Is A Jeep Wrangler A Good First Car? Our Research Finds

By Derrick •  Updated: 09/16/22 •  5 min read

eep Wranglers have always been popular vehicles and for good reason. They’re incredibly versatile and can handle a variety of terrain. But is that really what you need in a first car? Our research finds that there may be better, more affordable first cars however we still find it as an acceptable first car.

The Jeep Wrangler is a great choice for a first car. It is rugged, customizable, and perfect for any terrain. The Wrangler is also roomy enough to accommodate passengers and some cargo, making it ideal for all of your adventures.

2. Jeep Wrangler is perfect for off-roading and outdoor activities

3. Jeep Wrangler is a stylish and practical choice for everyday driving

Why A Jeep Wrangler Is A Great Starter Car For New Drivers

Easy To Find

Jeep Wranglers can make a great starter car for new drivers because they are pretty easy to find used since they are so popular. In 2021, 204,000 Jeep Wranglers were sold which is comparable with most years. This allows for ample used Jeeps to be available on lots as people trade them in after a couple of years.

Minimal Depreciation – Easy To Sell

Jeep Wranglers also hold their value so you could buy a used one and re-sell it in a couple of years and not lose a lot of money. The average Jeep Wrangler depreciates about 30 percent over the first five years while most other vehicles depreciate closer to 50 percent.

Jeeps Are Very Capable Vehicles

Jeeps have 4 wheel drive, stability control, and other off-road features that can come in handy for both off-road and on-road adventures. In stock form, they also have great approach and departure angles compared to most other SUVs.

These features make the Jeep Wrangler a great choice for a first car.

Perfect For Offroading and Outdoor Activities

This makes the Jeep a great first vehicle, especially for those who live in rural areas or frequently travel off the beaten path for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, or general overlanding.

Fun To Drive

Jeep Wranglers are really fun to drive, between the off-road capabilities we already discussed they are also one of the most stylish SUVs on the market with a more aggressive look than other SUVs in its class.

With Jeeps, you can remove the top and doors to enjoy the sun and wind in your hair, or put the top and doors back on for a more civilized experience. They also make half doors that add some security, while still giving you that unique experience of driving in a vehicle that isn’t fully enclosed.

Inexpensive Maintenance

Jeeps are an American-made vehicle, which compared to European autos they are cheaper to repair from a parts perspective and a labor perspective. According to Jeeps cost $694 per year to maintain while a LandRover Discovery is $719 per year.

Jeeps being American-made can be taken to most local mechanics who have a cheaper labor rate where European cars need to be taken to specialized repair shops or the dealer which leads to a substantially higher labor bill.


Jeeps have a large aftermarket following which means there is an endless array of options to make your Jeep your own and make it look how you want it to look so your Jeep doesn’t look exactly like every other Jeep out on the road.

Cheaper To Insure

Jeeps can be cheaper to insure than other vehicles since they are somewhat cheaper to repair as parts are easier to replace (i.e. fenders are easier to replace since they are attached with tabs), bumpers that are usually not painted, etc.

According to, it costs $1,146 per year to insure a Jeep Wrangler on average, whereas it costs $1,427 per year to insure a typical vehicle.

As we all know insurance for young drivers can be expensive, but with a Jeep Wrangler, you can get a bit of a break on your premium.

Why A Jeep Wrangler Might Not Be The Best Vehicle For A First Car

Can Flip

Jeep Wranglers have a higher center of gravity and can flip easier than some other vehicles that are lower to the ground with different characteristics. This is because of their boxy shape and live axle suspension.

For this reason, it’s important to be extra careful when driving a Jeep taking corners at a reasonable rate of speed.

Death Wobble

Jeeps and other vehicles with a solid front axle are prone to what is called death wobble. Death wobble is when the front of the car starts shaking violently and it feels like the car is going to fall apart.

While death wobble can be fixed, it’s important to know that it exists and how to deal with it in case you experience it yourself. If you do experience death wobble you should reduce the rate of speed, until the wobble stops, then bring the car to a mechanic right away. Usually, it is caused by worn or loose suspension components.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel can be expensive for Jeeps when compared to other recommended first-time vehicles like the Honda Civic or Toyota Camry. While this is true, Jeep Wranglers are still more fuel-efficient than other SUVs on the market such as the Toyota 4Runner

Jeeps use an average of 17 MPG, whereas a Honda Civic uses an average of 28 MPG and a Toyota Camry uses an average of 24 MPG.

So while Jeeps may not be the most fuel-efficient option, they are a lot of fun!

Hopefully, this information has helped you weigh the pros and cons of a Jeep Wrangler as your first car.

A first vehicle is a very personal decision and everyone’s needs, wants and budgets are different. If you’re looking for a vehicle that is stylish, unique, and can handle off-road trails then a Jeep Wrangler might be the perfect choice for you.


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