Explore the Best and Worst Features of Jeep Wranglers

Jeep Wrangler
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The Jeep Wrangler is definitely not for everyone. Whether or not you should own one depends largely on your personality (and your sense of adventure).

A sports car enthusiast will not like the Wrangler. Those who prefer the luxury of a smooth ride or leather seats will be highly disappointed. Families with children will prefer the safety and security that other SUVs provide.

Some think of a Wrangler basically as a crude form of SUV.

But the Wrangler is more about attitude than most other SUVs on the market. With removable doors, a fold-down windshield, removable top, replacement half-doors, holes in the floorboards for hosing out the interior when it's dirty, it's both practical and utilitarian.

Pros: Why People Love Their Wranglers

A Jeep Wrangler gives you the freedom to drive (almost) anywhere you want to go. Buying a Jeep also admits you into an extremely active and public fraternity. Whether you're young in age or young at heart, it's the youthful sense of adventure that make a Wrangler a great vehicle to own. And to top it all off, Wranglers hold their value quite well, so you'll get excellent resell value when you're ready to move on.

A Jeep Wrangler Can Be a Lifestyle Changer

  • 4x4 capabilities allow you to drive places you've never been before (off-road, for example!)
  • On beautiful days you can take the top and doors off and feel the wind through your hair.
  • You may find yourself the object of envy—or at least attention—from other drivers eying 
  • You can make your Jeep your own—there are many accessories, options and aftermarket items to enable customization.
  • Owning a Jeep give you a special bond with fellow Wrangler owners; you may find instant shared camaraderie with folks you meet around town or even at Jeep events across the U.S., or on Jeep message boards, chat rooms, and listservs.
  • You may find yourself becoming a do-it-yourself mechanic, as repairs are quite simple.
  • You can enjoy driving during all weather conditions and in all four seasons.

The Best Things About Owning A Jeep

  • Classic design / unique look
  • Unique styling serves as both an SUV and a convertible
  • Height advantage over most cars—great visibility
  • Good heating system
  • A simply constructed vehicle that's easy to repair
  • Short wheelbase, powerful drivetrain, body size and tight turning ratios are all great for off-roading
  • Small size and light weight, make it a cinch to swing into tight spots
  • Rugged and durable; Jeeps last for many years and many miles
  • Handles well on pavement, mud, sand, snow, water, and more
  • Wide appeal
  • Durable interior made for weathering the elements
  • Fun to drive—turns every drive into an adventure
  • Relatively low price / good value
  • Excellent resale value
  • Parts are plentiful and cheap for repairs

Cons: Why A Wrangler Might Not Work for You

A Wrangler is definitely a "no frills" vehicle. It comes with few extras—even some of the most basic things (carpet, steel doors, rear seat) are considered options. If comfort, security, and safety are tops on your list of vehicle requirements, you should probably think twice about buying a Jeep Wrangler.

Don't be mistaken, a Wrangler not a comfortable "city car" by any means. For many, it's a better choice as a second or third vehicle than as a primary vehicle. And it's more practical for single people than for families with children.

Consider These Things Before Purchasing

  • If you don't like the outdoors, you won't like a Wrangler.
  • If you're overly concerned about luxury, safety or security, you won't like a Wrangler.
  • If you really need a passenger vehicle, a Wrangler probably won't work for you.
  • If you need space for hauling things (luggage, groceries, etc.), the Wrangler won't do it for you, nor does it have a trunk compartment that locks.
  • If you have a long commute, you won't enjoy the noisy ride.
  • If you want a fuel efficient vehicle, the gas-guzzling Wrangle is a poor choice.
  • If you have a large family, you won't be able to comfortably seat everyone in a Wrangler.
  • If you (or your passengers) are concerned about how you'll look when you get to your destination, then you might not appreciate the "glow" (aka sweat) or "windblown hair" you get from riding in a Jeep convertible. 

The Worst Things About Owning A Jeep

  • Weak acceleration, especially on interstates
  • It's awkward to get into and out of the rear seats, and the front seat requires high step in
  • Lack of cargo space for luggage, groceries, etc.
  • Noisy—road, wind, engine, and tire noise
  • Firm suspension results in a stiff, bumpy ride
  • Rear visibility can be a challenge with the top on
  • Slow steering
  • Tall, boxy profile is not aerodynamic, meaning greater wind resistance and wind noise
  • Uncomfortable front seat positions for taller drivers
  • Outdated appearance of gages and switchgear
  • Even in the summer, the air is cooler than you'd think - must always bring a jacket
  • Small, flimsy doors
  • Rear-view mirror is in the line of vision for taller drivers
  • Windshield wipers remain in the upright position when "off"
  • Base sound system is less than adequate
  • If you're riding without the top/sides, you must always be prepared for rain—plastic bags are a lifesaver for your gear
  • Cramped rear seating
  • Lack of side mirrors when you take off the doors
  • Short wheelbase makes highway driving rougher than in larger vehicles
  • Uninsulated roof
  • No lockable trunk/cargo area
  • Less practical in colder climates
  • It only seats four
  • Poor fuel economy (typical of SUVs)

Making the Final Decision

Whatever you do, don't get a Wrangler as an impulse buy! Instead, do your homework thoroughly. Research it. Test drive it. Test drive other vehicles. Talk to other Wrangler owners and (especially) ex-owners. Make a list of every vehicular need you have and highlight any that the Wrangler cannot provide. Then test drive it again.

In sum, those who view driving simply as a means of getting from one place to the next should look elsewhere, because the Wrangler is for those who seek adventure, those who have an interest in taking their vehicle places they've never gone before, and those who enjoy driving for no reason other than to be outdoors.