Is the Jeep Wrangler a Good First Car?

For those who don’t know, the Wrangler is the ‘halo’ vehicle for the Jeep. It is well known for its off-road capabilities and open-air design. But is the Jeep Wrangler a good first car?

We all know that getting a driver’s license is pretty damn stressful. But it does not compare to the pressure you’ll be under to choose and buy your first car. 

As a newbie, your choices will seem confusing, and you may fall in love with all your options. We could say that  Jeep Wranger is solid choice for a first car. But before you buy it, check if you avatar is compatible with this lumbering vehicle.

What Type of Car is a Jeep Wrangler?

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The Jeep Wrangler is a series of compact and mid to large-size off-road SUVs manufactured by Jeep since 1986.

The Jeep Wrangler is perhaps the most off-road capable SUV on Earth. It is in two-door and four-door body styles, both with removable roofs. In addition, it is one of few SUVs that continues to be built using body-on-frame construction, with solid front and rear axles.

All wranglers have four-wheel drive and low-range gearing, which comes into play when driving off-road and at low speeds to increase the vehicle’s ability to power up over obstacles.

Checklist for Buying your First Car

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The first step on the journey to buying your first car is to make a plan. A highlighted plan keeps you from going round in circles without progress. Here are some of the needed

  • Budget: You should have a clear-cut plan on how much money you are willing to spend on a car. Your choice should, therefore, tick the budget box. We don’t want you going bankrupt on your first driving experience. The average cost of a new car(as per Royal Commission data) is $39,445, while that of a new Jeep Wrangler is $43,299.       
  • New vs. Used car: Your budget will determine whether you opt for a new or used one. A new vehicle comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, but car depreciation is real. A used car is cheaper, but there is no guarantee that it will last. What you see is what you get when purchasing a used car.
  • Questions to ask when purchasing a new car: Standard features, on-road costs, duration of the warranty, and availability of promotional deals
  • Questions to ask when purchasing a used car: How long has the owner had it? How many kilometers has it been done? Is it debt free? Has it ever been in a crash?
  • Features: Now that you’ve decided on a price range, you should decide on what features are indispensable to you. This will give you a clearer picture of the obvious options and the options that are off-limits.
  • Car loan options: If you are up to 18, then this option is open to you. Compare different loan options, and put in an application. When your application is approved, you are set for the next step.
  • Ongoing costs to consider: Rego payments, car insurance, car loan repayments, petrol and fuel costs, maintenance, and servicing. The average cost of owning a jeep wrangler for five years is $33 278. Although this figure may vary per vehicle, driver, and location. 26% of this is spent on fuel; insurance is 22%, depreciation is 29%, interest is 15%, and maintenance is 8%. After five years, the jeep wrangler’s average value will be $33,656.
  • Test drive: This is probably the most important step, take your new ‘baby’ out for a spin. Be meticulous and check for any and every feature.

Is the Jeep Wrangler a Daily Driver?

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A daily driver is simply a car that is stable enough to be driven every day or a car that you use for your daily routine. What makes a car a good daily driver? Good question. There are certain requirements a car must meet, such as;

Reliability and low cost of maintenance

Low-maintenance vehicles are cheaper in the long run. Repair and maintenance of a vehicle should be easily cheap and easily available.

According to AAA, the average vehicle driving 20,000 miles annually can set you back $1800 in upkeep per year.

However, according to Repair pal, jeep wranglers have an average annual repair cost of $694. This value can vary depending on the Jeep’s model year and mileage. The overall reliability score of the Wrangler is 73.45(also depends on the Jeep’s model year)

Comfort and Convenience

A good daily driver should be spacious enough for passengers and belongings.

Jeep Wranglers are not the most comfortable vehicles to drive. It is not the most spacious or accommodating SUV, but it provides a seamless mix of vintage and ultra-modern jeep character.

They ride rough and are very noisy. It can get very uncomfortable during long trips on highway. But they do have enough headroom and legroom.

Fuel Efficiency

Gas mileage (often known as MPG) is the number of miles a vehicle can travel using a particular amount of fuel calculated in gallons.

Jeep Wrangler has an impressive gas mileage for an off-road SUV. The priciest models are the most fuel-efficient though drivers do find the gas mileage a let-down given its price.

The average gas mileage for older models up till the 2018 model is 18 MPG. Models from 2018-2022 have a gas mileage ranging from 19MPG-25MPG. Its fuel efficiency, however, is unreliable at best and subject to random driving conditions.

 Safety

Jeep Wranglers aren’t as safe as other SUVs, according to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS) crash tests. In 2021, the jeep wrangler earned a ‘marginal rating’ on the IIHS crashworthiness test.

Driving and Parking

The Jeep Wrangler is fairly okay to drive, even if it can’t go at top speeds. The vehicle doesn’t negotiate turns perfectly, but it can go anywhere in every weather.

Wrangler features advanced parking aids, including a rear backup camera, park assist, and a forward-facing camera. The available ParkSense system uses sensors to alert you of proximity to obstacles while backing up. The Park View displays the area behind your vehicles and the gridlines on the Uconnect touchscreen. All these make the Jeep Wrangler stupidly easy to park.

Overall, the Jeep Wrangler is not a bad everyday car.

What You’ll Love About the Jeep Wrangler

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Jeep Wrangler is an off-road champ. It is built with big tires, high ride height, and short front and rear overhangs specially designed for the rough terrain. You can take it camping, hiking, and pretty much to the top of hill.

The Wrangler is designed with the possibility of removing the doors for off-roading. So, you can have it roofless, doorless, and feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. Although it has no cup holders on the door, it does have small netted pockets.

The buttons and knobs in this Jeep are very large and easy to reach. This makes for a user-friendly interface. So, you will have no worries about “what goes where.” 

This Jeep is pretty customizable. As long as you have the cash, the modifications are endless. You can add winch, bigger off-road tires, bumpers, cold air intake, mud flaps, a different face grill, LED lights, etc.

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The jeep wrangler is an economic jeep with a very dedicated fan base and community. You should not be surprised to see two drivers exchange the hand sign while driving.

The Jeep Wrangler is also revealed to be the most popular car in the US, with 166,950 searches on average per month. It is also the most popular car to lease, with 60,920 searches for “jeep wrangler lease.”

What You’ll not Love About the Jeep Wrangler

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  • The fuel economy of the jeep wrangler is clearly nothing to boast about.
  • Jeep wranglers have an increased jeep wobble popularly called ‘death wobble.’They also have a higher tendency to flip over
  • Wranglers have decreased high-tech driver aids. It is not for you if you are tech-savvy and want the latest driver aids.
  • The 2-door models are pretty much cramped. 

Is the Jeep Wrangler a good first car?

And what kind of person drives or should drive a wrangler after all?

  • Rebels: Someone who values the ruggedness and freedom the wrangler offers over their safety. Pull those side doors out and cruise with your feet hanging out-literally
  • Adventurers: You are a weekend warrior with adventure in your blood. You enjoy the outdoors and take every opportunity to go on an exciting trip.

  Fun fact: The Jeep Wrangler holds the world record for reaching the highest altitude by a four-wheeler.