You would think there are many reasons as to why you still see an abundance of used Jeep Wranglers for sale, and you are “thinking right.” The reasons used Jeep Wranglers are still so popular go much deeper than an old engine vs. a new engine, they need to be looked at from a Wrangler fanatics perspective. Sure, the older Wranglers hold their value well, and with upgrades they might be worth the same as a 2016 one stock. But, the older Wrangler is still around by popular demand, and that’s because the Jeep-fanatics want it.
The question of buying new vs. used is more complicated in the Jeep culture than all the other brands combined, and that’s because of how much older Wranglers are still loved. In order to shed some light on this dilemma, here’s the top 5 reasons to buy a used Jeep Wrangler instead of getting a new one; reasons that have been compiled from various consumer forums.
More Upgrade Options
When it comes to upgrades, Jeep is king. There’s a reason many Jeepers pioneered “Jeeps are built, not bought” as a slogan, and that’s because of all the added extras it has. This can go both ways, however, because if you buy a newer Jeep it won’t come with upgrades. Getting the packages that allow for those upgrades would also cause the price to sky-rocket, and make paying off that new car loan even harder.
With an older Wrangler, however, that’s not the case. You have more options when it comes to older Wranglers, or none if you so choose. If you opt to find a used Wrangler that doesn’t have any options, it will still be a worthwhile purchase thanks to the high re-sale value on Jeeps, but the price will still be less than a 2016 Wrangler.
But, if you decide to buy a Jeep that is fully loaded with a cable and winch attachment, lift-kit installed, improved shocks, or any other off-roading equipment you can think of, it will come to around the same price as a 2016 Wrangler. Depending on the year of course, seeing as buying a 2015 Wrangler could technically be considered “lightly used,” and would probably be more expensive. However, for those going after a ’97 Wrangler with all the added goodies, it would equal out to about the same price.
You don’t have to get a fully loaded Jeep either, which is a plus. You can find the Jeep that suits you for a cheaper price. Don’t want or need a lift-kit on your Jeep? Find one without it. The point is, when buying a used Jeep Wrangler, you have a more cost-efficient way to get a Jeep that’s already been customized just right for you.
Can’t Ruin a Shiny New Paint Job if There Isn’t One
I’ll have to admit, the new Wranglers do look nice. The aesthetic appeal can’t be ignored, and it’s something that needs to be considered. Let’s face it, if you are looking at buying a Jeep Wrangler chances are it’s not going to be a daily driver. If you want a daily driver, go with the 2016 Wrangler. That’s why the new engine is far more fuel efficient, so people can use it on and off the road.
The point of that little digression is this: if you are deciding between buying a used Jeep Wrangler or a new one, you are probably interested in off-roading. Not daily driving. This means that shiny new paint job on the 2016 Jeep will get scratched and torn up while tearing through the woods and crawling over rocks. On a used Jeep Wrangler, however, you might find one that’s already gone through that phase. Its surface is old and weathered, and it might have a few scratches on it. For some, this is a blessing. You don’t need to worry about beating up that new paint job while off-roading.
The rougher look also makes the used Wrangler look like it belongs in the woods instead of on the road, which is an aesthetic touch that many Jeepers prefer over a shiny new car look.
It’s true, used Jeep Wranglers still retain their value well; but, that doesn’t mean the depreciation value can be ignored on the newer ones. Depreciation is still a hard-hitting factor when it comes to all cars, and even more so with Wranglers. Why? Because not only will the Jeep Wrangler lose a lot of it’s value as soon as it drives off the lot, but if you take it off-roading it will depreciate even more because of the abuse and miles that were put on it.
Even though the older Jeep Wranglers hold their value well, that doesn’t necessarily mean a 2016 Wrangler in 10 years will. The fact that a Wrangler from the 90s can cost just as much as a newer model is a testament to just how tough and well-loved the older Wranglers are. Will that be the case in 5-10 years for a 2016 model?
It’s hard to say, but as of right now depreciation is still a factor that can’t be ignored when it comes to the newer Jeep Wranglers. Just like all cars, the used Jeep Wranglers have already seen the bulk their depreciation days, especially if it’s one from the 90s.
Older is Better for Off-Roading
There is much debate in the Jeep world about how the older Wranglers are better for off-roading than the newer ones. Jeepers are saying that the 3.6-liter Pentastar is a true gem, but there’s still an appeal for the older Jeeps when it comes to the engines options; especially an older TJ with the 4.0-liter engine.
Out of all the arguing between Jeep fans, and there is a lot, there are two things they can agree on: the rear Dana 44-axle is the best thing to ever happen to Jeeps, and the 4.0-liter 6-cylinder engine is one of the best engines Jeep has ever seen. This 4.0-liter engine, however, was discontinued in 2007, replaced by a 3.6-liter minivan engine, which was then replaced by the current Pentastar.
This means that the used Jeeps have arguably the best Jeep engine. It might not be as fuel-efficient as the newer 3.6-liter, but you don’t need fuel-efficiency for off-roading. For starters, the 4.0-liter engine has a reputation of going for 200,000 miles without even a hint of a problem. Which is extremely impressive, even by today’s standards. This means if you find a used Wrangler that still has a good frame with this engine in it, you are potentially in good shape for a long time for less cash. Not only does the 4.0-liter have reliability on it’s side, but the single barrel variant only puts out 40 less torque than the 2016 Pentastar engine; and torque is what’s most important for getting through the mud and over rocks.
The fact that all Jeep enthusiasts agree this is one of the best engines ever to be put in a Jeep Wrangler has to be taken into consideration, especially since it’s something all of them agree on. The only way to get a Wrangler with an engine that has a blend of known durability and power is to buy a used one; the 4.0-liters presence seems to be sorely missed in the newer Jeeps.
Easier to Repair
Finally, the fifth reason to buy a used Jeep Wrangler for off-roading is because of the repairs. If you are going to off-road, things will break. There is no way to get around that. But, you can make the repair process easier on yourself by getting a used Wrangler. It’s common knowledge acquired by anyone who grew up working on cars: the older ones are much easier to work on and fix-up yourself.
For starters, there isn’t an annoying onslaught of electronic components with the older models. The newer models are so much harder to work on because of these components, and you need to be just as much of a computer genius as a mechanic now and days to fix something if it breaks.
But the older models came from a much simpler time, where you could open the hood and actually see all the parts under there. The easy access makes actually working on these older models much easier than the newer ones, and the lack of electrical components a much simpler one.
It Costs About the Same, But It’s Worth It.
There are many more reasons as to why consumers would much rather buy a used Jeep instead of a newer one, these are just the five most common ones. Whatever the case, it seems that even though a used Jeep Wrangler might cost almost the same as a newer one, the pros appear to outweigh the cons.
So there you have it, five reasons to buy a used Jeep Wrangler instead of a newer one, and they are substantial reasons from the Jeep community.