What does driving a Jeep Wrangler on the highway feel like? Does this 4X4 SUV make an equally good choice for both on and off-road rides?
Rock climbing and off-road riding in a Jeep Wrangler are unforgettable experiences for both drivers and passengers.
However, driving a Jeep Wrangler everyday can get a bit annoying believe it or not. Since it is not a sports car such as Audi or BMW, this SUV takes a little bit longer to develop speeds of 100 MPH.
As a matter of fact, if you are looking for a vehicle for thousand-mile cross-country rides, Wrangler won’t be able to meet your expectations. Why is it so, and why does driving a Jeep Wrangler on the highway tend to be a chore more than a pleasure? Can you do anything about it?
Are Jeeps Good on the Highway?
Yup, sure thing, some Jeeps, such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee are simply built for comfy, laid-back rides. And then, there is a super-fun grocery-getter, the Jeep Jeep Compass, or the popular Jeep Renegade, both ideal for road trips. However, the Jeep Wrangler, the king of sandy dunes and rocky trails is definitely not the type of car for you if you are looking for a car to cruise the states.
Are Jeep Wranglers Comfortable for Long Trips?
Jeep Wrangler owners wouldn’t trade their sport-utility vehicles for life! The number of places your 4X4 can take you is impressive. Whether you want to go for some wild beach driving, or head to an off-road expedition and hit the mountainside, Wrangler won’t let you down. However, despite the fact that it feels at home in this type of environment, it doesn’t feel the same when on the pavement.
Yes, you can drive it on the highway for some time, but since it is a bit rough, you’ll start feeling less and less comfortable after about two hours. The engine will get noisy, the seats won’t seem as cozy and cushy anymore, and you will, highly likely, get annoyed by all this at a certain point.
After all, Wrangler is not as spacious as some of its counterparts we have mentioned above. There’s not enough legroom to stretch a bit during the ride and, if you are over 6ft tall, driving for hours would make you feel stiff and achy. The point is – we guess that you would need something roomier for highway rides.
There are a couple of more reasons why are Jeep Wranglers hard to drive on-road, and we will elaborate on each in the continuation.
Why Is Driving a Jeep Wrangler on the Highway a No-No?
As we already mentioned, Wrangler is not a sports car, and, no matter its upgrades, it would never be anything like sports cars that offer superb acceleration and, needless to say, speed. Wrangler is an amazing car for outdoor activities and can work for short rides, from home to office, etc. Yet, it would be absurd to expect Wranger to match the speed some other cars develop on the highway.
We are not saying that Wrangler can’t develop great speed but it takes way longer than with, let’s say, Subaru Crosstrek. Wrangler takes 16.2 seconds to drive a ¼ mile while Crosstrek takes 13.2 seconds.
Sure thing, most people would choose Wrangler over Crosstrek by all means, but, for people going on long road trips these 12 seconds can mean a lot. Wrangler is simply not the type of car built for long-distance rides since it can make these long rides even longer.
Similar to the Mercedes Benz G-Wagon, Jeep Wrangler has a large and boxy external body. (although the latter isn’t as weighty as the G-Wagon which is packed with a myriad of luxury features that add to its weight at the same time). And whilst drivers prefer Mercedes for it is a prestigious vehicle, Wrangler is preferred in terms of performance since it can get you through hail, snow, sleet, and whatnot.
All this, ultimately, impacts its fuel economy, so the Jeep Wrangler can get you approximately 17 to 21 miles per gallon (depending on whether you are driving off-road or on the highway). On the other hand, the aforementioned Subaru Crosstrek offers way better gas mileage (33 miles on the highway per gallon). Mercedes can get you no more than 14 miles per gallon. 
You get the point – 10 gallons really isn’t much but if you drive thousands of miles per year, or even per month, then you will be visiting gas stations pretty often.
Not only does the Wrangler have small seats that make it not comfortable at all for running around town but some owners complain about the steering issues as well. Handling and steering the vehicle can sometimes get downright dangerous, especially when driving it at highway speeds.
Wrangler comes with a soft suspension that makes it feel floaty when driving on curvy roads at high speeds. Wrangler’s clearance can pose a problem as well since this vehicle boasts a higher clearance (9.7-10.8 inches) compared to other SUVs and makes it less stable when cornering. In other words, clearance and steering issues are directly linked to safety issues. If you want to avoid stressful experiences on the highway, stay off-road with your Wrangler.
Jeep Wrangler Driving Experience
In this section, we will tell you more about drivers’ experiences with the Wrangler – what they liked about the car, as well as what they didn’t like at all.
“Jeep is a brand you either love or loathe. I’ve been an owner of multiple Wranglers, and, I must say that these vehicles are not bad on gas at all! Even better, I could customize each to my liking. I find Wranglers relatively comfy, although I have another car for longer rides. Wranglers are there for fun summer adventures and driving through hills and mountains.”
“The ride is always a bit bumpy but I appreciate my Wrangler since it makes it easy to haul things of up to 2,000 pounds around. There’s just enough room on the inside so the entire fam, plus our chubby Labrador can fit in with no bother, and, needless to say, I absolutely love its classic rugged exterior.”
“I am very pleased about how the Wrangler does when it goes off-road, and unpleasantly surprised when it comes to riding it around town. I don’t recommend using it every day – for running chores, picking up kids from school, etc.
Best Jeep Wrangler For Highway Driving
Although we are spitting facts in today’s blog, and everything we have mentioned in the previous article still applies to the Wrangler, the latest generations of this great SUV actually provide an improved on-road driving experience.
If you are a Jeep enthusiast and believe that there must be a model that can handle both on-road and off-road rides with ease, well – we have an absolute winner here. That’s the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid. It is equipped with a 400V battery and 2 electric motors, has a sleek outside and inside, and, according to owners, it does equally good in the city and on the highway. However, it comes with a hefty price tag of around $50,000.
A 2021 Firecracker Jeep Wrangler Sport is another refined version of the old model (‘97-’06) that can offer a smoother and quieter ride and much better performance on the highway. This machine comes with a 6-speed manual and is capable of developing decent speed relatively quickly.
The 2018 Wrangler is a more than solid alternative to the 4xe and the Firecracker. It features great performance, and rides are quite smooth (even on the highway), although it tends to get a little noisy once you develop a speed of around 80 mph or higher.
How Can I Make My Jeep Wrangler More Suitable For Highway Rides?
You can do certain things to make your Wrangler more comfortable and more suitable for highway driving. For starters, you can replace the suspension, use more street-oriented tires, and have them aligned.
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The original off-road tires make Wrangler more bouncy and less comfortable for the passenger. Street-oriented tires will make it quieter and improve passenger comfort.
If you have been riding your Wrangler off-road quite often, it is highly likely that it is out of alignment. Sometimes something as simple as bringing the tires back into alignment can make a car much more comfortable.
Removing all unnecessary parts such as the winch may help as well. All of these things will certainly make driving a Jeep Wrangler every day more enjoyable but will also reduce its off-road performance.
Jeep Wrangler is the type of car for recreational purposes in the first place and it is highly respected for its off-road capabilities. Driving it off-road will feel amazing, while long highway rides won’t feel as great. This simply isn’t the car for everyday use, except if you have substantial funds to invest in some of the latest models, such as the Wrangler 4xe or the Firecracker, or if you have the time, money, and will to upgrade it a little bit.