Admit it, you’ve asked yourself this same question. You’ve been trying to justify to your family, friends and most likely to yourself, the idea of buying a Jeep Wrangler.
But let’s face it, if you’re going to be completely honest, you are going to be hard pressed to find any practical reasons to justify the purchase.
Let me explain…
Buying a Jeep Wrangler: Gas Mileage
If you’re lucky, and going down a steep hill, with a strong tailwind, you might get 16 miles per gallon in a Jeep Wrangler. The official word is 17mpg but I own one, it is definitely closer to 16.
Compare this to the 2016 Lexus NX, a compact hybrid SUV that is comparable in price and gets 35/31 MPG. Slightly better mileage… ok, more than double that of the Jeep Wrangler.
Figure on 15,000 miles driven per year (city average) and $3.00 per gallon of fuel.
- Lexus NX, 35 MPG city: 15,000 miles = 428 gallons = $1284 in fuel costs per year.
- Jeep Wrangler, 16 MPG city: 15,000 miles = 937 gallons = $2811 in fuel costs per year.
For those keeping score, that is a difference of $1587 in gas per year! Not to mention that those are stock Jeep mileage figures. So adding modifications to the Jeep with more weight and different tires is only going to make the mileage worse.
Go ahead and admit that the gas mileage for the Jeep Wrangler sucks, and move on to your next justification. Still interested in buying a Jeep Wrangler? Keep reading.
Buying a Jeep Wrangler: They Look Awesome To Drive
Yes they do, and they have the aerodynamics of a brick. Hence the crappy gas mileage we just covered.
Jeeps boast a nearly flat windshield, a front end in the shape of a square, and a rectangular body.
Because they are shaped like a brick and are ridiculously heavy they have a very slow stopping power. Not only that, but they have relatively poor side crash test ratings, a tendency to roll over, and they are easily pushed around by side winds.
Not enough to dissuade you from getting one yet? Well, depending on tires and other build issues, they can require the driver to make regular 2-3 inch corrections on steering just driving down a paved road. Not everyone wants a daily driver with these issues. Definitely not at the price point of the Jeep Wrangler.
Gotta make you wonder what the designers were thinking. To be honest, they weren’t thinking of paved roads. More on that in a moment.
So if a practical daily driver is your goal, think again.
Buying a Jeep Wrangler: You Won’t Have to Mess With It
Don’t think you are going to mess with it?
Sure the Jeep Wrangler is an awesomely built machine stock off the factory floor, but rest assured you won’t be keeping it stock for long.
No two Jeeps are alike, the Jeep life is all about personal preference. “Mods” (short for modifications) are going to shred what is left of your pocketbook, and eventually have you holding up a cardboard sign on the side of the road that reads, “Will work for Jeep parts.”
My advice? Just go ahead and make sure you save enough money for a piece of cardboard and a sharpie. I’ll be on the corner across the street from you.
Just starting off, you’re going to want new headlights, the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) ones are horrible. Then you’ll want a new front bumper followed shortly by a lift kit to clear those obstacles. Oh, and tires, gotta have the right tread… but the tires are going to need beadlock wheels for when you need to air down for traction and that means you need an air compressor to bring them back up after off-roading…
You see where this goes right? It is pretty much endless. So that argument you’ve been telling yourself about how you won’t be messing with it much?
Yeah, just skip that one. Let’s talk about comfort instead. ~grin~
Buying A Jeep Wrangler: Comfort
Imagine sitting on a seat that feels like it was built using piece of damp plywood affixed to a brick platform, now throw that seat into a bounce house. Welcome to arguably one of the least comfortable rides you’ll find.
Not only that, but just getting in and out of your Jeep Wrangler can be embarrassingly awkward. Forget about it if you, or your significant other, is wearing a dress and heels for date night. That is a recipe for disaster, and will probably end up going viral on YouTube. Hey, at least you’ll be Internet famous.
You can argue the Jeep comfort issue with any Jeep lover, but they probably won’t be able to hear you. That’s because they are practically deaf from all of the road noise from years of driving their own Jeep and trying to blare their radios to cover it up.
If luxurious comfort and the ability to hear is a factor for you, just go ahead and nix the idea of a Jeep Wrangler right now. Let’s move onto the next argument… cargo space.
Buying a Jeep Wrangler: Cargo Space
Unless you are planning on getting the 4-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, you aren’t going to have much cargo space.
I mean, with the Unlimited model you might have enough cargo space to carry some groceries.
Then again, you do sort of have the fire extinguisher, first aid kit, flashlight, leather gloves, recovery kit, tools, breaker bar, extra motor oil, a full set of belts and filters, a tow rope, shovel, Hi-Lift jack, extra spare tire and air compressor sitting in the back.
In the Jeep life, room for groceries is a luxury.
Don’t bank on the cargo space argument. Yeah, just don’t go there.
Buying a Jeep Wrangler: It Is Kind of Like A Convertible
No it isn’t. It has a removable top. There is a difference.
Don’t go selling your loved ones or yourself on the “convertible” aspect. Don’t be that person.
But the top does come off, so do the doors, so that’s cool. But since I’m shooting you straight, let me just throw this out there now. The top of your Jeep Wrangler will
Every Jeep forum has a huge, nearly endless, thread about the top of the Jeep Wrangler leaking. Soft top or hard top, doesn’t really matter.
This is probably why most Jeep lovers drive topless, or even nekkid. I mean what difference does it make if your top is going to leak anyway right?
Might as well just rip out the carpet, buy a dry bag, stuff it with some extra clothes, drive around in your swimsuit and call it a day.
Don’t use the convertible argument, it won’t win you any points with whoever you are trying to convince in the long run.
Decided Against Buying a Jeep Wrangler Yet?
Believe it or not, I’m really NOT trying to convince you not to get one. I’m just shooting you straight.
An informed decision is always the best decision. So in review, Jeeps aren’t practical for daily use, they get horrible gas mileage, they’ll empty your pocketbook, they aren’t comfortable, they have limited cargo space and they are prone to leaking.
But you still want one right? Come on. Admit it.
Yeah, I thought so.
Let’s take a look at some real reasons why you SHOULD buy a Jeep Wrangler.
Why Then Should I Consider Buying a Jeep Wrangler?
Simply put because you want to. Let’s face it, they are super fun to own and drive. Every single outing becomes a potential adventure.
If you are into freedom, camaraderie, and have a insatiable passion for adventure, the Jeep Wrangler is perfect for you.
There is a reason Jeep is using the hashtags: #GoAnywhere #DoAnything right now. Simple, straightforward and to the point. And these bad boys truly can go anywhere and do anything. You can literally go where no other production vehicle can or should.
The Jeep is practically unstoppable on the trails, and if for whatever reason you do get stuck, a quick shout out to another Jeeper will have you on the road momentarily. That is just the way the community is.
Speaking of the Jeep community, to put it mildly, as a Jeep owner you’ll instantly become part of an insanely passionate group of rabid, welcoming, helpful, and waving enthusiasts.
Some other considerations would include the resale value which is always high, do your homework; look up a used Jeep Wrangler and see for yourself how well they hold their value.
In addition, parts are everywhere and they are reasonably priced. Repairs on Jeep Wranglers are relatively cheap considering the value of the vehicle and even cheaper if you can turn a wrench yourself.
Should I Buy a Jeep Wrangler Summary
Consider the pros and cons listed above. I’ve been shooting you straight about the Jeep and the Jeep life. If you have questions, ASK! Comment here or ask another friend who has one, but get your questions answered first.
This should go without saying, but never buy a Jeep Wrangler without taking a beat and knowing what you are getting yourself into. The simple truth is that there are many vehicles out there that will be easier on your pocketbook and will offer a more comfortable ride.
But… if the Jeep lifestyle appeals to you, there is no substitute! Jeep has a very long and proud heritage and history. Jeep Wranglers are rugged, durable, and there is nothing out there quite like them. Properly maintained they will last for many years and miles.
In the end, just make sure that the lifestyle is a good match for you before you sign on the dotted line.
On a personal note, I’ve owned many vehicles in my lifetime. I’ve driven sports cars, luxury cars, trucks, convertibles, and practically every type and style of vehicle there is. Having said that, I’ve never felt as passionate as I do about any vehicle as I do my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. By far it is my favorite vehicle I’ve ever owned. Nothing compares, nothing comes close.
I hope this article has been helpful to you one way or the other. I’ve always promised to be transparent in my writing and my hope is that I’ve accurately described the pros and cons and that ultimately it will help to inform your decision.
If you do make the purchase, we’d love to hear about it and personally welcome you to the Jeep family.
Until next time, keep it dirty and wheels side down.