You love quick acceleration. Owning a Jeep wrangler would be fun they said! And, after buying into all the hype and owning a Wrangler for over six months now, I have learned some things about being a Wrangler owner. Anyone and everyone loves her, especially when she’s topless. And this platform is shockingly capable off-road. But there are a few things I’ve come to realize that make me want to pull my hair out!
I’m going to go over them with you today because buying my Jeep (her name is Tina) may have been a mistake. And I don’t want you to make the same one! So, air down, buckle up, and let’s go!
Overall Build Quality
Okay, first off, you will quickly be reminded that this is a Chrysler product. Let me shut this door for you. It sounds pretty tinny if you ask me. And, for the price we paid for this Jeep, we could have gotten a couple-year-old G-Wagon with doors that sound amazing when they shut.
And, yes, I’m the first to admit you don’t buy a Jeep for the build quality, but this is 2021 and our old TJ was just as well (or just as poorly) built as this brand new one! You’d think they’d progress. But I guess if the recipe is a success, why screw with it? Just know: you’re going to spend more money than you think on a rig that just feels a tad flimsy.
And if you can get past the way it’s built, then let’s talk about comfort, or lack thereof.
If you like your seats to feel like you’re sitting on your La-Z-Boy, eating a home-cooked dinner watching bull-riding reruns, then Jeeps are not for you. Now, I’ve had worse cars. Well, just one. It was a 1960s Baja Beetle that had no air conditioning and the brakes didn’t really work.
But this Wrangler drives like a truck and corners like a tank. Plus, it’s partly my own doing. But, if you throw bigger mud terrains on it, the loud road noise will give you a migraine on longer drives. And longer drives are kind of unnerving because the on-center steering feel, with a solid front axle, especially on the highway, makes this rig wander back and forth. I almost sprained my wrist trying to keep her straight when we got hit by a bad side-wind! I’ve created this new hold grip and it’s called the chicken foot. You should try it.
Yes, this is more capable than you are off-road. And, yes, driving it with the top off will make you forget everything you dislike about it. But that on-road steering numbness makes getting to the epic destination a lot less enjoyable than you might think!
And don’t buy a Jeep if you want to hyper-mile! No one buys a Jeep for gas mileage, even Prius owners! And no, Prius owners, the left lane doesn’t come standard with your purchase. But Tina (again, my Jeep Wrangler), doesn’t do great on fuel even though she’s a diesel model. That makes sense, though, considering it has the aerodynamics of a poorly made brick. And adding larger wheels, tires, a tent, an awning, and lugging other people around in the passenger seat doesn’t help.
Normally, if I see double-digit miles per gallon, I’m ecstatic! But then, every once in a while, if I have a tailwind, I’ll see over 20 miles per gallon. I never really know what fuel mileage I’m going to get! Although, I can usually count on it being subpar. And bad fuel mileage is fine, except when you go off-road and there aren’t any gas stations. So, that’s why I had to get these RotopaX fuel cans to make sure I don’t run out on adventures! Plus, the awesome Trailrax system to hold them onto the roof.
And, since we’re talking about gas mileage, when you smash the gas, it takes more than a few seconds for it to kick in!
Lack of Acceleration
So, if you love slow vehicles, a Jeep is for you! Not only are freeway speeds tough to attain and maintain but, if there is a mountain pass between you and your destination, hope that you don’t get passed by any 18-wheelers! Yes, the newer Jeep Wranglers are quicker than the older ones, but we test drove a TJ with the little 2.5-liter four-banger in it and, holy moly, I bet that thing could climb a hill faster in reverse!
And yet, the price for that slow-as-a-slug TJ was a lot. And that’s because you have to spend a lot more money than you think to get one!
Price for Used Jeeps
Yeah, it seems like Jeeps are all the rage! People love them and there really isn’t any competition, except for the new Bronco. But, come on, will that really compete with my Jeep? Let me know down in the comments. You know when something has a monopoly on the market, like the Jeep Wrangler? Well, they can charge whatever they want.
And that can be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s a great thing if you buy one because “There Is No Alternative.” Get it? That’s why we named her TINA. The prices for used rigs don’t go down much! In fact, Jeeps are one of, if not the least, depreciating vehicles on the road! But the issue with that is the cost of entry! Jeeps are not cheap! Not even used! So, the cost of entry is high and a lot of people are turned away by that and end up getting an FJ Cruiser, Nissan Xterra, or even a Subaru Outback!
Yeah, I just had a friend not get a Jeep Wrangler and get an Outback instead. I feel like that’s apples to oranges. But she didn’t like paying the “Jeep tax” and I can’t blame her! It’s just that she has to roll around in a Subie and not a Jeep, which she just doesn’t understand!
Grocery Getting Is Dangerous
And, if you don’t want to live on the wild side, don’t get a Jeep! Now, I may be nitpicking a little or a lot here, but this rear hatch design is dangerous to get groceries with! Now, I get why Jeep designed it this way, where you swing the lower door out and lift the rear glass. But since the fifth wheel and tire are mounted on the back, it makes this lower door heavy!
Now, I’ve gone to Costco, trying to load my two watermelons while parked on a hill, and this door almost crushed me! Yeah, it definitely looks cool with the spare right on the back. But, when you go with bigger wheels and tires, things can get dangerous if you’re not careful!
And if you’re using your Jeep the right way, you know, off-roading can be dangerous, but it can also be loads of fun! So, if you plan on buying a Jeep Wrangler just to run errands and drop the kiddos off at school, take a hard look into your soul and see if a minivan should be in your future instead!
Don’t be a pavement princess; these are the most capable off-road rigs out there. And to fully enjoy them, you have to take them off the beaten path! Yes, you’ll get scratches on the side. I call them battle scars! And this thing is so capable that I’ve only ever used my recovery gear to help other rigs get unstuck!
Jeeps aren’t just a vehicle to get you from Point A to Point B; they’re a lifestyle! You buy into a community of like-minded people that love the outdoors and want to explore new roads, whether they’re on or off the pavement.
And there are some people that just aren’t cut out for Jeep life, and that’s alright! Tina has been one of the best things to ever enter my life and we’ve created some incredible memories together! So, if you want a rig that’s more than just an appliance, buying a Jeep Wrangler is worth every penny and then some! But, if you want an appliance, just go buy a Subaru Outback.