A new report says that some of the most commonly traded-in vehicles for a new Jeep Wrangler are actually muscle cars.
This is a little weird. You’d think that muscle car owners, which include Mustangs, Camaros, and Challengers, would be a little more attached to their vehicles. After all, these cars are American icons, status symbols, and all-around fun to drive. Even the little 4-cylinder turbo engined ones.
But sales of muscle cars have fallen in recent years. Challenger sales are mostly flat, but the Mustang and Camaro are losing customers (especially the Camaro, which is being threatened with discontinuation). Where are all those customers going?
Some are undoubtedly throwing in their sporty ride for something more economical, but others are trading in their muscle car for another American icon: the Jeep Wrangler.
Jeep North America Director Scott Tallon spoke with Muscle Cars & Trucks and told them that most Wrangler trade-ins are coming from older JK owners looking to upgrade their wheels. But after that, former pony car owners are the next most likely to ask for a Wrangler by handing the dealer keys to their Mustang, Camaro, or Challenger.
“The pony cars… a lot of them got traded in,” said Tallon. “Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and even our Dodge Challenger.”
Tallon didn’t go into the reasoning behind these trade-ins--dealers don’t exactly care what brought you to make a vehicle purchase, just that you make it with as many optional extras as possible. But we can certainly speculate.
While the Wrangler JL is certainly a useful vehicle to own, it still doesn’t have the same utility of a pickup or a minivan, and there are certainly larger SUVs on the road with an equal amount of off-road capability. It’s certainly not for fuel economy as the Wrangler has never been one to sip gas, but then again, neither have muscle cars.
Most likely there are a host of reasons why people are swapping their muscle cars for a Jeep, and any single guess is an oversimplification.
Tallon also said that the new Jeep Gladiator is getting trade-ins too, but those are mostly from pickup owners with the most common coming from former Tacoma and Colorado drivers. No surprises there as both those trucks are the most common in the mid-size segment.