2012 Jeep Wrangler: My Parents-In-Law Bought One
February 27, 2013
My wife got a call from her mother yesterday. Apparently she and my father-in-law bought a new car.
My wife was a little perplexed. She knew they were thinking about getting one, but per tradition, they hadn't talked to me yet about what they should be looking for. I haven't steered them wrong yet.
She knew immediately why they didn't when she found out what it was: a loaded 2013 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 2-Door.
They just knew I'd shake my head and try to steer them in a different direction with a laundry list of reasons why it's not a good idea. Reasons like, I don't know, a verbatim recitation of the Cons section from the Edmunds model review.
"Cons: Noisy cabin; choppy ride; long braking distances; poor side crash ratings."
I'd also throw in the fact that it's not fuel efficient and handles abysmally. They got the hard top, so the myriad soft-top complaints can be replaced with "still noisy; the paint on the removable hard-top pieces chip easily."
Apparently, my mother-in-law has just always wanted a Jeep. Apparently, my father-in-law knows a guy who likes to go "four-wheeling" and when they move back to California this year, he can go too. (My wife thought this was unlikely).
Inevitably, though, they fell victim to Jeep Infatuation. Unless you really are going to frequently get it dirty, I can think of few rational reasons to buy one -- for my parents-in-law or anyone else, really. If you compare it to a modern crossover SUV for use as a daily driver, it's basically a joke.
Yet, the Wrangler remains one of the best-selling SUVs in the country because of its looks, its aura, its history and its inherent coolness. Believe me, I totally get buying cars for such reasons. Without such reasons, we'd all drive Honda Civics. I don't want a Mercedes-Benz CLS63 for rational reasons.
So good for them, I truly hope they enjoy their new Jeep. However, should they start noticing those Cons, I will simply raise a Spock-like eyebrow and offer, "Hmm, fascinating."
James Riswick, Automotive Editor