The Jeep Wrangler has an epically loyal and growing fan base. If you're not a Wrangler fan, it might be because you can't get past its quirks and imperfections. But there are plenty of people for whom that's the reason why their love runs so deep for the Wrangler.
For decades now, it's been a true car lover's favorite, mostly thanks to some pretty cool features and capabilities like its uniquely striking exterior and all-terrain-conquering robustness, reflected in the large front bumper and amazingly high ground clearance, among other things.
On the other hand, there's the notoriously bumpy ride and poor on-road handling and the limited cargo and interior space, which might put some car buyers off. But given that Wrangler sales continue to grow, it's safe to assume that more and more Wrangler converts overlook (or embrace) its flaws. So what makes it so special to them? Here, we get to the bottom of the Jeep Wrangler's popularity.
Less than ideal on-road handling and scarce storage space
Let's start with the Wrangler's downsides. Some of them are pretty obvious and hard to ignore. Primarily, there is the fact that on-road handling can be pretty poor and offer a largely uncomfortable ride, which even the most hard-core Wrangler fans would admit. Limited storage space is a challenge for long-distance travelers and road trippers — kind of a big deal for a machine most at home off-road. And its fuel economy isn't one of its strongest suits, either (the new models average around 18-19 mpg combined).
Off-road beast with a one-of-a-kind rugged exterior
But all these flaws are easily disregarded when you have a vehicle that allows you to drive on any kind of surface with no trouble at all, including rock, snow, mud and sand. And when you also have a vehicle that you can transform into an open-air ride at will, the drawbacks don't make a huge difference.
- Unparalleled off-road capabilities. When talking about the Wrangler's qualities, we have to start with its amazing ability to handle just about any surface and terrain with superb ease. This is mostly due to the four-wheel-drive, high clearance and sturdy, resilient exterior.
- Unique style. The Wrangler is one of the few vehicles out there that has largely kept its distinctive and traditional looks the same for decades. Adorned with huge bumpers, a truly iconic grille and enormous tires, it can't be mistaken for any other vehicle.
- Connection to American history. A huge chunk of the Wrangler's appeal stems from the fact that it's American made and has a strong connection to some of the most significant parts of our history. It's considered to be one of the descendants of the Willys MB, the popular U.S. military vehicle that was mostly used in World War II for reconnaissance and transport of cargo and personnel in cross-country areas.
- Wide array of options. There are countless interior and exterior upgrades Wrangler owners can choose from. You can choose between a hard-top and a soft-top roof. Then, you can either opt for half-metal removable or full-framed metal doors. Jeep also offers lots of options to Wrangler buyers when it comes to performance parts, such as a selection of different rock rails, winches, bumpers and differential guards, to name a few. This makes the Wrangler one of the most customizable vehicles on the market, and it's also the reason why there are so many aftermarket parts for it.
No deal breakers here
It's really not that difficult to comprehend why the Wrangler has been able to inspire such a huge and loyal following for so long. With the way technology continues to advance, the odds are these disadvantages are only going to get even less significant, meaning Wrangler fandom is here stay.
Are you a Wrangler fan? Tell us why you love it and what this iconic vehicle means to you.