Looking for your next adventure? Check out a used Jeep Wrangler!
The Jeep Wrangler page is one of the most visited pages on carmax.com, and has been for quite some time now. Why? Probably because a Jeep offers so much history, so much utility, and so much fun to those who own one. Whether it’s a Jeep Sahara or a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport, who doesn’t love the all-American Jeep?
The original Jeeps were tough, go-anywhere vehicles built to move troops and equipment for the U.S. military. They came with no frills, besides four-wheel drive, and lots of scrappy attitude. After more than 75 years, they’re still around — with lots more options.
We got some long-time CarMax sales consultants and buyers to tell us about the Jeep Wrangler, and what makes it such a standout choice for folks who want to drive something that’s different from other vehicles. Here’s what they shared with us — 10 of the top reasons customers choose a used Jeep Wrangler.
- Pick two doors or four doors. Both versions are wildly popular; the four-door 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport has, yup, two more doors, giving it a longer wheelbase, more storage capacity, and more room for families. “With the Jeep, each and every one can be as unique as its owner,” says one 15-year CarMax associate, a top sales consultant for the company who now manages a CarMax store in California.
“The ability to customize feels endless,” he says. “One of my customers needed the space that the four-door had for her friends, her family, and her dog. But she didn’t want to lose the ruggedness and the look the two-door offered. The Unlimited was the solution to her problem, and she loves it.”
- Features. Lots of them. Navigation system. Power windows and locks. Leather seats or cloth. Automatic or manual transmission. ABS brakes. And good old-fashioned four-wheel drive that you deploy yourself with a lever.
“That’s the thing about the Wrangler,” our sales veteran says. “It appeals to a wide range of customers’ personalities and lifestyles — from the rough and rugged outdoors person to the person who wants to drive to and from their job with a little extra style.”
One of our senior vehicle purchasers says that unlike most vehicles, you can modify your Jeep with just about any aftermarket accessory, including mud tires, a lifted suspension, a winch for the front end, and even a snorkel pipe that lets you drive your Jeep through very deep water without drowning out the engine.
- Air conditioning. When the air outside is hot and thick as molasses, it’s nice to be able to button up and crank the air.
- Fascinating history.Jeeps were the original SUVs. They’ve literally been driven around the world. Those vertical slots in the grille can be found on every Jeep made since 1941. Jeep fans love the historical nature of these vehicles; one of our CarMax purchasers says there are lots of fan clubs and online forums to nurture its huge following. “Arguably, there are more helpful online resources for Jeep owners than for just about any other vehicle out there,” he says. “Jeep owners have strong feelings for their Jeeps. They don’t just like them — they really love them.”
- Nostalgia. Jeeps are cultural touchstones. The Greatest Generation drove the first models. Baby boomers bounced along with Hawkeye Pierce in his olive drab Willys. Generation Xers dug Daisy Duke’s white CJ7. And millennials wondered how Loralei Gilmore never got tickets for speeding or drinking (too much coffee) in her 2000 Wrangler in Gilmore Girls.
- The doors come off. It’s the only vehicle you can buy whose doors are designed to be removed. For that extra-outdoorsy, wind-in-your-hair feeling.
- The ride. The Jeeps of old were bumpy and uncomfortable over long distances, but the ride is comfy by today’s standards. Since the late 1990s, the Jeep Wrangler has ridden on independent coil suspension. This means smoother rides on pavement and more capable off-road handling.
“One of my customers likes that it’s one of the only vehicles you can buy and drive straight to the Rubicon (a notoriously tough off-road trail in California) with no hesitation,” one CarMax sales consultant says.
A quick word about off-road driving. One of our CarMax senior purchasers in Chicago says gear ratios make a big difference when you’re taking your Wrangler off the pavement. He knows his Jeeps, and he says if you’re planning serious off-roading, like rock climbing, you’ll want to be on the lookout for a Jeep with a four-wheel drive system that packs a 4.10 gear ratio. He says this gearing minimizes wheel spin, gives you more off-road control, and helps you tackle more extreme types of terrain. For a mix of on- and off-road driving, he says, look for a gear ratio that’s more in the neighborhood of 3.73.
One possible drawback to the Unlimited’s ride is a wider turning radius, which could limit your off-the-road fun; however, this longer, larger Jeep does have more space inside, plus a bigger fuel tank underneath that could extend your overall range.
- Top on, or top off. Warm, sunny day? Remove the top. The soft top comes off easily, and even the hard top lifts off after loosening a handful of bolts. Customers tell us they want a vehicle they can customize the way they want, when they want. The Jeep does it for them. Our Jeep purchaser says that the more recent Wranglers have hard tops that can be removed in sections, in order to expose portions of your crew to the open sky, and keep others safely in the shade.
- It’s got drain holes. They’re under the carpets and covered with plugs. When water gets in after you’ve sloshed through whatever, just pull the plugs to let it all drain out.
- The Rubicon option. The Wrangler Rubicon is for drivers who want the most off-road-ready Jeep they can find that’s right off the lot. Sure, owners tweak their Jeeps with all kinds of options; but with heavy-duty axles and gearing and extra ground clearance, the Rubicon is the closest thing you can find to a straight-from-the-factory rock crawler.
“Jeep owners have strong feelings for their Jeeps. They don’t just like them. They really love them.”
- Senior CarMax Jeep purchaser
“I asked one of my customers why he loved his Jeep so much. He said you can wash away the dirt, but you can’t lose the memories you made in a Jeep.”
- veteran CarMax sales associate
Is the Jeep for everyone? Decidedly, no. Jeeps are made for adventurers, who’ll be hard-pressed to find this mix of on- and off-road performance in any other vehicle. And at CarMax, used Wranglers, including the Jeep Wrangler 2015 model, are available at very attractive prices.
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