Why Are Jeeps So Expensive? [And Yet Popular]

Jeep is a well-known brand among all sorts of customers. Most people think of purchasing a Jeep at some point. If you are one of those people, you might have noticed that they can get expensive. We have researched reasons as to why Jeeps are so popular while being so high priced. Here is what we have found. 

FCA, or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, owns the Jeep brand. They invest heavily in research and development as well as the production quality of these vehicles. Jeeps are not only off-road capable but they are suitable for all-terrain. Despite the high demand for Jeep vehicles, production of their automobiles is low, which is also a reason for its high price. 

If you would like a deeper look into why Jeeps do so well, the answer might not have been enough for you. There is more to its history and how valuable a Jeep can be. Read ahead to find out more. 

A Jeep Gladiator parked outside a Chrysler dealership, Why Are Jeeps So Expensive? [And Yet Popular]

History of the Jeep

A World War Two Jeep troop transport

The Jeep's deep heritage adds to its popularity and is one of the top reasons this vehicle is so expensive. The name, Jeep, comes from army slang, G.P., which means general purposes. In WWII, the United States military had automakers build a 1/4 ton surveillance vehicle designed to meet army specifications. Jeeps played an instrumental role in winning the war. They were efficient on all terrains and lightweight enough for the soldiers to lift if they got stuck. 

Jeeps did not only help in transporting goods and food. They were also used as ambulances for the injured soldiers and to mount heavy weapons. You may have seen Jeeps appear in military-based movies often. Their utility is the reason behind this. This deep heritage helped Jeep gain a good reputation and is the reason why it is popular today and hence really expensive. 

No Direct Competition

Jeeps are practically niche vehicles made for an off-road lifestyle. Their top-selling model, the Jeep Wrangler, is a compact SUV. It falls into the highest demand and highly competitive niche of the market. Nothing stands as a threat to a Jeep. They have maintained their status from the similar vehicles that challenged it and are in their own league entirely.

These vehicles are to be practical, reliable, and durable rather than attractive and fancy. FCA tries to make them as best as they can while maintaining the iconic looks and off-road capabilities. Many companies have competed with the Wrangler and Cherokee and failed miserably. It has happened so many times that automakers now shy away from competing with the Jeep. 

Companies like Suzuki and General Motors have tried to take on Wranglers with their models Samurai and Geo Tracker, respectively. Both of these cars featured a Jeep-like design and had a goal to be off-road vehicles. To many consumers, they were not a bad option. They offered what Jeeps did at a lower price point. 

However, they both eventually failed because they could not provide the premium brand name and the "cool" factor that a Jeep brings to the table. At this point, you can say that a Jeep is more likely the Apple of SUVs. Like Jeep, Apple phones are in their own field. They are distinct in the sense that you can point out an iPhone in a group of smartphones. For their competitors, the results are not the same.  

There are still companies like Ford and Chevy trying to compete with Jeep with new models every year. However, what they offer is an SUV, not a Jeep. When you have such a reputation while also being the best of your class, you can demand high prices. 

Brand Appeal

A Jeep Wrangler moving on an outback country road to the wilderness

Jeeps are so expensive because customers are willing to pay the high price they demand. They attract many types of customers, including thinkers, achievers, enthusiasts, and even people who do not know much about cars. Due to the successful marketing campaigns, Jeep has had immense success in the last 40 years. It has such high desirability among Americans that it has become an icon. 

People often hold the idea that they need to increase their social status and image. Jeep and many other brands take advantage of that. So, they advertise their brand to promote a fun and happy lifestyle. Jeep has successfully associated its image with an off-road and carefree aspect of life and successfully resonates it across its brand. A majority of Jeep models have good reviews and have a high number of sales. 

So, just like Apple in the smartphone field, Jeep offers that premium and cool brand factor that no other brand does. Many consumers look to Apple when they want a reliable phone that is easy to maintain and use. People see Jeeps in the same way. You do not have to do much research because you will already walk in with the idea that Jeeps are reliable. 

FCA keeps the supply of this vehicle low. This scarcity usually results in more appeal, higher value over prolonged periods, and a high resale value. 

Why Do Jeeps Hold Their Value?

Jeeps are popular for retaining their value over time. There are several reasons for that. Jeeps are niche vehicles with no mainstream competition. As mentioned earlier, there are not many SUVs that even come close to the reputation of a Jeep. You would not find a better alternative to a Jeep in the market. 

Jeeps are not mass-produced either. FCA does not saturate the market with lots of models. Moreover, Jeeps are also priced to be bearable by the market and have a very high resale, which helps retain value for extensive periods. Although Jeeps come with a high price tag, you can always find a Jeep in good condition at an affordable price. 

Which Is The Best Jeep To Buy?

A stealth concept Jeep Rubicon displayed on a car show

Jeep Wrangler is hands-down the best Jeep to purchase. It is considered the most reliable off-road companion, which the brand is widely trusted and admired for. Wranglers are durable and long-lasting vehicles designed to endure the abuses no other automobile can. That is not all it can do. 

Wranglers can be used for both everyday commuting and rock crawling. Wranglers also have parts specifically designed for them. Not to mention the great community Wranglers have to offer. For example, if you own a motorhome, you are part of the motorhome community. The same applies to Wranglers.

If you own a Wrangler, you are part of the Wrangler community. There are Wrangler setups for almost every off-road activity. They are also the highest-selling Jeeps in the market. If you are considering purchasing a Jeep Wrangler, we can offer some advice. For more information, check out this post: When Is The Best Time To Buy A Jeep Wrangler?

Likewise, we also offer ideas for some accessories that can go along well with a Jeep Grand Cherokee. To find out more, click here

How Long Do Jeeps Usually Last?

Most vehicles do not usually cross the 5-year mark on average. Jeeps, however, can easily last up to a decade or, if maintained well, even 15 years. It comes down to how well you maintain your vehicle. If it is well maintained, a Jeep can last as long as 20 years or more. This life span is due in part to a Jeep's design being durable and for harsh use. 

Most consumers do not use a Jeep as an off-road vehicle as they are aspired to be. People usually purchase them for the brand name and aesthetic. People ignore its off-road capabilities and keep using them as an everyday vehicle. Of course, a car designed to endure abuse would last longer if it is well-maintained and used with care. 

What Is The Most Sought After Jeep?

With the Jeep's history in mind, what is the most sought-after care they have made? After all, with the reputation they have, Jeep must have a model that many would want. You would be right in that assumption. However, there is not one but many models that enthusiasts look after. 

That is not to say that they do not warrant that status. All of these models hold their reputation for being reliable and durable. Some fall into the rare category. Whether it is due to their capabilities or rarity, the most sought-after models include: 

  • 1997-2007 Jeep Wrangler TJ
  • 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JK
  • 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
  • Jeepster Commando
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

Is A Jeep Worth Buying?

Considering the high price tag and the lifestyle Jeeps inspires, it is not for everyone. You might not be looking for a 4x4 heavy-duty vehicle for your everyday commute. There may also be cheaper options compared to Jeeps. However, Jeeps have proved to be the best of both worlds. It can do what other vehicles do and more. 

It will also hold its value for prolonged periods. Maintaining this vehicle is not costly either. It has a very high resale value. For example, after five years, some expect the 2020 Jeep Wrangler to retain a resale value of 57.6%.

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) has also recognized previous Jeep Wrangler models to have the best resale value. KBB is a trusted source by the automotive industry and car enthusiasts alike. 

Final Takeaway

A Jeep is more than just a vehicle. To some, it the gateway to a big community. Others see it as the ideal car to have. It not tough to see why that is. With its long history and reputation, the Jeep has built its status immensely. 

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