Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A green 2024 Jeep Wrangler Sahara for sale is parked in an open lot.

Is the Jeep Wrangler a Practical Buy?

You may be surprised to hear that the Jeep Wrangler is actually a very practical SUV. If you are somewhat shocked, then you aren’t alone. This is because the Wrangler has developed an unparalleled reputation for off-roading. For over 80 years, Jeeps have been known for its “go anywhere, do anything” capability. This is especially true of the Wrangler, which draws a direct lineage from the first Jeep models. In fact, the Wrangler is often the vehicle that most people picture when they think of a Jeep.

As a result, people who love the great outdoors, like anglers, hunters, and hikers, have always made the Jeep Wrangler the vehicle of choice. But you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t consider looking for a Jeep Wrangler for sale as your next SUV. This is the case even if the closest you plan to get to the wilderness is driving by a park on the way to work.

What’s the Competition?

There is one thing drivers need to understand when buying a Jeep Wrangler: there are actually two models. The traditional Wrangler is a two-door model that can seat up to four passengers, while the Wrangler Unlimited has four doors and can accommodate up to five people. For most drivers, the Wrangler Unlimited will make more sense.

The Wrangler Unlimited slots in as a midsize SUV. There aren’t many other SUVs that have four-wheel drive in the Wrangler Unlimited’s class. The two main ones are the Ford Bronco and the Toyota 4Runner. For those who don’t know, four-wheel drive sends equal power to both axles through a transfer case, while all-wheel drive sends variable power based on wheel slip. They both help provide better traction than front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive. However, all-wheel drive tends to be better on paved roads, while four-wheel drive is preferable for off-roading.

With this in mind, it is important to look at a number of other popular SUV models. The midsize Chevy Blazer and Honda Passport are two popular models with available all-wheel drive. They are also two-row models, like the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. While some SUV models offer hybrid engine options, for purposes of this comparison, we will look at conventional gasoline powertrains to keep things consistent across all of the models.

A view of the interior dashboard of a 2024 Jeep Wrangler.

Comparable Fuel Economy

If you are looking to drive your vehicle every day, then you are going to want to know that it won’t guzzle gasoline. The 2024 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited comes with a choice of two engines. The base engine is a 3.6L Pentastar V6 that gets an estimated 20 MPG combined fuel economy. There is also a 2.0L turbocharged I-4 that provides up to 21 MPG combined. Jeep also offers a plug-in hybrid model called the Wrangler 4xe and a high-performance V8 variant called the Wrangler Rubicon 392.

Of the two models that are most similar to the Wrangler Unlimited, only the 2024 Ford Bronco gets comparable fuel economy. Whether you choose the 2.3L EcoBoost turbocharged I-4 or the 2.7L EcoBoost turbocharged V6 on the Bronco, you will get an estimated 20 MPG combined. As for the 2024 Toyota 4Runner, this model only gets 17 MPG combined with its 4.0L V6 gas engine.

Depending on which engine you choose, an all-wheel drive 2024 Chevy Blazer does get slightly better fuel economy than the Jeep Wrangler. The base 2.0L turbocharged I-4 engine provides an estimated 24 MPG combined, while the available 3.6L V6 will give you 21 MPG combined, the same as the Jeep.

The 2024 Honda Passport has a 3.5L V6 gas engine that is standard across all trim levels. This all-wheel drive vehicle will give you an estimated 21 MPG combined, which is comparable to the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

Plenty of Interior Space

Many drivers are surprised when they step inside a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The 2024 model features a very spacious 104 cu.ft. of passenger space. The designers at Jeep have also done a solid job of apportioning this across the two rows of seats. For example, front-row passengers will enjoy 41.2 inches of legroom, while those in the back are sure to appreciate 38.3 inches of legroom. In addition, the Jeep’s trunk is quite roomy, able to fit 31.7 cu.ft. of belongings, opening up to a voluminous 72.4 cu.ft. of space with the rear seats folded down.

The Ford Bronco four-door actually has the same amount of passenger space as the Jeep. However, it offers only 36.3 inches of second-row legroom. As for the 4Runner, despite being a larger vehicle, it only has 32.9 inches of legroom for rear-seat passengers. The Passport and the Blazer do offer more interior passenger space, with the Passport having 114.9 cu.ft. of room, while the Blazer has 107.8 cubic feet. As a result, both offer 39.6 inches of legroom in the back, which is slightly more than the Jeep.

While the Blazer offers more passenger space, it doesn’t give you much trunk room. The liftgate opens to 30.5 cu.ft., which can be expanded to 64.2 cu.ft. by folding down the rear row of seats. Nevertheless, the other models do have more trunk space. The Bronco has a 35.6 cu.ft. in the trunk, while the 4Runner has an expansive 47.2 cu.ft. of space. However, the largest trunk is on the Honda Passport, which measures 50.5 cu.ft. and can be opened up to an amazing 100.7 cu.ft. by folding down the rear row of seats.

Modern Infotainment Systems

Who doesn’t love a good infotainment system? These let us listen to our favorite music, use navigation, and get key vehicle information during our trip. Every trim of the 2024 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited comes with a standard Uconnect 5 system that will allow you to connect your phones using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This will let you make hands-free calls and texts while streaming your favorite apps. This type of infotainment system is similar to those for the other SUV models. However, the Jeep has a larger touchscreen.

The 2024 Wrangler Unlimited comes with an expansive 12.3-inch screen, substantially larger than the standard eight-inch screens on the Honda Passport and the Toyota 4Runner. The 2024 Chevy Blazer has a 10.2-inch screen, and the Ford Bronco comes with a 12-inch display, which is almost as large as the one on the Wrangler Unlimited. But as the saying goes, almost doesn’t count except in horseshoes.

A black 2024 Jeep Wrangler is driving on a bridge.

Driver Assistance and Safety Features

Automakers have taken steps to improve the safety of their models. This is certainly the case with Jeep. Every trim of the 2024 Wrangler Unlimited comes with a set of airbags, ABS, and features like brake assist and a ParkView rear backup camera that will help you avoid collisions. As you move up in trim levels, you will get other active driver assistance features, like Blind Spot and Cross-Path Detection, which will help you when you go to change lanes on the highway. This system will let you know if any other vehicle is traveling in your Jeep’s blind spot when you signal for a lane change. It will help you out by letting you know when the coast is clear. There is also Adaptive Cruise Control, which adjusts the speed you set to match road conditions and will slow down your Jeep if a slower-moving vehicle gets in front of you on the highway.

The other models all have similar safety features. For example, the Honda Passport comes with Honda Sensing technology, while the Chevy Blazer includes Chevy Safety Assist features, and the Ford Bronco has the Ford Co-Pilot360 system. Each of these work in similar ways to the active driver assistance features on the Jeep.

Low Pricing

The base MSRP of the 2024 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is $36,595. This is significantly less than most of the comparable models. For example, the 2024 Ford Bronco four-door has a base MSRP of $40,370, while the 2024 Toyota 4Runner starts at $40,705. The 2024 Honda Passport is the most expensive, with a base MSRP of $41,900, while the 2024 Chevy Blazer starts at $35,400, slightly less than the Jeep.

Surprisingly Practical, Enjoyably Versatile

The 2024 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is actually a very versatile model that is not only built for off-roading. With its roomy interior, solid fuel economy, advanced features, and affordable price, it actually makes sense to consider this unique vehicle for your daily drive. Whether you take it off-roading is up to you. But if you stick to the roads, you are still going to enjoy driving your 2024 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.