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2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited safety

Thinking of the Wrangler to replace a 2014 Dodge Ram. More spacious interior and, with a hitch, can haul just as much, right? And the 4-wheel drive will be great at our place out in the boonies.

But I’m wondering about safety. On the test drive, I wasn’t too comfy so close to the windshield. I didn’t feel it, but it’s reportedly top-heavy. And if I get it, I’ll probably hand it down to my son in a little over a year when he gets a license.

Sensible or stupid?

A short wheel base vehicle with a high center of gravity for a new driver is just asking for trouble.


Only you can truly answer that. My option is get a more traditional SUV.
DON’t get me wrong, I liked my CJ5, but that was a totally different beast.
Plus reliability should be considered.
Me? For what you describe, I would go with a 4 WD, not AWD, from some other manufacturer.

More spacious than a crew cab? And I’d be very surprised about towing capacity. You can equip any full size pickup to far out-tow a Jeep.

It’d be close to the bottom of my list for a teen’s first car, top heavy, poor (relatively) handling, and a ‘reputation’ that’ll encourage nutty driving.

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Thanks for the input. Aside from the towing comments, you sound like my wife;) Well said.

Thanks for the input. Getting similar responses from others, which coincidentally line up with my wife’s thinking;)

Have a great week!


Thanks for the reply. My wife has a similar opinion.

We like Subarus, so maybe we’ll lean toward a CrossTek instead. Keep the RAM, save the dough, cuz he doesn’t need to tow.

Thanks again!

Wrangler Unlimited has a 118" wheelbase. That’s not “short” by any definition of the word. Plus the 2018 Wrangler Unlimited has ESS, Electronic Stability Control, as well as Tow Sway Control, both of which are pretty aggressive at not letting idiots flip the vehicle. It also has an integrated roll bar that is pretty effective in most rollover accidents.

That said, it has a towing capacity of 3500 pounds, which can be an issue with many loads. And a trailer is nowhere near as convenient as a truck bed. And to be blunt, the interior of the Wrangler is cramped. It’s a narrow vehicle with narrow footwells and narrow doors.

The Wrangler is sensible only if you’re intending to do hard core 4x4 rock crawling. If you’re just going to drive it in snow, maybe when towing, you’re better off with any number of SUV’s that are actually designed for that.

Thanks – I’ve yet to get an answer from someone who thinks my scenario is a good idea – an opinion my wife shares;)

We’ve had several Subarus and like them, so maybe we’ll look at a CrossTek when the time comes.


Probably nowhere close. A typical 2014 Dodge Ram 4x4 (5.7L Hemi/automatic) is rated to tow around 8000-9000 pounds. A 2018 Jeep Wranger Unlimited 4WD (3.6L/automatic) is rated to tow 3500 pounds. Less than half that of the Ram.

We got a Wrangler for my son many years ago, he still has it. It is a 4 cyl 5 speed manual. He said he could not go fast, could not take turns fast, the back seat was not useful for him and his lady friends and since no one else could drive a stick no one could borrow it. So for us it was a pretty decent choice. Really depends on your situation. Watch the towing rating, with a 118 inch wheel base it may be pretty good but a Ram is in the 140 range. Better stability with a longer truck.

Just curious, what year was your Wrangler? I didn’t know they offered a 4 cylinder in any Jeep since the pre-AMC CJs.

@Purebred, it is a 98, basic model, rag top. Pretty lousy engine, can just about count on it coming apart @ 100k. It is on it’s 3rd engine. A friend of my wife’s worked at a Jeep dealer and said the walls between the cylinders were very thin and not uncommon to start seeing them come in at the back of a tow truck with that mileage.

However we would do it again, you either love a Wrangler or hate it, nothing in between. If you love it, you cannot rationally explain it to someone, it’s a Jeep thing.

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Thank you. My CJ5 had the AMC V8, but AMC decided the V8 only need a three speed! But it was FUN to drive in the Rocky Mountains.

I had a 1979 CJ 5 with a V8 and 3 speed also. The 4 speed of the same year was no real help in normal driving. It just had a compound low first gear. the other gears (2 through 4) were the same ratio or really similar to the gears in the 3 speed.

I rented a 2018 Wrangler unlimited this year on vacation. They are worlds different from an old CJ. You can cruise comfortably on the interstate at 80. I would’ve been afraid to even attempt to hit 80 mph in my old CJ.

I wouldn’t be afraid to let one of my kids have a new Wrangler as a first vehicle. A CJ? No way.

Mine was a 72 Renegade, vinyl doors. With the three speed, no compound low found I had to use 4 WD low range much more than if it had the compound low.
Nice thing about those CJs, if you rolled them, just get a couple of buddies to help you get them right side up and you’re good to go with a little cosmetic damage.

Thanks for the info!

Compound low was interesting. Not much use for it on the street, but if you put one in low (1st), and shift to 4wd low, you can get out and let it go by itself. No throttle needed, just let out on the clutch. You can walk faster than it will crawl. Yes, I’ve done that for funsies. No, it served no purpose! :grin:

I think you worry too much, do nothing crazy and you will be fine.