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When did you last see a car or truck with manual windows? Granted, your uncle’s 1979 TransAm doesn’t count. If you grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, manual crank windows were a regular fact of life. The time before backup cameras was a time of manual locks and manual windows. It’s a feature that has slowly disappeared. However, leave it to Jeep to keep an all-but-dead feature alive in the Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep Gladiator. Aside from manual transmissions, the 2023 Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator base trims allow buyers to save money with this old-school feature. 

Jeep Wrangler covered in mud while off-roading
Jeep Wrangler | Jeep

Do Jeep Wranglers still have manual windows? 

Jeep has never been one to change too much. The transition from the Willys to the CJ to the Wrangler isn’t much of a journey. Even though the changes, there are a few big features that stuck around. The manual transmission is notable because it is so unpopular these days. The removable roof is one of the best Jeep features because of its uniqueness within the segment. But the strangest of all, for some reason, is the manual crank windows. It feels like an option that would stick around as an easy way to make a budget model. While Jeep understands this, many other carmakers have forgone the cranks. 

If you want your pappy’s window mechanisms, The Drive explains how you can get there. The Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator configurator shows the Sport, and the Willys Sport trims that come with manual window cranks as standard. Power windows are available as well. While it’s an interesting thing to highlight, window cranks aren’t likely to sway most buyers one way or the other. 

Manual window cranks are better for off-roading 

Jeep Gladiator Willys is one of the few cars wleft with manual windows
2023 Jeep Gladiator Willys | Jeep

This might sound a little silly, but as The Drive notes, having a stripped-down, cheaper verison of the Wrangler and the Gladiator only increase the likelihood of people actually taking their Jeeps off-road

Having crank windows not only lowers the Jeep’s cost but is also a more reliable system while off-road. Suppose your battery dies or there is electrical malfunction during a river crossing or some other very-wet scenario. In that case, electric windows have a higher (technically) chance of malfunctioning than manual ones. Basically, the fewer things that can go wrong while off-road, the better. 

Again, The Drive keenly points out that while simplicity is certainly not bad for 4x4s, the truth is, if your window electronics have fried, you most likely have far bigger things to worry about. 

Do cars still have manual windows? 

A gray 2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe small electric SUV is parked.
The 2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe | Jeep

Manual windows aren’t gone, but they are quickly going the way of the buffalo. The Drive dug in, and while the Ford Bronco is the closest competitor to the Wrangler, it still doesn’t offer manual windows. Even the Nisan Versa, the cheapest new car on the market, have standard electric windows. The only other model they could dig up was the work truck spec of the Ford F-150 XL regular cab and Supercab. 

Manual windows aren’t a significant thing one way or the other. The point here is that the world is changing quickly, and we are quickly losing aspects of driving that have been part and parcel since the industry began. Some of these things, like manual windows, are evaporating before our eyes, and most us aren’t likely to notice. Well, call us nostalgic, but we notice.