Trucks & SUVs

Buying a Used Jeep Wrangler: What You Need to Know

Ah, the Jeep Wrangler. There’s no denying that this boxy SUV has grown to be an icon. There’s a reason for that, though. For over three decades, the Jeep Wrangler has been the kind of SUV that conquers trails, gets down and dirty in the mud, and has no qualms about crawling up the side of a mountain. However, there are some things you should know about the Jeep Wrangler, especially if you’re planning to scoop up a used Wrangler any time soon.

2020 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon EcoDiesel climbing rocks
2020 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon EcoDiesel | Jeep

Which generation of Wrangler should you buy?

The Jeep Wrangler has been around for a long time. The first generation of Wranglers ran from 1987-1996 and were built on the YJ platform. According to Autotrader, YJ models were relatively basic and didn’t come with the kind of complex electronics or safety features that you often see on SUVs today.

Second-generation Wranglers were built on the TJ platform and were launched in 1996 as a 1997 model. These models ran through 2006. According to Autotrader, if you’re after a low priced used Jeep Wrangler, this is the generation to stick with. It received several improvements, including better seats, new safety features, and boasts better off-road chops.

The third-generation Wrangler ran from 2007 until 2018. Third-generation models were made available with four doors, rather than two, and added more interior space for passengers. Autolist reports that third-generation Wranglers also benefited from several new features, including the UConnect entertainment systems.

The fourth and current generation of the Wrangler is known as the JL Wrangler. It arrived in 2018 and remains in production today. Autotrader reports that the fourth-generation of Wranglers marked the first time the SUV was available with a diesel engine in the U.S. Fourth-generation models also added a slew of new safety features, including a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.

RELATED: Buying a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Isn’t a Bad Idea

Is it a safe SUV to drive?

The roof and doors can come off. Autotrader reports that the half-doors used on some models are basically just lightweight sheet metal too. So, keep in mind when buying a used Jeep Wrangler, you’re not going to get the same kind of crash protection as you would if you purchased a used Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Do keep in mind, the older a Jeep Wrangler is, the less likely it is to have the most up-to-date safety features. While a 2018 model might come equipped with a blind-spot monitor, a first-generation model isn’t going to have that kind of safety tech. If you’re after the latest safety features and want a used Jeep Wrangler, the newer the better.

Off-roading with a used Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler is known for its ability to take on the trails with absolute ease. It is built for off-roading, after all. For the best off-roading experience, Autotrader suggests choosing a used Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. If you’re unable to score a Rubicon, the Wrangler can be easily modified too. Jeep owners have been known to wrench on their Wranglers as well, whether that means upgrading their vehicle at home or even taking care of some quick fixes on the trail.

RELATED: The Jeep Wrangler and the Other Best Off-Road Vehicles You Can Buy Used

Watch out for these issues when buying a used Wrangler

There are some things you should look out for when buying a used Jeep Wrangler. According to CarComplaints.com, the 2008 model received the most complaints. Complaints ranged from electrical problems to engine and fuel system problems. CarComplaints.com reports that you should also steer clear of the 2007 Jeep Wrangler, which was known to succumb to the inconvenient death wobble.

The benefits of buying a certified pre-owned model

There are a few ways to go about buying a used Jeep Wrangler. You could buy one privately or you could visit a dealership. Visit a Jeep dealership and you’ll discover both used and certified pre-owned Jeep Wranglers. Before hitting the lot, certified pre-owned Wranglers undergo a rigorous multi-point inspection and a thorough reconditioning process. Certified models are also backed by a 7-Year/100,000-Mile Powertrain Limited Warranty.

RELATED: Don’t Make This Mistake If You’re Buying a Certified Pre-Owned Car

Should you buy a used Jeep Wrangler?

There are plenty of reasons to buy a used Jeep Wrangler. Whether you’re looking to hit the trails or want a vehicle wrench on, the Jeep Wrangler makes for a great pick. Opt for a newer model and you can enjoy the latest in tech and safety features too.