You ever hear this? “Hey, it’s a Jeep thing?” And really it’s just a way to dismiss something that kind of sucks? “Oh, I’m covered in water because my door leaks. It’s a Jeep thing!” I’ve got a bone to pick with Chrysler, and I’m going to tell you about 15 Jeep things that suck.
#1: Too Much Plastic
I’m not saying I would change anything. I love my Jeep and no amount of complaining will change that. But, they peaked in the ’40s and it shows. For one, there is way too much plastic on the inside. Plastic is actually kind of cool. It’s easy to clean, it’s cheap to replace, and if you do it right, it looks okay. And I really don’t need a Rolls-Royce finish.
But it’s 2021, and Jeeps still fit together as they have since the ’80s. I’ve driven YJs, and I know everyone with a Wrangler knows what I mean. The panels and material quality is just not where a $60,000 vehicle should be. Speaking of interiors, the windows don’t go up automatically.
#2: Windows Don’t Go Up
I told you that a lot of these would be nitpicky. But, honestly, the windows go down automatically, but not up. I guess it beats rolling up the windows by hand, but would it really be hard to have them go down and up automatically? Actually, Jeep just really doesn’t have a good handle on windows in general because they sure don’t keep the rain out.
#3: The Rain Gutters Are Bad
Seriously! When it rains, it’s like someone turned a shower on me. This is a brand new vehicle, but you have to do this crazy yoga while you drive sometimes otherwise people are going to think you wet your pants. Not cool. The fear of rain is always there, though, especially if you have the top off.
#4: Rain Is Terrifying
You’re going to want to take the top off. It’s part of why you get a Jeep. You drive with the top off and enjoy really feeling the environment. But living in the Northwest and it will rain, sometimes with no warning. And you just have to live in fear of the weather all the time.
At least, though, you can try to plan around the water. Annoying noises, though? Those are all the time.
#5: Weird Engine Noises
Jeeps rattle and make noise, but that’s fine. And even the overwhelming road noise becomes soothing after a while. But the diesel Wrangler, which is what our Ideal Jeep is, makes this loud hum after you park. Imagine setting up camp under the stars and stuff and it’s just there, humming at you. Can’t drown it out with the radio, though, because that’s another super picky thing.
#6: CarPlay Doesn’t Play
I might be blaming the wrong party here. Honestly, the fact that Jeep even has Apple CarPlay is astounding. I figured it’d be a WWII radio or something. So maybe I’m just angry at Apple here because Apple CarPlay just likes to stop working randomly. It’s super annoying. But that’s what the aftermarket is for, right? Well, about that…
#7: Parts Aren’t Worth Squat
On your Fast and Furious Civic, when you upgrade a component, you sell the stock part on eBay for a profit. Jeeps aren’t like that. No one wants stock Jeep parts. That’s why every time you go to someone’s house that owns a Jeep, they’ll have a shelf of old stock components just sitting there and collecting dust.
I mean, what are you going to do? Leave it stock? I don’t think so. You pay a premium at the dealer to then sell it for nothing. Oh, and you get to deal with random texts from buyers saying they’re a “sure thing” only to show up and have no money.
The other problem with modifying parts is that it’s always a trade-off. In the case of a Jeep, that trade-off is usually functionality.
#8: Mods Ruin Function
What do I mean by that? I mean that if you upgrade your bumper so that you can pull your buddy out after he cases it on a huge rut, you lose your sensors. If you bolt new things on, you introduce rust. And if you dare run aftermarket lids and doors, the stock parts will never fit right again. But that’s not saying much because even stock parts don’t line up. We had an alignment done after putting the lift on and, from the factory, it’s not straight.
It’s worth it, though. I love how easy it is to climb anything. I’ll live with the quirks, especially all the downsides to having big tires.
#9: Speedo Is Wrong
The first thing you’ll notice after upgrading to larger wheels is that your speedometer will just never be right again. Most people just use GPS or (and don’t tell anyone) you just get used to it and don’t really care. You can calibrate it or buy a taser, but then it’ll just be wrong the next time you change setups.
And when you change setups, make sure you replace that spare too. Donuts just won’t cut it.
#10: You Need a Full Spare
Most off-roaders will carry full-size spares no matter what. Jeeps just make it harder since the wheel is right on the back, on display for everyone. So you can’t just buy crap rims and throw mediocre shoes on them. You have to match, and that’s expensive, and paying more sucks. Sure, I could get a tire cover, but who would want to cover up those beautiful wheels?
I’m not really all that serious about these things sucking. Most of them aren’t a big deal. How about one thing that actually really does suck then? Chrysler dealerships.
#11: Chrysler Dealers Are Meh
“Suck” is a strong word. I get it, they have to be experts in ancient, garbage Neons and brand new Trackhawks. It’s just not possible. But, I took my Jeep in for a really simple procedure. She was still brand new and needed a little tweak. I left the shop and suddenly had a ton of warning lights. Yay! And the technician left their scanner plugged into the truck and made me run it back. Double yay! It wasn’t a great experience.
It’s tough because all the best Jeep mechanics are usually one dude working out of their shed and they’re backed up for months. At least there haven’t been any big mechanical issues. There is one piece of DIY that annoys me, though. This is something all of you with older Wrangler owners will roll your eyes about, but everyone who has a four-door like mine will understand. The top is heavy!
#12: The Top Is Heavy
I even got a special tool to help take the top off, but it’s such an ordeal. I honestly understand why so many old Broncos are for sale with the lid lost to the weeds. Don’t get a Bronco. Be cool and get a Scout. Or get a Jeep, right? Right.
Plus, the top never just sits right back on. This ties into one of my earlier points, but as soon as you start messing with a Jeep, nothing fits back together correctly.
#13: Nothing Fits Back Together
Here, look, this is just what happens. Jeeps are meant to be abused so they have loose tolerances like an AK-47. But AKs are super cheap. Jeeps are not. I want things to line up. It’s not a Tesla. I also want to go through drive-thrus and park in normal spots, but I can’t. We all make sacrifices.
#14: Can’t Go Through Drive-Thrus
I guess I should elaborate. Parking garages usually have super low ceilings, some houses have low garage doors, and many drive-thrus can’t accommodate a tall, wide, and squirrely Jeep. Honestly, I enjoy walking. Having to hike to get my coffee doesn’t bother me. But I would like to be able to park inside during the monsoons.
When the storm ends, though, it’s easy to forget all the problems. Like I said before, it’s all about trade-offs. And the tradeoff is that I will not be stopped by water or mud unlike my friends, who will call me the minute it stops raining.
#15: You’ll Always Be Rescuing Your Friends
Buying recovery gear feels great. I love shopping for new gear. I love winching and watching recovery videos. What I don’t love is how I never seem to get to use it for myself. It’s always pulling out some friend of mine who bought an ancient Lexus SUV instead of a sick Jeep. Or maybe they tried to take a two-wheel drive Porsche through the snow. Sometimes I’d love to use my gear for me, you know?