Jeep opinions?

Help! I probably need a new car and am very interested in a new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. I have read lots of negative reviews regarding repair/maintenance and am interested in specifics. Do they tend to have one type of problem in particular? If this is a car I plan on keeping until it dies, will it be in for repairs annually? I don’t plan on tinkering with the vehicle and will likely only take it in for regularly scheduled maintenance. I am interested in a Jeep primarily for the purpose of peeling off the roof and doors and cruising in the breeze. I am not interested in a convertible because I desire a 4 door car that has leg room for the rear passengers.

Please respond only if you have actual Jeep experience or knowledge. I have read several posts reading’ Chryslers are junk’ etc. I know I have my opinions on different auto makers too, but I am looking for legitimate Jeep driving experience, not opinions in general on brands you may have never driven. Thanks for all the help!

Well, Consumer Reports rates the '06, '07, and ‘08 Wranglers’ reliability as 'much worse than average, which is too bad, all preceeding years were ‘average’ or ‘better than average’.

Jeeps were very popular in our area…that ended with the older Charokee (sp). Neighbor had a Wrangler that I used occasionally. I found it nearly unstoppable off road, but a total waste of money for any thing else. Don’t worry about peeling off the roof and cruising in the breeze. You’ll be in the breeze whether you do or not. Neighbor finally dumped his as the novelty wore off. If I were really smitten by the “cool” see me Wrangler look, I’d at least make it a second car. After a long ride on a bumpy rode at any speed…it could make you sick to your stomach. Had several co workers I refereed with that had Wrangler Jeeps; they were very unpopular when they had travel. It was so bad, some of use offered to let them keep travel $$$$$ if we still took our cars instead.
So, don’t say you weren’t warned…Did I tell you about the repair horror stories ?

I know someone who had a Wrangler and loved it.

I’ve been in a Cherokee, but I don’t like it. The cabin was deafening, and the engine was not meant for pavement. That being said, the seats were comfy, and it was an old Jeep, so maybe a Compass (with part time 4WD) would have a more refined engine.

It might simply be a matter of the average going up while Jeep Wrangler reliability stayed the same.

I have never owned a Jeep, but I did consider getting one, stripping off the roof and doors, and letting my hair fly in the wind, but I took a different path because I almost never drive off-road. These things are not made for people like me who like to take long road trips.

If you need to do off-road driving on a regular basis, then a Jeep Wrangler is an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you do not need to do any off-road driving, there are a multitude of vehicles in a similar size category that will ride and handle on roads and highways far better than a Jeep Wrangler, and will yield far better fuel economy.

Although most people would realize that a Buick Roadmaster or a Lincoln Towncar are not appropriate vehicles for off-road driving, many people seem to think that Jeeps are well-suited to highway driving. A vehicle is designed to optimize its function for a specific set of driving conditions, and most Jeeps are optimized for off-road travel. The result is that Jeeps such as the Wrangler are just not well-suited to condtions other than off-road travel. When you throw in the “Much Worse Than Average” repair record of this model, I would suggest that you give this purchase a lot of thought–unless you live at the end of a long dirt trail.

I can think of no reason whatsoever to buy a new one of these because the new ones are not significantly more reliable, efficient, safe, or capable than the older ones. My advice to you is to buy a sensible newer used car and buy yourself a 10-15 year old Jeep for a fun vehicle that you don’t put may miles on.

Agree; Jeeps are uncomfortable and dangerous to drive on a freeway. I watched an older movie filmed in Chicago with Tom Hanks as a rising excutive and Jackie Gleason as his dad with gout and diabetes. Tom Hanks drive a Jeep, and his dad asks “what kind of a DUMB thing is that for driving in a city where you can’t even park on the grass”.

Jeeps as daily urban or highway transportation have been “OUT” for a number of years now.

Maybe there will be a remake of “Wayne’s World” with Mike Myers driving a Jeep.

There are covertibles made with rear legroom such as the Toyota Solara, discontinued last year, but a very good used car buy.

We used to get Jeep Cherokees at work. We don’t get them anymore because of the poor reliability and high cost of ownership.

My personal experience with the ones at work is that they’re uncomfortable, unreliable, gas guzzlers, and in terms of ride, handling and driving impression they’re a throwback to a time before modern technology. I never liked taking those things anywhere, especially a long trip.

While our road was “transitioning” to something less than off road; I had to buy another “off Road” besides my Toyota truck for my wife. I bought a used Sidekick, because even those had better accommodations inside than a Jeep. I also did much better than my neighbors Wrangler in deep mud when we added oversize tires. It wasn’t as cool as a Jeep…but more affective, cheaper and comfortable. The Jeep with the 6 was a good trailer hauler over narrow roads though. When neighbors JD dozer got stuck in mud on a really bad day, only my raised Toyota and Sidekick (with help from a chain saw) got through the mud…the neighbor’s Jeep was too heavy and couldn’t until the next morning freeze.

My guess is that you will be driving on paved roads 99% of the time. I suggest you by a nice comfortable car and rent a Jeep whenever you decide to go off road. Jeeps are OK off road and horrible on.


I have owned a Wrangler and own a Grand Cherokee right now. The Wrangler is most definitely the best off-road vehicle, for the money, that you can buy today. Sure you can get more capable vehicles, but you will spend 2-3x the price.

Ride quality is subjective. It’s certainly not the most comfortable vehicle in the world, but it’s also not as bad as folks would lead you to believe (my opinion). And, they aren’t that bad on the highway either. The '97 and beyond are a world different from the previous versions (wider track and better suspension). But, there is a significant amount of wind noise when going fast, so you won’t be able to enjoy your stereo much while travelling on the highway.

Reliability is relative to other vehicles. Nobody has a scale based on absolute reliability for cars. The one I owned (and my son then owned up until this past fall) had no significant problems in the almost 9 years that we owned it. The only repairs I had to make were to the squeaking double cardan joint in the front driveshaft (covered under warranty).

The top is not as convenient to get up/down as you would expect. And, you have to find a place to store the side curtain windows when the top is down. I had both the hard and soft top for my Wrangler. The soft top was on in the summer and the hard top on in the winter. I also used the hard top when making any long trips, like a trip to Moab for a multi-day trek along the white rim trail.

BTW, I never got stuck in this vehicle, but I certainly took it places that scared me a bit. I ended up getting the Grand Cherokee to have a bit more room for hauling stuff and a better highway ride.

I don’t have the Unlimited, so I can’t comment on the room for rear passengers, but I have had a Wrangler for 10 years now, and really like the car.
Its been inexpensive to maintain - only “issue” is the air conditioning had to be replaced. It is noisy, but I usually drive alone, so that isn’t a problem. (I also have very good stereo speakers that overcome the road noise). I live in SoCal, so I have the convertible top down 9 months of the year. I would definitely get the 6 cylinder engine; at the time I bought my car, there weren’t any 6’s in my home town, and I think the 4 is underpowered for highway driving. I don’t mind the truck-like feel driving the car and I have driven the full length of the west coast in it, and was comfortable the whole way – more so than in my previous Mustang. I like the driver position in the car with the exception that the front visors seem to cut across my vision when I’m looking at stoplights – I have to bend down a little bit.
one thing about the Jeep – it is endlessly modifiable (you can buy ANYTHING to change the car) and mechanics all know how to work on one.

if you’re looking for a smooth, “car” type ride, its not the Jeep. I really love the car. the soft top is sort of a pain to put up and down but if you live somewhere you can just take the top down and leave it that way for a while, its not a problem.
a note: in some locations with concrete freeways, the freeway joints will be at some multiplier of the car base, and that will make the car really jolt uncomfortably. I had to drive those locations a couple of times to make sure it was the road, and not the car. it is very easy to park in tight spaces; the look of the Jeep is a classic and never goes out of style; and you can probably find anything you want to modify it. Secure storage is small; and its hard to hide anything in the car if the top is down, so keep that in mind.

“Please respond only if you have actual Jeep experience or knowledge.”

You don’t want to discuss this with owners. That’s a sample of one, and is insignificant. Buy the Consumer Reports books mentioned by others. Drive your computer over to The Wrangler is rated “the rest” in almost every category, which means below average. Your next stop should be where you can look up the Wrangler’s ‘True Cost to Own’. Repairs are estimated to be about $4600 over 5 years for a 2006. That’s a lot less than the Land Rover LR3 ($15,000), but a lot more than a 4Runner ($2500). I chose 2006 trucks to get the warranty out of the way. If you don’t mind spending twice as much as a Toyota owner pays for repairs (not maintenance), then enjoy the Jeep.

Always wanted one but every time I got in one the overabundance of plastic and the overabundance of figures on the price tag made me back off every time. In short, it would be a fun ride but overpriced.

Since Chrysler is heading into the sunset, you may want to rethink this plan. At best, some Jeeps may be retained by the new owners, Fiat?, and it will be busineness as usual.

At worst, the whole company will will be liquidated and some Jeep models retained by those buying the assets, not likely the Unlimited. The new Chinese owners will have no interest in supplying you with replacement plastic parts 8 years from now.

However, if you buy one, you will have a very unique vehicle 8 years from now.