We all admire Jeep’s off-roading features, especially how they can get across streams or maneuver steepest climbs with ease. Its capabilities are so superior that you might mistake them for staged movie actions.
This superiority isn’t accidental, nor is it an outcome of ordinary motor vehicle assembly. It comes from the company’s deliberate mission to build unique SUVs. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which manufactures all Jeep models, employs top-of-the-line automotive technologies to give you one of the most reliable vehicles on the planet.
It’s no surprise that Jeep models cost significantly higher than similar makes in the market—nearly 50% difference in particular instances. But why the big difference when we know that all SUVs perform, more or less, similar functions? That is why a majority of car owners still wonder why are jeeps so expensive.
To understand Jeep’s priciness, we’ll analyze the average cost of its popular model (Jeep Wrangler) along with similar SUV brands in the market.
What Is the Average Cost of a Jeep Wrangler?
To put things in perspective, we’ll first evaluate the price (MSRP) of the Jeep Wrangler versus similar SUV brands in the market. According to the company, the Rubicon 392 Jeep Wrangler (2022) costs $78,690. This is nearly double the price of the 2022 Touring Honda Accord, which costs $39,065.
It is also way higher than the $56,050 mark required to acquire the luxurious R-Dynamic HST trim of the latest Land Rover Range Rover Evoque (2022). There you have it, you need to have big money to be able to afford a Jeep Wrangler.
So, what are the major reasons why Jeeps are so expensive compared to other SUVs?
7 Reasons Why Jeeps Are So Expensive
Jeeps Come With Top-Notch Performance Features
Your typical Jeep integrates top-of-the-range performance features in the industry. From off-roading and traction to build and accessories, the manufacturer does not falter in providing reliable automobile solutions for its customers.
Jeep’s reliability comes at a cost, and it elevates Jeep’s asking prices far above the average market rates.
As you might know, Jeeps can travel on bizarre terrains, including muddy puddles, and rocky surfaces. They can even get across streams without developing any electrical issues. These capabilities come from the vehicles’ exceptional designs, which require additional manpower, skills, and materials to complete.
So, you get unique features such as sealed electrical connections and moisture-resistant components, most of which are unavailable to other vehicles in the industry.
This manufacturing philosophy, at the very least, positions Jeep among the high-end brands in the market categories. Consequently, the company is forced to pass considerable cost proportions to consumers, resulting in high market prices.
In a sense, Jeep has entered into a customary contract with its consumers, where the latter pay premium prices to the company to enable research, design, and development of top-class automobile units!
The Jeep Brand Is Very Popular in the Market
Jeep is an in-demand brand that is very popular across the market. This popularity alone elevates the market price of its models, regardless of build technology or material cost.
Jeep is similar to some premium brands in related and unrelated sectors. You can equate Jeep to the Apple brand, which is the premium player in the electronics technology industry. Like Apple products, whose popularity comes at a cost to the consumers, Jeep uses such emotional market publicity to set high prices.
This somewhat “illogical” market excitements, in most cases, don’t match the actual value of the products on offer. That is why Jeep’s investors, like Apple and others, earn abnormal profits compared to other automakers. It is a good thing the company continually reinvests a considerable portion of these earnings to improve internal automobile engineering.
So, the overcharges are, in one way or another, beneficial to you as an average Jeep user. The manufacturer’s incremental financial strength enables experimentation of futuristic automotive technologies, improving the industry’s overall efficiency in the long run.
Jeep Wranglers Don’t Have Direct Competitors
Due to Jeep’s unique engineering designs, similar automakers have not been able to come up with competitive offers. This situation almost makes Jeep a monopoly player in the off-road sector.
Notably, the rate of competition from other SUVs is insignificant. Accordingly, Wranglers attract significantly higher prices than comparable models in the market.
For the premium price, the Wrangler gives you reliable features, such as a solid front axle, front and rear lockers, electronic sway bar disconnects, and all-terrain tires. What’s more, Jeep’s optional “Trailhawk” trim affords you extensive off-road improvements, which are yet to be matched by other SUVs in the current market. Here, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Jeep Wrangler’s manufacturer, can argue that elevated charges are used to cover the high cost of designing top-class performance capabilities in its fleet.
Overall, even industry giants like General Motors can’t confront Jeep in the off-road arena. Wrangler’s reliability and real-world applicability are on another level. That is why the company can charge “excessive” prices without experiencing any form of market backlash.
The Jeep Brand Is Connected to a Deep Heritage
Jeep’s long and storied history is one of the reasons why their models are quite expensive. Simply put, the consumers can directly connect to the company’s original automaking values. For the Jeep brand, its fame dates back to the World War II era, when the then manufacturer, Willys Overland, won the U.S. military contract to develop 4WD vehicles to help with the war.
The automaker’s participation in America’s—and global—historic moment makes the brand invincible in the mind of an average consumer. This makes it easy for the company to design and sell its products in the premium market categories.
Over the years, Jeep uses this deep heritage to overcome both micro- and macro-economic challenges, maintaining the image in the overall marketplace. That is why the SUVs are categorized as the special off-road series of all time.
Please note that these historical values don’t exist in a vacuum. The company, guided by its internal culture, invests a ton of its earnings on R&D. This move enables continuous improvement of the successive Jeep series in line with the evolving industry trends.
Overall, a combination of these historic values allows this automaker to set premium prices for its SUVs.
Jeep Invests Heavily On R&D
Guided by its internal culture, Jeep aspires to reinvest a sizable proportion of its earnings on research and development (R&D). So, it can update its software reliably, address consumers’ immediate concerns, and introduce unique features, among other automotive capabilities. In turn, these improvements form additional bases for the manufacturer to set higher prices.
The company’s R&D programs are motivated by a greater goal—that of finding practical solutions for the consumers’ real issues. Notably, this mission is superior to those claimed by your typical automakers. The intentions of the latter group are shallow, mostly based on short-term profitability and other shareholder interests. Up to this point, we get a rough idea of why Jeep can introduce many tweaks between model years compared to similar brands in the market.
Importantly, these R&D-based advancements intensify Jeep’s competitiveness in nearly every core aspect. From customization and versatility to high-purpose practicability and component durability, continuous R&D allows the manufacturer to offer unbeatable automobile solutions.
You’ll agree with me that this level of manufacturing dominance attracts a premium price! On the one hand, consumers are readily inclined to pay extra for the superior features. On the other hand, the company needs those additional dollars to fund future R&D programs.
Jeep Supplies Low Volume of Cars to the Market
Even with such promising brand popularity, Jeep doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to increase the number of vehicle releases into the market. This means that the overall number of units in circulation is far less compared to similar SUVs.
So, since demand is constant, the price levels are always high. And with the latest SUV euphoria in the car market, the cost of acquiring these scarce Jeep models continues to escalate.
A combination of Jeep’s positive features, like popularity and versatility on one side, results in a substantial market force that can only be reversed through increased supply. This demand-side force further intensifies with the company’s “reluctance” to increase production. Consequently, Jeep prices perpetually rise.
Notably, this trend is transferred to the used Jeeps category. Look, with the generally low level of supply in the market, current users and resellers are less likely to offer discounted prices.
The price further intensifies with the increasing level of desperation on the buyers’ side. And as we all know, desperation can easily lead to irrational purchase behaviors. So, if you plan to acquire a used or brand-new Jeep, you should be willing to part with more dollars to match the demand-driven increase in prices. Otherwise, your “few” dollars might not gain the required momentum to catch up with the scarce Jeeps in the market!
Jeep Maintains an Authentic Production Culture
You can identify Jeep’s authenticity in several areas, including a high ratio of R&D funding and modest production intensity even in the face of rising market demand, among others. This situation exerts indirect pressure on prices as more consumers flock to the company as a result of such above-board business values.
With such a trustworthy internal culture, an average buyer would be willing to delay the acquisition of an ordinary SUV until they can afford a new Jeep, or until they get a suitable one in the second-hand market. So, despite the low production capacity, the company, in one way or another, pockets a considerable portion of combined SUV spending in shared markets. It is safe to say, Jeep earns more with less!
Importantly, dependable manufacturing values continue to align the company toward the high-quality assembly of vehicles and components. That is why Jeep makes do not age quickly compared to those by competitor brands. Apart from safeguarding the resale value, a low level of depreciation means that the vehicle can maneuver extended driving areas reliably.
In a nutshell, an average buyer would be more willing to incur extra costs for a Jeep than to take a discount for a “substandard” SUV. With an authentic manufacturing tradition, the consumers’ extensive concerns are thoroughly addressed. So, why not pay those extra bucks to get an all-rounded SUV machine!
Why Do People Keep Buying These Expensive Jeeps?
So, why do we keep buying the expensive Jeeps instead of cheaper SUV alternatives in the market? From the seven reasons why Jeeps are so expensive discussed above, we can try to understand the market’s persistent clamor for this brand.
Here are some of the reasons why buyers don’t mind paying more for a Jeep when there are other SUV options in the market:
- Jeeps possess unrivaled performance features, especially off-roading capabilities, making them the most sought vehicles in all SUV categories.
- Jeep’s popularity in all market segments makes their products almost irresistible in the buyer’s mind.
- The fact that Jeeps don’t face any worthy competition makes their SUVs stand out even in the crowded marketplace.
- Wrangler’s deep heritage and military legacy make it a darling, especially among middle-aged consumers.
- Significant R&D funding and numerous updates between model years render Jeeps the most upgraded SUVs in the industry.
- The low supply of Jeeps, even in the second-hand markets, intensifies their sentimental value, increasing the consumers’ attachment to them.
- Jeep’s use of genuine manufacturing culture conveys a favorable business image, which consumers find more appealing despite the cost.
Is Jeep’s Extra Cost Really Worth It?
Now that we know why consumers prefer Jeeps despite their costliness, the obvious question would be: are Jeep SUVs even worth their high price tags?
Well, depending on your unique driving desires, you may or may not find value in the additional expenditure.
If you find yourself in extraordinary driving conditions, then the “overpriced” Wrangler is much more convenient than other SUV alternatives. You get all-weather reliability and superior off-roading capabilities that aren’t offered anywhere in the industry.
Even so, if your driving routine doesn’t involve anything special, that extra cost of acquiring a Jeep—and we should also mention the cost of maintaining a Jeep—can be unnecessarily taxing. In such a case, it might be prudent to consider cheaper SUVs, like the Ford Escape, which is equally a good performer in friendly driving conditions. So, know why you are buying a Jeep in the first place.
So, why are Jeeps so expensive? It has a lot to do with the factors that make it superior to others. It’s important to ask yourself if there’s any other SUV that can cross streams reliably. Only then will you know why consumers insist on Jeeps despite their “overpriced” tags.
So, even as other 4WD manufacturers try new off-roading technologies, Wranglers rank far higher when it comes to impenetrable driving conditions. With a Jeep, you can hike to the deepest woods, highest mountains, or shakiest snows without the anxiety of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere. At the very least, these unique capabilities escalate the cost of Jeeps.