A red 2018 Jeep Wrangler, which is a popular option among used SUVs for sale, is rock crawling through the woods.

Why the Jeep Wrangler is a Favorite for Off-Road Enthusiasts

There are many automakers out there that tout their line of SUVs to be some of the most rugged off-road-ready vehicles available. While they may bring plenty of trail-chewing prowess to the table, it is honestly quite difficult to compare with something like the Jeep Wrangler. While the Jeep Wrangler has been a champion of the trail since its initial introduction in 1986. It comes from a long line of SUVs that have been specifically designed to roll through dirt, ice, snow, mud, and rock without so much as a second of hesitation. So, if you’re looking for a used SUV for sale that is ready for rough and tumble riding, you should opt for a Jeep brand vehicle, and more importantly, the Jeep Wrangler. Yet, plenty of drivers and newcomers to the off-road space may ask themselves, ‘what makes the Jeep Wrangler so special?’ and ‘why should I invest in something like the Jeep Wrangler when there are so many alternatives?’. We’ll answer all of these questions and more in this comprehensive blog article about why the Jeep Wrangler is a favorite for off-road enthusiasts everywhere.

Not Every Car is Built for It

Before we delve into the intricate details as to why the Jeep Wrangler is the superior off-road vehicle, we should certainly touch on why you shouldn’t just embark into the wilderness behind the wheel of any old car. Sure, any vehicle can handle ungraded patches of road, but when it comes to traversing seriously rugged terrain, the only option is a vehicle that is tempered for that kind of driving. If you take a standard street car out on the trails of Moab, Utah, for instance, you will find yourself walking home. Vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler are specifically designed to overcome challenging off-road obstacles thanks to plenty of rugged tools at their disposal.

That said, it is important to note that the Jeep Wrangler isn’t the only great off-roader out there. Automakers like Ford, Chevy, Toyota, and now even Tesla, have incorporated off-road vehicles into their family lineup, that can compete with the likes of the Wrangler. That said, the reason why the Jeep Wrangler is a top choice amongst off-road addicts everywhere runs a bit deeper than just the fact that these vehicles are equipped for it.

A birds eye view of a grey 4-door 2016 Jeep Wrangler is parked in a grassy field off of a dirt trail.

Image is Everything

Jeep truly began in 1941 during the height of World War II. At the time, ‘Jeep’ vehicles were used by the U.S Army to traverse over the war-ravaged European countryside. At the time, JEEP was actually G-P or otherwise known as a General Purpose vehicle. These vehicles were more than tough, they were incredibly versatile, and it was all due in major part to the ‘jeep’s’ lightweight design and impressively nimble 4×4 drivetrain. After the war was over and peace was declared, Jeep moved from the military to the commercial market. The first line of consumer Jeep vehicles relied on this branding that the heroes of the Second World War ventured into battle using SUVs that were simply unstoppable no matter the terrain or the battlefield. That rugged durability and capability branding carry over to today, almost eighty years later. The Jeep heritage is rooted in this early origin story, and many Jeep fanatics argue that this military-grade build quality is still evident in the Jeep Wranglers and Grand Cherokees of today.

While the history for the Jeep Wrangler is certainly rich, it isn’t the only reason why the Jeep brand is so beloved by rugged adventurer and SUV fans alike. Jeep may have some excellent branding on their side, but their engineers and designers also put their money where their mouth is in terms of the Jeep Wrangler’s overall capability

Ready for the Trail

A close up of the Dana 44 axle on a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is shown.

Nowadays, Jeep is reshaping its focus from dirt trails to on-road driving. The automaker has gone so far as to announce plans to introduce a hybrid electric trim into every Jeep model by 2022. This is big news, considering Jeep is often criticized for designing SUVs that are somewhat behind the times when compared to competitors, who focus primarily on on-the-road driving.

Even as Jeep pivots towards wider consumer markets, the validity of Jeep’s durable design still runs strong in the Jeep Wrangler. For instance, the Jeep Wrangler is one of the only vehicles on the market that allows for drivers to remove the doors and top, allowing for a truly open-air driving experience. On top of that, Jeep designs their vehicles with that same intention towards versatility as they did in World War 2. The Jeep Wrangler comes well equipped with a dynamic 4×4 drivetrain, as well as hardy front and rear axels. These major components are supported by a powerful transmission, as well as a coil-over suspension, which makes off-roading in the Jeep Wrangler a smooth and pleasurable experience. Additional features like a high-ground clearance and the option of terrain-chewing off-road tires give the Jeep Wrangler a certain level of superiority on the trail.

This is the major characteristic that the Jeep Wrangler has going for it. If you step into competitor models like the Toyota 4Runner TRD or the Chevy Blazer, and it feels an awful lot like a street-centric SUV in off-road clothing. What Jeep has mastered is designing an SUV that is off-road first and pavement second. As a result, the Jeep Wrangler’s most natural habitat is the dirt, which is something other off-road SUVs can’t own.

Is the Jeep Wrangler Really Superior?

Jeep has a diverse family lineup, ranging from family-centric SUVs to even pickup trucks that can hold their own on the trail. Out of a family of rugged SUVs, the Jeep Wrangler, and maybe the new Jeep Gladiator, seem to be a part of a rare breed. It is easy to see how Jeep is adapting to create vehicles that are better at on-the-road driving. Many of these vehicles exist in a similar vein to vehicles like the Toyota 4Runner or Toyota’s new adventurous RAV4 with an off-roading trim; they are your typical SUV with a bit of off-road flair attached.

Some drivers may argue that you’ll rarely use all the power and capability stored in your top of the line Jeep Wrangler; others may say that off-roading in a Jeep Wrangler is really no different than off-roading in anything else equipped for the task. So, we return to the reoccurring question: ‘is the Jeep Wrangler really superior?’ This is a layered question and can depend on who you ask, but it is difficult to disregard the hard facts. While other SUVs may handle their own on the trail, none offer the kind of open-air experience that you can get in the Jeep Wrangler. Often times too, you’ll have to pay a pretty penny to get the decked out off-road model of a competitor SUV. When you purchase the Jeep Wrangler, you know what you’re getting right off the bat. Every model of the Jeep Wrangler comes with that iconic 4×4 drivetrain and can be rolled out onto the dirt right off of the showroom floor. So, is the Jeep Wrangler better than the rest? Well, if you’re looking for a legitimate off-road experience that makes you feel at one with nature and unstoppable on the trail, then we’d say ‘yes’ without a doubt.