what makes jeep wranglers expensive

Why are Jeep Wranglers so Expensive

Jeep Wranglers are the iconic Jeep model which has become the standard for other four-wheel drive makes and models. It is the benchmark that others try to beat or at least match. Why are Jeep Wranglers so expensive though? Is there really anything that justifies this high price?

Jeep Wranglers are expensive partly due to their reputation and partly due to their exceptional ability off the beaten track. They are engineered to endure the harshest off-road feats and are capable of going where most vehicles dare not go.

Let’s put it this way; if this was the Wild West during the times of the pioneers, they would be driving Jeep Wranglers instead of the covered wagon. The Jeep was built to conquer the seemingly impossible.

Jeep off-road enthusiasts are always seeking to push the boundaries to see just how far they can take their Jeeps. Just the other day, I saw a video on YouTube where a Jeep scaled a 95-degree incline which was almost 20 meters high with relative ease.

Why are Jeep Wranglers so Expensive?

The reputation and ability of Jeeps are one of the reasons that Jeeps are so expensive. The other reason is that it is built to last.

That means high-quality material goes into the manufacture of a Jeep Wrangler and any other Jeep for that matter. Quality is expensive as we all know.

This all translates to the higher price that Jeep Wrangler’s command when compared to other vehicles, makes in the same class. Though it is expensive when brand new, it does not hold its value well once sold. It loses as much as 30% of its value in the first year.

Some Wrangler Trims are Expensive than Others

The Jeep Wrangler has a lot of trims and as of the 2020 model, we have the Sport, Sport S, Willys Sport, Sport Altitude, Black and Tan, Freedom, Sahara, Sahara Altitude, High Altitude, North Edition, Rubicon, Rubicon Recon and the Moab.

All these models cater to the different needs within the Jeep Wrangler market. These range from simple daily drivers all the way to serious off roaders.

The Moab, a relatively new trim that launched in 2018, is the most expensive Jeep Wrangler trim on the market. Right under the Moab is the Rubicon trim.

The Sahara is next and the Sport sits at the bottom of that pile. The Sport is designed for those who want the cool look of a Jeep but want to hit the trails on an occasional basis.

The Sahara is made to be more of a family car edition of the Wrangler boasting more technology, better off road performance as well as safety features.

The Sahara has a luxurious interior with branded seat covers. Of all the Wrangler trims, this one screams out “luxury”. Next up is the Rubicon trim which was made for the trails.

It comes off the shop floor ready to take on the trails. This generally means larger tires and a higher lift off the ground. It also comes with skid plates to protect the bottom part of the vehicle.

The Rubicon also boasts a host of other features mainly designed for off-roading. It is made for performance and comes trail-ready straight out of the factory.

Trail rated Jeeps come ready fitted with the necessary modifications such as higher lift, bigger tires, skid plates, and tow wrenches already fitted.

This makes it slightly more expensive than the other 2 trims. It was the most expensive Wrangler trim up until mid-2018 when the Moab was introduced. The Moab sits on the Sahara base but has the hood and ascents of the Rubicon. Has all the luxury, safety features, and comfort of the Sahara plus some additional tech.

Are Used Jeep Wranglers Expensive?

Though Jeeps generally lose 30% of their value in the first year, Wranglers seem to fare better in this regard. There is a huge market for used Jeep Wranglers so the prices tend to be higher.

Why is it so popular though? Besides its off-road capability, the Wrangler is viewed as a blank slate. You can make so many modifications to it and this makes it very desirable both in the off road community and among those who want a really cool looking car.

How to Avoid Wasting Money on a Jeep Wrangler

In order to get the best deal on a Jeep Wrangler, you need to avoid certain years that have been found to be somewhat unreliable. Following is a list of the unreliable Jeep Wrangler years.

So which are the Jeep Wrangler years to keep away from? The years that have experienced the most problems and had the most recalls are the 2007, 2008, and 2012 models.

The problems faced in these models were eventually worked out in later ones. You should steer clear of these years when shopping for a used Jeep Wrangler.

Chances are though that you may find one that has had its issues fixed. The great thing about most of the problems that have caused the recalls is that they can easily be fixed.


The Jeep Wrangler is expensive when you buy it brand new because of the brand reputation and the engineering that has gone into it. We would say that the Jeep experience and the overall quality of the brand justify the price tag.