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What are Jeeps good for?

Whaler27

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The answer is an amazing number of things! Many of us on this site love Jeeps for their off-road prowess, but they really are a wonderful multipurpose vehicle.

From grocery-getting, to trailing, to overlanding, to rock-crawling, to mall-crawling, to show-n-shining, I'm good with all of it. Well, almost all of it. I'm not okay with the idiots who build and operate their jeeps in a manner that puts the rest of the world at risk. That's not part of your jeep ownership "entitlement".

I've been managing the consequences of highway-salad for most of my adult life. Lots of dead and maimed animals and people, including plenty of kids who died as a result of somebody else's stupidity. We've always had plenty of drunks and other categories of idiots, of course, but we didn't celebrate their stupidity the way we do now. I think most of our former idiots realized that embarrassment or shame were the appropriate emotions when their stupidity was revealed. Not so anymore.

These days all of our former categories of idiots are still with us, but we've added cell-phone idiots, and amplified the class of super-entitled, who believe that they should be allowed to do whatever they can afford to do, whether it puts others at risk or not. Expressing their stupidity is a right to be celebrated, apparently.

I love horsepower, and I love driving -- still, even as an old guy. I've driven a AWD hemi-powered Charger for many years, and I ring it out on a near-daily basis, so I'm not some testosterone-starved weenie who wants to deprive everybody else of their fun. I get it. And I'm in favor of it. That's what track days are for. But I'm tired of dealing with the inevitable consequences of idiots who don't understand or care about the limitations of their vehicles. High-horsepower four-wheel drive vehicles are contributing to our highway-salad more every year.

You know what the crash scene looks like when a Wrangler loses control at 80 mph and center-punches a Honda Civic with two little kids in it? If not, do you want to?

They're much better than my old CJ and TJ brakes, but OEM Wrangler brakes are still lousy. They don't stop quickly. When we change the suspension geometry and add oversized tires they're even worse. If we choose tires with hard rubber compounds and large mud-throwing lugs the braking sucks even worse. People who make all of these choices bear some responsibility to adjust their driving behavior accordingly -- so don't pretend your crappy-braking, poor handling, limited grip, hot rod should be out on the highway wedged into urban traffic at 80 mph in the rain. I don't care if you're the best driver in the world (and 99 out of 100 are not well trained.). Shit happens. Random events get introduced into traffic all day every day -- drunks, deer, loose pets, idiots, shifting loads falling off of trucks, tire failures... every day. If you're the douche-nozzle driving your Wrangler at 80 in the rain when that unfolds in front of you you'll own that little Honda Civic and your stupid behavior for the rest of your life. And some poor trooper is going to be cleaning up your mess.

I'm sorry for the rant, particularly during the Holiday season, but this is the season when my awareness of the above is most acute, for more reasons than I can count. Idiots in modified four-wheel-drives dominate our wintery crash landscape, as their operators, most of whom describe themselves as "good drivers" are in fact crappy drivers, as they don't understand the role weighting and braking play in driving -- especially on wet and icy road..
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Philly_

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Yeah, these things are not built for speed.

One of my favorite parts about them to be honest. Keeps me from going too fast and breaking rules. My old JK undergeared with 35’s had a happy place at around 45mph and I was cool with that.

My JL is a lot better with 35’s and handles highway speeds better, but I’m definitely not looking to push the boundaries on it. I work 100% remote now, so I’m never in a hurry and that helps a lot too.
 
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Santana74

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Bought my Jeep to carry super models around. It's not working out too well. Something tells me I didn't think it through. ?
 

WreckEm711

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I agree, being in a college town a lot of people use them as Bro-Dozers and get themselves or others in trouble.


To add to the thread title.. Jeeps are good for bringing a smile to people's faces!

Kids love them. My daughter adores our "lellow jeep" as she called it before she could say Yellow properly. Kids press their noses up against the window of their boringmobile staring at her sitting in the back with the top and windows off having the time of her life. She waves and says hi to people in parking lots when we're driving by, people are so surprised by it that they're just tickled.

My daughter still talks about our spring camping trip and screamed when I told her we were going again soon. Anytime it rains she says "Daddy... we have GOT to take the back way (a dirt road) home, right?" then cackles from her carseat when we hit big mud puddles.

Ultimately it's all about the memories you make and the adventures you go on, either around town or out in the wild. In an era of EVERYTHING being boring, cookie-cutter, and highly efficient, Jeeps are just FUN. Me and my daughter will never look back and talk about the time I got 40mpg on my commute, but we will look back on all the fun we had together.


TLDR: The things my Jeep isn't good at are those that won't mean jack shit to me on my deathbed looking back on my life.
 

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Whaler27

Whaler27

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I agree, being in a college town a lot of people use them as Bro-Dozers and get themselves or others in trouble.


To add to the thread title.. Jeeps are good for bringing a smile to people's faces!

Kids love them. My daughter adores our "lellow jeep" as she called it before she could say Yellow properly. Kids press their noses up against the window of their boringmobile staring at her sitting in the back with the top and windows off having the time of her life. She waves and says hi to people in parking lots when we're driving by, people are so surprised by it that they're just tickled.

My daughter still talks about our spring camping trip and screamed when I told her we were going again soon. Anytime it rains she says "Daddy... we have GOT to take the back way (a dirt road) home, right?" then cackles from her carseat when we hit big mud puddles.

Ultimately it's all about the memories you make and the adventures you go on, either around town or out in the wild. In an era of EVERYTHING being boring, cookie-cutter, and highly efficient, Jeeps are just FUN. Me and my daughter will never look back and talk about the time I got 40mpg on my commute, but we will look back on all the fun we had together.


TLDR: The things my Jeep isn't good at are those that won't mean jack shit to me on my deathbed looking back on my life.
When my kids were little they loved my Jeeps too — they loved driving around with no top and doors, whether we were in the woods or going to DQ. Now my grand kids are the same way.

Maybe things have changed, but jeeps also used to be great for picking up girls — the sporty, fun, low-maintenance kind who don’t wear five pounds of makeup and worry about mussing their hair. My whole life has been outdoors, so I had to find a woman who was like-minded. The Jeep helped! I got a great one. :)
 
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Chupacabra

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I have had to make one panic stop from 65 or so on the highway. Mine is a stock Sport S 4-door, but I felt like it stopped in a reasonable distance given the speed and what not. Did it stop as fast as my previous BMW 3-series, no. But it didn't feel dangerous either.

Like you said, one you put aggressive off-road tires and lifts on, it will likely only get worse but as it left the factory mine seems reasonable.
 

2nd 392

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Jeeps excel at their designed for intended purpose, great fun car convertible, good family hauler, errand runner, descent economy or muscle car- model dependent. Know your vehicles limitations and drive accordingly. The limitations on my JL are few and minor compared to my CJ’s, plus more luxury type amenities than my MK4 Lincoln was equipped with.
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