By on February 18, 2015

2013 Jeep WranglerAfter averaging 7500 Wrangler sales in the five Januarys leading up to 2015, Jeep sold 11,683 Wranglers in America last month, a January record for the nameplate.

Record-setting figures are nothing new for the Wrangler, of course. Chrysler Group/FCA broke their annual Wrangler one-year-old sales record by 13,833 units in 2013 and then smashed that with a 19,826-unit, 13% improvement in the 2014 calendar year.

Year-over-year, the pace of U.S. Wrangler sales expansion is even more impressive of late.
Over the last four months, Wrangler sales are up 17%.

The Wrangler was certainly not unpopular a decade ago, but with a more family-friendly four-door Unlimited now the Wrangler of choice, the jeepiest of Jeeps is now firmly entrenched in the mainstream.

The Wrangler was America’s 18th-best-selling utility vehicle in 2005; the 17th-best-selling in 2006. But with a four-door model, it became the tenth-best-selling SUV/crossover in 2007. It moved up to eighth in 2008, slid back to tenth in 2009, fell out of the top ten in 2010, moved back up to ninth in 2011, eighth in 2012 and 2013, and then claimed the ninth spot in 2014.

The big figure? Over the course of the last 109 months – January 2006 to January 2015 inclusive – 1,067,125 Wranglers were sold in the United States.

More than one million Jeep Wrangler sales in less than a decade.

Yet with growing global demand, FCA boss Sergio Marchionne demands greater production. The Toledo, Ohio, plant where Wranglers are assembled currently has capacity for 240,000 units, according to the Detroit Free Press, and very nearly that many were sold around the world last year.

U.S. Jeep Wrangler sales chartCanadians alone snapped up a record-setting 23,057 Wranglers in 2014 in addition to the 175,328 sold in the U.S.

We’ll know soon enough whether Toledo and FCA can come to an agreement. One thing remains more easily confirmable: every month, Jeep will continue to sell more Wranglers than they did in the same period one year earlier. Year-over-year, U.S. Jeep sales increased in each of the last 16 months.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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191 Comments on “Jeep Is Selling More Wranglers Than Ever, Needs Toledo To Build Many More Wranglers...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Wranglers are cool, so they sell. Seems like a simple formula. The anti-mommy car, even if it never goes off-road

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      About half the Wrangler owners I know are women, and most of those are moms. That’s part of what makes Wranglers great: everybody loves them.

      Where I live, off-road comes to you. 4 wheeling isn’t a hobby, it’s a way to get to work, or to the cross-country ski trail, or to the cottage in the summer. The idea that most Wranglers never venture off the pavement is absurd.

      • 0 avatar
        BrunoT

        Google “anecdotal evidence”

        • 0 avatar
          CoastieLenn

          I hate this comment with a passion. Not just with you, but anyone that uses it in the context of this site.

          We’re on an automotive enthusiast/news site. Nobody tries to pass off their observations and personal experiences as gospel unless they’re able to support it with statistical or empirical data.

          Do us a favor and Google “Prima Facie Evidence”.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Yeah, don’t recall when I ever saw a Wrangler with baby-seats in it, but I believe you

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          My friend and his wife have a four door Wrangler to augment the two Audis they own – an S4 and an A4. And there is a child seat in it. No they don’t off road. But they live in Subury MA and with five feet of snow on the ground they are grateful for the Jeep. I can’t wait to own one when I retire in New England.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          sure, I’m 3 days late to the party because I have a kid, but the only wrangler owners who’s house I visit have two kids and it’s the mom’s car. *this comment is not presented as a statistically valid sample*

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        You live in an atypical place, then.

        Bet you a dollar *most* new Wranglers never leave pavement, or at least a *maintained* dirt road once a year.

        (On the article topic – is the Wrangler sold anywhere but North America?)

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          This article said there were nearly 240k built last year with US getting 175k of them.

          I disagree on the number that go offroad, there are numbers somewhere online for the percentage of buyers that take them offroad, which only counts new buyers iirc. It’s not that big of a deal on the amount of people that take them offroad, how many BMW drivers take their car to the track? I would bet a much lower number than that of Wrangler owners that go offroad.
          I took my ~50k H2 offroad the week I got it, the ones that have never been offroad will supply me with good parts in 20 years.

          A good portion of you are drawing at straws trying to create prerequisites for buying a Wrangler, which is rediculous. There is no reason to berate Wrangler buyers for not going offroad if you refuse to do the same buyers of a Civic SI, or a BRZ going to the track.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            Untrue. A Civic SI or a BRZ may be fun track cars, but they are performance you can use on the street. A Wrangler is performance that can only be accessed off-road, and is a liability on the street.

            V8 Camaros, Mustangs, Challengers, and their betters (Corvettes, Porsches, M-BMWs, S and RS Audis) I would agree – these cars represent performance that is only accessible on a track.

            The beauty of a Civic Si, BRZ, WRX, EVO, Miata are that they are fun to drive on public roads without endangering yourself or others.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “Civic Si, BRZ, WRX, EVO… drive on public roads without endangering yourself or others”

            Kind of ironic considering you just listed off the 4 cars most often driven by street racing mouthbreathers.

            A much better example of a ‘slow car driven fast’ would be something like an old MG or Bugeye Sprite, or maybe a 1st gen Miata like you mentioned. But a 270hp+ turbocharged awd rally-derived car such as a WRX or Evo is no slower than one of the V8 pony cars you reserved for the “track” category.

            I see more Jeeps driven at or below the speed limit than I do the ‘hot’ variants of the cars listed above, by a long shot.

            People enjoy their SUVs/4x4s all the time on public roads. That I can drive over over broken up pavement without breaking pace while some rubberband-tire crossover has to crawl over praying not to bend a rim is satisfying, as is busting through snow drifts in the winter and going to the store for a gallon of milk if I so please, the elements be damned.

            In more specific circumstances that I’ve found myself in, my 4Runner allows me to air down tires then get to isolated beaches away from the crowds, get to remote hiking trailheads on washed out forest roads, and to help out stuck motorists in the winter. It also hauls a canoe, mountain bikes, dogs, motorcycle trailers. Sometimes more than one simultaneously (canoe on the roof, motorcycle trailer hooked up, mountain bikes inside).

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            When I read your comments I’m always left with the meme picture of the distinguished cat reading the newspaper with the caption, “I should buy a 4Runner” Then I look at it and the other grumpy cat meme comes to mind, “NO”

            It’s just too fugly

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Lie2me, I hear you. The front end styling is abysmal, as far removed from the simple and purposeful steel bumpers and tidy grilles and headlights on the older trucks as possible. I rather like the rear styling, for its simplicity. The pillars are a bit chunky as well, the hatch side glass is much smaller than it is on the ’96, visibility suffers. But there’s enough good for me to still want one: tried and true drivetrain/powertrain, durable and straightforward (diy friendly) layout, and roominess and fuel economy within spitting distance of much less sturdy fwd-based crossovers. Frankly, I like the ‘trucky’ ride of the 4runner to the car-like smoother suspension of crossovers. All that implies to me is that the suspension isn’t as durable and can’t take a beating on unmaintained roads. Mind you I found the rental 2014 SR5 I drove not too long ago to be a perfectly comfortable highway ride to eat up miles in.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I have to agree with Lie2me. Most are just anti-minivan vehicles.
      I can say the same exact thing as Heavy Handle BUT any SUV or pickup fulfills this comment: “it’s a way to get to work, or to the cross-country ski trail, or to the cottage in the summer.”

      I personally do not view having to engage 4×4 to get through some deep snow to get to work as 4 wheeling unless you happen to work out in the bush as a prospector, surveyor, logger, forester etc. Truth be told, those guys don’t drive Jeeps. They all use pickups.

      Chrysler has clued in to Ford’s pickup truck epiphany; add an extra set of doors and we’ll sell these things like hotcakes.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    This is why I’m really concerned they will mess up the new wrangler. It has amazing sales, obviously due to its setup and capabilities but also because it has no competition. If you can’t satisfy the actual people that use the truck it’s going to eventually lose its following from everyone but the fad-seekers.

    It is imperative they continue building the old design alongside the new design to ensure it has acceptance before destroying an icon.

    Doesn’t matter who buys it for what reason more sales is always a good thing.

    • 0 avatar

      Peter Delorenzo had an interesting take last week on AE about how for a brief moment HUMMER stole the torch from a lazy, muted Jeep and ran with it almost to the finish line until a confluence of events (gas prices, recession, eco-greenie punching bag, GM BK) stunted and unltimately buried its momentum.

      And when you think about it, he’s correct. In very short order, HUMMER crafted a robust and strong image as not only an off-road machine of unmatched prowess, but one of success and upward mobility, and cemented itself as a pop culture icon, something that still exists today years after the marque was shuttered.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Certainly, I’ve definitely thought through that angle before, competition really drove Jeep to build something out of the normal that became a huge success.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @Flybrain:

        The Hummer brand was also polarizing. They were a symbol for a particular f*ck-you brand of success, rather than a more general brand.

        Jeep has managed to avoid that fate. Part of it is probably that the vehicles are not ostentatiously large or ostentatiously inefficient. And part of it is than the brand predates the current social polarization, and hasn’t tried to use the polarization to sell a few extra units.

        It looks like your grandfather’s Jeep, and either you like it, or you don’t. Liking it or not liking it doesn’t say anything about your politics or your religion, it just says whether or not you like Jeeps.

        I personally will never own a Hummer. It’s because I own a Prius, and the Hummer was percieved and marketed as the anti-Prius — and I don’t want to have to rehash that fight every time in introduce the vehicle. The Prius won, dammit, because it’s still in production! But, my Prius could very well share the driveway with a Wrangler one day. They’re different tools for different jobs, and that’s cool.

        I admit all of this is totally irrational, and has almost nothing to do with the vehicles themselves (which are “meh” and “expensive” to me personally). That’s how it is in marketing world, and the scorn I would endure from efficiency-minded friends and family who are old enough to remember the Hummer craze of the mid 2000s is very real.

        Hummer was doomed to 50% of their potential sales, by embracing this polarization. Ostentatious f*ck-you perception will only ever appeal to a small part of the population. Jeep skipped the whole thing and sells SUVs to anyone who wants to buy one, and they’re working to improve their MPG to broaden their appeal.

        P.S. It doesn’t help anything that the only person who owns a Hummer in the college town where I live is a a guy who runs for mayor every election, by berating the town and most of its residents.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          I saw a Hummer H2 with “MMMMGAS” plates on it. At first my reaction was what an A-hole. But as I stared at it in traffic, I actually found it funny. The Hummer also moved the spotlight off the previous selfish mobile – the Excursion. An overwrought hog built just for the sake of being a hog.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Nothing selfish about either, your more than able bodied to have purchased either. The Excursion is a 3/4 truck, that’s not a secret, and it’s a fine family vehicle as well.

            It’s pretty selfish to imply someone is wrong for having different tastes.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            Resources are scarce and always will be. Hogging resources because you possess the wealth to do so is the definition of selfishness and should be recognized and treated as such.

            Being born wealthy doesn’t entitle you to selfish behavior – regardless of whether or not you believe that to be true.

          • 0 avatar
            an innocent man

            >Hogging resources because you possess the wealth to do so is the definition of selfishness and should be recognized and treated as such.<

            Making cheeseburgers uses a LOT of resources.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            Clutch reply, bro.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I wasn’t born wealthy, I was lived my early life in a old single wide that had already served its useful life. Oil won’t be the dominant energy form forever, eventually something more efficient will come about at a cheaper price. My lifetime use of resources will never amount to anything, compared to the amount used on cruise ships, jets, planes, etc. Define what hogging resources means, because you can hardly say your above doing just that, the Internet certainly isn’t a necessity.
            I live happily within my means and that’s what counts, and only that.

            You are absolutely selfish for demanding others act a certain way simply because of personal beliefs.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      They should really hold off on a redesign for at least another 5 years, instead do some new packages.
      Offer…
      5.7l Hemi
      3.0 diesel (don’t call it eco)
      Factory 35in tires
      Steel bumper
      Etc
      They can increase sales without making drastic changes by just using new ideas.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “Offer…
        5.7l Hemi
        3.0 diesel (don’t call it eco)”

        You’ll have to get Tier 3 emissions regulations repealed first.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          They do fine offering those engines in the GC.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Times are a changing. Come 2017, things will be different. Notice how there haven’t been any updates to the Hemi in a while?

            If you really like these engines, you should write your congressman and ask them to repeal the emissions and fuel economy regulations that will kill them.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @danio3834 – I agree. The 5.7 hemi is on borrowed time. It was almost scrapped during design due to issues meeting the emission standards of the day.
            The 6.2 will live on in HD pickups and performance cars.

            The TTDI Pentastar will most likely replace the 5.7.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Lou, Fords 5.0 gets worse fuel economy than Rams 5.7, the 5.7 is fine, Ram just introduced a new 6.4 as well, why you believe it’s short-lived, I don’t understand. Links please.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Hummer – just adding to Danio’s comment. Chrysler corp. has a very poor CAFE rating.

            Is there any reason to keep the 5.7 with the 6.2?

            There was a plan to turn the pentastar into a 4.8 litre V8.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Hummer doesn’t understand just how much the regulation changes on the horizon are likely to affect the powertrain decisions being made at automakers for future models. What works today won’t meet the standards in a few years. He can feel free to research Tier 3 emissions and CAFE mandates if he needs more info.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Danio – true. His example of the Ford 5.0 Coyote is ironic since it proves our point. It is the remaining V8 in Ford’s car and light duty pick up lineup. It exists for no reason other than to keep the “V8’s are best” crowd happy.
            One can argue the real world savings of Ford’s Ecoboost strategy but the “real world” doesn’t set mpg/emissions rules, government does.

            One of the conditions of sale to Fiat was the introduction of fuel saving small engines into Chrysler’s portfolio.
            The Ecodiesel in Ram is an example. In theory that engine is perfect for a truck but it has the poorest cargo and tow ratings of the Ram lineup. If that is the case then why does it exist? To meet looming CAFE requirements not “real” truck buyer requirements.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            There’s hardly anything on a 4.8l, it was mentioned around 2012 and dropped, smaller V8s make zero sense with cyclinder deactivation technology. Which is why the 5.7L in the 2500 doesn’t have MDS but the 6.4 in the 2500 does have MDS.

            The 6.2 you keep mentioning is only in two vehicles, the challenger and the charger(via hellcat), while the 6.4 is in the challenger, charger, grand Cherokee, and Ram HD(granted detuned/uprated). The 5.7 won’t be killed anytime soon, if it was affecting FCA CAFE ratings, Ram wouldn’t be selling vehicles with these engines for $20k. With Ram sales skyrocketing as they have, there’s little chance FCA will change a successful formula.

            All the coyote 5.0 proves is the inefficiency of OHC V8s compared to OHV.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            The GC also weighs ~3,000 pounds more than the Wrangler, and the Hemi’s an *option* in it, only on the top end.

            The 5.7 Hemi is not worth putting in a Wrangler, in economical terms; “nobody” would buy it.

            (Assuming it’d even fit; I have no idea if the packaging is sensible or not for the Wrangler.)

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Sigivald,

            The Wrangler’s current curb weight range is 3,879 to 4,921 lbs. The Grand Cherokee’s range is 4,545 to 5,150(crazy!) lbs. In other words, a V6 automatic Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited weighs more than a V6 automatic Grand Cherokee already.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Sigivald,
            There’s a company that puts 5.7 and 6.4l engines into the new Wranglers, they fit. I bet the weight of an OHV V8 and a DOHC V6 comes out to be a wash.

            But as CJ said, a GC doesn’t weigh 7k.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            ” If that is the case then why does it exist? To meet looming CAFE requirements not “real” truck buyer requirements.”

            It certainly helps the average, especially since that truck has proven to be popular with more real truck buyers than even FCA anticipated. So it was a good move on both fronts. It turns out a lot of light duty pickup buyers don’t actually need or use 2,000lbs of payload capacity. Who knew?

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “The 5.7 won’t be killed anytime soon, if it was affecting FCA CAFE ratings, Ram wouldn’t be selling vehicles with these engines for $20k. With Ram sales skyrocketing as they have, there’s little chance FCA will change a successful formula.”

            Don’t believe this. I urge you to act now.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Hummer – I meant 6.4 but regardless the size I can’t see the 5.7 staying.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      “It is imperative they continue building the old design alongside the new design to ensure it has acceptance before destroying an icon.”

      Fiat isn’t moving towards a softer Wrangler because they read the market as wanting it. There’s already a whole showroom worth of soft Jeeps. The Wrangler is going soft because the EPA won’t let them sell real trucks for much longer.

      If they keep a truck version around at all, which I think that they will, it won’t be an alternative that buyers cross shop – the truck edition will be a much more expensive premium vehicle to keep the demand down.

      Just getting a shorter axle ratio on the current Wrangler, which costs Fiat approximately nothing and used to be a $50 option, is now $600 to keep the take rate down.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Losing the vertical windshield is in league with losing the axles. FCA should really be doing some heavy lobbying.

        I didn’t realize how much the shorter gears have come to cost.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          I’m more likely to buy a more efficient Wrangler. Solid axles don’t matter to me. The windshield doesn’t matter much.

          What does matter is that it’s simple, rugged, hackable, timeless, and convertible. Efficiency will help a lot.

          You can have all of that without solid axles.

          OTOH, a Renegade might suit me just fine when I’m ready to buy an open air weekend car.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            There was a discussion in the last Jeep comment thread that came to the conclusion that everyone puts down their Jeep’s windshield–once. If that goes away, it may be missed, but it won’t be lamented.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Drz,
            I also commented on that thread, I’m sad to see the foldable windshield go, but with all honesty it really is highly unused. My concern wasn’t the loss of that feature but the loss of the visibility and roof line of the vertical windshield.

        • 0 avatar
          mikeg216

          the hemi requires premium to hit its mpg targets and needs 16 spark plugs the coyote runs just fine on regular with 8 plugs.

          the 6.4 hemi in the 2500 and 3500 is kind of a joke, on paper it looks equal to the ford 6.2, but again it requires premium to hit its hp and tq settings, paper tigers both of them… fine engines .. but who puts 91 octane in a work truck?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Actually the 6.4 in the 2500 doesn’t require premium, I thought that at first as well, looking through the manual it says 87 is fine.
            If we are believe that 16 plugs makes a measureable difference on fuel economy then take a look at GMs V8s, they’re also larger with better FE.

            I do agree however that the 6.4 really needs a power boost, it gets better fuel economy than the 5.7, but that’s not truly the point of an engine in a 2500.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Non-SRT Hemis actually require mid-grade (89 octane) to make advertised power, not 91. Using 87 is fine, power and fuel economy aren’t noticeably reduced.

  • avatar

    I’m not exaggerating when I say I saw three Wranglers drive by my window as I was typing this.

    Wranglers exist in their own atmosphere unencumbered by the normal ebbs and flows of the marketplace.

    Oh, and FYI
    2015 Wrangler 2dr Sport – $22,795 MSRP

    2014 Wrangler 2dr Sport – Manheim Market Report
    DATE–AUCTION–SALETYPE–PRICE–ODOMETER–CONDITION–COLOR-ENG–TRANS–SAMPLE
    02/16/15–ORLANDO–Factory–$24,400–2,747–Above–GRAY–6G–A–Yes
    02/10/15–ORLANDO–Regular–$24,800–8,863–Above–BLACK–6G–M–Yes
    02/16/15–ORLANDO–Factory–$24,000–11,296–Avg–GRAY–6G–A–Yes
    01/21/15–LAKELAND–Regular$-22,500–12,444–Avg–GOLD–6G–6–Yes
    01/27/15–ORLANDO–Lease–$23,000–14,572–Avg–BLACK–6G–A–Yes
    02/12/15–TAMPA–Regular–$22,900–20,316–Avg–BLACK–6G–A–Yes
    01/29/15–ATLANTA–Regular–$20,500–24,046–Below–RED–6G–6–Yes

    You figure that one out.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      They obviously had options on them which add up pretty quick in a Wrangler

      • 0 avatar

        You’d be surprised. While some had power packages and nicer wheel/tire sets, most Sports I see are base Chrysler Capital units in truly uninspired colors with thos dorky base steel wheels, soft-tops, and often no power equipment at all.

        There’s a dealer locally that buys direct from Chrysler under a fleet account, does cheap run-and-gun customizations/lifts, runs them through the block, and makes a fairly decent amount doing that. We’re going to start doing to same thing.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Added value, no one’s going to spend as much or more for a used Wrangler unless it has enough stuff on it to make it worth it. It’s not like they’re in short supply

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “It’s not like they’re in short supply”

            That’s kinda the gist of the story. Dealers don’t necessarily have huge stocks of these and may not have the color/options a new buyer might want. They could easily shop a used one if the package was preferable. My experience with Wrangler buyers is that once they’ve decided they want one, nothing else will do. The high resale values indicate that people are willing to pay.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “That’s kinda the gist of the story. Dealers don’t necessarily have huge stocks of these”

            “Canadians alone snapped up a record-setting 23,057 Wranglers in 2014”

            It’s all Canada’s fault ;-)

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I see mild lifts and aggressive tires on Jeeps all of the time. Most are a variant of the brodozer pickup. I rarely ever see one with a speck of mud on them or trail scratches.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Brilliant, Flybrian.

        • 0 avatar
          BrunoT

          I just priced a sport with one big upgrade package(ac, etc) and a softop, plus automatic transmission. It was $29,500 (plus dealer fee and sales tax) at CarDomain . That’s about 8% discount off MSRP for a 2015. So, it appears that they’re not all that short of supply, and those are some pretty normal depreciation numbers if those are 1 y/o vehicles cited. I’ve had Toyota trucks average $1750/year in depreciation over 3 years (selling it myself). The value of lifts and wheel packages is proably what sells them at higher prices on the retail level. The poseurs in particular don’t want to mess with that, I suspect.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          I see Wranglers with aggressive tires and various offroad tweaks all of the time. Most rarely ever see offroad and are a variant of the brodozer.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          And no A/C and a manual?

          Huh.

    • 0 avatar
      tjominy

      My MY11 had an MSRP $25K flat. I sold it to CarMax 40 months later for $20K. Private sales were around $21K so I left a bit on the table, too. Why buy anything else?

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      fca cant finance you with 0 down 580 score @ 19% because you must have a jeep, but the used car section of the same car dealer can and will, i buy cars all the time and there are hot selling models i cannot buy because the used car sides of the big dealers are paying over book …and logic to buy these hot cars and put them into fat deals for the dealership who has wall street beating down the doors to buy his used car paper…floor plan @ 2-4% and sell used jeeps and suvs and toyota minivans 15-25% not a bad time to be a used car dealer….if your pockets are deep enough

  • avatar
    vvk

    Wrangler resale values are insane.

    They also sell better than ever overseas.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Sales of Wranglers (and to an even fuller extent, the shift from sedans to “tall, safe” CUVs) are symptomatic of the psychological fears omnipresent in today’s society.

    The Wrangler, MB G-Wagen, Suburban, F-150, Subarus and even the snow bank bashing Nissan Rogue will protect from ISIS, Ferguson Riots, Named Winter Storms/Polar Vortices, & The Day After Tomorrow type “Weather Channel Boosting Ratings” events, all hyped by 24/7 omnipresent & hyperbolic media.

    • 0 avatar
      zerofoo

      Huh? Absolutely no one I know with a wrangler bought one because it was the “safe” option. All of them were bought as either off-road beach toys, or mall-run convertibles.

      The Wranglers were bought because they are fun cars – not because they are safe or efficient.

      • 0 avatar
        BrunoT

        Interestingly Wranglers have a lower than average death rate according to IIHS. It sure felt tippy as hell at 70mph on the expressway when I drove my brother’s, and they’re certainly not state of the art in terms of safety features. Maybe it’s all that low speed mall cruising and off-roading.

        • 0 avatar
          mikeg216

          its because in a jeep 70 feels like light speed and the fear portion of your brain kicks in….80mph and things get a bit uhh…unsafe…so you slow down, my grand cherokee feels way more planted at speed than a new jeep… but a short wheelbase and huuuge tires and high center of gravity will do that

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          The roll cage and “even an idiot can figure out this thing will roll like a pair of dice” factor might help, I guess.

    • 0 avatar

      Ever watch a near-premium SUV commercial from the nineties? It would make an interesting case study, especially when contrasted with a commercial from the same marque for one of their sedans. The 34 year-old woman in the Bravada is cocooned inside her tank, safe from the sirens, jackhammers, road construction, and other urban nighmares. The couple in their 50s in their Ninety-Eight are enjoying an evening stroll after a 4-star dinner in the same downtown.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      You forgot zombies. People are terrified of zombies.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    Hopefully other car manufacturers will get the message – make it interesting and price it right and it will sell.

    In a world filled with corollas and altimas, the Wrangler is different while at the same time useful.

    I thought I was losing my love for cars, but then I realized the truth. I still love cars, but most of them are soul-less appliances. Anything remotely interesting is out of my financial reach.

    The Wrangler is at the sweet-spot of coolness, utility and affordability. Go Jeep!

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    I have to wonder if current wrangler sales are a fad/bubble. The 4-door has been on sale since 2006/7 but in the last two years it seems they are everywhere, and the amount of purely cosmetic customization going on is reaching a new level– at least in greater Tampa.

    Kind of reminds me of Hummers. Not to say there isn’t a sustainable market for Wranglers, but I don’t think it’s this large over the long term– the glitterati will eventually move on to something else.

    Provided the new one isn’t awful I wonder what that does for resale, which has always been fantastic.

    • 0 avatar

      Perhaps the ease of customization is part of the attraction. I already have a few holes that were drilled in places and then the accessory didn’t work out, and it’s completely fine. I even had new seat rails fabricated. I never had anything fabbed on order for my car before. But with a Wrangler a little bit of drilliing and welding is expected.

      BTW, I suspect that customizing Wrangler damages its supposedly super high resale value. But the best part is, I don’t care.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    My local Chr/Dodge/Jeep dealer has a lot full of these Jeeps, I guess folks in So Fl are not biting.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    fall 2015 headline “jeep #1 repossessed new vehicle”

  • avatar
    Whoa Befalls Electra

    My next door neighbor’s daughter is the quintessential suburban soccer mom (attorney husband, two kids in privates schools). She went from a RX350 to a bright red four door Wrangler which lasted less than 6 mos. I think her experience is probably fairly commonplace. Image conscious folks like the idea of the Wrangler but not the reality of living with one on a daily basis. She has since moved on to a LR4 with black wheels (sporty!)

  • avatar
    319583076

    So the Jeep Wrangler is praised for being a unique, somewhat expensive option in contrast to the boring appliances from other makes.

    However, Mazda is derided for providing unique, some say expensive, options in contrast to the boring appliances from other makes.

    The Jeep Wranger is probably the least-useful vehicle you can buy today. It does not represent utility – the interiors are cramped and small. It is not refined in any way, NVH is a nightmare. Fuel economy is terrible. Driving dynamics? Ha! It certainly offers tremendous off-road capability right off of the showroom floor which is something that precisely zero North American commuters with access to cash or credit to purchase a new Jeep actually need.

    It’s a vehicle that doesn’t make any sense, other than a secondary or tertiary toy – yet it is your darling. The Wrangler shares many attributes with the Miata, yet the Wrangler is praised while the Miata is scorned.

    The empirical evidence is in – we have never been rational and if you think you’re an exception, you’re lying to yourself.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Hey, nothing says ‘merica like a Jeep or a pick-up, Mazda not so much

      We always make excuses for one of our own

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @319583076 – if logic was the prime determinant for a vehicle purchase most wouldn’t own one.

        Wrangler sells on image.

        When I think off all of the people I know with Wrangler Unlimited’s only one is a hardcore offroader. Most are younger couples just starting families. They don’t want the “I have kids and I’ve lost my will to live” mini-van or “cookie cutter clone” SUV.

        Same can be said for most 1/2 ton pickup buyers. They don’t tow or haul much of anything but like the rugged image.

        The whole American “rugged individualism” ” land of the free and the home of the brave” sentiment is alive and well in pickup sales and Wrangler sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      When did 20MPG become terrible, from what I’m seeing that’s all over top of the MPG of the new explorer and etc; meanwhile the Jeep doesn’t worry about aerodynamics or small tires or long gears, I’d say it does well with respect to how it’s setup.

      It also offers the only convertible on the market with removable doors, and a massive aftermarket just sweetens everything.
      In case you’ve never been in a Mazda, the NVH is a well known low point. The concern for NVH on a convertible makes me question if you understand what NVH even stands for.

      The Jeep is through and through American, something no Mazda can claim, it’s not even a fair comparison to Mazda.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “It also offers the only convertible on the market”

        Yeah, too bad about the Crosscabriolet *sigh*

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        I was referencing the Mazda threads from earlier this week.

        I DD a Miata – it’s my second Miata and third Mazda. I have no problems with Noise, Vibration, and Harshness in any of my Mazdas.

        Why does a convertible need removable doors? How is that a “feature”?

        “Wow! Not only does the top come off, but the doors, too! Let’s put all this crap in the yard and go truckin’ about!”

        Sounds great! Where can I sign up for a convertible that is likely sold with two tops plus removable doors, because that sounds like a really easy and carefree way to enjoy driving around?!

        I guess my question has been answered:

        Jeep flaws = features because America!
        Mazda flaws = flaws because not America.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Your not really making an argument here, that or either your on a totally different planet, you almost sound jealous you can’t remove your doors based on what you typed up.
          Really I can’t tell if your somehow against the idea or being sarcastic and wishing you could do it?

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        The one I drove for a short time (2014 JK-U 4×4 4Door A/T Sport) never saw over 17mpg, even on strictly highway trips. Once the 33″ BFG A/T’s got thrown on there (largely a “must do” since just about every Wrangler has even slightly larger tires) and f/e dropped to a measily 13mpg highway and maaaaayyyybe 11 city.

        20mpg only happens in a lab. Remember how Ford over-rated the Fusion? People wanted to burn Ford to the ground over that…. but Jeep? “Meh, it’s a truck. You don’t buy it for good fuel economy.” BS. Everyone is fuel concious when the need to analyze it and scrutinize it fits their current need.

        • 0 avatar
          Pinzgauer

          In the summer with the 6MT running the stock BFG MT’s that came on mine I can pull 19-20mpg on the highway around 65mph. There is definitely a certain way it needs to be shifted to achieve this though.

      • 0 avatar
        BrunoT

        Well, for the size vehicle, it’s not great. I wouldn’t call it terrible, but keep in mind the people buying cars in this price range might be getting 28-30mpg overall in another similar priced (and capacity) car.

        I test drove a Mazda 3 two generations back and was impressed dynamically, it didn’t seem harsh or noisy at all. And we were coming out of two BMWs. It wasn’t enough car for us, but sporty and pretty refined.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Considering that at least half the Wranglers and *every* Unlimited I see has the hardtop and it never seems to come off, I think we can bracket “convertible” here, to an extent.

        It’s competing at least as much with small SUVs as anything else.

        (I mean, I am not in the target market, having driven one [a friend’s] and knowing how much I’d hate DDing one.

        But then, I just got a brown XC70, so I obviously ain’t worried about looking real chic.)

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “However, Mazda is derided for providing unique, some say expensive, options in contrast to the boring appliances from other makes.”

      Mazda’s been derided for precisely the opposite. They don’t offer enough unique to set themselves apart. If anything, they should build something like a Wrangler with a market largely to itself.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        Until recently, Mazda did exactly that with *two* unique models, the Miata and the RX-8.

        The RX-8 is gone because it was derided for many of the same things that are being praised in the Wrangler. Poor fuel economy, limited utility, ride quality, practicality, etc…

        The Miata is at least going to see a 4th generation. In that sense, it’s probably the closest thing to the Wrangler in the automotive universe – a widely available, unconventional vehicle that has endured for several iterations.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Unfortunately for those vehicles, the 2 seater sports car market isn’t very big, so no matter how good they are they won’t sell in huge numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            The Rx-8 was a 2+2.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Doesn’t matter. The +2 was very small.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            And the Wrangler’s +2 is capacious?

            No. It’s small and there’s a tiny shelf behind those seats serving as a “trunk”.

            I get it. Jeep is great because America. Foreign cars suck.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            The Wrangler Unlimited’s back seat is usable. Most Wranglers by a wide majority are of the 4 door variety. The point is it occupies a niche that is profitable where those Mazda niche cars were much less so. If you don’t understand the fundamentals as to why the Wrangler is popular and the RX-8 was not, I’m not sure me further explaining it will help.

            Edit, I see above you’re a Miata/Mazda enthusiast. I understand now.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            Oh, if you’re going to cherry pick the back seat of the 4-door model, which only recently became available, I’ll agree with you.

            The 4-door Wrangler Unlimited has a much better back seat than the 2-door Wrangler. However, it retains all of the other Wrangler flaws…er, features.

            Edit, and you own a Challenger – I’m not hiding my bias.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Of course I use the UL as the example. It’s responsible for the explosion in popularity of the model. They sold less than half as many when there were only 2 door models available.

            What bias? I’m no fan of the Wrangler. Facts are facts, the numbers don’t lie.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            The RX-8 is a LITERAL Lexus in terms of NVH & ride quality compared to even the latest Wrangler, and I have driven both (actually owned both).

            I “get” the appeal of the Wrangler as a toy, 2nd vehicle, 17 year old spring break cruising vehicle down in Florida or South Padre Island, but I don’t & never will get it as a DD.

            Then again, I have a friend who works for FCA that traded in a Challenger for a Wrangler as his DD, so different strokes and all that.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            I’m not saying the Wrangler is a better drive than the RX-8, I’d take one as a driver over a Wrangler any day (with an LS1 swap).

        • 0 avatar
          Marko

          IIRC, emissions standards (especially in Europe) ultimately killed the rotary.

        • 0 avatar
          mikeg216

          the rx8 is gone because it was an unreliable gutless crap heap

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      @ 319583076

      If I could x(infinity) you here, I would.

      I’ve never understood the desire for a Wrangler. I understand the niche market folks that live/breathe/die Wrangler, and that’s fine. The vast majority of people I’ve known that buy them end up regretting them, especially those that clearly have no need for them nor do they live the lifestyle that could prove a Wrangler even slightly useful- outdoorsmen for instance.

      Being military, I’ve known PLENTY of Jeep buyers. It seems like that’s the first new vehicle that a lot of these young single guys or girls buy when they start making a decent living. Once reality sets in though… most end up being replaced by something more modest… like a Mustang/Camaro. LOL to that.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I got a sincere question. I read where folks buy Wranglers, and then dump them in a few months. Why..?

    I’ve done just that, with other vehicles, and I’m still licking my wounds. However every so often I get this little twitch, to dump my {five months in the garage } Mustang convertible, for a 2 dr Wrangler..?

    BTW.. I am Canadian

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I would assume because of the interior room, that and they don’t end up taking the top off and it can’t compare to the comfort of a normal style vehicle with the top in place.

      If your not a fun person to begin with, just buying a fun vehicle won’t fix that, you have to enjoy it.

      It’s also kind of awkward to get into, you have to step a bit over the door sill to get into a smallish floorboard, granted if your tall enough it’s not a problem. The ceiling is also kind of low with the top on with the newer wrangler, it was never a problem for me (6’2″)in a CJ, but I recently noticed the difference for the wrangler, though I would still drive one.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        Wranglers make great second cars. Aside from Sorority girls, almost no one drives ONLY a Wrangler. They’re kind of toys, in the same way a motorcycle or Corvette is.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Where do you live?

          Almost everyone I know who drives a Wrangler has it as their only car (many have motorcycles).

          Their wives/husbands may have another car, but they drive the Wrangler exclusively.

          • 0 avatar
            BrunoT

            Your friends sorority girls?

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Two big colleges in town, but parking is really limited, so students mostly take mass transit to get on/off campus.

            I suppose that if you live in a town where college is the main industry, you’re more likely to run into sorority girls with Jeeps.
            To me it sounds like the premise to a B flick, but I wonder if it’s a real thing elsewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      I know of one person who is a Jeep enthusiast with an old modified Cherokee for off-roading who bought a new 4 door Wrangler. It got sold a year later because it was a noisy, rough riding commuter.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        No, I don’t believe that for a second.

        XJs are truly miserable vehicles in regards to NVH, and generally ride very poorly (particularly if lifted).

        The stock JKU I drove was super well insulated and quiet going down the highway at 70mph, and this was the soft top! It was no car ride/handling wise, but perfectly competent for the class of SUV (off road oriented). The solid front axle wrangler handled at least as well as my IFS 4Runner, and actually rode better.

        • 0 avatar
          an innocent man

          >XJs are truly miserable vehicles in regards to NVH, and generally ride very poorly<

          I had a 2000 Cherokee that I drove on a 120 mile round trip commute for several years. Mostly 70mph interstate miles. Never minded nor really noticed the NVH. Loved that thing to death. My wife eventually made me get rid of it after we had kids and neither one of us has forgiven her since. (Goes back to that whole 3rd vehicle discussion).

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Yeah I agree it’s a matter of perception, I used to drive a 1990 Civic Wagon that I thought was a perfectly decent highway car… my 2012 Civic is a Maybach in comparison and most people consider the 2012 Civic to be at the bottom of the class in regards to insulation.

            If I commute in my ’96 4Runner for a week or so I get used to the constant body motions and quivers over every crack in the pavement, and think it rides pretty well. When I get back into that new Civic it is a revelation in how well the suspension isolates me from small road imperfections.

            I test drove an older Cherokee a few years back (1996, 4.0, 5spd) and it was a very ‘tinny’ cabin with a lot of poorly controlled body motion (probably worn out shocks).

            By comparison, a new JK Unlimited really is much quieter and has a nicer, smoother ride. Both age and massive improvements in NVH and suspension engineering/tuning are at play here.

        • 0 avatar
          mikeg216

          i had a cj…it made my kidneys hurt, got an xj.. seemed even less safe somehow.. bought a zj with all the options…omg heated leather and i can drive all day and not feel like i got beat up!

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      ” I read where folks buy Wranglers, and then dump them in a few months. Why..?”

      Because, they make terrible cars, but great all-purpose vehicles. People buy them thinking they’re rugged looking cars, they’re not, big surprise

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      A lot of people buy them because they like the image, but then they discover that they can’t deal with the ride/handling, noise, fuel economy, etc. We’ve all become such a bunch of delicate flowers that nothing less than a luxury sedan/cuv that doubles as an isolation chamber will do. I personally find the raw, unfiltered experience of the Wrangler to be exhilarating.

  • avatar
    NN

    After initially many years of resistance, Jeep finally gives into a 4 door Wrangler and a few years later it’s by far the best seller. Maybe in a few more years they’ll finally give into the Wrangler pickup and sales once again will grow even further. Ever since I first saw that pickup concept I wanted it. Sergio has the balls to do it.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      if they would build the Wrangler 4-dr pickup and stick the 3.0L diesel in it, I would buy it in a second. Make mine Islander blue please, with black wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      im sure they would really consider it at this point but, wranglers will only be built in toledo, and toledo builds the wrangler and cherokee and they are running flat out 3 shifts 7 days a week no time for summer shutdown, to build anything else there you would need an additional facility…so 3-5 years if they started work today, i bet they wish they didnt sell the old stamping in twinsburgh and hour south

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Toledo hired a boat load of people last summer, I would say they anticipated the demand. Maybe the plan is to expand Toledo?

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          On the ground here in Northwest Ohio, we hear that Sergio might move Wrangler production to another underutilized FCA plant (Sterling Heights, MI or perhaps Belvedere, IL) because of the costs of tooling-up the new Wrangler, which despite keeping the solid axles, will be mostly constructed of aluminum.

          The general thought is that Toledo, via its taxpayers, is gonna be “on the hook” for the lion’s share of the cost to build a new plant to keep the Wrangler “at home.”

          (This before a couple weeks ago, when the Toledo Mayor, who had only been in office 13 months, and had handled last year’s brutal winter AND that Lake Erie algal bloom crisis last August, and had started talks with Sergio, tragically died a week after suffering cardiac arrest while out checking on road conditions on February 11th during our biggest snow of the year and crashing his car; “film at 11” as to how this all plays out!)

  • avatar
    Fred

    The last Jeep I’ve ridden in was a 5 year old model that we took on a 100 mile hunting trip. Had to tow a trailer just to fit our coolers and gear. It rode rough, was loud and uncomfortable. It had two advantages, my Audi didn’t get dirty and I looked like the stud deer killer I am riding in it.

    Has anything changed for this vehicle? I can’t imagine “Mommys” using it as a daily driver. Neither can my friend who uses it as a farm vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      No need to imagine. Plenty use it in precisely that way unless you think that they’re all being purchased as a farm vehicle.

      By the way, I don’t know anyone that uses a Wrangler as a farm vehicle. For farm work, I’d much prefer a pick up but again that’s just my limited perspective. Perhaps all the growth is from the agricultural/farmhand segment.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      At least the new Jeeps carry on the tradition of the old Jeeps. During my annual offroading trip on a friend’s high mountain farm, my best friend’s CJ7 carries 4 people… and my 4Runner or my dad’s Tacoma carries(d) literally all the gear.

  • avatar
    honda_lawn_art

    I love finally hearing of an automotive assembly plant that’s foreseeable future is secure.

    Usually its the death of a line that we hear about.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      Your local newspaper prints obituaries, but not lists of living people. It’s news when a permanent change manifests, otherwise it’s business as usual and who would report on that?

  • avatar
    BrunoT

    With budgets for autos diminishing due to mediocre job prospects, young buyers are in search of a “cool car” that doesn’t cost a lot. They reject midsize sedans as too family oriented, and economy cars as uncool. Having spent time in a Wrangler, I can say I would not choose one for its comfort, ride, handling, amenities, luxury, reliability, safety, hauling ability, passenger and cargo capacity, or NVH attributes. They do off-road and resell well, though. This unfortunately means they won’t have a huge incentive to work on fixing some of the above deficiencies (not everyone cares) till sales fall off.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Choices are good. You or I might not choose it but obviously many people are.

      I don’t find models who have the bodies of 14 year old boys to be appealing or attractive in any way. From what you see in fashion, especially haute couture, many do.

      Don’t hate the Wrangler, hate the game.

  • avatar
    EAF

    I have a friend, (not really a car guy), who just traded-in his JK Wrangler. It did not have the valve seat issue but he claimed heavy oil consumption and unacceptable MPG and NVH levels.

    His new ride? A Pentastar powered Cherokee WK2. WTF? Go figure. LOL

    In NYC these things are every where! Even though commuters cannot take complete advantage of their inherent off-road prowess, having this capability is PRICELESS when snow plows push everything to the right and you are burried.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    I bought a new 2014 Wrangler Unlimited last march. Its a sport with a 6 speed manual, crank windows. Pretty basic. I really like the way it drives, the capability and ruggedness. But the quality really isn’t there. The only car I ever bought new with worse initial quality was a first year Ford Focus. Its been in the shop too many times, including a new gas tank at 800 miles. The water pump makes funny noises, the transmission makes strange rattling noises, the trans was down 1 quart of fluid new, and it didnt start right for quite some time until they replaced a crank sensor. I have been considering a new Minivan for my wife to drive, and have all but ruled out the Chrysler Vans due to my experience with the quality of this Jeep. I truly could not feel confident saying a new Chrysler Van would be more reliable than her current Honda Pilot with 104k miles at this point, which has never been down a day for any issues at all. Maybe a used Ody will be the ticket, we’ll see.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Chrysler…uhm FCA quality is all over the map, literally, from vehicle to vehicle.

      Whereas I’d trust a 300 or Durango to be at least average (if not better – the 2014s and later), the Toledo Jeep Plant is pretty spotty (I realize this is un-American to say).

      With that said, and unless I’m mistaken, Toledo also produced the 1st gen Liberty, and those seemed to be rock solid for the most part.

      • 0 avatar
        Pinzgauer

        You know, its not even the assembly as much as it is the component quality that seems to be the problem. Case in point the water pump. Take a look at the forums and see how many get replaced under warranty for screeching noises. As far as I know the water pump is an assembly on an engine they receive as a unit in Toledo. Same goes for my faulty gas tank, or the guage cluster lense that cracked literally because I look at it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Pinzgauer – Chrysler minivans are just as crappy as your Jeep when it comes to quality. Get a Sienna or Odyssey if you want durability.

      Only Chrysler can put a Cummins into a HD pickup and get the poorest reliability/durability ratings out of any HD pickup.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        I can attest to that. I manage a 7 vehicle fleet and two of them are Grand Caravans. One 2012 3.6L (35k miles) and one 2010 with the god-awful 3.3L (61k miles). The rear sliding doors rattle and creak like I’ve never heard before on both of them. The dealer adjusts them, adds some silicon spray to the weather stripping and it returns within a couple weeks.

        The suspension on the 2010 is shot. The struts are needing replacement due to noises and the control arm bushings are nearly broken through. Our fleet company will not replace the parts since the van is up for scheduled replacement anyway.

        The 2012 has some top end engine noise (sounds like coming from the valve train) that the dealer can’t find the source of. Same suspension issues here as the 2010, noisey as all heck.

        They’re just thrown together and there’s not a care in the world for how long they last, so long as they’re pumping out those units.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @CoastieLenn – I made the mistake of buying a 2001 Grand Caravan in the spring of 2002. We had a kid on the way and a dog. We bought it because it was dirt cheap and a decent warranty. It was at the dealer 3-4 times a year.
          We sold it in 2009 and got 1,300 dollars for it. I sold a beat up 15 year old F250 for the same price.

          After that experience I look at durability/reliability data first before buying.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Good to know. Likewise I loved the JKU 6spd that I test drove, but have no long term ownership experiences with Jeeps. That ‘unbreakable’ feeling of hitting a nasty pothole and the truck just shrugging it off is very satisfying. It makes my feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing I have that ‘safety factor’ in engineering speak built into the suspension. if Toyota made a hardtop version of the JKU with Toyota components and assembly I’d buy one tomorrow (ie the LC70 which they sell in other markets).

      • 0 avatar
        See 7 up

        I have a 2dr with the pentastar, 6mt. Great car and trouble free although ball joints will be needed (I knew this going in and is the weak point of the vehicle)
        Ironically it’s quieter than our Subaru (not that that says much but one is one mud terrains and one is on regular all seasons)
        I average 19 mpg. Sound bad but seems acceptable to crossovers right?
        Handling is surprisingly good, it just doesn’t like quick moves. It has 50/50 weight distribution and is surprisingly reactive to throttle input but it’s not “good handling” the way most think.
        It’s suspension doesn’t like potholes. Thats a “placebo” effect people feel cause it’s stance. It suspension is designed for low speed articulation. The big tires do shrug off hits and curb rash though.
        I dd mine in the city. In a sea of boring cars it’s fun. I also take it offroad. It’s good on technical trails, not so much on faster gravel road type trails.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Oh well that’s good to know about the balljoints and what not :/ with 116k the balljoints on my 19 year old 4Runner with a double wishbone front end are tight and boots intact, although I preemptively/mistakenly replaced lower control arm bushings while chasing down a driveline vibration. The older Toyota/Mitsubishi/isuzu 4x4s with torsion bar front ends are known to be basically indestructible, albeit inferior in articulation to a solid front axle of course. 4Runners of my generation have a reputation for snapping off lower balljoints if they are neglected.

          I’d say 19 mpg is fantastic, I get 20 mpg highway and 17 mpg mixed driving with a much less powerful truck (but saddled with an automatic transmission). A new rental Explorer Limited of the crossover persuasion barely got 21 mpg in easy highway driving, I really don’t see the MPG benefit of these soft, belly dragging crossovers.

          • 0 avatar
            See 7 up

            I’ll be “upgrading” to older style greased ball joints soon as the oem design seems flawed or poorly designed. $400 for parts and someone else doing the work. Not bad.
            My wrangler has 30k miles on it. I change the oil so the ball joint maintenance isn’t an “issue” but it’s stupid in this day and age. Seems most people get 30-60k miles on theirs, which isn’t impressive, but again I knew that going in. Most casual owners won’t do this or even know about it. SFA, imo, require more maintenance than ifs. They each have their benefits. An ifs wrangler wouldn’t be a deal breaker to me.

            I like the new 4 runner for room/packaging but myself and my wife think it’s drives very “isolated” and heavy plus in her words “boring as hell”. Plus she really doesn’t want an automatic. We are trying to hold out till the new wranglers come out and get a 4 dr (kid coming) I’m hoping for basically the same car, but lighter, removing the gimmicky mid 2000’s playskool like style details and better rear seat integration. Hopefully the new 4 dr is as light as the current 2dr (4400 lbs max!)

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            The more zerks the merrier I say, between the 2 driveshafts on my truck I have 8 points to grease, and my new Moog front camber bolts and sway bar links have zerks as well. Hardly a hassle to get under there every 3rd oil change or so and give everything a few pumps of grease from my harbor freight gun.

            I agree, the latest 4runners are quite large and very isolated feeling, for better or for worse. The massive cargo room (90 cu ft with rear seats folded) and better rear seat space, along with that lowering rear tailgate glass is what’s pushing me strongly towards it and away from a JKU. It’s nowhere as light and nimble as my 3750lb 3rd gen ‘runner, and probably not as fun to blast down a fire road in due to the isolation. But they eat up highway miles beautifully and get very decent MPG for what they are, 21-22 highway seems to be the norm with sane driving and stock tires. I still hate the mug on the 2014+, but I like that the SR5 got rid of the rocker panel extensions and trimmed the bumpers shorter than the 2010-2013. Ground clearance is every bit as good as my ’96. They unfortunately lost the J-gate transfer case shifter on the Sr5 starting in 2013, I like the mechanical feel of shifting the t-case myself. I think a SR5 is all I need, I have only used my rear locker once on my ’96 so losing it won’t be a big deal, what with the A-TRAC offroad traction control system and all that.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      the chrysler vans are built in canada and are stellar compared to the jeeps, the used honda van has likely had a transmission replaced.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Transmission noise is normal on these. My ’06 has the same NSG-370 trans and it’s noisy as well. Part of the issue is minimal sound deadening overall and less isolation/insulation of the shifter assembly.

      The NVG-3550 in my ’02 is even louder, but it’s the exact same trans used in similar model year Dakotas, Rams, Silverados, etc. They all make the same noise, you just can’t hear it in those other vehicles.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do think Sergio and the FCA team have latched onto a good product and capitalised. Even Ram has performed quite well.

    I do think FCA should look at off shoring it’s global Wrangler production. I do know quite a few are sold in Australia. Like most Wranglers sold they are “hey, look at me I drive a Jeep”.

    The only Jeep of real value is the 4 door with the diesel. It has more endurance and better off road ability than the Pentastar Wrangler.

    FCA should look at an extended wheel base cab chassis variant with the diesel.

    As I pointed out in another article CAFE is going to make life very difficult for the Wrangler. Just is stance, aerodynamics and small footprint might force it to be only sold in overseas markets.

    The VM 2.8 diesel is needed to keep the Wrangler as it is for the US market.

    Aluminium will not help, as can be witnessed by the lack of FE improvement in the aluminium F-150. Engine/drivetrain and aerodynamic changes will be cheaper and offer better FE gains to keep the Wrangler alive in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Big Al from Oz – Jeep Wrangler sells on image. That puts FCA between a proverbial rock and a hard place. CAFE is forcing FCA’s hand. The Wrangler Unlimited would be a good place for the Ecodiesel but it would push up the price. Aluminum will save weight and due to the boxy shape of the Wrangler make transitioning to it fairly easy. I doubt that Ram division would allow Jeep to build a pickup.

      An “off-shored” Jeep would most likely be subject to the chicken tax. Until the FTA with the EU goes through, the only place Jeep could go is Mexico.

      FCA needs to fix their durability issues but as we have seen from earlier news stories on TTAC, there is little correlation between quality/durability/reliability data and sales. Luckily for FCA.

      • 0 avatar
        mikeg216

        the jeep could be built in canada or mexico or thailand sans chicken tax,fords likely to bring the global ranger here sooner or later because of a new ranger factory built there and the free trade agreement we signed with thailand and vietnam a few years back

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Lou,
        The diesel we get has the 2.8 VM CRD. It’s okay off road but the gearing with the 5spd box is a little wide.

        The 3 litre VM diesel is a pricey engine.

        I wouldn’t buy a Wrangler as I would want a V8 CRD Landcruiser first. Better and more reliable off roader and just as crappy on road.

        Here’s a links;

        http://www.themotorreport.com.au/59405/jeep-wrangler-diesel–review-2014-unlimited-sport-28-crd-automatic

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      The diesel isn’t better offroad.
      Slow speed offroad prowess is dictated by a high reduction low speed transfer case.

      I don’t mean to be picky but I always here how low range torque is needed or a he mi is needed
      No its not. Torque is provided by the transfer case.
      My 6mt Rubicon in lo, 1st gear has a 72:1 reduction. I am never even close to being torque limited in 1st gear. In fact I am more at risk of snapping drive train components if I really pushed it in that gear. Luckily, unless you pin a tire between large rocks tires won’t give the to required traction for this. This does happen, but only to the “it’s a jeep it can handle it” crowd or serious rock crawlers that run large reductions and huge tires

      I believe jeep doesn’t equip the Rubicon with a diesel. Throttle response is one reason. A turbo engine would not be great for low speed trail work.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        Agreed – I’ve never found my 4.0L I-6 manual trans Rubicon lacking for torque if in the proper gear for what you are trying to do.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @See 7 Up and Wheeljack,
        I’m sorry, but if you haven’t off roaded with a light diesel 4×4 then you can’t comment.

        I did own a Cherokee Sports with the 4 litre straight six. I did very well off road and so did it’s FE.

        Even here in Australia a test was carried out and the Pentastar 4 door Wrangler averaged 22 litre per hundred with a on road and off road average. The diesel averaged less than 12 litres per hundred and had an advantage at low speeds.

        This is not to say the Pentastar Wrangler will not be good off road, just the diesel is a better engine for off road.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheeljack

          BAFO, don’t presume you know what I have or have not driven off road. You don’t know me or what I do for a living. We get you love diesels, good for you. I don’t really care. I’ve driven plenty of diesels and have failed to be impressed overall when all things are considered. I’ll stick with my gas 4.0L engines – they pull like freight trains from 1,000 RPM and I’ve dragged them down to well under 400 RPM without stalling.

          What I can say is that through the magic of gearing, I’ve never felt myself wanting for more power. I’ve been off-roading for almost 20 years, and have always found that a properly geared vehicle when driven in the correct gear for the challenge at hand will be just fine.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Jackoff, (Remember my simple rule)
            By your writings I don’t think you’ve done much off roading.

            Similar to Hummer when he made the comment regarding the bash plate under the back of a pickup where the spare used to be located. He couldn’t figure that one out.

            So, he’s obviously at most driven down a rutted driveway like you must of done once or twice.

            If you had it was gas only, you would of not made the comment you did.

            If you had driven a diesel and you would of understood the technical aspects of off roading and again not submitted such a stupid comment.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Look we all understand your experience offroad is from pictures you’ve seen on the Internet.

            In the real world, anyone that’s ever spent the money building anything, knows your full of it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            He thinks everyone is as dumb as he is

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            Bloated A$$hole from Oompa-loompaland:

            It’s clear now that you are just envious that we Americans are smart enough to recognize that your dead-end diesels do not make fiscal sense and are not long for this world as the emissions regulations clamp down in the intelligent countries. Enjoy your poor decisions and continue to grow that ulcer you are developing over America’s hatred of smelly, obsolete engines.

            Oh, and take your simple rule and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Toodles!

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – Why do you feel every car, truck, motorcycle, jet ski, lawnmower and weed eater should be diesel powered to be worth a damn darn?

      CAFE should make life MORE difficult for any V8 Challenger, Charger, or SRT8, more than a V6 Wrangler. But obviously if it’s very profitable, it doesn’t matter what CAFE makes “difficult”.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @DiM,
        Why would I want to have a “future” Wrangler come with a diesel when they aleady do? Doh!

        Read the link I gave to Lou and expand and learn what you are missing out on.

        We pretty much get all of Chrysler’s vehicles here in Australia with the engines you get and on top of that most come with a diesel option as well. Ram is the only one we don’t get.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    @Hamburger- You must be extremely sensitive / over-eager to defend your choice of a Miata to have invested so much time commenting on a “Jeep” thread.
    It’s OK if you prefer a Mazda to a Jeep! Chill out !
    My local Jeep / Dodge…er…Ram dealer keeps a fairly good selection of Wranglers on hand (mostly Unlimiteds).
    In many parts of the country, owning a CJ or Wrangler is part of a lifestyle, whether it is offroading, camping, or exploring out of the way places. Or cruising the beaches. Or where I live, being able to definitely get where you want to go during / after a big snow.
    Besides, as someone already said- they are COOL.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Could it be that some of the Wrangler’s strong sales are driven by more people understanding the implications of Obama’s CAFE standards than the Grubers of the world assume aren’t complete fools? The price of vehicles people want can only go up as manufacturers try to force them into vehicles they don’t want in order to meet their average fleet requirements.

  • avatar
    Terrytori

    I’m on Wrangler number 4.

    A huge appeal for me, ( and possibly one shared by others) is that unlike other cars in my garage, I don’t give a shit about the Wrangler.

    There is great liberation in the not caring .

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @CJinSD – so Obama is responsible for increased Wrangler sales! Who woulda thunk it ;)

  • avatar
    Kato

    I’d say the Wrangler’s strong sales are due to lack of competition. The competition it had in the 90’s and 00’s has largely gone soft (transfer case delete, skid-plate delete) or gone away altogether. What other SUV’s are on the North American market that offer credible off-road capability, 4 doors, mid-size, and can be had for under $40K? The Cherokee? Maybe the GC, though it’s arguably too big now. The 4-Runner? Definitely too big and way too ugly. Basically everyone else vacated the capable mid-sized 4-door 4×4 market and the Wrangler Unlimited has filled the gap.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Xterra and 4Runner come to mind. A Wrangler unlimited is 4100lb, the 4Runner is 4500lb or so, not that huge of a spread, exterior dimensions are not too far removed either (comparing to an unlimited)

      Both Japanese contenders still come with full skid plates at least as an option (they come stock on all 4runners as I recall). 4Runner is definitely more of an overlanding/expedition rig rather than just a technical rock crawler. It has a good amount of leeway in the GVWR to accommodate the weight of aftermarket steel bumpers, roof racks, extra fuel tanks, and a week’s worth of provisions and gear. It also has loads more interior room to hold all that gear. Xterra is significantly behind in this regard, with an inexcusably low GVWR, but it has the advantage of being significantly cheaper (on the order of $10k in real world prices) and has a stick shift as an option.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    I have had my new Rubicon Unlimited, 6M for 4 days now…so far, so good!

  • avatar
    mountainman

    I want the Wrangler Unlimited, but I need the Cherokee.


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