Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

Fresh from a Jeep dealer, a blue 2023 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is shown plowing through snow.

Jeeps That Work for Just About Every Budget

Are you in the market for a Jeep? Many drivers love Jeeps because of their versatility and performance. Interested in going off-road? There’s a Jeep for that. Want to explore national forests, state parks, and other slightly off-the-beaten-path trails? There’s a Jeep for those, too. Are you curious about what it would be like to drive a Jeep around a new city and then settle in for a weekend away in nature? There’s a Jeep for that as well. Unfortunately, many drivers regretfully give up their dream of owning a Jeep because of the cost of their ideal brand-new model, and some of the special edition Jeeps and additional packages can be prohibitively expensive.

However, there are affordable Jeeps out there—pre-owned Jeeps that perform well and can transition from rugged outdoorsmen to polished professionals just as easily as brand-new ones. You can add accessories and equipment piecemeal as the money becomes available, which means you can reallocate some of the upfront cost over time at your own pace. If you’re keen on driving a Jeep, you’ll want to find a Jeep dealer and ask if they have one of the following Jeeps on their lot. Get excited because one of these could be your new adventure buddy!

Jeep Cherokee

A classic, the Jeep Cherokee is well-known and well-loved everywhere it goes. The Cherokee provides a comfortable ride with style and high-performance capabilities. If you’ve got plans to visit state parks, campgrounds, national forests, local hiking areas, or natural wonders, you’ll want something like the Cherokee to take you there. You can enjoy the natural splendor of your surroundings without compromising on comfort or convenience. If you’ve got kids that want to camp or hike, then you’ll want the Cherokee alongside you.

The Cherokee is capable of going off-road, though it is not as rugged as a Jeep that has been specifically built as an off-roader. It is often paired with a V6 engine and travels well over dirt, sandy soil, and gravel, with enough protection that you won’t feel much of the rough terrain reverberating inside your cabin. If you like being outdoors but prefer to do so in comfort, then the Jeep Cherokee is just the Jeep for you.

New or used, the Cherokee is one of the more affordable models. If you buy used, you may even be able to get a luxury trim level or extra accessories already installed—a bonus for those who want affordability but don’t want to skimp on the little extravagances that make the experience go from good to great.

A black 2023 Jeep Compass is shown driving over a dusty dirt road.

Jeep Compass

Don’t need a larger Jeep? Looking for something durable and off-road-ready that can still pull off a sleek silhouette? Look no further than the Jeep Compass. Sitting comfortably between the Cherokee and the Renegade, the Compass looks as if it belongs in the city—but don’t let that fool you because, underneath, it has the heart of a wild stallion. Many model years can be had with either a six- or nine-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual transmission. It can also be had—depending on trim level, of course—with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Each one is incredibly stable without being too low to the ground.

Newer Compasses all come with Chrysler’s UConnect system in the infotainment center, as well as Android Auto or Apple CarPlay compatibility, so you can get driving directions, listen to podcasts and audiobooks, or let someone know that you’ve arrived at your destination. Knowing you can rely on the Compass to remain steady, link up with your electronics, and explore further into the wilderness is an exciting thought that’s sure to lead to weekend plans in all sorts of amazing places.

Want something that looks good and performs well in a variety of situations? The Jeep Compass is the best direction for you to go.

A red 2020 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk is shown crossing a river.

Jeep Renegade

A smaller Jeep, the Renegade is perfect for those who wish to explore areas with narrower trails or places where you need to tread gently. Perfect for a driver and a few friends, the Renegade can provide a safe, incredibly comfortable spot from which to see all the sights of the surrounding area. Some model years even have removable roof panels for the stargazers and stormy weather seekers.

The Renegade utilizes a four-cylinder engine (which can be turbocharged in some models) and features a nine-speed automatic transmission. You’ll love its responsive steering, and its off-road prowess will provide plenty of fun to drivers and passengers alike; once you sit inside one, you may never want to get out again.

If you’ve been wanting to try out your teardrop trailer on a solo camping trip, then the Renegade is a solid choice, as it is capable of towing up to 2,000 lbs. Teardrop trailers vary in weight and size, of course, but many, many teardrop trailers reside in the 500- to 1500-lb region. Adventure is just a quick drive away with the Jeep Renegade.

A gray 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4Xe Hybrid is shown charging near a garage door.

Jeep Wrangler

Ah, the ever-popular Jeep Wrangler. When most people think about Jeeps, this is the build that comes to mind. The Wrangler looks tough and is built to handle all the rough-and-tumble rock crawling, off-roading, and water-fording you can imagine.

The Wrangler can be had with a hard top, a soft top, or without any roof at all, and can be changed back and forth as the seasons turn. People adore the Wrangler for its rugged charm and naturally bright personality, but don’t let it fool you—it is every inch an explorer, whether you’re taking it over mountain trails or through city streets. If you feel adventure calling, and you know you want something that can handle itself in a variety of situations, then you’ll want to take a look at the Jeep Wrangler.

You can personalize your Wrangler with all manner of off-road gear and equipment or special features and accessories. A winch, lift kit, bigger tires, roof racks, and more can be installed so that you’re ready to take on the adventure of a lifetime. You can take your kayaks out for a lazy summer afternoon, haul all your camping and hiking gear to the campsite, or take the Wrangler to the beach for a surf at sunrise.

There’s a Jeep Out There Just for You

No matter where you want to go, there’s an affordable Jeep lurking somewhere that could be your perfect fit, from the stylish Cherokee and Compass to the rugged little Renegade to the ultimate rock-crawler, the Wrangler. New and used models are much more affordable than you may realize, which is why you shouldn’t give up on your dream to drive a Jeep across the country and visit Old Faithful at Yosemite. You can have the Jeep you want at a price that just about everyone can afford.

Spending time in nature is a vital activity for many of us, and it’s easier to do so in a comfortable vehicle that’s capable in different and diverse settings. You’ll love how responsive your Jeep is and how well it handles difficult terrain. When you have a Jeep, you can go almost anywhere. Tantalizing, isn’t it?

Most everyone would love a chance to experience something like that at least once in their lives, but if you find an affordable Jeep, you can have that experience whenever you want. There’s a Jeep out there for you, and you deserve to live on the wild side a little.