New Car

Hi All,

Just wondering what everyone’s thoughts, feeling, and experiences with the new Wranglers and/ or Grand Cherokees are?

Thanks in advance ~Patty

Two very different vehicles. What are your needs?

@texases Agree; very different vehicles. The Wrangler is uncomfortable and not a good long distance highway vehicle. The Cherokee is more comfortable. Neither is very reliable and will cost much more to keep running than a 2 wheel drive vehicle from a Japanese or Korean manufacturer.

Please let us know where and how much you drive and what you carry in the car.

As Texases said, these are two very different vehicles.
The GC is very good on regular highways, and is also fairly capable in off-road situations.
The Wrangler is the supreme off-road vehicle, but it is absolutely miserable in anything other than off-road conditions.

If you live at the end of a steep, rutted dirt road, the Wrangler would be a good choice for you.
If, like most people, you drive on paved roads 99-100% of the time, you should avoid a Wrangler like the plague.

" If, like most people, you drive on paved roads 99-100% of the time, you should avoid a Wrangler like the plague. "

I agree that a Wrangler may not be a good choice for many people.

However, many (all ?) of the Wrangler owners that I know, in my area, would strongly disagree with your advice/opinion. They love them on everything (but ice, not so much).


The newer Wranglers are not as bad as the older ones. I have 91YJ and I drive it on 200 mile trips and its more of an off road vehicle than a street vehicle. Locker in rear and 31 tries. It drives at 70 just fine. Not any harder to maintain than anything else with 4 wheel drive. If I was driving to and from work and doing some weekend off road trial driving, I would go with the Wrangler. I don’t like the GC at all. For the same MPG I can drive a 4x4 Ex cab truck. More power and towing.

Go and drive the 2 door and 4 door Wrangler. I think you will like them. If you get one take good care of it and enjoy a good resale value. I paid $4500 for my 91 in 05 and I sill can get $3500 -$4000 for today.

“The newer Wranglers are not as bad as the older ones.”

“Not as bad as the older ones” is hardly an inspiring recommendation!

Consumer Reports had this to say about the new model Wrangler:
Although this Jeep is better than has ever been, it’s seriously outdated. The ride rocks & jiggles constantly, and handling is very clumsy. Wind noise becomes very loud at highway speeds. Getting in and out is an awkward act. The interior is uncomfortable. Off-road performance is still good, but not terrific, in our tested Unlimited Sahara model. The Rubicon model is better off-road. IIHS crash tests without the optional side air bags are unimpressive.

In the category of mid-sized SUVs, the Wrangler was rated dead last in a field of 25 vehicles by CR.
If the OP wants a vehicle that is good in off-road conditions, yet will not have so many compromises in comfort, a Toyota 4Runner or a Nissan Xterra would be better choices.

The Good Folks At CR Are Not Wrangler Fans. It Really Males No Sense To Compare A Wrangler With Other Types Of Vehicles And Point Out Shortcomings. A Wranger Is In A Class Of It’s Own With It’s Own Almost Cult-Like Followers.

Take Subarus, for instance. I would never buy one, but some some folks think they’re terrific. There really is nothing that compares directly with a Subaru, that I know of, for purcahse. I’m not being critical of the people who buy them, but not everybody has the same tastes.

Call me old-fashioned or worse, but I don’t like tattoos and body piercing, and can’t stand being served in a restaurant by somebody with hardware sticking through their face. However, tattoos and piercings have their followers and I suppose there are other who aren’t bothered by them.

I don’t pretend to understand any of this, but certain segments of our population like certain things. I like to play golf. Some think it’s stupid. Some folks love Wranglers. Some don’t.

I know several Wrangler lovers. I worked for a guy who always drove Wranglers. That was just what he enjoyed. He also never plowed snow in his driveway. Some mornings he would hook onto his wife’s car and pull her out to the main road before he left for work. He was a good man, great employer, great employee . . . that’s just how he rolled !

I say, if you are considering a Wrangler, try one. See if you’re a Wrangler person or not.

America, what a country !


I’m not a “Jeep person”, so I cannot understand. All I can tell you is that we used to have Jeeps at work and the cost of ownership was rediculous, so we switched to Hondas. We had the V8 engines, and they gulped gas like a whale shark gulps seawater. And it seem like there was always some doggoned thing wriong with them.

Good comments all. I once had to buy a fleet of vehicles for the Arctic, and everyone there recommended againts ANY JEEEP product. Toyotas (4Runners) were recommended over GM Suburbans, the next choice.

Those folks had experience and reliability was their chief concern.

My neighbor has a new a jeep Grand Cherokee and he did some research before he bought it. He wanted a car that was very comfy, handled well, was roomy for four and could tow his 6 k lbs boat. On paper, it absolutely does it all. The Kicker is, it gets about 14 mpg in their use ( though a new diesels version may improve that) and it’s a relatively new kid on the block. You might be tempted try one out first on lease till the warranty wears out, if you can put up with the mileage…,then wait for the long term reliability reports.

Comparing a Wrangler and a Grand Cherokee is comparing two different cars. Though both has some commendable off road experience, the Wrangler is a total concession made for it. If You don’t use it for that, it becomes a “look at me I’m cool car” for too much money and too little owner satisfaction for highway driving, economy and repair. Both these cars require stock in Exxon.

To second @Doc. .I have a golf playing buddy with a Wrangler 4 dr. My 4Runner has higher clearance for off road with larger standard tires and wheels, tows more, has better economy, cost less new , carries more people in much greater comfort, better reliability rep, handles better, has many more standard features and is worth more used…but his looks way cooler in the parking lot ! I highly recomend a Wrangler for “cool” factor !

Where I live it’s cold in the winter and the ill-fitting doors on a Wrangler make it “COOL” in more than one way! Tom Hanks starred in a movie some years ago where he was a Chicago adverising executive and his dad, who had gout and diabetes, was played by Jackie Gleason.

Seeing him (Hanks) tool around Chicago traffic in a Jeep, he called it STUPID! He did not see anything COOL about it.

Hi all,

Thanks for the all the great comments. I know these two cars are very different, I have the one Jeep that is in the middle between the two it is the Liberty and let me do everything that I needed it too. Go to work and then “play” on the weekends, unfortunately this Jeep is not living up to the Jeeps of old. I had an old Jeep Cherokee with a straight 6, I traded it in at 185,000 miles on a Subaru, and decided I am not a Subaru person and traded it in on the Liberty that is having many issues and it is not even at 30,000 miles. So I was looking for peoples suggestions on the reliability of these two Jeeps. Just so you know I live in south western pa where we get snow, with lots of people and lots of hills so it’s nice to have AWD or 4 wheel drive during the winter. Lastly, Toyota is on the list. As well as the Wrangler is SOOOOO much fun to drive :D.

One last point I am not looking for the “cool” factor, not many wrangler drivers are. They just like them they are the true Jeep fan. Just as Toyota has theirs and Subaru has theirs. Side note never talk ill of a Subaru in front of a Subaru fan you will get the evil eye. ;0)

Thanks and keep the great advice coming ~ Patty

The Liberty has been a disappointment, I imagine the Grand Cherokee would do well for you, appropriately optioned. We had an '86 Cherokee for 12 years in Anchorage, worked GREAT for us, even though it only had the 2.5l 4-cyl. and 5 speed MT.

" But they (Wranglers) are soooooo much fun to drive ?"
I think you may be the target buyer for a Jeep Wrangler. Sounds like it is made for you.
Best of luck.

Take Subarus, for instance. I would never buy one, but some some folks think they're terrific. There really is nothing that compares directly with a Subaru, that I know of, for purcahse. I'm not being critical of the people who buy them, but not everybody has the same tastes

I enjoyed the Forester and Tribeca I test drove awhile back and would recommend them to anyone looking for AWD city/highway travel; not off-roading.
But I understand you live where domestic brand dealerships are abundant and the closest “other” brand dealerships are few and far away. I drove an hour to the closest Mazda dealership to buy my car, and it was a combo Mazda/Subaru dealership.

Come to think of it, within an hour drive of my town I have access to just about every brand there is. BMW, Mini, Porsche, Ferrari, VW, Aston Martin, Volvo, Audi, Bentley, Maserati, Rolls Royce, Lotus, Range Rover, Jaguar, Mazda, Subaru, Mercedes, Lexus, Chevy, Toyota, Ford, Honda, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Lamborghini. The only thing I’d have to travel any further for would be Bugatti, and that’s probably 3 hours away in Troy, MI