Ever since its inception in the middle of the 20th century, the Jeep design has been popular among military personnel and civilians alike. Its robust and no nonsense personality is an extremely desirable trait for a car. Every once in a while, we have to have that occasional outdoor excursion to let off some steam and a Jeep Wrangler is a good choice for that. Imagine driving around in essentially a military car that our most esteemed G.I.’s drove way back in the day. They can weather out some of the most rugged terrain an automobile will ever come across. Granted, it may not be the most capable off-roader out there but the Jeep Wrangler is nothing to scoff at.
Like all things in life, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine, so much so with the Jeep Wrangler. A few high profile automobile critics have deemed Jeep as one of the worst car brands in 2018 and it breaks our hearts to grudgingly agree for the sake of honesty and everything that is good. Reliability issues are common for almost all the generations of the Wrangler. For this reason, some even spend more time at the car shop than in the someone’s home garage. Admittedly, the Jeep has grown to have numerous flaws that unfortunately can’t be classified as minor by any stretch.
For this reason, we have decided to sample 10 Jeep Wranglers that look like they are fit for an apocalypse and 10 that won’t survive a trudge through the lawn.
20 Cross The Desert: Starwood Custom Kevlar Jeep Wrangler Unlimited SEMA Build
You’d have to have the right connections in order to even have a chance at buying this Kevlar Wrangler.
This Jeep could cross the Sahara without any problems, and this one could do that same job even while bandits are chasing us.
Not a circumstance we’re excited to be in but it eases our minds that if this unfortunate situation befalls on us, we can manage knowing that the body is able to withstand being shot at. Interestingly enough, it still has rear child safety locks. Apparently, the more features, the better.
19 Cross The Desert: 2016 Jeep Wrangler Bandit
If you have about $150,000 to spare for a Jeep Wrangler then the Bandit might just be the one for you. It’s safe to say that this particular Wrangler has triple the road presence of even a Hummer. This off-roading colossus has a unique Mad Max kind of beauty. Some people dig it, some might not like the looks but it’s unquestionably one of a kind. Every single part of the Wrangler Bandit has been modified for optimal performance and reliability. This is from the suspension to the ginormous wheels that you can clearly see in the picture. Surely, this is worth every penny you spend on it even if you only use it as a grocery getter (you better not). But after gazing at the 10 toughest jeeps out there, it’s time to sore our eyes with Jeeps that can only use the pedestrian crossing on the road.
18 Cross The Desert: 2014 6.4-L HEMI Brute Double Cab Conversion
Double cabs are great in any shape or form. You can carry the same amount of people as a regular SUV and you have the cargo bed at the back to carry everything you need on your trip across the desert (or where ever you plan to go).
And apart from that, this Wrangler has enough lights to illuminate a football field!
The last statement might be an exaggeration but it’s fully proficient to handle a little trip out in the sand dunes without any problems. Stealth is the name of the game as well since it would be extremely hard to spot this HEMI Brute at night.
17 Cross The Desert: Mongoose
If the colour red is your liking then you might want to take a look at this custom built Jeep Wrangler “Mongoose”. The headlights look as menacing as a skunk poised to take a pee on your face and the front grille is nothing short of threatening. Its 35” mud tires can certainly get a grip on a hill climb, with no need to ask how much more on loose sand. It seemingly has everything going for it and we’d be fools to think that the modifications end at the exterior. The stock parts were replaced with more beefy mechanical pieces to make the vehicle fair better in more challenging circumstances.
16 Cross The Desert: Steam Punk
The lifted life is common for vehicles such as the Jeep Wrangler but the Steam Punk edition from Dave Smith Custom Shop takes the concept up another level. Some might deem the front intimidating while others will consider it as exciting – but it’s all up to you whether or not the Steam Punk gives you a scare.
Blacked out cars really do look the best as the paint shines through like diamonds.
The same paint will shine through a thick sand storm in the middle of Africa as well though we might recommend a little retouch at the end of the expedition.
15 Cross The Desert: Jeep Wrangler Storm-24
Storm, as a company, is among the top custom Jeep Wrangler shops in the world. They make pretty mind boggling examples that make us drool at the sight of the vehicle and scream in joy when we look at the spec sheet. Mentioning all the modified parts here would be useless as everything from the roof rack up to the lug nuts are of top quality – they don’t cut corners in building these vehicles fit for a Spartan warrior. In all honesty, the car looks stunning and menacing. No matter what you do with the Storm-24, it’s up for the job.
14 Cross The Desert: Albatross
See that big bulge over the hood? Those aren’t your average hood scoops you can find at the local Auto Zone. That big hood is functional so as to cover up the Ripp supercharger that sits right under it. We don’t need to stress how much the Albatross is adroit at crossing vast lands in the harshest weather. This Wrangler can take a beating, no doubt about it. The white with black and red accents will surely make the Albatross easy to spot at a distance. The paint really does a great job at catching your eye.
13 Cross The Desert: Jeep Wrangler Storm-2 3.6L V6
Take the Jeep Wrangler Storm-2 hill climbing and the machine won’t even break a sweat. The all black look is the only direction to go as the Storm-2 looks exceptional when blacked out. Aside from looking cool, the Storm-2 can take a Rocky Balboa punch and a Jose Aldo kick.
It’s 3.6L V6 had a rough start in the early 2000s but it seems that Jeep has somewhat cleaned up their act and made it more steady at the helm of their Wranglers.
The tires have tons of grip that could take you up a steep mountain side if you really put your mind to it. Needless to say, it can handle a petty desert.
12 Cross The Desert: 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport Hemi Lockers Wilwood Brakes
Starwood Motors builds some of the craziest and over the top Jeep Wranglers we’ve seen in a very long time. What’s best is they still continue producing heavy built Jeeps for us to enjoy (or at least gaze on from afar since they charge quite a hefty premium for their services). The list goes on and on when you look at the things done to this 2016 Wrangler, more than our fingers can count. One look at it and you know it means business – the trail conquering business to be exact. Your peers will know not to fool you around if you drove this behemoth of a car.
11 Cross The Desert: 2012 Jeep Wrangler Bandit 7.0 Hemi Supercharged
Supercharged Hemi’s are absolutely bonkers on normal street cars. Now imagine if you put one on a Wrangler. Oh wait, Starwood Motors already did! Our premise for this list was that a Wrangler could cross the desert. Well, this can definitely cross the Sahara without a hitch and it’ll probably do the task in a couple of days. The ride is surely not for the faint of heart as no off-road trail will prevail under the axles of this monster. A fully decked out Jeep Wrangler is a thing of dreams for most of us normal petrol heads, let alone a work of art such as this one.
10 Can't Cross The Street: Lowered Jeep Wrangler
This Wrangler is an absolute abomination; you might want to burn off your eyes with acid after a quick look at this, this, this horrific hunk of metal and plastic. Lowering an off-roader is pretty much the stupidest move a car owner can do. It totally undermines the purpose of Jeeps.
If the owner wanted to have a slammed car, then he might have been better off buying a Honda Civic complete with a tin can exhaust for that extra oomph.
Nevertheless, to each his own. We won’t judge the owner for what he wants to do with his property.
9 Can't Cross The Street: Jeep Wrangler TJ
Large displacement engines of the TJ were infamous for having exhaust systems leaking. It seems the manifolds tended to crack but at least there are a few aftermarket options that would easily replace the bad exhaust manifolds. Aside from that, joints, bearings and balls were prone to having a shorter lifespan compared to the newer JK models. Worse still, they had excessive play – not ideal if you were to test the TJ in rather harsh trails. Do not be fooled by the photo. The TJ might seem like it can take any difficult position it’s in but the front axle might bust right into your desert expeditions.
8 Can't Cross The Street: Jeep Wrangler JK
After the TJ came the Wrangler JK, a whole new platform that would replace its predecessor. It came with a beefier look and a more refined styling. However, looks aren’t everything and the JK did in fact have a few flaws that would hinder its allure to potential buyers. If you didn’t get the Rubicon package, then you were in for a world of hurt. You’d be lucky if your Wrangler could pass a slightly inclined road test. Both the two-door and the four-door models left a bad taste in our mouths.
7 Can't Cross The Street: Gigantic Wheels
Um, no thank you. We can appreciate other cars with unusually large rims but on a Jeep Wrangler? Come on, only a five year old could come up with such a foolish endeavour. The interior would feel like Burj Khalifa, without the fancy stuff, during an earthquake.
The problem with wheels that big is that every single bump on the road would be felt and the passengers will definitely taste their lunch twice after the ride.
We strongly advise that the owner buys a better set of rims to go with his otherwise beautiful Wrangler Unlimited. And who even makes those kinds of rims?
6 Can't Cross The Street: Station Wagon Wrangler
We’re not exactly sure if we should be amused or saddened by this rather unique approach at designing Jeep Wranglers. The love for station wagons can be felt all throughout the globe and it apparently extends to the owner of this Wrangler. You can bet your pretty penny that this thing is only used to get the kids from school and the sporadic Walmart run which means it has barely even set foot on lose ground. However, we can’t reckon this example is doomed just yet. Keep on the horrible paint job but at least lift up the car a few inches then you’re free to go.
5 Can't Cross The Street: 1960 CJ-5
The bodies of the CJ-5 from 1960 up to the end of its production were not galvanized so eventually, they rotted away. Both the steering and clutch linkages have the tendency to separate when the frame flexes under stress. Aside from that, the frames cracks at pretty much everywhere. It’s thus common to see this generation of the CJ-5 broken down and falling apart from every nook and cranny. The emissions are abysmal as well. This gas guzzling off roader will put a hole in your pocket as it drinks a lot, causing it to stagger away on the road rather than drive straight. Matter of fact, a sign should be painted right in front of the windshield urging you to stay away in large and bold font.
4 Can't Cross The Street: M-715
At face value, the M-715 looks absolutely outstanding. It really embraces the military roots of the Jeep to its core. Jeep’s now rightfully discontinued Tornado 230 OHC engine sits under the hood of the M-715. It doesn’t rev much because it sorts of blows up if it does.
Any moisture on the brake system is sure to lead to rust since the brake system lacks chrome plating – quite a blunder from Jeep if you ask anybody.
It would not be in its natural habitat if the M-715 was to encounter uneven terrain as the suspension isn’t something to be proud of either.
3 Can't Cross The Street: 1987-1990 Wrangler
From the outside, this Wrangler doesn’t look all that banged up but as they say, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Instead of a measly 4-banger, the 4.2-L six cylinder had ample power and great durability. However, it had a lifeless ignition system and lots of burdensome equipment with the sole purpose of minimizing emissions. Its computer controlled Carter YF carburetor was uselss in doing its job. It held down the capable engine and transmission. Being an off-roader, the drivetrain is an essential component for the Wrangler. Unfortunately, the six-cylinder isn’t something to be proud of. In totality, there’s little to none for someone to enjoy in this otherwise beautiful utility vehicle.
2 Can't Cross The Street: YJ Renegade
Trim packages were already a thing back when the YJ Renegade got released for the public to purchase. But instead of scrambling for the trim goodies, people were hell-bent dealing with repairs. Its extended fender flares got the better of buyers who had their eyes fixated on the aesthetics rather than everything else that mattered. The Renegade bundle for the YJ had a 4.0-liter motor that could muster enough power for the heavy off-roader but everything else had a few issues here and there. Apparently, canvas tops were also a fad back in the day. We’re glad none of the car manufacturers of recent times stuck to this outdated design cue.
1 Can't Cross The Street: CJ-3B
The CJ-3B certainly captures the old, classic, military vehicle vibe as it was made in a time not long after the end of the Second World War. CJ Stands for Civilian Jeep. Obviously, they kept the good stuff only for the army to enjoy. And because of that bias we never enjoyed the fact that the CJ-3B looks and drives like a legitimate vehicle meant for the harsh environments of the Pacific. These cars broke down often and it was common to see an old, rusted CJ in a barn somewhere in the middle of nowhere just waiting to be salvaged for scrap metal.
Sources: AutoInfluence.com, Rubitrux.com, FourWheeler.com