colorado has standard head airbag curtains for front and rear seats that act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and outboard passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The Wrangler JL doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head and are only available for the front seats.

The Colorado’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the front seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The Wrangler JL doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Colorado LT offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The Wrangler JL doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Colorado LT’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Wrangler JL doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Colorado and the Wrangler JL have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Colorado the rating of “Top Pick” for 2016, a rating granted to only 157 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Wrangler JL has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Colorado’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Wrangler JL’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Chevrolet pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Colorado. Chevrolet will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Jeep doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Wrangler JL.

There are over 27 percent more Chevrolet dealers than there are Jeep dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Colorado’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 64 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Chevrolet 2 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Engine

The Colorado’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 23 more horsepower (308 vs. 285) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 260) than the Wrangler JL’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6.

The Colorado’s 2.8 turbo diesel produces 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 295) than the Wrangler JL’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Colorado’s 2.8 turbo diesel produces 109 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 260) than the Wrangler JL’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Colorado 4 cyl. diesel 4x4 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Wrangler JL Auto with its standard engine (20 city/28 hwy vs. 18 city/23 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Colorado V6’s fuel efficiency. The Wrangler JL doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Colorado uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Wrangler JL with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Colorado has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Wrangler JL 2-door’s standard fuel tank (21 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Colorado has larger standard tires than the Wrangler JL (255/65R17 vs. 245/75R17).

The Colorado’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 70 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Wrangler JL Sport’s standard 75 series tires. The Colorado’s optional tires have a lower 60 series profile than the Wrangler JL Sahara’s 70 series tires.

The Chevrolet Colorado’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Jeep Wrangler JL only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

The Chevrolet Colorado’s independent front suspension is much lighter than the Jeep Wrangler JL’s solid front axle, which allows the Colorado’s wheels to react more quickly and accurately to the road’s surface, improving both ride and handling.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Colorado Extended Cab’s wheelbase is 31.5 inches longer than on the Wrangler JL 2-door (128.3 inches vs. 96.8 inches). The Colorado Long Box Crew Cab’s wheelbase is 22.1 inches longer than on the Wrangler JL 4-door (140.5 feet vs. 118.4 inches).

Chassis

For excellent aerodynamics, the Colorado has standard flush composite headlights. The Wrangler JL has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

The front grille of the Colorado uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Wrangler JL doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Colorado Extended Cab has 3.8 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more front hip room, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room and 7.2 inches more rear hip room than the Wrangler JL 2-door.

The Colorado Crew Cab has 3.8 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more front hip room, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Wrangler JL 4-door.

Cargo Capacity

The Colorado Crew Cab has a much larger cargo area than the Wrangler JL with its rear seat up (41.3 vs. 31.7 cubic feet).

The Colorado Extended Cab has a much larger cargo area than the Wrangler JL with its rear seat up (49.9 vs. 31.7 cubic feet).

The Colorado has a much larger cargo area than the Wrangler JL with its rear seat up (41.3 vs. 31.7 cubic feet).

The Colorado’s cargo area is larger than the Wrangler JL’s in almost every dimension:

 

Colorado Extended Cab

Colorado Crew Cab

Wrangler JL 4-door

Length (short/long)

74”

61.7”/74”

37”/65.8”

Max Width

57.8”

57.8”

42”

Min Width

44.4”

44.4”

39.5”

Height

20.9”

20.9”

41.8”

The Chevrolet Colorado offers an optional EZ-Lift and Lower (not available Base), which prevents the heavy tailgate from falling with a crash and causing injury. It allows adults and children to easily open and close the tailgate with one hand to better facilitate loading and unloading. The Jeep Wrangler JL doesn’t offer a tailgate assist.

The Chevrolet Colorado has a standard CornerStep (not available ZR2), which allows for much easier access to the cargo area. The Jeep Wrangler JL doesn’t offer a rear cargo step.

The Colorado has stake post holes, to allow the containment of tall, light loads. The Wrangler JL doesn’t offer stake post holes.

Payload and Towing

The Colorado’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Wrangler JL’s (3500 vs. 2000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Jeep Wrangler JL 4-door is only 3500 pounds. The Colorado Extended Cab offers up to a 7700 lbs. towing capacity.

The Colorado has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Wrangler JL (1382 vs. 1000 lbs.).

The Colorado has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the Wrangler JL (1547 vs. 1000 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

The Colorado uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Wrangler JL uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The Colorado’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows are only available on the Wrangler JL Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon.

The Colorado’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Wrangler JL Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon’s power windows’ switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

The Colorado’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Wrangler JL’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

The Colorado’s standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over. Power locks are only available on the Wrangler JL Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Colorado WT/LT/Z71/ZR2’s available exterior keypad. The Wrangler JL doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its extra cost SOS Call can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Colorado has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Wrangler JL has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon.

Model Availability

The Colorado is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Wrangler JL doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

Motor Trend selected the Colorado as their 2016 Truck of the Year. The Wrangler JL has never been chosen.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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