Many US drivers have a dream car that they are ready to buy despite rational arguments, family, and public opinion. The choice of such dreamers often falls to the Jeep models, with the Jeep Wrangler leading the list. The experienced sales assistants from the Indy Auto Man dealership share the contradictions Indiana customers struggle with when choosing this vehicle.
Not a Choice for Daily Commutes
The Jeep Wrangler may seem very strange. It looks like a serious off-roader, but the trunk is ridiculous, like that of a Toyota Aygo minicar – suitable only for throwing a handbag. The rear seats are so cramped and inconvenient that transporting family members here can only be done as a punishment. And even if you drive them, they won’t stand it for long: after ten minutes, the piercing shaking makes the body itchy, and it’s impossible to speak in an even voice. Of course, everything is not so dramatic on city roads, but who is interested in asphalt behind the wheel of a real Jeep Wrangler? The hardware is no less authentic: a frame, two heavy axles, a transfer case, which is not fundamentally different from units 20 years ago, and a 200-horsepower 3.8-liter engine with corresponding consumption. Moreover, it has already been named one of those new cars not worth buying in 2024.
Why People Love It
Almost no non-premium brands have such an army of fans as Jeep—fans who don’t just prefer but have been dreaming about these cars for years.
One can go through all the technical characteristics but still need to understand the reasons for admiration for Jeeps. Maybe it’s all about cross-country ability? Partly that’s true. The clearance of the Wrangler is up to 10.2 inches, the approach angle is up to 41 degrees (depending on the modification and wheels). Add a commanding position, clearly visible dimensions, and a high-torque engine… Suddenly, you become imbued with amazing ease of movement and stop peering into the shadows on the road, searching for potholes and shivering from snow and slippery slopes. On the contrary, you are looking for treacherous places to test the car and yourself. Your brain starts working another way quite quickly, and it likes the new degree of freedom.
For those who like it hotter, there are plenty of off-road modified Jeeps, including the factory Wrangler Rubicon and hordes of custom Big Foots. But that’s not the point. One of the components of the mastery of a true Jeeper is the ability to soberly assess the capabilities of a car and walk on the edge of its talents. Jeep is an effective weapon that you need to master.
The Jeep Wrangler has a Part-Time all-wheel drive system: the front end is rigidly connected, there is no central differential, and therefore, you can drive in 4WD mode only in off-road conditions. However, even with all-wheel drive on, the Jeeps do not feel sluggish when turning the steering wheel, although the tendency to understeer is still noticeable, especially when you press the gas pedal.
Not Just an Off-Roader
At the same time, Jeep is still not an off-road buggy but a full-fledged car. One of the Indy Auto buyers claims he does not feel inferior on public roads.
“At first, I was afraid to drive the Wrangler on the highway faster than 50 mph – it seemed like I could fly away,” says Jim. “Then I became bolder, and now I drive like any other car. It’s completely convenient in the city because it’s very compact.”
Arguments Never End
Sceptics, of course, will come up with thousands of counterarguments because Jeep is an easy target. They will remember the unimportant ratio of capacity to external dimensions, fuel economy of around 20 mpg, and an unfriendly suspension that vibrates with unsprung masses for a couple of seconds after you pass a pothole. And they will hammer in a decisive nail – the high cost of repairs if, for example, some unit breaks down during off-road exploits.
Those for whom these nuances are critical will never choose a Jeep, and that’s the majority. But the remaining tribe of Jeep drivers are happy people. Yes, they put up with some nuances, but they know exactly why. This fills car ownership with some completeness, unattainable with sedans for the same money.