What Are The Best & Worst Years For The Jeep Wrangler? [My Honest Review]

Learn what year should you stay away from a Jeep Wrangler

In the 1940s, the Jeep Wrangler, a four-wheel-drive vehicle, made its debut.

It is well-liked for outdoor pursuits such as camping and hiking due to its tough, off-road qualities.

Although it is a very famous Jeep prototype, there are some issues with the Jeep Wrangler.

The Jeep Wrangler had issues like any other vehicle, and certain variants were superior to others.

Let’s talk about the key Jeep Wrangler issues and its model years to steer clear of.

Here are the best and worst years for Jeep Wrangler that you might be wondering about.

Worst Years for Jeep Wrangler:

  1. 1987
  2. 2007
  3. 2008
  4. 2012
  5. 2013

Best Years for Jeep Wrangler:

  1. 1997
  2. 2003
  3. 2010
  4. 2011
  5. 2018

Now that you have a clear idea of the Jeep Wrangler’s best and worst model years, there are still a lot of other factors you need to look into to better understand.

I will explain everything in detail in this article, so continue reading.

What Are The Worst Years For The Jeep Wranglers? Which Years To Avoid

Let’s start this article by discussing some of the worst Jeep Wrangler vehicles ever produced. Many consumers regarded these automobiles as the worst available.

Here are several factors that led to these cars receiving the lowest ratings.

1. 1987 Jeep Wrangler

Because of its high center of gravity, Jeep Wranglers were once well known for rolling over frequently.

Among the worst stability scores ever received by a vehicle were those for the 1987 Jeep Wrangler model year.

The main reason why it received the worst scores is that everyone found it uncomfortable. After all, the terrain was rocky on and off the road.

For several drivers, the trade-off was more than outstanding because it had the iconic design of the 1986 Wrangler.

Now, because it is such a retro vehicle, the 1987 Wrangler is difficult to criticize. It set trends together with the 1986 model.

However, it is still worth mentioning that since it performs far poorer than other SUVs of the era, it is the main reason it is unusable.

2. 2007 Jeep Wrangler

Being the subject of the most recalls, the 2007 Jeep Wrangler is considered the worst. There were eleven recalls, far more than an automobile should have.

Since millions of Jeep Wrangler owners learned of the widespread issues that caused so many recalls and decided against upgrading to the new models, the prevalence of the issues that caused them significantly impacted the Jeep Wrangler market.

It is also worth mentioning that since some of the car’s essential components were subject to recalls, consumers were advised not to buy the vehicle.

Systems for braking and steering were among the issues. Engine problems were another typical problem.

A comprehensive overhaul would cost the owners of any Jeep Wrangler with an engine problem between $4,000 and $5,000.

3. 2008 Jeep Wrangler

Similar issues occur with the 2008 Jeep Wrangler as with the 2007 Jeep Wrangler model year. The problem wasn’t even fixed before they introduced a new model into the market.

Similar to the 2007 model, the 2008 model also experienced some significant recalls, numbering about nine recalls.

The fuel system and airbags in the 2008 Jeep Wrangler also had issues. There were various issues with the steering system as well.

Some of the problems were so serious that they required total overhauls to fix them. For example, engine problems posed a significant problem for customers.

Compared to the models from the previous years, this model received the most complaints after its release. The breakdown of the Total Integrated Power Module was one of the significant problems.

The only way to resolve the issue was to replace the problematic module, and the typical repair price was approaching $1000.

4. 2012 Jeep Wrangler

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler is regarded as the company’s worst model year by numerous authorities, including consumer reports.

There have been up to nine recalls made on the 2012 Jeep Wrangler model year, which is still a lot for a single-vehicle.

The engine needed to be overhauled to restore the car for performance, along with issues with the heating, airbags, and the soul of the machine, the air conditioning system.

The 2012 model, despite being a sturdy car, continues to have drivetrain issues that make it unsuitable for use as an off-road vehicle.

Early on and at low mileage ranges, difficulties began to appear compared to the prior models.

As opposed to a wear-and-tear issue with the vehicle, the primary cause of the problem was manufacturing negligence.

Repair costs posed a significant problem. The owners spent far more than anticipated on radiators, engine heads, and module replacement.

This model’s long-term maintenance costs were significantly higher than its forerunners.

5. 2013 Jeep Wrangler

Even though the 2012 Jeep Wrangler was the worst, 2013 was not significantly better despite several changes.

For a period, the 2013 Jeep Wrangler experienced numerous issues, which led to an increase in recalls, exactly like the models before 2013.

Customers claim to have spent much money on maintenance before their automobiles had 100,000 kilometers, which is unusual for many modern cars.

It is said that when the vehicle is around 85,000 miles, there have been issues with the front joints, which have required replacement and thorough cleaning and lubrication of all key parts.

What Are The Best Years For The Jeep Wrangler? Which Years To Buy

Now let’s discuss the best year for the Jeep Wrangler since the worst automobile models have been mentioned.

All of the vehicles I’ll be mentioning are secure and have a wealth of features that provide a comfortable and secure ride for the riders in the front and back seats.

These Jeep Wrangler car models will undoubtedly serve as your best resource.

1. 1997 Jeep Wrangler

The company, Jeep, released a Wrangler in 1997 with safety as its primary focus.

In addition to being a terrific commuting vehicle, the 1997 Jeep Wrangler also made significant advancements in the off-roading industry.

Drivers no longer had to worry about slow and poor braking thanks to a considerably enhanced braking system.

Other than that, it is also worth mentioning that rolling over was not as big of a problem because of the updated safety systems, and it was still quick to hold up with traffic.

Price ranges for the 1997 Jeep Wrangler range from $4,400 up to $9,500.

2. 2003 Jeep Wrangler

Although the Jeep TJ series, produced from 1997 to 2006, is sometimes referred to as the final authentic Jeep, the Rubicon debuted in 2003.

People often cite 2003 as the year that eternally shaped and changed the Jeep Wrangler.

The Rubicon reinstated the Jeep’s signature elements, including the circular headlamps.

The 2003 Jeep Wrangler became well-liked and has continued to be so because of its stylish new appearance and technologically advanced features.

Additionally, the Jeep Wrangler’s off-road handling abilities were enhanced. The majority of 2003 Wranglers cost between $6,001 and $11,001 to buy.

3. 2010 Jeep Wrangler

In 2010, the Jeep Wranglers got a more dependable drivetrain. With the introduction of a potent V6 engine system, vehicles could accelerate violently upward.

This improvement allowed most Jeeps to travel approximately 100,000 miles without experiencing any problems.

The transmission system on the strong 2010 Jeep Wrangler had a significant role in the Jeep moniker becoming enduringly dependable.

The 2010 Jeep Wranglers have been a wonderful addition. Additionally, to grow dependability and durability, they made excellent commuter cars.

Lastly, the price range started to rise in 2010 at this point. Most of the used 2010 Jeep Wranglers cost between 10,000 and 27,000 dollars.

4. 2011 Jeep Wrangler

Jeeps have long been associated with hard and tumble driving, but they haven’t always been considered smooth sliders. However, it was different with the 2011 Jeep Wranglers.

This year, the suspension system improved to a more outstanding and reliable degree and the seats started to become softer and extra pleasant.

Jeep Wranglers were no longer associated with bumpy and harsh rides thanks to improved suspension and thousands of available adaptations.

Along with having a slightly wider pricing range, the 2011 Jeep Wrangler is available for as little as $9,000 and goes as high as $24,000.

5. 2018 Jeep Wrangler

According to various resources, we finally arrived at the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, which is the best vehicle overall.

The style, the fantastic handling, the dependability, and a ton of contemporary technology updates are all present in this model year.

No matter the terrain, whether you’re driving on a highway, in a mud puddle, or on the rocks, it is known to handle well.

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler has proven extra cozy, convenient to operate, incredibly fuel-efficient, and equipped with increased handling and control.

The cost of such a fantastic car is high, as you might expect. Between $20,000 up to$ 45,000 is typically the price range in which 2018 models may be located and bought.

How Reliable Is A Jeep Wrangler?

According to various reports, the Jeep Wrangler is not quite reliable in the market.

The Wrangler is lagging behind many vehicles in its segment compared to other models that don’t deal with the rough capability.

The standard engine for the 2021 model is a little lacking, so if you want to get the class-average fuel economy, you must choose the optional diesel engine.

Also, a lot of competing compact SUVs deliver a smoother ride as well as better driving characteristics.

Furthermore, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler isn’t the ideal option if fuel efficiency is one of your top priorities.

Consumer Reports estimates that the Wrangler gets 18 mpg overall, 13 mpg in the city, and 24 mpg on the interstate, costing owners $1,560 in fuel annually.

How Long Do Jeep Wranglers Last?

According to how well the owner maintained the vehicle, both new and old Jeep Wrangler models typically had a lifespan of 100,000 to 400,000 miles.

It is difficult to estimate how many years you can use the car, depending on how many kilometers it has.

This is so that people may understand that how long they can drive a specific number of miles will depend on how frequently and for what distances they utilize their vehicle.

Also, owners must maintain their Jeep Wrangler regularly to last longer and deliver high-quality performance.

What To Do To Lengthen The Life Of Your Jeep Wrangler

If the Jeep Wrangler is well taken care of, it can last long. This can only be accomplished if you follow certain tips regularly.

I will mention some of them here, so be sure to follow:

  • Make sure to stop by the service center regularly.
  • Ensure to check all parts of your Jeep Wrangler regularly to see if there is any wear and tear.
  • It is highly recommended to check if your vehicle has been rusted and if so, make sure to get it fixed immediately.
  • Use the correct oil compatible with your Jeep Wrangler.
  • Change the fluids in the brakes, suspension, and transmission system according to the owner’s manual instructions.

I hope you make these tips a habit in your life. You will gradually notice an excellent change in your jeep but, most importantly, make it last longer.

Things That Shorten The Lifespan Of Your Jeep Wrangler

If you want to prevent it from happening, this part will be worthwhile for you to read since I will discuss the elements that can reduce the existence of your Jeep Wrangler.

  • If the components of your vehicle are not working well, then the vehicle can run out of mileage easily.
  • You must change the oil so the engine system does not burn or stop working completely.
  • Make sure you rotate the tires and not drive on bumpy roads because it can damage the tires quickly.
  • Ensure there are no rust areas in the vehicle as they can also cause damage to the performance.
  • Do not use poor-quality products for your vehicle. Check the owner’s manual to see the recommended products for the components of the Jeep Wrangler.

Make sure you heed every piece of advice I’ve provided in this post if you want the greatest treatment for your Jeep Wrangler.

Doing so will profit from keeping your car out of dangerous circumstances on the road and extending its lifespan.

3 Most Jeep Wrangler Common Problems You Should Know

Now, I will mention the most common issues in the Jeep Wrangler. If you want the best for your vehicle, reading this section might help you quickly identify and fix the issues.

1. Oil Leaking

Oil leaks are a possibility with the Jeep Wrangler. A Jeep has several parts, and some of them have oil leaks.

The diagnosis of the issue is frequently challenging. The fluid in the Jeep is a distinct color for each system.

The issue will be obvious when the liquid combines with the oil that has leaked.

Normally, when new, engine oil becomes brown or black when incorporated with fluid.

2. Draining Battery

The majority of ignition switch components won’t be able to receive electricity if the battery is discharged.

Sometimes, the parts will keep getting stronger even after the ignition is turned off.

If you encounter similar issues, battery depletion can be to blame. The solution to this issue is quite simple.

3. Airbags Problem

Your Jeep Wrangler may be risky if the airbags are malfunctioning. Often, it’s challenging to find this issue.

Without a collision, you won’t know whether the airbag is inflating or not. Checking the airbag’s functionality should always be done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Is Jeep Wrangler A Good Car?

Jeep Wrangler has a lot of great features to offer its customers.

However, according to various car review reports, the Jeep Wrangler is not exactly a good car. It also has poor reliability and safety scores.

Q2: Do Jeep Wranglers Hold Their Value?

It is known to have a great resale value. The Wrangler can keep approximately 70 percent of its MSRP even after only three years of usage.

After five years of ownership, the percentage falls to below 60 percent.

Q3: How Many Jeep Wranglers Have Been Sold?

There is no doubt that a huge sum of Jeep Wranglers is being sold yearly.

It is said that in 2019 alone, around 228,042 Jeep Wranglers were sold. However, the number has stopped ever since. In 2022, only 99,498 models were sold.

Q4: Which Jeep Wrangler Engine Is The Most Reliable?

It is said that the 4.0 engine system of the Jeep Wrangler is the most reliable engine of all time.

Q5: Is Jeep Wrangler Expensive To Maintain?

The website AAA estimates that the annual maintenance costs for a typical car that travels 20,000 miles might be $1,800.

The Jeep Wrangler’s average annual maintenance expense is $694, according to RepairPal.

Conclusion

I hope you’ve read this far and found the information you sought regarding the best and worst years for Jeep Wrangler.

Although it is not exactly the ideal vehicle according to various reports, it still has the capabilities to deliver the best performance to its customers, that too, at a very reasonable price.

The best model years I have discussed above are the only years you can rely on and get the most out of.

Make sure you do more research on them to better understand them and get what you are looking for in a vehicle.

Plus, if you take extra care of your car, you can easily get up to 400,000 miles.

References:
https://jeepmodified.com/are-jeeps-expensive-to-maintain/
https://www.withclutch.com/maintenance-cost/jeep-wrangler
https://www.legendautosales.com/blogs/3473/used-car-knowledge/buying-a-used-jeep-wrangler-here-are-a-few-things-to-check/

Written by Yusuke Kohara

Hi there! My name is Yusuke. I write about automotive topics for Car Proper. I love cars and have a passion for writing helpful articles on tools, car accessories, and how-to to help my readers solve their problems. In my spare time, I'm either working out, reading the book, or spending time with my family. I also work for a digital consulting agency.

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