Which Jeep is Best For You
Jeeps are powerful vehicles with great durability and ability to drive in multiple environments. Learn more about the top jeeps available in 2022.
There are many benefits to owning a jeep. Jeeps are most recognized for their ability to drive in any terrain and environment. Mud, rain, snow, sand and even jagged rocks do little to hamper a jeep. While it may excel at off-road driving, jeeps perform equally well on the highway. For many drivers, one of the best parts of owning a jeep is all the safety features. With an increased height, you have clear visibility even in stormy weather. They are also some of the most customizable vehicles, allowing you to add upgrades like skid bards, LED lights, and winch mounts.
If you are driving in a warmer climate, you can remove the roof and experience a refreshing summer breeze. This rivals the luxury of driving a convertible, especially since you can take your jeep across terrains a convertible would struggle with. Due to design and technological upgrades over the last few years, jeeps in 2022 are much more affordable than previous models.
Hardtop vs. Soft Top Jeeps
While there are many types of jeeps on the market, all jeeps fall under one of two categories, hard or soft top. As the names imply, each category refers to what material is used in the roof. Hardtops are more durable, which also means there is less overall maintenance. If you intend to take your jeep off-roading in difficult terrain, a hardtop is often the best and safest choice. Hardtops also provide more insulation, making it the ideal choice if you live in a colder environment.
Another benefit of superior insulation is noise reduction. This applies both to the sound you produce and sound from the outdoors. If you like to blare your music while driving and do not want to disturb other drivers, a hardtop is the right choice. The extra durability also provides more storage options. A hardtop is strong enough to add a roof rack to the top of your car, which is a necessity if you want to haul outdoor equipment on your trip. Many jeep owners use their roof as a way to fit extra bikes, tents or kayaks on their outdoor adventures.
Soft tops have their own advantages to consider. They are typically less expensive than hardtops, shaving several hundred dollars off the total price. Soft tops are also more customizable, since it takes significantly less time and effort to remove. The ease of removal also makes them more popular in warmer climates. If you do want to remove the top, storing a soft top is much easier because it folds up and fits in a small space, while a hardtop is much bulkier. While they are not as strong as a hardtop, soft tops can still withstand heavy rain and even small amounts of snow without any issue.
Buying a Jeep
For many drivers, one of the biggest concerns when shopping for a new vehicle is the cost. A common mistake is only looking at the initial cost of the vehicle without considering additional factors, such as fuel and upkeep. Because they are more powerful and built with durability in mind, jeeps require minimal amounts of maintenance, even in difficult driving conditions. As with other vehicles, the base price largely depends on the model. If you are buying a newer jeep, expect to pay between $30,000 and $40,000 on average. Older models are priced around $15,000 to $25,000, but this may greatly vary depending on availability. A great resource for low priced Jeeps, at or below $15,000 is Autotrader.com.
Both an advantage and disadvantage for jeeps is their resale value. Because of how they are built, jeeps maintain relatively high resale values. This is great when you want to sell your jeep, but it means the price difference between new and used jeeps is minimal. The biggest consideration when looking at used jeeps is the year it was produced. A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything sold before 2012. This is because 2012 marked a significant improvement in engines and transmissions.
2018 Jeep Wrangler
While the Jeep Wrangler receives a new release every year, the 2018 model stands out as one of the best. The 2018 version greatly redesigned the previous models, featuring much more cargo space and a significant engine upgrade. It also improved on gas mileage, getting around 23 miles driving in the city, or 25 on a highway. There are several trims available, including two and four-door variants as well as a four or six-cylinder engine. It has an excellent suspension, strong axles and large tires designed to handle even the roughest terrain. Many reviewers praised the 2018 wrangler for having the best off-road ability, even competing with newer models released in the following years. Used, the 2018 Jeep Wrangler goes for around $20,000 to $30,000, largely based on the quality. New, it sells for closer to $35,000.
2021 Grand Cherokee Laredo
The Laredo is one of Cherokee’s most consistent jeeps, but the 2021 model went above and beyond the previous releases. It was built with families in mind, comfortably seating five passengers with nearly 70 cubic feet of storage space. The standard model includes rear-wheel drive, but you can upgrade to an all-wheel drive trim for a small fee. Fuel efficiency varies more than other models, getting close to 30 miles in the highway, but only around 20 in the city. It has many advanced safety features, including blind spot and rear parking sensors. The radio is voice activated, with speed-sensitive volume options.
Because it was released so recently, the price for a new and used Laredo is almost identical, with both going between $30,000 to $33,000. However, as a newer vehicle it is much easier to find used Laredo at dealerships compared to other types of jeeps.