One of the most unique and infamous vehicles on the road, the Jeep Wrangler has been converting SUV drivers since it first came on the market back in 1986. The off-road capable Wrangler is well known for the ability to perform just as well, if not better, off the beaten path. In a segment that is more concerned with interior amenities than it is about performance, the Wrangler reigns supreme in nearly every possible way. It doesn’t matter if you compare used Jeep Wranglers, or brand new models with the competition, no vehicle can stand up to what Jeep’s most rugged SUV offers.
Built for Adventure – Designed for Greatness
The Wrangler was designed specifically for off-road performance. Featuring the classic SUV body-on-frame design, a windshield that can fold flat, and doors that are optional – the Wrangler immediately set itself apart from others in the compact and midsize SUV segment. Every detail that was put into the Wrangler was purposeful, and meant to inspire adventure.
No Wrangler that has ever rolled off the assembly line, was meant to simply commute to and from the office. While the SUV can obviously conquer any task handed to it, the Jeep Wrangler was designed for so much more.
Not every vehicle has a reputation for dependability. Especially when looking at purchasing a used model, it is important to consider this quality. If a car is not considered dependable, it is less likely to last past the first or second owner.
Not only is the Jeep Wrangler notorious for its long-term dependability, the SUV is also widely recognized as offering exceptional resale value. Another important feature to consider when making a new or used car purchase. Whether you imagine selling your vehicle in the future, or want to ensure that the vehicle you are buying is of the highest quality, a “Best Resale Value” award is never a bad thing.
Another accolade that gives the Wrangler some serious pre-owned street cred? A “Best Retained Value” award from Edmunds.com – further cementing what we already suspected: The Jeep Wrangler is one of the best SUVs to purchase used. Similar to the Edmunds.com recognition, the Wrangler was given two more awards for “Best Resale Value,” by both Autobytel and Kelley Blue Book.
In a post discussing the Wrangler’s position over the competition, it is important to know what the top organizations in the automotive industry think of the SUV. Not only do these awards and accolades demonstrate the Wrangler’s ability to offer great value on its own, they are the first line of proof that the Wrangler is miles ahead of the competition.
It Was Never a Fair Fight
When a vehicle literally defines a segment, having true competition will always be tough. Good news for the Wrangler, but bad news for everyone else. Comparing the Wrangler with other SUVs is almost comical, as none of them hold a candle to the versatility and very nature of the Jeep model.
While other SUVs are concerned with lowering their carbon footprint and filling their cabins with frivolous amenities, the Jeep Wrangler stays true to its original identity and purpose. The Wrangler’s simplicity was carefully designed, giving Jeep drivers the culture and experience they have been enjoying for nearly three decades.
If you want bells and whistles, and prefer a conventional driving experience, then don’t drive a Jeep Wrangler. If your life’s mission is to have fun, be spontaneous, and drive a dependable vehicle that can help you accomplish all of those things – then no other SUV will suffice.
How Others Compare to the Jeep Wrangler
Comparing the Jeep Wrangler to other SUVs is like judging an orange for not tasting like an apple. While the Wrangler at least exists in the same segment as the vehicles we compare it to, its very nature and purpose is extremely different from other SUVs.
With that being said, let’s check out the 2016 Wrangler Sport 4×4, and how it stacks up to the top two midsize SUVs available in today’s automotive market. All 2016 models and similarly equipped, the Ford Escape Se, and Nissan Rogue S, are two of the most competent vehicles to compare with the new Wrangler.
Check out the different categories below, and see how they stack up to one another.
Power & Performance:
While this segment is moving towards less power and trading it for better fuel economy, the Jeep is the obvious winner in this category. See what each model offers below:
- Escape SE: Equipped with a standard 1.6-liter I4 engine, and paired with a six speed automatic transmission, drivers can expect 173 horsepower from this 4×4 capable model.
- Rogue S: Offering a more powerful 2.5-liter I4 engine, the Nissan makes only 170 horsepower, and is equipped with an all-wheel drive system.
- Wrangler Sport: The most powerful in this category, the Wrangler comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine, for 285 horsepower. It is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, and has standard four-wheel drive.
An important aspect to consider when choosing an SUV, capability comes in handy when towing and hauling are needed.
- Escape SE: Offering a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds, the Escape is not cleared for any amount of payload weight, above and beyond normal use.
- Rogue S: Nissan’s SUV does not offer a payload capacity, and maxes out at a towing capacity of 1,000 pounds.
- Wrangler Sport: Known for its capability, this Wrangler model can haul up to 1,000 pounds of payload, and can tow up to 2,000 pounds with ease.
This is one category in which the Wrangler does not shine. Designed for capability over entertainment value, Jeep’s decision to keep the Wrangler true to its roots, was a thoughtfully crafted one.
- Escape SE: Featuring a SiriusXM Satellite radio, a single CD player, and Ford’s SYNC infotainment system, the Escape shines in this category. Voice activated controls are standard, along with a twelve-speaker audio system.
- Rogue S: Also featuring SiriusXM Satellite Radio and a single CD player, the Rogue does not offer voice activated controls, and is equipped with an eight speaker stereo system.
- Wrangler Sport: With the top down, doors off, and only dirt trails ahead, the Wrangler relies on a single CD player and a standard AM/FM stereo system to fill in any entertainment gaps. The Wrangler comes with eight speakers.
Another category that the Wrangler is not at the top of. This was on purpose, as Jeep choose to create an SUV that was capable, rather than simply efficient. Let’s see how the other models compare:
- Escape SE: With an EPA-estimated 22 miles per gallon in the city, and 29 MPG on the highway, the Ford offers a combined value of 25 miles per gallon. Featuring a 15-gallon fuel tank, drivers should be able to go a while between fill ups.
- Rogue S: The clear cut winner in this category, also corresponds with offering up the least amount of horsepower. A rating of 25 MPG in the city, and 32 MPG on the highway, the Nissan has a combined rating of 28 miles per gallon. Also equipped with a fifteen-gallon tank, the Rogue can go ever longer between stops at the pump.
- Wrangler Sport: With a city rating of 17 MPG, a highway rating of 21 MPG, and a combined fuel rating of 19 MPG, the Wrangler does not fall too far behind its competitors. Equipped with a 19 gallon fuel tank, the Wrangler may be able to go the same amount of time as the Ford and Nissan between fill ups.
Despite its shortfall in a few categories, the Wrangler offers clear advantages over the Nissan Rogue and the Ford Escape. If you are still teetering on the edge of a decision, the price tag on each vehicle may push you over the edge.
The 2016 Wrangler Sport starts at $23,895, while the Escape SE starts at $27,540, and the Rogue S comes in at $24,590. With this type of wiggle room, drivers can easily add the same amenities to the Wrangler that the other vehicles offer, without compromising on performance, or budget.