Too Many Posers Drive Jeep Wranglers: The Skinny with Craig Cole

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Welcome to a new editorial segment called The Skinny, hosted by your favorite Craig Cole. We hope this will be a weekly feature where Craig sounds off (gives you the skinny, if you will) on the latest news from the auto industry or whatever else he has on his mind.

Jeep Wranglers are everywhere, from backwoods logging roads to mall parking lots. Undoubtedly, this off-road rig is a big money-maker for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, but could its popularity risk diluting the brand?

Few vehicles available today are as capable off road as the Wrangler. Maybe a couple Land Rover models can keep pace, but that’s about it. I’ve had the pleasure of wheeling in one on multiple occasions, and it’s an absolute beast on trails, in mud or scrambling over rocky terrain. Really, what other vehicle can provide as many smiles while moving at two miles an hour?

Its capability is borderline ridiculous. But with such a surfeit of aptitude, why do so many people fail to use their Jeeps properly? If I had a dollar for every Wrangler Unlimited I’ve seen with a stick figure family plastered on its backlight, a spotless undercarriage or double parked at Nordstrom, I could have retired five years ago … and I’m only 31.

ALSO SEE: How VW Needs to Fix Its Reputation – The Skinny with Craig Cole

Commuting to work every day in a Wrangler or using it as a replacement for a family sedan in suburbia is ludicrous, in fact, it’s a complete waste of the vehicle’s capability; I’d even argue it’s downright un-American!

Why would you spend big bucks on one of these machines just to go to the dog park on weekends or drop your kids off at school? It makes no sense, but apparently vanity is a Jeep thing I simply don’t understand …

I take absolutely no issue with the Jeep Wrangler; none whatsoever. However, I do take umbrage with the posers who buy them. So, if you absolutely have to have one, and no other vehicle will do, please, take it off road! Make me and the people that designed, engineered and built this vehicle proud!

Discuss this story on our Jeep Wrangler Forum

  • NewGuy

    Preach.

    Wonder if there’s ever been a study of the percentage of Jeep Wrangler owners who ever take them off road?

  • smartacus

    i wonder if the next Wrangler will be a transverse engined Front Wheel Drive.

  • KnightShader

    WTF are you Talking About !?!
    “why do so many people fail to use their Jeeps properly?”
    Why do so many of your Poser Writers CARE about how others use their vehicles?
    If it puts a smile on your face when you drive it, that’s all that matters, just enjoy it and tell others to STFU and Drive on !!

    If we’re vetting ownership & utility, then the US should stop selling/buying sports cars, because you’re not legally allowed to use them ‘properly’ with your speed limits. Any vehicle with a corsa/track/race option should be bared from sale in the US and only offer Eco mode. Or the number of Pickup trucks or SUVs that never see larger loads than furniture from Pier 1 / Antique store, or suitcases to the chalet, and also never leaves paved roads.

    Have no fear, because while the vast majority of those poser “Sports” cars will simply become ever more Douche-filled poser-mobiles as time goes by, likely more of those Mall-Crawling Wranglers will likely see a second or third-life on the Trail at some point as the basis for someone’s EPIC build. Thanks to all those Soccer Moms and Mall-Crawlers there’ll be many to chose from.

    Just because a Tesla can go 0-60 in under 3 seconds, doesn’t mean everyone who owns one should be smoking tyres at every light, nor should every Wrangler owner be forced to defend their reasons for choosing, owning and driving their Jeep just because the heritage is ‘Murican Rural War Machine.

    I have never cared about people taking their Wrangler to the Mall or to the Pet Stylist, because I didn’t buy mine to care about what others do with theirs, nor does their use case model affect my utility. Just like I don’t stop waving because of the few people who don’t return it because they either don’t know the culture or a in their own world, the wave is an outward expression, not something you require of others.

    If it diluted the brand after almost a decade of Mall Crawling sales would’ve declined already, not having demand outpace supply even with overtime shifts.

    Plus your statement “Why would you spend big bucks on one of these machines”, implies that you have a much cheaper SUV option that also offers convertibility and the ability to get anywhere in winter. Your statement of course counteracted by KBB’s ranking as a top vehicle under $25K, lowest cost of ownership in its segment, among the highest resale values, and most importantly in their top 3 for “FUN”. None of which say “stay away unless you must ford rivers and crawl rock in order to get to your Feed & Supply store. Even if they spent $50K for a Rubicon that never sees a trail-head, are you now saying you’re the arbiter of how people spend their money? If so there’s many more vehicles out there that need to be assessed / restricted than the Wrangler.

    I have a JKU (was a Rubicon now an X) which sees heavy duty in the Rockies and is used in the Fall & Winter to setup Ski Races, but also is my daily driver, and I have a JK Sport with manual windows/doors at the cottage as a run-about year-round utility vehicle that I know will start-up every time we’re there, and offers convertibility top enjoy the summer months and capability to bash through snow drifts on unplowed roads in winter. None of those activities are based on other utility of their Wrangler,Prius,Armada,F-150 or Vette.
    Focus on yourself and providing quality info, and stop worrying about how others spend their time and money.

    Plus what’s more American than being wasteful, contrary to your thoughts, if anything not wringing out every last bit of utility out of something is the epitome of ‘Murican… Sahl-Ute !!

  • KnightShader

    Actually, that study can be found in the same section as the study on the percentage of Corvette, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mustang, and Porsche owners who have SCCA/IMSA certified Lap times.

  • Robert Petkus

    I’m on my 2nd Wrangler. Not many trails to ride in and around Chicago, but it is the only vehicle that I can (and do) drive top off / doors off. It’s good in snow and for toting around bikes, kayaks and various crap for house projects.
    That said, I agree, but not as much on the stock Wrangler. I agree that there are a lot of off road posers, people who deck out their rig with winches, crazy push bars, and lots of lights. All accessorized and only paved roads to ride.
    I’m thinking about getting rid of mine, as they are now everywhere. Oh, and Jeeps are littered with problems. If you are considering one, please check some of the owner sites first to see what you may be in store for. Burning oil. Intermittent starting issues. Water getting inside the cabin. These are just a few that I’ve encountered.

  • Dark Sky

    This is a ridiculous article. You shouldn’t care how people use their vehicles. If Wranglers were only bought by people who use their full capability, they wouldn’t be selling enough to even keep the model around. The “mall crawlers” keep this vehicle in existence.

  • Recon Consumer

    Dip shits like this are the reason I hate owning my Jeep. This ass hole probably uses his “if” he has one maybe a few times a year unlike the “mall rated” ones whom soccer moms drive the fucking wheels off them. So who’s the poser the soccer moms who Jeeps every day or the assholes who drive theirs to the Offroad park once every couple months and then let’s it sit and rust the other 9 months of the year?

  • Recon Consumer

    The new ones are littered with issues kinda comes along with the territory when you put a shit ton of sensors inna vehicle people leave tops off of in the rain..

  • JonPaul

    Here’s the REAL skinny: When YOU (Craig Cole) send me a check to cover the cost of my Wranglers, then YOU (Craig Cole) can tell me how to use/drive them. Until then, I think most people would prefer you keep your skinny comments to yourself!

  • Rudie S.

    Craig Cole, CRAIG COLE THE TROLL!!! yeah the only skin he has right is
    how ANOREXIC he looks! Why does he care so much about what people are
    doing to there own lives he has to be a hater! One thing for with all
    the sales drives the business and provides support for the aftermarket
    which we all know and love! Second cars/trucks/anything with a that’s
    carries people it’s a matter of self expression. Has people forgotten
    that so much they have to troll because they can’t afford to do the same
    thing to their own rides? lol get a job and make something you can be
    proud of either with your own two hands or have a shop do it(not
    everyone can afford the equipment, time or experience to do so) and
    support each other to be different and our love for motor sports! get a
    life buddy and quit hating.

  • Stephen Pericak

    Was this dick for real?? You shouldn’t use a wrangler as your daily driver??? Suck it, Trebek.

  • enzomedici

    People do go offroad in their Jeeps, but they still have to go to the supermarket, shop at the mall and drop off the kids. That’s called life and you are an idiot.

  • shovenose

    Why do you care how people use their vehicles? I own a pick up truck and an SUV and I rarely haul or go off road – I just like how they look, drive, and how reliable they are – are you going to criticize me too? Unless you are going to personally purchase me a vehicle, pay for all the maintenance, and take care of the gas, you have no right to dictate how I use my vehicle(s). This has got to be the stupidest article and video on AutoGuide.

  • Scott Pam

    Really? You are going to judge others based on your OPINIONS about Wranglers?

    Poser.

  • Constantine IV

    How about this? Your arms need to measure at least 17″ for you to drive a Wrangler. And how is it that this anorexic metro is writing about vehicles in the first place?

  • Joe

    Sadly only about 15% actually leave the road….

  • Margie

    How dare you sh*t on someone’s love for the Jeep. I ain’t no stick figure donning girl, but yeah, I use it to grocery shop and even ride with the windows up and air on! *gasp* I have it to be prepared. You never know when the creek is gonna rise. On a side note, dear AutoGuide, way to give voice to an *ss.

  • Mac Lumbier

    To be fair, one needs to try to look at several issues here:
    1. This is America , IF you want to drive a Jeep or a Vette or a truck or a Prius as your city-folk/ go the grocery getter then BY GOD you have that right.
    2. Those of us who remember the glory days of the “original” 4×4 Jeep before it became what it is today are often cranky that the market for this vehicle is now driven by Metrosexuals wanting a Jeep to drive to the mall and look “cool in” . consequently the manufacturer increasingly produces vehicles that sacrifice utility and durability for cutesy convenience features. As an example the in line six capable of incredible low end torque is gone and has been replaced by a vroom vrrooom little v-6 which SUCKS Doggy Doo when you are using the Jeep in a low speed rough trail condition.
    3. I am a 57 year old who has owned Jeeps since he was 14 years old . I have driven every model of Cj / Yj /Tj / Wrangler they have made
    That said … I would NOT buy the latest JK model . this pathetic thing belongs in a pimp your ride/accountants gone wild on the weekend magazine.
    Unless The Jeep line makes a DRAMATIC change then I will likely never own another Jeep made after 2006 .