Are Jeep Wranglers Good Family Cars?

Once you own a Jeep, its hard to go back. My wife and I have never owned any other brand but Jeep. But eventually I have to consider the best car for a family. Here is my unbiased research into if a Wrangler is a good family car.

Is a Jeep Wrangler a good family car? The Wrangler, four or two-door, is not the best family car. Safety, height, and road comfort are all things to consider in a family car. It’s hard to admit, but there are far better vehicles to choose from. Point is, on paper, the Wrangler does not make the list of best choices for starting your wolf pack.

Just because it doesn’t make the list, the Wrangler still happens to find its way into many families and it does great. Fact is, there is no cookie cutter answer for every family. So how do you make your decision?

Why Jeep Wrangler Doesn’t Make the Cut

The Jeep Wrangler is a classic that will have its fan support forever. And despite clear evidence, many will still make the purchase for their family because they are loyal. But as biased as I am, I tried to look into the reality of why Wranglers are not the best family choice for a vehicle.

The first criteria, and by far most important, is safety. Despite leaps and bounds of safety over the original Willy’s, today’s Wranglers just don’t measure up to other SUV options.

While performing pretty well (“good” as stated by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety) in head on collisions, the tests for side impact collisions were not too hot. Considering that side collisions are what affect the backseat passengers most, this is a big downfall.

No matter how safe of a driver you are, most side collisions are caused by someone running into you which means you have no control of that situation based off your safe driving.

Due to the Wrangler’s modular appeal, the vehicle is unable to offer quite the same protections in areas as the roof and doors as other SUVs because they are designed to be taken off.

While fully capable of holding a child seat, the Wrangler was not designed with this is mind. Therefore, its not surprising to say that the back seats are not ideal in cradling and supporting your little ones car seat.

Second, when it comes to convenience, the Wrangler doesn’t shout five stars. While the four door options have considerable more room than two doors, its still not much to talk about.

Trying to keep kids corralled while trying to pack the back of a Jeep with groceries or luggage isn’t something every parent will want to deal with.

And when it comes time to load the kids up, until they are big enough, you will need to lift them up and down because of the Wranglers high clearance and need to step up.

And for parent’s convenience solely, you can guarantee that the less than optimal road noise and suspension won’t exactly cradle your young ones to sleep on the road.

This brings us to our next topic. The Jeep Wrangler is not the most comfortable ride experience. Any Jeep enthusiast will say that there is something about climbing into a Jeep that feels almost like your sliding into a well worn saddle. Something familiar and ready for action.

But if your not a Jeep fan, you probably feel like you’re climbing into a covered wagon and riding a wooden bench across a mountain trail.

No doubt that Jeep has given us amazing luxury options into today’s Wranglers. Leather seats and all the comforts of modern technology. However, there is just no convincing back seat passengers on a long trip that they have it nice.

Due to the Wrangler’s off road capabilities, some of the road comforts have to be sacrificed. You won’t get a cloud like suspension in a Wrangler. You’ll likely feel all the bumps in the road and even with a hard top you’ll get a decent amount of road noise.

Overall, there are just more comfortable cars out there. You might be just fine in the drivers seat. But, after all, you are the one getting all the thrill of driving the Wrangler. You’re passengers have to just sit by and watch you have all the fun and they won’t be comfortable doing so.

Lastly, in today’s world of amazing fuel efficiency and electric cars, the Jeep Wrangler doesn’t stand out at all. While not terrible, the Jeep Wrangler is quoted at 23 city and 25 highway on fuel efficiency.

If we are honest, this probably looks more like 18 city and 20 highway once you actually have people and any weight in the car.

I won’t harp too much on fuel efficiency because it is something that can be improved. In fact when Jeep releases the turbo diesel option in their Wranglers I don’t expect this to be an issue at all.

But on the other side of efficiency, the kind that deals with money, it is hard to justify the cost of a new four door Wrangler when it is lacking so much that is necessary for a family car. For the same price, you can very easily find an SUV that excels in all the areas Wrangler doesn’t.

So Why Are Wranglers Still Popular with Families?

If you are like me, when I think of a family car, I picture something that is ready for anything. If I need to make a drastic turn off road to escape danger and survive for months in the woods with my family, I want a car to get me there.

Even if you aren’t that extreme, no one can deny the look of Jeep Wrangler. We all want to be the cool parent. And nothing screams cool and makes the other kids jealous than rolling up to the pickup line with the top down and doors off.

I don’t know that may still just be me. But there is some evidence to suggest that the Wrangler’s popularity with families is very much based off appearance alone.

Parents are willing to overlook some of the Wrangler’s flaws because of the Wrangler’s appearance. It might not be safe, but it certainly looks like it and it gives off a certain vibe that your family doesn’t fit the mold but stands out.

The Wrangler is an appeal to families that seek adventure. For parents who want their kids to grow up camping and outdoors and want to take them on their first trail. What better to do that than a Wrangler with enough space to hold the whole family?

Alternatives to Wranglers That Are In the Jeep Family

Just because the Jeep Wrangler fails to live up to the “family car” standard doesn’t mean you have to abandon your beloved Jeep brand to find a vehicle that does.

A great alternative to the Wrangler for the family is the Jeep Grand Cherokee. With several models ranging in price, the Grand Cherokee is the best Jeep has to offer for family amenities like comfort and convenience.

The Grand Cherokee passed all crash tests from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety with a good marking.

For those of you who are still looking to impress with good looks, the Grand Cherokee has become a symbol or luxury within the automobile industry.

And for those who like speed, nothing compares to the Grand Cherokee Track Hawk with 707 horsepower.

But I guess speed shouldn’t be a factor when talking family cars.

If a Grand Cherokee isn’t quite in your range, Jeep’s other SUVs like the Compass, Cherokee, or Renegade are still great alternatives to the Wrangler when it comes to choosing a safer family car.

Related Questions

Do Jeep Wranglers Have Third Row Seating? As of 2019, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited does not have third row seating.

How Much is a Brand New Wrangler Unlimited? For a brand new 2019 absolute base model, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport, the average MSRP is $33,000.

Do Wranglers Have Backup Cameras? While cameras can be installed in any year, starting in 2018, the Wrangler came equipped with a backup camera. In 2019, certain models include a front facing camera as well.

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