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Why People Are Crazy About Jeeps and Why You'd Be Crazy to Buy One

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Wrangler Rubicon EcoDiesel Jeeps

Go Anywhere. Do Anything.

Jeeps have a long and illustrious history with military roots dating back to World War II. Instantly recognizable, they are known for the legendary off-road capabilities that earned the brand its trademarked slogan "Go Anywhere. Do Anything." The vehicles also command fierce brand loyalty that few other automakers could ever hope to match — but it's not all roses. Although Jeep owners, loyalists, and experts are far more willing to gush about the things that make Jeeps an amazing ownership experience, they also point to a few drawbacks. Here's a look at the good and the bad of Jeeps from the people who own them, drive them, and study the industry.

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Jeeps Offer Amazing Value

Jeep Parts Are Everywhere

Mike Hallmark is the sales and marketing manager of Hellwig Suspension Products, a manufacturer American-made suspension parts for vehicles, including Jeeps. A longtime Jeep owner and expert off-roader, he personally owns a 1948 Jeep CJ2A, known informally around the world as the iconic Willys Jeep. He reminds drivers that when Jeeps break down, need repairs, or go in for an overhaul, they won't have to go far or wait long to get the work done.

"One of the best things about owning a Jeep is that parts are abundant," Hallmark said. "Whether up-fitting your vehicle for off-road use or general vehicle maintenance, you will have no problem finding parts." 

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Jeep Brusier Conversion
Jeep Brusier Conversion by Michel Curi (CC BY)

Jeeps Are Surprisingly Simple Machines

The relative simplicity of Jeep vehicles means owners can take on DIY projects that might otherwise have scared them off. This gives Jeep enthusiasts a level of intimacy with their vehicles that stokes the passion for the brand even further.

"Another great thing about Jeeps, especially the older models like the CJ2A, is that they are not complicated vehicles to work or repair, meaning many enthusiasts do the work themselves," Hallmark said. 

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Posing with the Jeep in Playa del Carmen
Posing with the Jeep in Playa del Carmen by Christopher Rose (CC BY-NC)

Older Jeeps Are Small Enough to Transport

Serious off-roaders like Hallmark sometimes transport their Jeeps instead of driving them to the site as a primary vehicle. Many of the high-mileage Jeeps make this a breeze, thanks to their slimmed-down size.

"Another bonus to the older model Jeeps, which are much smaller, is that they are very inexpensive and easy to transport," Hallmark said. "You can even fit one in the back of a full-size truck." 

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When You Own a Jeep, You'll Meet other 'Jeepers'

When You Own a Jeep, You'll Meet Other 'Jeepers'

Few automakers command the brand loyalty exhibited by Jeep owners — and they're known for being an enthusiastic and friendly bunch.

"Without a doubt, the best part about owning a Jeep is the community," Hallmark said. "Fellow Jeepers wave to one another on the road and events like Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, attract Jeep owners from all over the world." 

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Jeeps Are All-Weather Warriors

Jeeps Are All-Weather Warriors

Nick Galov is an author with HostingTribunal.com, a site dedicated to the business of web hosting. He's "been incredibly passionate about Jeeps" for his entire life. Much of his love affair with the brand has to do with Jeeps' legendary brawn. 

"Jeeps are incredibly powerful and can withstand any weather condition and terrain," Galov said. "Whether it's snow, rain, rock or sand, the Jeep will run without any significant issues. Plus, passengers inside the car can feel quite safe thanks to Jeeps' size and height." 

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Jeep Parts Are Everywhere

Jeeps Offer Excellent Value

It would be inaccurate to call Jeeps cheap, but the concept of overall value goes beyond the sticker price. "Although they are not the cheapest option to purchase initially, they are incredibly worth the price," Galov said. "All of them are made of high-endurance materials, which last long and require very little assistance. Some people have had Jeeps for years without having to invest virtually any money into the car." 

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Jeeps Are Muscular Everyday Cars

Jeeps Have a Distinctive, Eye-Catching Look

Petar Ivanov is a marketing specialist at Auto-Data.net, which claims to offer the largest database of auto specifications on the internet. For him, it's simple: Jeeps can never be mistaken for any other vehicle either on or off the road.

"The distinctive look of a Jeeps makes people feel more confident," Ivanov said. "They're big and stable. Through the years, Jeep has become an iconic, historic brand." 

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Jeeps Have Excellent Climate Control

Jeeps Have Excellent Climate Control

High-end climate-control systems are a hallmark of posh luxury vehicles, but not so much rugged, off-road bruisers. Jeeps, on the other hand, break that mold. "A good feature of such type of car is their excellent AC and heating systems," Ivanov said. 

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Jeeps Handle Surprisingly Well

Jeeps Handle Surprisingly Well

Jeeps have long been famous for their power, durability, and ability to handle difficult terrain off-road. What many people don't know, however, is that they're also incredibly driveable on-road vehicles.

"While cornering, these vehicles are very stable and easy to handle in comparison with other vehicles from the same class," Ivanov said. "No matter what the weather is outside, you can feel quite safe in those cars." 

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Jeeps Are Awesome Looking

Jeeps Are Muscular Everyday Cars

As the director of marketing at Front Edge Publishing, Susan Stitt helps authors prepare for their book releases. She's also a recent convert to the cult of Jeep. Stitt said her daughter got a Jeep to pull the trailer she lives in as she travels the country as an entertainer.

"I borrowed her car one day and was so impressed by the pick-up of the engine. I had immediate Hemi envy. I sold my 1-year-old SUV and got a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I love it. I never worry about accelerating on the freeway. It pulls our recreational trailer with no trouble and handles all of my day-to-day-driving needs." 

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Jeeps Are Born for Off-Roading

Jeeps Are Born for Off-Roading

From steep inclines and loose sand to big boulders and high water, Jeeps are known, first and foremost, for their off-road prowess.

"What makes Jeeps so great and why there is a cult-like following around them is because they are extremely capable off-road," said Katie White, a Jeep Wrangler Sahara owner and PR specialist who works with various AutoNation dealerships such as Audi Peoria. "It's one of the few vehicles designed around off-road ability right from the factory."

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Why People Are Crazy About Jeeps and Why You'd Be Crazy to Buy One

Jeeps Let You See the Layout of the Road

Writer Beverly Willett is the author of "Disassembly Required: A Memoir of Midlife Resurrection." Although her most recent purchase was a black Jeep Liberty in 2005, she's been driving Jeeps for decades, in large part for the elevated vantage point they provide.

"I love sitting up high," Willett said. "It gives me a better view of the road and the reckless drivers around me I seem to see more and more of." 

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Road to Lyons
Road to Lyons by Bugeater (CC BY-NC)

Accidents Happen, and Jeeps Are Survivors

Much of Willett's loyalty to the Jeep brand has to do with highway safety. She credits the fact that she's alive to her trusty Jeep Liberty.

Willett said she was once driving through an intersection when a Lexus came out of nowhere at high speed, ran a red light, sheared off the front of the Jeep and spun her around and around in the middle of the intersection. She said she was pretty bruised and banged up, "but I feel that Jeep, built like a tank, saved my life." 

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Jeeps are Highly Customizable

Jeeps are Highly Customizable

Jeep lovers also fawn over their Jeeps for what Ivanov calls a "high customization level," which lets owners make their Jeeps unique and all their own.

Lisamarie Monaco, an independent life insurance agent with Pinnacle Quote, agreed. "You can customize your Jeep with sexy gadgets to fit your lifestyle and personality," said Monaco, a St. Augustine, Florida, resident who has owned a 2011 Jeep Liberty, a 2014 Wrangler, and a 2018 Renegade. "I love the rugged feel of the Jeep. I love taking my Jeep on the beach."

Katie White expanded on that concept. "There is a ton of aftermarket support for them," she said. "Owners can get anything from mild lifts to full-blown rock crawlers and everything in between. So, the ability to make your Jeep yours and as capable as you'd like is another major selling point." 

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Chicago Auto Show 2010 (76)
Chicago Auto Show 2010 (76) by Aaron & Alli Merrell (CC BY)

Customization Isn't Cheap

It's much easier to get people to say nice things about Jeeps than anything negative, but there are some drawbacks. Among them is the fact that the very customizability that Jeep owners love can quickly turn into a wallet-draining expense.

"The only reason you would be crazy to buy one is it is a costly vehicle to own if you decide to customize it," Monaco said. 

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Jeeps Aren't Designed For Long Road Trips

Jeeps Aren't Designed for Long Road Trips

Like many Jeep enthusiasts, Monaco was hard-pressed to come up with drawbacks. "I had to dig deep for a bad side to owning a Jeep," she said. "The only bad thing I think will be if you do long-distance traveling."

Ivanov agreed. "Jeep is specialized in truck manufacturing," he said. "So traveling with their civil vehicles sometimes is not so comfortable, especially for long trips." 

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Size Can Be a Drawback

Size Can Be a Drawback

Ground clearance is a crucial component of off-road capability, and Jeeps definitely have plenty of it. That feature, however, can impede some drivers and passengers from climbing in and out.

"Although it looks massive and impressive, the size has its negative side," Ivanov said. "Due to the big ground clearance, sometimes it could be quite difficult to enter the vehicle." 

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Jeeps Are Loud

Jeeps Are Loud

Powerful, rugged, and reliable, Jeeps are not delicate vehicles. One of the trade-offs for their legendary capability is that they're simply not quiet, both on the road and off. "A big disadvantage of those cars is the noise," Ivanov said. "That is very irritating for both the driver and passengers."

Filling the Tank

Jeeps Aren't Winning Any Fuel Economy Awards

Owning a Jeep is undeniably fun, but the lifestyle demands frequent stops at the pump. "An important issue for every car is fuel consumption," Ivanov said. "Jeep vehicles are not economical at all. Being huge and heavy, they cannot offer the fuel economy of ordinary sedans or hatchbacks."

Galov agreed. "One of the drawbacks of Jeeps is their fuel consumption," he said. "Compared to other smaller and weaker cars, Jeeps can use twice as much fuel. They especially use much more fuel in the city than on the open road. However, it remains one of the most reliable, safe and fun vehicles to own."

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Sometimes, Customization is a Necessity, Not an Extra
Andrei Stanescu/istockphoto

Sometimes, Customization Is a Necessity

Jeeps are known for their ease of customization, and most of those add-ons and upgrades are made out of choice. For some Jeeps, however, modification is more of a necessity.

"Various Jeep platforms are underpowered and may not drive well on the highway without needing upgrades," Hallmark said. He recommended sway bars, like the kind sold by Hellwig, as one of the first modifications. 

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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: Corporate (CC BY-ND)

Jeeps Often Have Some Problem Parts

Differentials are the mechanism that allows a pair of wheels to move at different speeds. The ones that come standard in Jeeps from the factory are notoriously troublesome, according to Hallmark of Hellwig Suspension Products. "Stock differentials are weak and expensive to replace," he said. 

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