For over 80 years, Jeep has been one of the most iconic and recognizable vehicle brands ever made. With its boxy frame, seven slot grille, and reputation for off-road capability, the Jeep Wrangler remains one of the most popular SUVs today.
So why exactly do people like Jeeps so much? There are many reasons the Jeep Wrangler has maintained a devoted following all these years. Jeeps offer rugged durability, off-road thrills, customization potential, and a sense of freedom. The Jeep lifestyle and community keep fans loyal to the brand.
In this in-depth blog post, we’ll cover the key reasons people love their Jeeps:
- Jeep’s rugged, durable design
- The thrill of off-roading
- A sense of freedom on and off the road
- The community and lifestyle
- Reliability and longevity
- Endless customization options
We’ll also overview Jeep’s specs and capabilities, pros and cons, and why these iconic SUVs have stood the test of time.
Table of Contents
A Brief History of Jeep
Before jumping into why people love Jeeps, let’s start with a quick background. Jeep originated as a military vehicle in 1941. Willys-Overland created the first Jeep branded 4×4 for the U.S. Army during World War II.
Jeeps quickly gained popularity among civilians after the war. Willys trademarked the name ‘Jeep’ in 1950 and launched the CJ (Civilian Jeep) aimed at the commercial market.
In 1987, Chrysler bought out Jeep. The most recent and popular Wrangler model launched in 1986. Now owned by Stellantis, Jeep continues improving the Wrangler while retaining the classic rugged essence Jeep is known for.
Over 80 years later, Jeep still has a huge fanbase of loyal drivers.
Jeep’s Rugged, Durable Design
One of the top reasons people love Jeeps comes down to its iconic design and rugged durability.
The classic boxy frame, wide stance, removable doors, and 7 slot front grille give it a distinctive look and feel compared to curvier crossovers. Jeeps are made to last and handle off-road conditions.
Sturdy Build and Off-Road Capabilities
Unlike many SUVs primarily built for on-road comfort, Jeeps are engineered for off-road performance. Their sturdy build and 4×4 systems allow them to traverse rough terrain and obstacles that would leave most vehicles stranded.
Key design elements that improve off-road capabilities:
- 4WD – Gets power to all four wheels to climb over rocks and mud. 4WD low range provides even more torque at low speeds.
- High ground clearance – Raises the Wrangler over 10 inches up for clearing rocks, branches, etc.
- Short overhangs – Shorter front and rear overhangs allow steep approach and departure angles so it doesn’t get hung up on inclines.
- Skid plates – Protect vital components like the engine from damage on rough terrain.
- Removable doors/roof – Doors can be removed and soft top roof rolled back for open-air off-roading.
The Wrangler excels as a rock crawler and has superior approach and departure angles compared to other SUVs, allowing it to crest steep hills and ditches. Its water fording depth exceeds 30 inches on some models. Very few stock vehicles can conquer rough terrain like a Jeep Wrangler.
Customizable for Off-Road Use
Another benefit is Wranglers are extremely customizable for off-road use. With a huge aftermarket for parts, you can customize your Jeep to handle specialized off-road duties.
Common upgrades include:
- Lift kits – Increase ground clearance for larger tires and fenders. Makes traversing obstacles easier.
- Lockers – Lock differentials to divide torque evenly to both wheels. Improves traction.
- Skid plates – Protect vital mechanical parts from rocks and debris.
- Bumpers/guards – Add steel bumpers and guards for protection from obstacles.
- LED lights – Improve visibility on night runs.
- Winches – Used to recover from mud or winch up hills.
- Rock sliders – Protect rocker panels from damage off-road.
From minor lifts to full custom rock crawler builds, you can modify your Jeep however you like. The aftermarket support and DIY nature of modifications also attract the mechanically inclined.
The Thrill of Off-Roading
A major reason Jeep lovers are drawn to the Wrangler is for the thrill of off-roading. Heading off the pavement into the unknown is an exciting adventure. Jeeps are designed to get you farther off the beaten path than other vehicles can manage.
Powerful Engine to Conquer Obstacles
Under the hood, the Wrangler has enough power to climb steep hills, churn through mud, and pick its way over tough terrain.
The 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine puts out 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque in the latest models. This delivers strong low-end torque for off-roading situations like scaling a rock ledge or dragging yourself out of a ravine.
A 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission sends power to the wheels. The Wrangler performs well for both technical slow-speed rock crawling and faster desert running thanks to its great power-to-weight ratio.
4WD Enables Driving Any Terrain
The shift-on-the-fly 4WD system lets you engage 4WD high at normal speeds, while 4WD low range slows the vehicle while maximizing torque for very low speed off-road driving. This allows you to throttle down and pick your way over tough obstacles.
Locking differentials are also available to give power to both wheels so you keep moving forward.
The ground clearance, short overhangs, and 4WD system mean you can drive over rocks, logs, streams, mud, and more with confidence.
Part of the thrill is the Jeep community surrounding off-roading. Joining a local Jeep club opens up group trail rides, new places to explore, and sharing tips and tricks. Bonding over a tough climb or river crossing creates camaraderie. Jeep events also allow meeting other off-road enthusiasts.
Off-roading satisfies the human thirst for adventure. Having a capable vehicle like the Wrangler opens up many opportunities to get off the pavement and see beautiful remote places. The Wrangler’s abilities make it one of the best 4x4s for exciting off-road adventures.
Jeeps Offer a Sense of Freedom
Driving a Jeep Wrangler gives you a great sense of freedom on and off the road. This free feeling is a major reason the Jeep lifestyle attracts people looking to get away and explore.
Open Air Feeling
One of the Wrangler’s most fun features is its removable doors and soft top roof. You can quickly “go topless” for the wind-in-your-hair, open-air experience only a Jeep offers.
Taking off the doors and lowering the windshield makes you feel closer to the outdoors. The Wrangler becomes an open-sided vehicle perfect for summer.
You get a similar airy feel from folding down the soft top roof. Freedom from being enclosed coupled with the rugged style embodies the Jeep vibe.
Go Anywhere Capability
The Wrangler’s go-anywhere 4×4 capability also enhances the sense of freedom. Knowing your vehicle can handle backcountry trails, stream crossings, and tough terrain means you can explore without borders.
Having a Jeep expands your possibilities for outdoor adventure. You can discover remote fishing spots, campsites, vistas, and off-road trails most vehicles can’t reach. Driving becomes more fun when the open road means going beyond roads.
Fun, Adventurous Image
The Wrangler’s exciting, adventurous image also attracts free-spirited types. Driving a Jeep suggests you’re outdoorsy, independent, and embrace activities outside the mainstream.
Jeeps represent freedom from societal expectations and routine. Their unique styling and customization options allow owners to express their personality.
Owning a Jeep lets you feel unhindered by restrictions and empowered to discover new adventures. That “go anywhere, do anything” vibe draws Jeep fans seeking freedom and non-conformity.
Community and Lifestyle
One of the strongest attractions of Jeep ownership is joining the Jeep community. Because Jeeps inspire so much enthusiasm, a distinctive culture surrounds Jeep owners.
The Jeep Wave
One unique tradition is the “Jeep wave” – when passing a fellow Jeep driver you give a friendly wave or peace sign. This simple gesture bonds the Jeep community together. Waving feels like an acknowledgment of the special bond shared by Jeep owners.
Jeep clubs also provide a built-in group of friends. You’ll gain insider knowledge about the best off-road trails, mods and accessories, and handy mechanical tips. Joining local clubs leads to group trips and new friendships.
Jeep drivers tend to share common interests like camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, and water sports. The Jeep naturally enables outdoor pursuits with its cargo room and off-road skills. You’ll find tailgating at events full of Jeep owners with bikes, kayaks, and camping gear.
Jeep culture focuses on escaping routine by getting outdoors. Owners bond over a passion for adventure.
One of the coolest aspects of the community comes from the vast aftermarket scene. You’ll find shops, vendors, and enthusiasts dedicated to Jeep modifications and gear.
From lift kits to bumpers, wheels, armor, and lights, the options are endless for customizing your Jeep. Fellow owners are always eager to talk mods and swap ideas. The huge variety of accessories and parts keeps the modding community vibrant.
Between the wave, clubs, off-roading, and custom culture, Jeeps create community around shared passion.
Reliability and Longevity
Another reason people come to love their Jeep is thanks to its reliability and longevity. Jeeps have a reputation as solid, dependable vehicles.
The Wrangler’s straightforward mechanical design and simple creature comforts avoid the complex electronics that often cause issues in modern vehicles. This makes many Jeep models quite reliable once properly maintained.
As a workhorse vehicle, Jeeps are built to take abuse and keep going. The heavy-duty parts are made to last whether driving on city streets or charging down mud trails. Expect at least 200k+ miles out of a properly maintained Wrangler.
High Resale Value
Due to demand, Jeep Wranglers also have exceptionally high resale value. The 2014 models were still worth 50% of original MSRP years later. This makes the Wrangler a wise investment that holds value better than other vehicles.
Jeeps often stay in families for decades since the older restored models remain desirable. You’ll see many lifted, customized vintage Jeeps still hitting the trails thanks to available replacement parts.
The Wrangler’s reputation for longevity and being easy to repair keep older Jeeps on the road. And people love preserving and modifying these vintage off-road rigs.
Endless Customization Options
As discussed earlier, one of the most beloved aspects of Jeep ownership comes from the endless customization options. The huge aftermarket makes your Wrangler a blank canvas to modify into your dream rig.
You can upgrade your Jeep for specialized off-road performance or a street-worthy show vehicle. Express your personality through unique mods.
Modifying for Specialized Use
Some common mods for performance:
- Lift kits – Raise Wranglers up for larger tires and fender clearance off-road. From mild 1.5″ lifts to extreme 6″+ kits.
- Armor – Steel bumpers, skid plates, and rock sliders to protect from obstacles on the trail.
- Electrical – Install LED light bars and auxiliary lights for night runs. Upgrade the alternator to power them.
- Performance – Upgrade suspension, steering, brakes, intake and exhaust for enhanced capability and control off-road.
There are also many mods for specialized uses like overlanding or rock crawling. You can customize your Jeep to excel for your purposes.
Unique and Cool Custom Builds
Others make visually exciting custom builds with:
- Wheels and tires – Larger all-terrain or mud terrain tires paired with unique rims gives a rugged, capable look. Help fill out those wheel wells.
- Exterior accessories – Add side steps, mirrors, fender flares, hood latches. Change the grille, bumpers and headlights. Options are endless.
- Interior upgrades – Custom leather seats, new gauges, upgraded audio and technology make the interior yours.
- Paint and wraps – Matte, chemical camo, or metallic paint jobs turn heads, as do cool wrapped graphics on the hood and body.
By combining creative mods you can make your Jeep unlike any other. The boxy canvas lends itself to amazing custom builds.
Jeep Wrangler Specs and Capability
Now that we’ve covered why people love Jeeps, let’s overview the key specs, capabilities, pros and cons of the Wrangler.
Here are the core specs on the 2023 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4xe:
|2.0L Turbo Inline 4 Hybrid
|44.5° / 35.6°
|Water Fording Depth
|27.7 cu ft
|20 MPG city / 24 highway
Some key off-road specs:
- 2 speed transfer case with 4WD high and low range
- Available front and rear locking differentials
- Exceptional approach and departure angles for clearing obstacles
- Impressive water fording allows deep water crossings
The 4xe hybrid models add instant electric torque for even more off-road capability.
For hardcore rock crawling, the Rubicon trim offers the most 4×4 gear like front/rear lockers and disconnecting sway bars. The Wrangler performs well in every off-road environment from rocks to sand, mud and hills.
Pros of Owning a Jeep Wrangler
Rugged, capable 4×4 system – Tough, go-anywhere 4WD perfect for off-road enthusiasts.
Removable doors/roof – Fun open-air feeling and iconic styling. Easy to go “topless.”
Huge community – Joining the Jeep lifestyle opens up new friendships and adventures.
Endlessly customizable – Huge aftermarket support for mods and accessories. Build your dream Wrangler.
Reliable and long-lasting – Solid workhorse reputation if properly maintained. High resale value.
Cons of the Wrangler
Poor on-road handling – The rugged solid axles and higher center of gravity mean a stiffer ride and more body lean on pavement.
Noisy ride – Significant wind and tire noise, especially with the soft top. It’s a tradeoff for open-air freedom.
Mediocre gas mileage – The boxy shape isn’t aerodynamic. Average mpg is in the low 20s for most models.
Not as refined as other SUVs – Many modern crossovers offer more comfort, tech, and luxury features. The simple Wrangler focuses on capability.
Why People Love Jeeps: Conclusion
After 80+ years, the Jeep Wrangler remains one of the most popular SUVs thanks to its ruggedness, custom culture, loyal community and sense of freedom. Underneath the iconic style lies an incredibly capable 4×4 ready for adventure.
For off-road enthusiasts, few stock vehicles can match the Wrangler’s prowess at conquering tough terrain and obstacles. Its reputation for toughness makes it fun to modify and personalize.
Joining Jeep clubs opens up group adventures and new friendships with like-minded owners. The wave bonds the community together.
Whether you’re an off-road lover or just admire the classic styling, it’s easy to see why so many people gravitate to the Jeep lifestyle. The Wrangler offers endless opportunities for custom adventure and fun for all budgets.
If you love the feeling of open-air freedom and want to join a passionate community, go test drive a Jeep Wrangler today!