A common problem that almost every jeep wrangler lover face when they are going to buy, and that is, which is better, jeep wrangler JK or JKU? Are they the same or different?
This is an important question because if you know about them and their features, it will be easy to decide which model is best for you. These two models have different dimension and structure, but it also has some similarities.
But the main difference you will see is their off-road performance. There are also some visible differences, and I will discuss them here to clarify all of your confusion.
Difference Between Jeep Wrangler JK VS JKU
I personally love jeep wrangler jk as it gives better performance off-road, although most of the time I went for adventure alone or with two or three friends.
But if you want to go with your family, you should definitely go for the jeep wrangler JK as it also gives exceptional performance off-road. To know about them, keep reading this article.
The Similarities of Jeep Wrangler JK and JKU
Before knowing the differences, you should also know the similarities between them as they both look almost the same, and it is hard to compare them at first sight. So their appearance is the same.
Also, they both have the same dimension, so there are no differences between their height and width. Also, their body design is the same sometimes.
Exterior parts, tires, body are the same. Now come to the engine point. Do you think their engine would be different? It’s wrong. They have some differences, but the engine and transmission have no difference.
Their body design is almost the same, so so you can remove both of their door, windows, tops, roof rack, windshields, power door locks, power windows when they are removable.
The suspension and body frame are also the same. A question may pop up in your mind that If they have all those similarities, are there any differences between them? Absolutely there is some. Let’s discuss it.
The Key Differences Between JK and JKU
The most visible difference between them is JK has two doors, and JKU has four doors. Normally, having 4 doors means the jeep size is big than JK as four doors require a big wheelbase and space. But you have to know all the specifications of those two car models to decide which will be suitable for you. Other differences are,
Car Size for Jeep JL, JK and JKU
Jku is a bigger car than jk, so its weight is more than jk wrangler. Jk’s total length is 164.3 inches. JKU’s total length is 184.9 inches. But the width is the same. Both widths are 73.7 inches.
Jk has two doors, and JKU has four doors. While 4 door JKU is one of the comfortable ones as a family vehicle and jeep event than the jeep jl Rubicon, you have to consider the price for choosing the practical vehicle.
The JKU wheelbase is longer than jk. The wheelbase length of jk is 95.4 inches, and JK’s is 116 inches. The seating capacity is 4, and JKU is 5, including the rear seats and front ones.
Difference in Power
While JKU is stronger and bigger than jeep jk, it’s better for hardcore wheeling with improved turbo power, but it is also more pricey than jk. Jk price is at least $24,000, and JKU is $28,000.
I personally feel that jeep jk performs better than jeep JKU off-road if you are talking about transmission options. If you are going off-road regularly, go for a jeep jk as it has the best size for tolerating rough terrain, and you will be more comfortable in off-road driving. Driving JKU is a little complex in off-road driving.
Jku has more cargo space than jeep JK. The cargo capacity of the first-row seat of jeep jk is 56.5 cubic feet, and JKU is 70.6 cubic feet.
The second-row seat of JK cargo capacity is 12.8 cubic feet, and the jeep JKU is 31.5 cubic feet. As a heavy vehicle, you will have plenty of cargo room to comfort many passengers with this setup for long trips.
Towing Capacity and Inches of Lift
The towing capacity is also higher in JKU than jeep JK. The JKU towing capacity is 3500 pounds in JKU, and the jk is 2000 pounds. So, for a larger lift, the JKU is a winner.
While most wrangler JL models can offer a 2.5-inch lift, the JK model comes with a 4.5-inch Lift, better with cargo-hauling capacity. If you are using a perfect jeep wrangler lift kit, or a jeep rubicon lift kit, these will improve drastically.
The Capacity of Fuel Economy
Like other features, JKU has more fuel capacity than JK. Jk fuel tank can hold at least 18 gallons of fuel, and the JKU tank holds 23 gallons. In comparison to the Jeep JL, which has less than JL less than 21.5 gallons capacity. So, not only a better thread starter, the mileage is higher in JKU.
- The center of gravity is higher in JKU.
- The engine turning radius of jk is 34.9 feet and JKU is 41.2 feet.
Off ROad Performance
Jeep jk performs better on-road because of its shorter wheelbase and high centre of gravity. Also, you will get better gas mileage at highway speeds. Jeep JKU is also stable on one road. You can drive it comfortably but it has bad gas mileage.
The Brief History of Jeep Wrangler JK and JKU
In 2006, Daimler Chrysler released the third generation of jeep wrangler JK. At that time, an auto show celebrates it and shows its feature to the audience.
The JK was the updated version of their previous one, so they upgrade the suspension, body frame, etc. At that time, the jeep jk also has a remote power door, and window locks like Jeep wrangler jl and other models.
Jeep JKU was released in 2007 with the name of jeep wrangler unlimited. After releasing the jk, the company updates some features of jk and makes it almost 20 inches bigger, and named it JKU.
After release, JKU becomes more popular with the people to use it for their family tour and enjoy the extra space. It has unlimited versatility in comparison to the Jeep Wrangler JL and other older models.
JK VS JKU: Which is Better for Off-Roading?
Although jeep JKU is stronger and bigger than jeep jk, that does not mean it can perform better off-road. Off-road requires a flexible car as it can jump better, and the driver can handle the situation comfortably.
Jku can negotiate tough turning and tolerate more difficulties off-road, but JK’s break-over angle is better in tough terrain.
When you drive any rocky road, the tires can run in angle and pass the sharp obstacle, and your jeep won’t be high centered. It is very important to hold the balance in this situation.
You can also turn in tight corners with your jeep jk. Actually, jeep jk is a lot easier to handle, but JKU is not that bad. You can also handle the jeep road when you are with your family and friends.
But yes, either you go in jeep jk or JKU, it requires special driving quality for both of them. Jeep JKU gives you the benefit of carrying a lot more gear in its extra space.