In a recent Throttle Out episode, ExtremeTerrain’s Ryan Huck pitted his stock 2018 JL against his purpose-built 1998 TJ in an attempt to show the surprising capabilities of a factory Jeep out on the trail. The experiment consisted of runs through a downhill washout, an uphill rock garden, and, lastly, the big test up against a sizable rock ledge.
The TJ is a trail-tested piece that Ryan has had for more than 16 years. “I’m sitting in a 20 year old interior here. I have a radio that I installed when I used to work at BestBuy back in high school, so the creature comforts certainly aren’t there like they are in that JL but, from a performance standpoint, this Jeep is really, really well set up,” Ryan says of the no-frills crawler.
The JL, on the other hand, is packed full of all the amenities we’ve come to expect in a modern vehicle. “There is something about that bare bones basic interior on the TJ that I love and will always love, but it’s undeniable that having some of the creature comforts that you get on a new vehicle like this JL can be really, really nice,” Ryan admits.
The stock JL is surprisingly agile, especially with a good spotter out in front. Obviously, highway tires and ground clearance are going to be problematic on the more rugged terrains, but be sure to stay tuned as Ryan will have the wrenches turning on the JL soon enough. “For now, anyway, it is bone stock but make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel because it’s certainly not going to stay stock for long.”