Jeep Wrangler: a sensible choice?

Andy Picton | 14 Feb 2019

About the author

Andy Picton

Chief Commercial Vehicle Editor

Having worked previously for Barclays Asset Finance and LeasePlan in the commercial vehicle sector, Andy joined Glass’s in 2002 as part of the Commercial Vehicle team working closely with manufacturers, leasing and insurance companies, traders, dealers and auction houses. He was promoted to Chief Commercial Vehicle Editor in 2016 and manages our industry-leading team of valuation experts. He loves football, music and commercial vehicles.

Jeep Wrangler: a sensible choice?
Although not a direct descendant of the famous World War II Willys Jeep, so synonymous with classic war films, the Jeep Wrangler’s design was (and still is) heavily influenced by it. Despite an increasingly crowded SUV market, its rugged, no compromise looks continue to make it stand out and thrive.

Running until 1986, the Jeep CJ models preceded the Wrangler. They were more utilitarian and stripped down, in a similar vein to the original military Jeep. Indeed, CJ stands for Civilian Jeep. By the 1970s and 1980s, the CJ-7 became popular as a recreational car, not just as an off-road work horse, so needed better road manners, stability and comfort.

Launched in Chicago, with production running from 1986 to 1995, the Jeep Wrangler (model YJ) bore a strong resemblance to the CJ-7, with a new design incorporating:

  • Square headlights
  • A wider stance
  • Reduced ground clearance
  • Increased comfort
  • Improved safety and handling

In 1996, release of the second generation (TJ) reverted to round headlamps and used coil springs to improve on road comfort. Other major changes included the addition of a long wheelbase and two extra doors from 2004. Production of the TJ ceased in 2006.

The third generation (JK) Wrangler entered production in 2006 and ran until 2018. Developed under Daimler Chrysler this was a “bottom up” new design, including features that were “standard” on road cars. The four door long wheelbase models outsold the two-door version.

The latest completely new generation (JL) launched in 2018 with a clear objective to retain the iconic Jeep look while remaining true to itself. The JL retains legendary off-road capabilities and introduces advanced technology for the first time. The result is the most capable Wrangler ever, courtesy of unmatched technical features, mated to efficient engines and smooth gearboxes.

In the UK, sales remain small but steady at approximately 500 units a year for the last 10 years. They have become somewhat of a cult car, and with its retro styling, a hit with the more fashion conscious looking for some originality. This combination along with the relatively small numbers available to buy in the second hand market keep residual values high compared to similar market categories.

Jeep RV percentage of cost new comparison graph

The chart above shows the Jeep Wrangler’s residual value performance throughout the different ages, from one to 10 year olds. It is clear to see that the Wrangler’s rate of depreciation is favourable compared to similar rivals.

BEV struggles continue as UK beats pre-pandemic registrations in October

30 Nov 2023

The UK’s new-car registration figures in October beat 2019’s numbers for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, highlighting the strength of the country’s...

Monthly Market Update: European used-car markets pick up speed in June

20 Jul 2023

Many European markets saw drivers purchase a used car more quickly in June. While absolute residual values (RVs) remained stable, RVs presented as a percentage...

Launch Report: MG4 proves budget BEVs can work in Europe’s growing market

27 Jun 2023

When MG returned to Europe’s automotive market, it was not the marque of old. Instead, this was a new brand, owned by Chinese carmaker SAIC,...

Yes, sign me up to Autovista24

* Mandatory

Sign up to receive the following email:
Autovista24: Essential automotive reading, data and intelligence – a daily update from the new Autovista24 website sent daily by Autovista Ltd, in English

We use pixels in our emails to monitor whenever you open, forward or click on the URLs in our emails. This helps us to monitor and measure the performance and effectiveness of our emails. We combine this with the information you provide above and your browsing information so that we can better tailor and improve our marketing to you and personalise your user experience on our website. By signing up, you are consenting to the use of your data for the purpose of sending you the selected emails and to the use of tracking pixels. You can withdraw your consent to receive our emails and the related tracking at any time by following this link to our Email Preference Centre and updating your preferences. For additional information on the processing of your personal data, please refer to the Autovista Group Privacy Policy and the Glass's Privacy Policy.