The Jeep Wrangler Is Almost Dead Last for Reliability

If you want to go deep into the woods, through a dry lake bed, or over some steep hills, you drive a Jeep Wrangler. Since the first General Purpose vehicle was made for the U.S. Army to handle war-torn European terrain in World War II, the Wrangler has been the symbol of driving freedom. Strangely though, the Jeep Wrangler ranks almost dead last for reliability in its class. Let’s find out why.

What are the Jeep Wrangler reliability scores?

The Jeep Wrangler receives a reliability score of 3.5 out of 5.0 from RepairPal. This places the Wrangler 25th out of 26 models for the compact SUV class. This ranking is based on three factors which are:

  • Cost – The Jeep Wrangler’s average annual repair and maintenance costs are $694 compared to $521 for compact SUVs.
  • Frequency – Wrangler owners bring their vehicles to the repair shop for unscheduled repairs 0.25 times per year compared to 0.3 for the class.
  • Severity – The probability of severe repairs for the Jeep Wrangler is 16% compared to 11% for compact SUVs.

What are the three most common Jeep Wrangler problems?

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon in deep water.
2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Jeep

According to RepairPal, the three most common problems Jeep Wrangler owners have reported are:

  • Water may leak from the A-pillar on side doors – reported by 521 owners
  • Jeep recall on ignition switch due to short-circuit – reported by 378 owners
  • The throttle position sensor may fail – reported by 146 owners

Two of these three problems typically occur well beyond 100,000 miles, but the leaking A-pillar issue generally appears before the Wrangler reaches 50,000 miles.

If the Jeep Wrangler is unreliable, why do we choose it for off-road driving?

The Wrangler might be near the bottom of RepairPal’s list for reliability, but this off-roader may be in the wrong category. Most drivers wouldn’t think of the Wrangler as a compact SUV, and with its advanced 4WD system, unique build, and rugged reputation, this Jeep SUV is chosen for off-road adventures above any of the most reliable models in the compact SUV class.

Is the 2023 Jeep Wrangler competitive in its class?

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon on a rocky trail - why is the Jeep Wrangler ranked low for reliability
2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Jeep

We find a similar story when we turn to U.S. News & World Report to learn where the 2023 version of this Jeep SUV ranks. The Wrangler ranks 16 out of 19 models in the compact SUV class. Maybe auto reviewers and publications need to create a separate category for SUVs that are made for off-roading. Then we’ll see how the Wrangler stacks up, but for now, this Jeep SUV isn’t competitive in its class.

Is the 2023 Jeep Wrangler a good SUV?

The Wrangler is an excellent option for consumers searching for an amazing off-road vehicle to take them deep into the wilderness. Although the on-road ride has improved with the JL model, this rugged SUV still has many issues on paved surfaces with a rough ride and low fuel economy figures. The Wrangler is not made to be a comfortable commuter vehicle, but some use it as such and enjoy the off-road capabilities when the weekends arrive.

Next, check out the plug-in Jeep Wrangler 4xe, or learn more about the 2023 Jeep Wrangler in this video below:


2023 Jeep Wrangler Sport and Gladiator Sport Save Money with Old-School Feature