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If you want to go deep into the woods, through a dry lake bed, or over steep hills, you drive a Jeep Wrangler. Since the first General Purpose vehicle took the U.S. Army over war-torn European terrain in World War II, the Wrangler has been a 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?

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

The Jeep Wrangler received a reliability score of 3.5 out of 5.0 from RepairPal. Though slightly above average, that rating still places the Wrangler 25th out of 26 compact SUVs. This ranking is based on three factors:

  • Cost: The Jeep Wrangler’s average annual repair and maintenance costs are $694, compared with $521 for all compact SUVs.
  • Frequency: Wrangler owners take their vehicles 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 with 11% for all compact SUVs.

So although the Wrangler doesn’t have a poor reliability rating, most other compact SUVs score higher.

What are the 3 most common Wrangler problems?

The three most common problems Jeep Wrangler owners have reported to the automotive repair and maintenance site RepairPal are the following:

  • Water leaking from the A-pillar on side doors — reported by over 500 owners
  • Jeep recall on ignition switch due to short-circuit — reported by more than 370 owners
  • Throttle position sensor failure — reported by over 140 owners

Two of those problems typically occur well beyond 100,000 miles. However, A-pillar leaks generally appear before 50,000 miles.

Why is the Jeep Wrangler so popular if it has worse reliability than most other compact SUVs?

The Wrangler may be near the bottom of RepairPal’s list for reliability, but this off-roader might be in the wrong category. Most people wouldn’t think of the Wrangler as a compact SUV. And with its advanced four-wheel-drive system, unique build, and rugged reputation, drivers choose this Jeep SUV for off-road adventures above any of the most reliable models in the 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 similar results from U.S. News & World Report regarding the 2023 Jeep Wrangler. It ranks 16th out of 19 compact SUVs. Maybe automotive reviewers and publications should create a separate category for off-roaders — 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 2023 Jeep Wrangler is an excellent option for consumers searching for a superb off-roader 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, including a rough ride and low fuel-economy figures. The Wrangler is not made to be a comfortable daily driver, but some owners use it as such and enjoy the off-road capabilities on the weekends.