Why Are Jeep Wranglers So Expensive (And Are They Worth the Cost)?
If you ask a driver why they don’t own a Jeep Wrangler, the most common response you’ll get is something like “They’re too expensive.” This seems like a valid argument, since the Jeep Wrangler is more expensive than the average vehicle. But why is it so expensive?
Jeep Wranglers are expensive due to several factors, including their off-road capability, their list of premium features, their commitment to safety, and their iconic status and history. All of this has led to high demand for the Wrangler, which has also contributed to higher prices.
If you’re considering taking the financial plunge and buying a Jeep Wrangler, you likely need that one extra push either towards or against it. Let’s go through the Wrangler’s high price point in more detail to determine if it’s truly justified.
Why Are Jeep Wranglers So Expensive?
One of the most common things that keeps someone from buying a Jeep Wrangler is the expensive price tag. There are several reasons as to why the Wrangler commands this heavy price tag.
Let’s go through a few to make sense of it all.
Jeeps Have an Iconic Status and History
One of the most important things that keeps the Jeep Wrangler’s price up is their impressive image and their historic significance. Both of these factors make people want Jeeps, and when demand is up, prices rise.
The Jeep’s iconic status in the US is due to their importance in American history. Back in the 1940s, the Jeep was originally created to help the allied powers fight during World War II. In fact, both of the leading theories on where the name Jeep comes from are based on World War II phrases.
The first theory is that the term comes from the military acronym G.P. (General Purpose) which, when said out loud, makes the sound “Jeep.” The other theory is that the name Jeep was a nickname given by soldiers to all test vehicles during the war.
Either way, the Jeep’s value during the war was immense. It could drive over any terrain, transport goods and soldiers, and even tow anti-tank weapons. It was also used as a machine gun mount, and it could transport the wounded.
Even though the Jeep is now primarily a recreational vehicle, its great history in the war has forever associated it with the values of freedom, heroism, and hard work. This has greatly driven up demand for the vehicle, which has also driven up prices.
Unbeatable Off-Roading Capability
Another factor keeping the Jeep Wrangler’s price up is the fact that it’s considered the king of the off-road vehicle market. Many car manufacturers have attempted to compete with the Jeep Wrangler but not a single one has come close to matching its reputation.
Duncan Aldred, the president of General Motors, once said in an interview with Automotive News, “I don’t think it’s worth trying to take on the Wrangler.” And it’s no wonder why he said this; every automotive company that has attempted to rival the Wrangler has failed.
Ford had a line called the Ford Bronco, which ran from 1966-1977; Chevrolet’s version, known as the K5 Blazer, lasted until its final version in 1992; and Toyota attempted to fight the Wrangler with its Toyota FJ Cruiser, a line that lasted from 2007 to 2014.
So for those who want a vehicle that can handle both on-road driving and off-road driving, there’s almost nowhere else to turn to but toward the Jeep Wrangler. This stranglehold on the off-road vehicle market has essentially allowed Jeep to set the price of the Wrangler to whatever they want it to be.
Since they’re the only major option on the market, demand is always high, and prices can always go up.
Abundance of Features
One of the main draws to the Jeep (and one of the main reasons why its price is so high) is the fact that it manages to mix its rugged exterior with a luxurious interior that has many lavish features.
This allows the Jeep to fill both parts of the consumer’s brain: the more impulsive part that wants a cool-looking off-road king, and the more logical part that wants a practical, comfortable vehicle for day-to-day drives.
Among the Jeep Wrangler’s most desirable features are the removable top, doors, windows, and windshield. This makes the vehicle perfect for summer conditions when want to feel the air as you drive.
And, most importantly, once the winter comes around, you can just pop all of the parts back on and use the air conditioning system to warm yourself up.
More modern Jeep Wranglers also feature a premium audio system, top of the line leather seats, abundant cargo space, removable carpet for easy cleaning, heated seats and mirrors, and seat-based air conditioning so that each passenger can sit in their most comfortable environment.
Another great feature of the Jeep Wrangler is the four-wheel drive system. Activating four-wheel drive increases the traction of your tires, allowing them to grip some of the slipperiest surfaces imaginable. This includes rain-slicked highways, rocky mountain paths, and even snowy hills.
All of these features combined make the Jeep Wrangler one of the best vehicles on the market. This in turn drives up demand, which, once again, causes prices to go up.
High Resale Value
As we’ve mentioned in the previous sections, one of the most consistent things about the Jeep Wrangler is the high demand consumers have for the vehicle. This high demand has an interesting side effect: It makes the Jeep Wrangler almost immune to depreciation.
Depreciation is one of the most common issues that any car faces. Essentially, depreciation is the idea that the more you drive your car, the less it’s worth. No matter what distance you drive, driving your car for even a little bit will depreciate its value.
Depreciation is a thing due to the way demand works and what the average consumer values. Simply put, people are more likely to buy a car if it’s been driven less, making cars that have been driven more worth less money.
In fact, it’s estimated that driving a brand new car home from the dealership you bought it at instantly causes the car to lose 10% of its value.
However, the Jeep Wrangler seems to be the one exception to this idea of depreciation. No matter the location it’s being sold in, no matter the upgrades the Wrangler has or hasn’t received, and no matter how much the Wrangler has been driven, Jeep Wranglers always seem to be sold at or near to their stock price.
This is almost entirely due to the Jeep Wrangler’s high demand. Simply put, used Wrangler prices are high because people are willing to pay high prices to own them.
However, there’s still a cap to how high the price for a used Wrangler can go. These used prices will never actually overtake the stock Jeep prices as no one would buy a used vehicle for more than the cost of a brand new one.
Are Jeep Wranglers Expensive to Insure?
One thing that many people may not consider when picking out the right vehicle is the insurance costs. However, this is a cost that you’ll have to shoulder regularly, and it’ll fluctuate depending on which vehicle you buy. It’s therefore something very important to consider when you’re out car shopping.
So how does the Jeep Wrangler compare to other vehicles in the insurance department? The average insurance plan for a Jeep Wrangler costs $1,146 per year. This number will vary depending on a number of factors including your provider, your automotive history, and your car’s model year.
So how does this value of $1,146 per year stack up when compared to other cars? The average automotive insurance plan costs $1,427 per year, making the Jeep Wrangler about $281 less than the national average.
The reason why the Jeep Wrangler has a cheaper insurance plan than most other vehicles on the market is simple: Insurers trust the Jeep Wrangler.
That’s right — the Jeep Wrangler has so many safety features that insurers think that you’re statistically less likely to get in an automotive accident if you drive a Jeep Wrangler. This results in them charging you less for your insurance plan.
Are Jeep Wranglers Expensive to Maintain?
Another common worry that keeps people from joining the Jeep Lifestyle and buying their own Jeep Wrangler is the worry that the Wrangler will be expensive to maintain. So how about it? Is a Jeep Wrangler an expensive vehicle to maintain?
So far, the Jeep Wrangler has been consistent in its reliability, so, unsurprisingly, the Jeep Wrangler is actually less expensive to maintain than the average vehicle. According to AAA, the average vehicle driving 20,000 miles a year will cost you around $1,800 per year to maintain.
In contrast with this, the Jeep Wrangler driving the same distance a year will only cost you about $694 per year to maintain — less than half the average of all vehicles. This is thanks to the Jeep Wrangler’s superb reliability.
The most common issues you may run into with your Jeep Wrangler are the so-called “death wobble” and clogged fuel injectors. Let’s quickly go through both of these to show you that you have nothing to worry about.
The Death Wobble
Despite the dramatic name, the death wobble isn’t actually that serious of a problem. The death wobble is an issue where some Jeep owners feel their Jeep begin to shake after it hits a bump in the road.
Although this issue is one of the most common ones a Jeep Wrangler can have, it isn’t actually common at all. According to the NHTSA, there have only been 600 reports of the death wobble in the last 20 years.
This issue is usually caused by an unsecured or overused track bar. In order to fix this issue, all you have to do is secure the bolts around the track bar, suspension, and the steering equipment. If this doesn’t solve the issue, you’ll need to replace the track bar.
The average cost for a track bar replacement is about $218, including $123 for the parts and $95 for the labor, so it’ll be even cheaper if you can do the job yourself.
Clogged Fuel Injectors
Clogged fuel injectors don’t sound as dramatic as the “death wobble,” but they’re just as common of an issue. Clogged fuel injectors occur when debris gets in your fuel injectors and jams them. This can cause a series of minor problems including misfires, engine stumbling, and less smooth of a ride than before.
So, what’s the easiest way to fix this issue? This one’s so simple that it sounds silly: The solution to clogged fuel injectors is fuel injector cleaner. It’s a bottle of liquid that you pour into your gas tank that will dissolve any buildup in your fuel lines.
A bottle of fuel injector cleaner costs somewhere between $10 and $15, making this one of the cheapest car problems to fix ever. In fact, you can get a 12 oz bottle from STP (on Amazon) for around $10.
As you can see, maintaining your Jeep Wrangler is actually much easier and cheaper than other vehicles. This should turn what was a potential issue driving buyers away into a positive that could make someone want to buy the Wrangler right this second.
Are Jeep Wranglers Worth the Cost?
So, with all that out of the way, we’ve finally reached the biggest question on everybody’s mind: Is buying a Jeep Wrangler worth the above average cost?
Our answer to this is a resounding yes. Sure, the Jeep Wrangler is more expensive than the average car to buy, but it also saves you money at every other step of the way.
The Wrangler costs less money to maintain than the average vehicle; the Wrangler costs less money to insure than the average vehicle; and when you eventually want a new car, the Wrangler depreciates so little that you’ll get a great deal for it if you try to sell it.
This isn’t even mentioning all of the premium features that come with owning a Jeep Wrangler as well as all of the safety features, like four-wheel drive. If you can comfortably afford a Jeep Wrangler, you should absolutely consider making it your vehicle.