Is the Wrangler Really Not the Most Popular or Reliable Jeep Model?
With its round headlights and seven-slat grille, the Jeep Wrangler is emblematic of the Jeep brand. Featuring rugged construction and a go-anywhere attitude, this hardy 4×4 tackles trails regular SUVs can’t handle. With attributes like that, it might seem Wrangler leads the way in Jeep sales figures.
But that isn’t the case. The versatile Grand Cherokee is a more popular pick. While it doesn’t have the rock-crawling capability of the Wrangler, the Grand Cherokee can still handle challenging terrain and has long-distance comfort.
Let’s compare the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee and why the latter sells more units.
Jeep Wrangler vs. Jeep Grand Cherokee: sales figures and reliability
According to 2023 sales figures from Jeep’s owner, Stellantis, the Grand Cherokee is more popular than the Wrangler. The Jeep sold 54,502 Grand Cherokee models in the first quarter compared to 37,971 Wrangler models. That’s a significant difference.
The two Jeeps have nearly identical reliability rankings on iSeeCars.com, with the Wrangler scoring 8.5 and the Grand Cherokee 8.4.
But what makes buyers pick the Grand Cherokee over the Wrangler? It starts with their design and purpose.
The Jeep Wrangler is a burly, body-on-frame SUV focusing on the trails. The classic model oozes rugged capability from its live-axle suspension to its spartan interior. But that doesn’t translate into everyday livability.
With its upright windshield and hose-down interior, the Wrangler’s more at home on muddy ruts than city streets. Ride quality is closer to a truck than a smooth-riding sedan, and wind noise makes highway travel less than ideal.
For many, that’s part of the Jeep Wrangler’s charm.
For others, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a balanced pick for better all-around performance.
With unibody construction, independent front suspension, and multi-link rear suspension, the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s a capable SUV on roads and trails. In contrast to the Jeep Wrangler, the Grand Cherokee has a mild ride and quiet cabin for pleasant travels near and far.
Inside, the Grand Cherokee has a luxury car feel, elegant design, and high-quality materials. Available features include open-pore wood trim and quilted leather upholstery. Overall, it’s an upscale environment with plush comfort and roomy seating.
Jeep Grand Cherokee: wide appeal and versatility
While the Jeep Wrangler is a fun-centered classic, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a versatile tool for everyday driving.
That’s important for drivers who need one vehicle to do it all.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee can run errands and make commutes all week, then head for the mountains on the weekend. Its comfortable, quiet cabin makes highway travel an enjoyable experience, while its unibody construction gives it a car-like ride. And with its trusted Jeep capability, the Grand Cherokee can handle all but the most challenging terrain.
On the other hand, driving a Wrangler means trade-offs in comfort and handling. Even with their off-road credentials, Jeep Wranglers spend most of their time on regular roads. And body-on-frame construction with live-axle suspension aren’t ideal for smoothing out potholes and railing corners.
As cool as a Wrangler looks, it offers a less-refined driving experience.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee provides an ideal combination of ride quality, modern style, and off-road ability. For adventure-focused drivers who need an everyday SUV, the Grand Cherokee ticks all the boxes. No wonder it’s Jeep’s top seller.