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Old 05-08-2012, 03:08 PM   #1
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Wrangler vs high end off-roaders

I watch Top Gear a lot, and I'm curious. They are always going on about Range Rovers, Land Cruisers, Mercedes G class wagon, etc... I don't think I've ever seen them test anything Jeep.

Is this just British bias? I'm curious how like a JKUR would shape up vs these expensive vehicles in a purely off-road sense

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Old 05-08-2012, 03:12 PM   #2
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It would clean their clocks. Top Gear was originally a British show.

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Old 05-08-2012, 03:15 PM   #3
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It still is a British show, well there are 2 versions. The american version is terrible and the UK version is still good
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:18 PM   #4
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Out of the box the 2dr Wrangler sport is better off road than any of those mentioned and most HD trucks.

Comfort, towing, extra people besides you....maybe not so much, but Snow, mud, ice and high water?.... the wrangler is pretty much peerless.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:22 PM   #5
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Top Gear "death valley" did an offroad drive between a wrangler, a bronco, and something else. They have a 5k budget. It was pretty sweet. the jeep owned. im triyng to find the vid online.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:23 PM   #6
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This is usually where jannikt comes in and talks about how Toyotas, Land Rovers, Mercedes, and Nissans are the overland vehicle of choice in other countries because they're really the best, and Wranglers are just toys for American kids that need a tow truck if they're venturing more than 100 yards offroad.

This of course ignores the economic, historical, and business issues that impact supply and demand in other countries, and instead simply concludes it's "proof" that Wranglers are junk. Your question risks doing the same thing: What you're seeing on the show is a result of practical points, not proof that the Wrangler is inferior.

There are many fine overland vehicles out there. That said, here's an interesting read for you: 5 Best Overland Expedition Vehicles in North America. Note the number 1 choice. Another good one: http://www.expeditionportal.com/reso...-vehicles.html. Note the number 3 choice.

The Wrangler is one of the best. Which is "the best" can be debated as a matter of preference and particular applications, but the fact is that the Wrangler cannot be denied as one of the very best there is.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:44 PM   #7
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Top Gear "death valley" did an offroad drive between a wrangler, a bronco, and something else. They have a 5k budget. It was pretty sweet. the jeep owned. im triyng to find the vid online.
And a Chevy Blazer. Totally cracked me up. If I remember correctly the Jeep didn't win because it ran out of gas.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:53 PM   #8
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And a Chevy Blazer. Totally cracked me up. If I remember correctly the Jeep didn't win because it ran out of gas.
This is correct.. Did run out of gas. The I think 79 blazer did just fine as well, nothing to laugh about with that
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:53 PM   #9
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And a Chevy Blazer. Totally cracked me up. If I remember correctly the Jeep didn't win because it ran out of gas.
I wanted to say that but wasnt sure. And yeah it was hilarious, but they did give credit, mentioning several times about how easily the wrangler did stuff and ran over the ground like it was at home. lol.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:10 PM   #10
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It still is a British show, well there are 2 versions. The american version is terrible and the UK version is still good
I disagree.. I've seen both series and think the US version is better.. OP the UK version ooozes with euro bias.. Stock vs Stock Right now their is nothing in the class of the Wrangler JK(U). It's in it's own little awesome world. Thats not opinion thats fact.

I guess we could talk PW here when talking JK(U) but that still falls into the full size truck class.. Just so happens it comes with selecatable lockers and sway bar disco like the Rubicons making it the most slow speed offroad capable truck made today. Someone could bring up the Raptor to compare but they are really two different machines.. The PW is a workers truck that works well in slow moving offroad situations.. The Ford Raptor is well what it name makes you think about.. Speed.. It was bread to be doing 85+ mph through the desert


Uh I just went on a total random tangent from the topic of this post with the PW Raptor paragragh.. sorry carry on
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:16 PM   #11
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I disagree.. I've seen both series and think the US version is better.. OP the UK version ooozes with euro bias.. Stock vs Stock Right now their is nothing in the class of the Wrangler JK(U). It's in it's own little awesome world. Thats not opinion thats fact.

I guess we could talk PW here when talking JK(U) but that still falls into the full size truck class.. Just so happens it comes with selecatable lockers and sway bar disco like the Rubicons making it the most slow speed offroad capable truck made today. Someone could bring up the Raptor to compare but they are really two different machines.. The PW is a workers truck that works well in slow moving offroad situations.. The Ford Raptor is well what it name makes you think about.. Speed.. It was bread to be doing 85+ mph through the desert


Uh I just went on a total random tangent from the topic of this post with the PW Raptor paragragh.. sorry carry on
I enjoyed it
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:22 PM   #12
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The UK Top Gear IMO doesn't like American automobiles & especialy dislike Chrysler products. I wish the American version would do more serious new auto testing & quit testing the euro super cars, leave that to the UK show, JMO.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:29 PM   #13
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I've seen them test two Jeeps, the old XJ and the Liberty in 2002 which was still calked a Cherokee in Europe
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:30 PM   #14
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Yeah the UK version is biased, but it's still a better TV show. I like the presenters better, and the challenges and special episodes are much better.

Bolivia Special, Africa Special, North Pole special, etc..
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:13 PM   #15
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Jeeps are not common at all in the UK. Especially wranglers. From the time that I lived there (8 years) I think I can count the number of wranglers I saw on one hand. Land rovers are more popular because they're quintessentially british and they ride much better on the road. Also what's the point of having a removable top and doors if it rains all year and barely breaks 60 degrees?

Not that I care either way, but I wouldn't say the UK show is biased against american cars. Certainly it's biased against crappy cars, which is what they drive because it's more entertaining. Hammond loves american muscle cars and clarkson owned a ford GT.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:28 PM   #16
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Jeeps are not common at all in the UK. Especially wranglers. From the time that I lived there (8 years) I think I can count the number of wranglers I saw on one hand. Land rovers are more popular because they're quintessentially british and they ride much better on the road. Also what's the point of having a removable top and doors if it rains all year and barely breaks 60 degrees?

Not that I care either way, but I wouldn't say the UK show is biased against american cars. Certainly it's biased against crappy cars, which is what they drive because it's more entertaining. Hammond loves american muscle cars and clarkson owned a ford GT.

So your saying brit's weather sucks, and they just pretend to like crappy cars to make the other brits happy.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:45 PM   #17
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Jeeps are not common at all in the UK. Especially wranglers. From the time that I lived there (8 years) I think I can count the number of wranglers I saw on one hand. Land rovers are more popular because they're quintessentially british and they ride much better on the road. Also what's the point of having a removable top and doors if it rains all year and barely breaks 60 degrees?

Not that I care either way, but I wouldn't say the UK show is biased against american cars. Certainly it's biased against crappy cars, which is what they drive because it's more entertaining. Hammond loves american muscle cars and clarkson owned a ford GT.
and Hammond just named 2012 Wrangler as one of the 10 best American Cars (all-time)
The GQ&A: Richard Hammond's 10 Best American Cars | Autopia | Wired.com
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:17 PM   #18
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Went wheeling with three defender 90s this past weekend- I have to say, they will give any wrangler a run for its money and then some. Granted, they had great drivers
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:02 PM   #19
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Went wheeling with three defender 90s this past weekend- I have to say, they will give any wrangler a run for its money and then some. Granted, they had great drivers
I wish you could get new ones here. They've got to be 25 years or older for import.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:10 PM   #20
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lol....a thread I feel like I can give some kind of opinion on!

My wife grew up wheeling with her Dad and learned to drive in the woods before ever seeing a paved road behind the wheel. I've always liked trucks but never did any real wheeling growing up. As such our natural gravitation as husband/wife has been toward SUV's/Trucks. It just feels more natural behind the wheel than cars do for some reason.

Anyway we've owned several vehicles talked about on this thread. In recent history we've owned an 07 Range Rover Sport, 11 Range Rover Sport Super Charged, 12 Ford Raptor, 11 Land Rover LR4, and now a 12 JKU.

The closest thing my 07 RRS saw to wheeling was when I got it stuck on the beach in Nags Head (aired down, but summer street tires on it) and driving it on fire roads and fields while using it for hunting one year. It along with several other of our vehicles have seen plenty of snow. Never got it stuck while hunting or in the snow (2 1/2 feet in one storm).

The 11 RRSSC and 11 LR4 never saw anything other than snow and soccer field parking lots.

My basic opinion of the Land Rover line up (excluding the Defender) is if you like SUV's and you want a super nice luxury one you can't go wrong. If you want a stupid fast SUV the RRSSC is a lot of fun. All of them do just fine in the snow and with the right tires can hold there own in real life wheeling. One drawback to the RRSSC is the rotors are huge and fitting a real wheeling tire under one isn't really happening because 20" rims are about as small as you can go (I've heard some 19's will fit).

I don't known if you'd call it a drawback or not but the air suspension will break at some point and it isn't a cheap repair if you are out of warranty. We experienced that on my 07 and thankfully it was still just barely under warranty when it happened.

This past Feb I sold my 11 RRSSC outright, bought a loaded up 12 Raptor, and donated the remaining funds to my wife's JKU fund. I'd been eyeing the Raptor since it came out but I had also been drooling over the new 510 HP RRSSC when they came out in 10. Even though I was coming out of another RRS I decided to get the RRSSC rather than a Raptor. After driving the RRSSC for a while and my wife telling me she wasn't going to bail me out when I was arrested for speeding I decided to sell it and buy the Raptor after all. Hmmm as I'm writing this maybe I'm seeing my wife manipulated me so she could fund her JKU?

The Raptor is a beast of a truck. Although if you really want a truck to have a truck it isn't the best choice. The payload and towing are both less than the standard F150 that is far less expensive. If you want something that is a little rare, can be driven across the desert and fields at 90+ get one! I haven't done any of that yet but I'm dying to if I can find a place with little chance of breaking expensive parts. So far the fun part of having it is people asking "Is that a Raptor?" and then "Wow...cool" when I tell them it is. As a matter of fact it just happened again last night while I was sitting in a parking lot waiting on my wife to come out of a store.

So having said all of that I love the JKU we recently bought for my wife. She has been asking for one for years and I finally broke down and gave in. I had been fighting it based on an experience I had with and early 90's wrangler I owned. It has a 2.5" lift rolling on 35's with some other mods thrown in. To be honest I find myself finding every excuse I can to drive it. For some reason I feel very relaxed and generally at peace when I'm behind the wheel. It doesn't handle all the great, it's not fast, but it has a character I can't put words on.

We still have our LR4 and it has seen the road twice since we've had the Jeep and generally speaking if we are going somewhere together and its not raining the Raptor sits in the driveway as well. I keep trying to convince her we should sell the LR4 and buy a second Jeep but she keeps saying we should hang onto it since it is a good family cruiser on long trips. She also says her butt will be in it more this winter enjoying the heated seats.

If I had to do all over again now knowing how much I enjoy the JKU I would have skipped the RRS's bought a beat up pickup truck, the LR4 and 2 JKU's. As it is I'm still trying to justify adding a second JKU to the existing fleet so I can have my own. I'm sure at some point I will find the right reason!

After all she wants to wheel hers so we should have a backup in case she breaks it right? The other angle I keep trying is around my early 90's wrangler I had. It was while I owned that when I proposed to her. As a matter of fact we were in the wrangler when I proposed. I keep saying wouldn't it be fun for me to get another one so we can relive those memories.

Anyway...that is enough rambling for now. Bottom line is from a guy who has owned a few of the vehicles being discussed here....the Jeep is a lot more fun per dollar IMHO and gets way better gas mileage!
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:15 PM   #21
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^^^ Excellent review. Thanks.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:09 PM   #22
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lol....a thread I feel like I can give some kind of opinion on!

My wife grew up wheeling with her Dad and learned to drive in the woods before ever seeing a paved road behind the wheel. I've always liked trucks but never did any real wheeling growing up. As such our natural gravitation as husband/wife has been toward SUV's/Trucks. It just feels more natural behind the wheel than cars do for some reason.

Anyway we've owned several vehicles talked about on this thread. In recent history we've owned an 07 Range Rover Sport, 11 Range Rover Sport Super Charged, 12 Ford Raptor, 11 Land Rover LR4, and now a 12 JKU.

The closest thing my 07 RRS saw to wheeling was when I got it stuck on the beach in Nags Head (aired down, but summer street tires on it) and driving it on fire roads and fields while using it for hunting one year. It along with several other of our vehicles have seen plenty of snow. Never got it stuck while hunting or in the snow (2 1/2 feet in one storm).

The 11 RRSSC and 11 LR4 never saw anything other than snow and soccer field parking lots.

My basic opinion of the Land Rover line up (excluding the Defender) is if you like SUV's and you want a super nice luxury one you can't go wrong. If you want a stupid fast SUV the RRSSC is a lot of fun. All of them do just fine in the snow and with the right tires can hold there own in real life wheeling. One drawback to the RRSSC is the rotors are huge and fitting a real wheeling tire under one isn't really happening because 20" rims are about as small as you can go (I've heard some 19's will fit).

I don't known if you'd call it a drawback or not but the air suspension will break at some point and it isn't a cheap repair if you are out of warranty. We experienced that on my 07 and thankfully it was still just barely under warranty when it happened.

This past Feb I sold my 11 RRSSC outright, bought a loaded up 12 Raptor, and donated the remaining funds to my wife's JKU fund. I'd been eyeing the Raptor since it came out but I had also been drooling over the new 510 HP RRSSC when they came out in 10. Even though I was coming out of another RRS I decided to get the RRSSC rather than a Raptor. After driving the RRSSC for a while and my wife telling me she wasn't going to bail me out when I was arrested for speeding I decided to sell it and buy the Raptor after all. Hmmm as I'm writing this maybe I'm seeing my wife manipulated me so she could fund her JKU?

The Raptor is a beast of a truck. Although if you really want a truck to have a truck it isn't the best choice. The payload and towing are both less than the standard F150 that is far less expensive. If you want something that is a little rare, can be driven across the desert and fields at 90+ get one! I haven't done any of that yet but I'm dying to if I can find a place with little chance of breaking expensive parts. So far the fun part of having it is people asking "Is that a Raptor?" and then "Wow...cool" when I tell them it is. As a matter of fact it just happened again last night while I was sitting in a parking lot waiting on my wife to come out of a store.

So having said all of that I love the JKU we recently bought for my wife. She has been asking for one for years and I finally broke down and gave in. I had been fighting it based on an experience I had with and early 90's wrangler I owned. It has a 2.5" lift rolling on 35's with some other mods thrown in. To be honest I find myself finding every excuse I can to drive it. For some reason I feel very relaxed and generally at peace when I'm behind the wheel. It doesn't handle all the great, it's not fast, but it has a character I can't put words on.

We still have our LR4 and it has seen the road twice since we've had the Jeep and generally speaking if we are going somewhere together and its not raining the Raptor sits in the driveway as well. I keep trying to convince her we should sell the LR4 and buy a second Jeep but she keeps saying we should hang onto it since it is a good family cruiser on long trips. She also says her butt will be in it more this winter enjoying the heated seats.

If I had to do all over again now knowing how much I enjoy the JKU I would have skipped the RRS's bought a beat up pickup truck, the LR4 and 2 JKU's. As it is I'm still trying to justify adding a second JKU to the existing fleet so I can have my own. I'm sure at some point I will find the right reason!

After all she wants to wheel hers so we should have a backup in case she breaks it right? The other angle I keep trying is around my early 90's wrangler I had. It was while I owned that when I proposed to her. As a matter of fact we were in the wrangler when I proposed. I keep saying wouldn't it be fun for me to get another one so we can relive those memories.

Anyway...that is enough rambling for now. Bottom line is from a guy who has owned a few of the vehicles being discussed here....the Jeep is a lot more fun per dollar IMHO and gets way better gas mileage!


Great report, I'm green with envy nice to be able to own and drive all those super machines.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:18 PM   #23
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This is usually where jannikt comes in and talks about how Toyotas, Land Rovers, Mercedes, and Nissans are the overland vehicle

There are many fine overland vehicles out there. That said, here's an interesting read for you: 5 Best Overland Expedition Vehicles in North America. Note the number 1 choice. Another good one: Top 10 Used Overland Vehicles. Note the number 3 choice.
Given that my name has reached certain level of notoriety I feel compelled to answer.

I can't speak for Top Gear, but I suspect their is certain anti-US bias in their selection.

Now, when it comes to expedition vehicles, there are three things you need to consider:
1) Off-road capability
2) Reliability - the inherent preponderance of the vehicle to fail at the least convenient time
3) Durability and dependability under extended use in extreme conditions

All three are important, but off-road capability is actually the least critical. When you are on expedition, you are not trying to show off the off-road capabilities of your vehicle. Your top priority is to get to your destination - and return home safely. If you find conditions that are beyond the limits of your vehicle, you don't take an unnecessary risk - you turn around and look for a different route.

There is no doubt that Jeep excels in off-road capability. But when it comes to reliability and long-term dependability it's a different story. It's no coincidence that Chrysler (including Jeep) consistently score below-average in reliability ratings. It's designed to be a mass-consumption product, and 99% of Jeep buyers don't care about reliability anyway - they buy a Jeep for different reasons. It's build with cheap parts and not intended to be the ultimately reliable vehicle. It's perfectly fine for the majority of the US consumers, because it's intended for a market which arguably has the best maintenance and support infrastructure in the world. Unless you venture to some remote area in Alaska, you are never more than an hour or two away from the comfort of a tow-truck, a repair shop and a fast-food restaurant.

And yes, there are many old, high mileage Jeeps out there, but you need to consider how much money their owners have invested in upgrades, mods and maintenance.

A Rubicon maybe better when it comes to rock climbing, but on an extended off-road trip odds are that a Toyota, Mercedes or Land Rover will outlast a Jeep many times over and will keep going (and most importantly, bring you back home safely) long time after a Jeep has died with a broken transmission, an electric problem or busted steering.

Jeeps are perfectly fine for weekend trips to Moab or Ouray, when you are surrounded by crowds of helpful off-road enthusiast and your life does not depend on the reliability and dependability of your vehicle. But things are a bit more difficult when you are in Africa, South America, Australia or Asia, when the nearest help may be dozens or even hundreds of miles away.

It's no coincidence that 4 out of the top 6 vehicles in this rating are Toyotas.
Top 10 Used Overland Vehicles
Or look here:
5 Best Overland Vehicles Ever | Pangaea Expeditions

Jeeps are designed for a different market, with different objectives and priorities. But they are not built to be an ultimate long-range expedition vehicle - unless you invest $15k in mods and upgrades.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:35 PM   #24
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:37 PM   #25
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I disagree.. I've seen both series and think the US version is better.. OP the UK version ooozes with euro bias.. Stock vs Stock Right now their is nothing in the class of the Wrangler JK(U). It's in it's own little awesome world. Thats not opinion thats fact.


The US version is stupid and repetitive. Top Gear UK reviews cars and do different kinds of challenges on new and old cars. US Top gear took one segment from the real Top Gear and repeat it over and over. Buy an old beater car and compare them in an irrelevant challenge. They don't even mention new cars anymore. Is the UK show slightly bias? Absolutely, but that is slightly due to how many shit cars were being made in the USA when the show started. American cars have greatly improved over the last few years and they haven't really caught up yet.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:09 PM   #26
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you make me laugh..
X2.

Some People have no clue.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:29 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by GoldenSahara00

X2.

Some People have no clue.
x3
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:33 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by jannikt View Post
Given that my name has reached certain level of notoriety I feel compelled to answer.

I can't speak for Top Gear, but I suspect their is certain anti-US bias in their selection.

Now, when it comes to expedition vehicles, there are three things you need to consider:
1) Off-road capability
2) Reliability - the inherent preponderance of the vehicle to fail at the least convenient time
3) Durability and dependability under extended use in extreme conditions

All three are important, but off-road capability is actually the least critical. When you are on expedition, you are not trying to show off the off-road capabilities of your vehicle. Your top priority is to get to your destination - and return home safely. If you find conditions that are beyond the limits of your vehicle, you don't take an unnecessary risk - you turn around and look for a different route.

There is no doubt that Jeep excels in off-road capability. But when it comes to reliability and long-term dependability it's a different story. It's no coincidence that Chrysler (including Jeep) consistently score below-average in reliability ratings. It's designed to be a mass-consumption product, and 99% of Jeep buyers don't care about reliability anyway - they buy a Jeep for different reasons. It's build with cheap parts and not intended to be the ultimately reliable vehicle. It's perfectly fine for the majority of the US consumers, because it's intended for a market which arguably has the best maintenance and support infrastructure in the world. Unless you venture to some remote area in Alaska, you are never more than an hour or two away from the comfort of a tow-truck, a repair shop and a fast-food restaurant.

And yes, there are many old, high mileage Jeeps out there, but you need to consider how much money their owners have invested in upgrades, mods and maintenance.

A Rubicon maybe better when it comes to rock climbing, but on an extended off-road trip odds are that a Toyota, Mercedes or Land Rover will outlast a Jeep many times over and will keep going (and most importantly, bring you back home safely) long time after a Jeep has died with a broken transmission, an electric problem or busted steering.

Jeeps are perfectly fine for weekend trips to Moab or Ouray, when you are surrounded by crowds of helpful off-road enthusiast and your life does not depend on the reliability and dependability of your vehicle. But things are a bit more difficult when you are in Africa, South America, Australia or Asia, when the nearest help may be dozens or even hundreds of miles away.

It's no coincidence that 4 out of the top 6 vehicles in this rating are Toyotas.
Top 10 Used Overland Vehicles
Or look here:
5 Best Overland Vehicles Ever | Pangaea Expeditions

Jeeps are designed for a different market, with different objectives and priorities. But they are not built to be an ultimate long-range expedition vehicle - unless you invest $15k in mods and upgrades.
Your way off base here chief.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:51 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by GoldenSahara00

X2.

Some People have no clue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ballandchain

x3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrie

Your way off base here chief.
Fellas, jannikt has all the clue in the world. Go look at his prior posts.

This is what he does--he trolls for threads questioning Chrysler, Jeep, or especially the Wrangler, and he interjects to trash the brand and plug Toyota along with some other vehicles you can't really get in the US.

He doesn't own a jeep. He's not here to talk about jeeps beyond trashing them.

I can't tell if he's actually pursuing a commercial interest (eg, he has a business interest in ensuring any threads here comparing jeeps to other brands alway have one guy saying jeeps suck and bragging about Toyota), or if he's just mentally ill. Either way, it's always the same thing.

Seriously, read over his posts and you'll see. This is what he does.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:08 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTH

Fellas, jannikt has all the clue in the world. Go look at his prior posts.

This is what he does--he trolls for threads questioning Chrysler, Jeep, or especially the Wrangler, and he interjects to trash the brand and plug Toyota along with some other vehicles you can't really get in the US.

He doesn't own a jeep. He's not here to talk about jeeps beyond trashing them.

I can't tell if he's actually pursuing a commercial interest (eg, he has a business interest in ensuring any threads here comparing jeeps to other brands alway have one guy saying jeeps suck and bragging about Toyota), or if he's just mentally ill. Either way, it's always the same thing.

Seriously, read over his posts and you'll see. This is what he does.
Lol oh I got that impression earlier. My Tj hasn't been in a shop once in two years. It's my dd. over 130k and no issues. Yeah. Really unreliable.

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