Jeep has long been one of America’s most popular vehicle brands, due in large part to their rugged image that is routinely backed up by incredible off-road exploits. All of this is only helped by the fact that Jeep vehicles have always been quite inexpensive and easy to customize, especially on the used market. If you’re looking for a used Jeep for sale, this list is for you.
One of the best things about Jeep is that they have built a vehicle for just about everyone, and now even those who couldn’t afford them new can now get the same trucks and crossovers for a bargain. While almost any Jeep is a great buy, these are among the cream of the crop.
The Compass represents a great first car for those who simply want to get from A to B. Still quite new and surprisingly inexpensive, these small crossovers offer great comfort via their common interior amenities like heated seats and built-in audio hard drive. The Jeep Compass also has a modern yet very much Jeep style, as well as a capable four-wheel drive system.
This four-wheel drive system is paired with an impressive stability control system that keeps the driver safe while still being capable of driving off road. The Compass’s low cost, comfortable interior, and stylish exterior make it a desirable buy as a hassle-free daily driver.
Grand Cherokee (WJ) – Built 1999 to 2004
Classic style and high capability are the cornerstones of the Grand Cherokee (WJ). Produced in what many consider to be the modern golden age of Jeep, the WJ combines sleek and timeless looks with a sumptuous interior while still being capable enough in the dirt to earn the Jeep name.
Available from 1999 to 2004, the Grand Cherokee (WJ) was powered by a selection of engines that included a powerful 4.7-liter V8 and the legendary 4.0-liter I6. Beloved by Jeep people and off-road enthusiasts in general across the board, this SUV remains a benchmark decades after it was unveiled.
CJ-7 – Built 1976 to 1986
Hardcore off-roading on a budget is what the CJ-7 has always stood for. While certainly not for the faint of heart or the mainstream, the CJ-7 is the immediate predecessor of the Wrangler, with perhaps the most honest chassis code of all Jeeps. CJ simply means Civilian Jeep. It is almost the exact same vehicle that helped win WWII, and as such, is extremely basic yet incredibly capable. These days the vast majority of them are modified, in some cases just because of age.
Sometimes you just have to go with the original.
Cherokee (XJ) – Built 1983 to 2001
Simplistic reliability is what defines the Cherokee (XJ) for most, especially when equipped with the 4.0-liter I6 engine that was available. But while rugged dependability is the reputation the Cherokee (XJ) earned, how it came about wasn’t simply through brute force engineering. The XJ was meticulously optimized, including a unibody construction that made it a thousand pounds lighter than its predecessor. The XJ was put together intelligently, and that’s why it has stood the test of time. These rugged workhorses just keep going, seemingly without regard for miles traveled or years passed.
While the XJ’s mechanical longevity and reliability are impressive, it should be noted that the XJ is in many ways the genesis of the crossover, and in some ways, the birth of what enthusiasts would consider to be the modern SUV. The car-like unibody construction of the XJ Cherokee was incredibly novel for the time, offering dramatic weight savings while not sacrificing any strength. This became the blueprint for increasingly car-like SUVs from all over the world that now dominate the automobile market. But while they are crossovers, they don’t have any of the Jeep off-road capability, unlike the old XJ.
Wrangler (TJ) – Built 1996 to 2006
Iconic looks and performance have been a part of the Wrangler ethos since the CJ-7, but over time fewer and fewer compromises had to be made to get that performance. What was sort of the tipping point for that was the Wrangler (TJ), built from 1996 to 2006. These Wranglers introduced the Wrangler Unlimited model, which dramatically expands everyday practicality while retaining almost all of the standard Wrangler’s maneuverability.
The TJ provides far better ride quality than previous Wranglers thanks to coil spring suspension, which also improves handling both on and off the road. Additionally, the TJ generation saw the debut of the most capable factory off-road Wrangler variant up to that point: the Rubicon. The Rubicon offered upgraded drivetrain gear, large 31-inch off-road tires, underbody armor, and four-wheel disc brakes.
The brakes were novel for an off-road vehicle at the time, but like the upgraded suspension all TJs had, the Rubicon’s brakes improved performance both on and off the road. Despite all these changes and improvements, the TJ still featured the good old 4.0-liter I6, removable doors, and a fold-down windshield.
Wrangler (JK) – Built 2007 – 2018
The Wrangler (JK), made from the 2007 to 2018 model years, brought the Wrangler into the modern era. But despite the new comfortable modern feel, the JK retains that timeless go-anywhere ability. JK wranglers can still be found with a warranty on them and are very friendly opportunities for those who would normally get a standard crossover or passenger car to try out something cooler looking and far more capable. Many trucks and crossovers have imitated Jeeps to some degree, especially in the era the JK was being produced. But despite more visual competition than ever, the JK still doesn’t have an equal when the road runs out.
The JK Wrangler is, in many ways, the ideal dual-use off-roader and daily driver. It retains and in some ways improves upon the impressive capabilities of the old Wranglers but does so with more horsepower courtesy of the Pentastar V6. And more comfort, with a rugged yet more refined interior with better seats and a full infotainment suite. And more practicality, especially with the Wrangler Unlimited.
The Unlimited was reintroduced as a long wheelbase version of the Wrangler in the ’90s on the TJ generation. But the 2010’s Wrangler (JK) Unlimited is stretched by double the amount the TJ was, which allows for the inclusion of a set of rear doors. The four-door setup allows the Wrangler to far more easily be used for daily family-hauling duties while still being able to mix it up at the ORV park on the weekends.
Ready For A Jeep?
The Jeep is an American icon for a good reason, and there is a used Jeep for just about everyone. The Compass is a great low-cost runabout for the daily grind; the Grand Cherokee (WJ) matches timeless style to plush comfort and off-road excellence, all at a surprisingly low price. The Cherokee (XJ) is a paragon of reliability, keeping on even when other trucks give up the ghost. The CJ-7, TJ, and JK all demonstrate there is a capable and cool off-road machine for everyone under the Jeep banner, from the hardcore enthusiast to the casual admirer.
Just like how every American deserves to be free, every American deserves a Jeep.