Jeep Wrangler Reliability: What We Discovered Might Surprise You


Have you been dreaming of becoming a Jeep owner? Maybe you’ve decided now is the time to buy a new car and you love the idea of driving a sporty looking Jeep Wrangler. If so, you aren’t alone. According to the Jeep website, Jeep is the number one selling 4×4 SUV brand in Canada. And it even made our list of the Top 10 Best-Selling SUVs in Canada last year.

But before you set your heart on this popular North American SUV, learn a little more about Jeep Wrangler reliability, Jeep reliability in general and some of the Jeep problems and perks that owners have recently reported.


History of the Jeep Wrangler

One of the reasons people love Jeeps despite some less-than-favourable Jeep reliability ratings is that it has a fascinating history. 

According to Autoweek, the first version of a Jeep was introduced in the United States in 1941. The Willys-Overland Motor Company of Toledo, Ohio received a contract to build them for the American military to use during the Second World War. It was fast, tough and used for everything from a base for machine-guns to providing ambulance services. 

The Jeep Wrangler model is a descendant of Jeep Models from WWII.


Why Are Jeeps So Expensive?

One of the reasons Jeeps come with a higher price tag is that buying a Jeep is often emotion-driven. While you might get a comparable SUV for less money, drivers love what the Jeep stands for so they’re willing to pay more to own one. After all, the Jeep is considered an iconic North American vehicle that symbolizes freedom, ruggedness and the outdoors. 

As reported in DigiTrends, Jeep owners are known for absolutely loving their Jeeps, despite numerous reports and reviews questioning Jeep Wrangler reliability. And this surprises some auto experts because Jeep Wranglers don’t have a reputation for being particularly comfortable. They weren’t designed for regular, day-to-day, city or suburban drivers heading to work, school or the grocery store. 

Jeeps were created for off-roading and critics often comment on their boxy look and poor aerodynamics that result from this design. Auto experts and reviewers say this means Jeeps are generally noisy – with lots of noise from the wind inside the car when it’s being driven. 

This could be due to the fact that some Jeep models let you remove the doors and windows, so they’re thinner and lighter. However, this also means they have more seams and places for the wind to penetrate and create noise in the cabin. 

Despite the boxy design, uncomfortable, bare-bones seats and noisiness of some jeeps, many people cling to them as a symbol of adventure and toughness. They like the idea of the lifestyle the Jeep offers – outdoorsy, strong and ready for anything. 

What You Should Know About The 2020 Jeep Wrangler

If you love the look of the Jeep Wrangler, here are some of the features available on the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Sport Base Model, which starts at a base price of $32,990. The Jeep Wrangler comes with:

  • Uconnect® 3 multimedia centre with a 5‑inch touchscreen
  • 17‑inch black styled steel aluminum wheels with 275/75R17 all‑season tires
  • ParkView® rear back‑up Camera
  • 3.6L V6 engine with 6‑speed manual transmission
  • The 2020 Wrangler models have a fuel efficiency rating of 9.6L/100 km on the highway and 13.7L/100 km in the city

In 2020, Jeep is also offering the new Jeep Wrangler JL which is available in 2-door and 4-door Unlimited body styles. There are also twelve trim levels – the Sport, Sport S, Black & Tan Edition, Willys Edition, Unlimited Sport S, Unlimited Black & Tan Edition, Unlimited Sport Altitude, Unlimited Willys Edition, Unlimited Sahara, Rubicon, Unlimited Sahara Altitude, and the Unlmited Rubicon packages – plenty to suit a variety of tastes. And with multiple drivetrain and top configurations, you can create a highly-customized Jeep Wrangler JL for your specific lifestyle and tastes.

Depending on what model and packages you choose, you could spend over $50,000 on a Jeep Wrangler.


Who Drives a Jeep Wrangler?

Studying the numbers reveals that people of all ages want to drive a Jeep.

According to the auto website JD Power, 64% of Jeep Wrangler owners are men. They have a median age of 49 years and an annual household income of $121,951. 

However, the Jeep Wrangler appeals to a pretty wide demographic. JD Power reports that 28% of Jeep Wrangler owners identify as Generation Y (born between 1980 and 1994). Another 34% identify as Generation X, (born between 1965 and 1979 and 36% say they’re Baby Boomers, born between 1944 and 1964. 

As JD Power reports, most Jeep drivers (80%) say it’s important to them to “buy American” meaning they’d rather buy a vehicle that is designed and made in North America than one from elsewhere. This is higher than the 66% of all SUV drivers who say “buying American” is important to them.

Jeep Wrangler drivers also say it’s important to them to be different and stand out from a crowd when it comes to the vehicle they’re driving. They’re less concerned about things like high maintenance costs (repair and running costs), environmental friendliness (fuel-efficiency), safety features, quality of workmanship, reliability, responsiveness and handling than other SUV drivers. 

Jeep drivers say their favourite thing about Jeeps is the exterior style.


Are Jeep Wranglers Reliable?

Maybe you love the look of the Jeep Wrangler and the idea of the lifestyle it represents. Yet you’ve seen some of the reports and reviews and you ask yourself, ”‘Are Jeeps reliable?”’

Here’s what the owners and experts have to say about Jeep Wrangler reliability.

The Jeep Wrangler went through an extensive redesign a couple of years ago, yet reviewers are still calling it “new” in 2020.

In the JD Power report, owners say what they liked least about the previous Wrangler design was the driving dynamics (how easy it is to drive), seats (comfort, size), the engine/transmission, the infotainment system (touchscreen and sound system) and the fuel economy. Take note, however, that these comments refer to older models and the new models have updated features that should offer improvements.

Don’t forget that Jeep Wranglers are convertibles, meaning the tops can come off so you can drive without a roof. The updated Jeep Wrangler tops have been redesigned and include a 2020 Jeep Wrangler diesel edition. And while the new tops are easier to use than the old ones, they’re still more difficult to use than the typical drop-top convertible roof. They also aren’t as air-tight (and soundproof) as a typical integrated metal roof on a non-convertible SUV.

Because the Jeep Wrangler is based off the old World War II Army Jeeps, it has some pretty unique features. And while they look cool and stylish, they can compromise Jeep Wrangler reliability when it comes to smooth operation.

Some of these features include:

  • removable doors
  • a folding windshield
  • high door sills
  • spare tire mounted on a swinging tailgate 

According to the JD Power review, these features offer extra opportunities for the vehicle to break down and require repairs. So this compromises reliability.


What Experts & Owners Say About Jeep Wrangler Reliability Ratings

When it comes to reliability ratings, the Jeep Wrangler gets mixed reviews. While Jeep owners are passionate about their SUVs, experts aren’t as happy with Jeep reliability and Jeep Wrangler reliability in particular.

The 2019 JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study measured the reliability and dependability of 2016 vehicle models and ranked them according to vehicle types. The study measures the number of problems per 100 vehicles reported by the original owners of the vehicles in the previous three years. 

In this JD Power study, Jeep Wrangler reliability wasn’t great, ranking at 24 out of 31 brands of SUVs.

And according to Consumer Reports, Jeep Wrangler reliability is also an issue.  

The Consumer Reports survey is based on feedback from about 400,000 vehicle owners. They report on their experiences with vehicle models from 2000 to 2019. Consumer Reports uses that feedback to create a reliability score.

The Consumer Reports Reliability Ratings were designed to give readers an idea of how well vehicles perform over time without needing expensive repairs and maintenance. Reliability can impact your satisfaction with a car model. It can also have a strong impact on your vehicle’s resale value. If a vehicle has a reputation of not being reliable, it can be more difficult to sell. 

The Consumer Reports 2019 Study gave the Jeep Wrangler a rating of 12 out of 100. In the rankings, Jeep came in the last position at 26. That’s a pretty low number for Jeep reliability.

According to the U.S. News review, the 2020 Jeep Wrangler gets 2 out of 5 stars for reliability. And the AutoGuide Review says it’s the third least reliable vehicle of 2020. Yet the Kelley Black Book gives the 2020 model a rating of 4.9 stars out of 5.

On a completely separate Consumer Reports list, they compiled the 10 least reliable cars to buy in 2020. Despite the updates, upgrades and redesign back in 2018, the Jeep Wrangler was ranked the third least-reliable vehicle for 2020. So it’s important to understand that there are some pros and cons to the Jeep Wrangler.


Do You Still Want to Buy a Jeep Wrangler?

After doing your research and reading the reviews, it’s time to make up your mind about buying a new vehicle. If you still have your heart set on getting into a new Jeep Wrangler, your first step is to fill out an online application today. One of our representatives will get in touch with you and you could find yourself in a new Jeep within the week!

Related Articles

Getting approved is easy.

Get your RightRide pre-approval instantly. Once approved, you’ll
be able to shop our nationwide inventory for the right car.
Back To Top

Sign Up Today

Get the latest RightRide news, reviews, and deals delivered straight to your inbox.

By signing up you agree to RightRide’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use