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Automaker Jeep is known for its iconic, military-inspired vehicles that have graced every type of terrain for vehicles. The Wrangler is quite-arguably Jeep’s most-iconic vehicle and the SUV which earns the most loyal fans. Known for conquering any adventure, the Wrangler is one of Jeep’s most popular vehicles. But is the Jeep Wrangler a good family SUV?

Why the Jeep Wrangler isn’t the best choice for a family SUV

When it comes to a family SUV, you need safety, space, and reliability above all else. Unfortunately, that’s not the Jeep Wrangler’s strong suits. Though many improvements and updates have been made to the Wrangler family over the years, it’s still designed to do one thing and that’s not to haul your family. 

The Wrangler may be simply designed for adventuring and that isn’t more noticeable than in its safety. According to MotorTrend, crash tests show mixed results in regards to the Wrangler’s safety.

Even though MotorTrend experts point out that the newest Wranglers are safer than ever, “its older-style chassis and shortlist of advanced safety features bring it below average ratings from multiple testing agencies.” Not only does the Wrangler fall behind the competition in safety ratings, but in standard safety features offered as well.

According to Consumer Reports, the 2020 Jeep Wrangler is ranked as number 23 among all 26 midsize SUVs, with a low overall score of 28 (out of 100). And that’s mostly because the Wrangler is a one-trick-pony. While it excelled in plenty of areas, the Wrangler only receives a score of two (out of five) in family-important areas like braking, emergency handling, and fuel economy. Not to mention, as one of the least fuel-efficient SUVs in its segment, a Wrangler isn’t the vehicle to do all your school runs in.

And if you’re looking for an SUV that’s comfortable for the entire family, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Consumer Reports finds the Wrangler family provides “awkward access, excessive wind noise, and rough ride;” not exactly your family-oriented SUV. 

Where the Wrangler reigns supreme and who could get the most out of it

The Jeep Wrangler may not be the best choice for carting around the family, but that doesn’t make it a bad SUV. In fact, when it comes to off-roading adventurers, the Jeep Wrangler reigns king.

It’s been named the off-roading SUV of the year by multiple sources, for many years. Calling it “the quintessential off-roader,” Digital Trends makes the obvious known by calling the Wrangler the “real deal when it comes to off-roading.” Designed for “people who want to live life unencumbered by roofs and doors,” the Jeep Wrangler just simply isn’t the best for families seeking efficiency and safety.

After taking the newest Jeep Wrangler out for a road test, Consumer Reports’ experts find that the “handling is better than before, with quicker steering and less body roll,” and it’s “designed to excel on trails.”

Even U.S. News doesn’t mind its low predicted reliability rating since its “exceptional off-road ability” makes up for it. According to U.S. News, the Jeep Wrangler is great for some but bad for others, and it all depends on how you plan to drive it. While the Wrangler can go places few others can go, the school pickup line may not be it.

Better choices for family SUVs

The Jeep Wrangler doesn’t fit in with the majority of today’s SUVs, which are focused on space, efficiency, and safety for families. According to the experts at Edmunds, there are many family SUVs to keep your eye on and the Jeep Wrangler isn’t one of them.

Top-rated, smaller SUVs include the Mazda CX-5 and the Honda CR-V. Third-row SUVs, which have started to conquer sales in recent years, are dominated by top-rated models like the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Honda Pilot, and Ford Expedition.