Jeep is one of the world’s most well-known and respected multi-terrain vehicle brands. Many of them will deliver phenomenal mileages over their lifetimes, with relatively minimal expense for repairs, but how long do these legendary cars last?
Most Jeeps can last up to 100 000 miles or more, and when looked after properly, some can last for 300 000 to 400 000 miles or better. Their rugged design, highly durable components, and robust chassis make these all-terrain vehicles as tough as they come.
Their motto of ‘Go anywhere. Do anything’ are not just pretty words, so let’s find out what these vehicles’ lifespan is. This longevity is due to their inherent ability to perform well on rough and smooth terrain and absorb punishment that would render other vehicles inoperable over the same length of time.
Have Jeeps Always Been Tough
To understand why these cars are so tough, we must look at the Jeep’s genesis. Jeep was officially founded in 1941; When it became evident that the USA was going to join the War, the US Government called several motor vehicle manufacturers to create a rugged vehicle for military use.
Karl Probst at American Bantam Car Company supplied a prototype, later handed to Ford and Willys, who began to provide the US Army with vehicles. According to Joe Frazer, the former president of Willys-Overland, the name ‘jeep’ evolved from the condensation of the term ‘General Purpose.’
Jeep is considered the father of the modern SUV and four-door vehicles; such was the impact this rugged little off-roader had on the automotive industry in the 1940s. Now let’s skip to 2022 and learn more about this extraordinary American legend!
At What Mileage Do Jeeps Start Having Problems
Most jeeps can run without severe mechanical issues for 100 000 miles; for most other brands of cars, this is where the real problems start to set in. Assuming the Jeep is regularly serviced, most can reach 100 000-150 000 miles without too much trouble.
So will most other cars last as long? Well, on the road, yes, there are other brands of vehicles that can last to the 100 000 mile mark, but this would be mostly on smooth tarred roads, not bumpy, uneven back or country roads.
When looking at how long a Jeep will last, we must consider the difference between standard cars and jeeps. Taking an average car over the same rough terrain as you can with a jeep will condemn that car to a lifetime of repairs and expensive upgrades to the suspension system and engine.
If you only drove your Jeep on smooth, tarred roads, you’d have little to no severe mechanical wear and tear up to the 100 000 mile mark and probably up to 200 000 miles. This is because the Jeep is designed to run off-road rough and not on-road smooth.
While some cars are designed on-road with some off-road capability, Jeep’s military core value dictates the opposite. This rugged off-road four-door vehicle can run on-road without breaking a sweat; this is the primary difference between Jeep and the rest.
To give you a more detailed and clearer idea of how long a Jeep can last, let’s look at the various Jeep models and their estimated lifetime mileage, as well as the maintenance or unexpected repair costs you would expect to incur over that lifespan.
What Jeep Model Lasts The Longest
Before we consider which model or models last the longest, let’s consider which one lasts the shortest. Of all the Jeep models, the Renegade tends to have the shortest lifespan, with an average of 45 000 miles before problems set in.
This is an equivalent of about five years, so it would seem that the Renegade would be better suited to a more ‘civilian’ lifestyle where most traveling is done on the luxurious tarred city roads. The outdoor stuff is best left to its bigger brothers!
With the other models, such as the Cherokee, Gladiator, Patriot, Rubicon, Liberty, Wrangler, and Commander, their average lifespan is more than ten years and sometimes up to fifteen or twenty years, with mileage over 200 000 miles and better.
For models such as the Patriot, Liberty, Wrangler, and Commander, the average lifespan would be from ten to fifteen years with mileages ranging from 90 000 miles to 300 000 miles, and the Cherokee capable of reaching 400 000 miles.
Here’s the list of each model, along with their expected lifespan in years and mileage capacity:
|Jeep Model Name||Lifespan in years||Lifespan in mileage|
|Patriot||10-15||100 000 – 200 000|
|Commander||10-15||150 000 – 200 000|
|Wrangler||10-15||100 000 – 280 000|
|Rubicon||10-15||90 000 – 300 000|
|Liberty||10-15||150 000 – 300 000|
|Cherokee||15-20||200 000 – 400 000|
Based on this table, the Jeep Cherokee has the longest lifespan in both mileage and years, with the Liberty and Rubicon models a close second, the Wrangler a very hot third, with the Commander and Patriot models filling in 4th and 5th respectively.
For many Jeep owners, the Jeep Wrangler has lasted them 20 years and is still going strong. Aside from the service and maintenance elements, another component in this model that contributes to its exceptional longevity: is the engine.
The Top Three Jeeps That Last The Longest
As you can see from the table mileages above, all the models except for the Renegade have exceptional lifespans and will last more than 150 000 miles when adequately cared for. But some models last longer than others.
We will look at the service aspects of these cars a little later on, but let’s check out the top three longest-lasting jeep models.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee
This luxury SUV is one of the most comfortable Jeep SUVs available, and aside from its features and comforts, it’s still a Jeep and has the lineage to outlast most other luxury SUVs by some margin.
The rugged body, transmission, and engine are the primary contributors to this model’s exceptional lifespan, with many owners of these cars having them over 200 000 miles and more; in fact, there are reports of Cherokees still running at 250 000 miles and 300 000 miles and on their way to 400 000 miles!
The Jeep Wrangler
Before 2012, this model received many complaints, especially about the engine. Still, when the Pentastar 3.6L V6 was installed in the Wrangler in 2012, it changed the playing field for this vehicle and has made it one of the longest-lasting vehicles ever made.
Aside from the engine, the Wrangler is a tough-built no-nonsense off-road powerhouse that can go through anything and anywhere. A kind of- chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out type car that is not only easy to drive but as rugged and reliable as they come.
It’ll go through anything and is as comfortable on the back country roads and uncharted roads of the National Parks as on the sprawling suburban highways and interstates! The body and exterior design make it impervious to the elements, which is one of the reasons this model Jeep is one of the most popular ever.
The Jeep Compass
Built with independent four-wheel drive suspension, this medium-sized comfortable SUV can run the rough paths without sacrificing the ride comfort and is for folks that don’t necessarily need a lot of space but still want the ride comfort and reliability from a Jeep.
Longevity Depends On Service
Regular and consistent servicing is the key to extending the lifespan of any car. This ensures the engine is well-maintained and can keep performing with little risk of damaging engine components during operation.
The excellent news with Jeep is that their parts and maintenance costs are generally lower than other cars. This may be because this brand has been around in the USA since the 1940s, and parts are generally freely available from various suppliers.
Oil and Filter Changes Keep Your Jeep Engine Purring
Oil changes and air, fuel, and oil filters should be changed as per the recommended intervals, as should spark plugs. Leaving these parts beyond their suggested working life will create performance issues and lead to more significant mechanical problems.
Oil changes should be done between 6000 and 10 000 miles, which should never be neglected if you do this yourself. Make sure you use the recommended oil even if it is more expensive. Use the better quality spares for all the service parts.
One of the reasons you need to go this route is that better quality parts and oils will last longer, perform better, and are less likely to have compatibility issues in the engine as they will provide the necessary outputs and levels of lubrication that are ideal for the Jeep engines.
Often, vehicle owners opt for cheaper parts to save money. Still, with high-performance engines, especially ones that have been around for 70 years, it pays to spend that little bit more and enjoy that peace of mind and reliability that choosing the best parts will bring.
Suspension Inspections Will Extend Your Jeep’s Lifespan
Aside from the service parts, as the Jeep ages and if it has been used off-road, the suspension parts will start to wear and tear. So getting your Jeep up on a lift and inspecting the various suspension components like the springs, shock absorbers, ball joints, and the sway bar and replacing worn parts without delay will add more years of performance.
Manufacturer Recalls And Updates
Another reason that Jeep does last long is that the manufacturer is proactive in maintaining and updating electronic components and dealing with potential issues in older vehicles.
Jeep will occasionally issue notices for recalls and upgrades, as they did in 2019 through a service campaign aimed at the 2010-2015 Jeep Wrangler models that required reprogramming the powertrain control module (PCM).
The PCM error meant that the older vehicles were failing smog emission and inspections because the PCM had stored error codes even after the errors and problems had been fixed. This ensured these older model Jeeps could continue to provide service for a few more years.
The Pentastar 3.6L V6 – An Extraordinary Engine
Aside from the suspension, electrical, and interior components, the heart of every vehicle is the engine. Post-2012, the Pentastar 3.6L V6 engine has been the standard power source for the Jeep Wrangler.
The Pentastar engine has 285 horsepower and 260 foot-pounds of torque. It is the real star of the Wrangler’s longevity, with many owners reporting 100 000 miles or more on this engine before any maintenance work is required.
The power of this engine means it can handle off-road terrain without causing undue stress on the machine, and even though the Wrangler is a reasonably heavy SUV, the quality of the engine means it can run off- and on-road without failing.
Servicing with oil and fluid changes is required at the recommended intervals. Still, many cars would experience mechanical problems long before that and need work such as cam belt changes, water, fuel pump replacements, etc.
The Pentastar engine is made by FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) and has been so successful that more than 10 million of these engines have been produced, and you’ll find them in many other cars like Chrysler and Dodge.
A Pentastar engine in a Dodge Ram ran for 626 000 miles before finally suffering failure. That is an incredible testament to the durability and build quality that these V6 engines bring to the Wrangler in other cars it is installed in.
Jeeps can last up to 400 000 miles when properly maintained, and we would suspect that a fair number of these vehicles in the country have achieved the 500 000 mile mark and are still going. Many owners would not consider any other ‘go-to’ vehicle for reliability and toughness.
This brand loyalty is an excellent testimonial to the steadfast commitment of Jeep to continue to produce some of the most rugged and durable vehicles that have ever been built and maintain that core value that was the catalyst for the birth of this brand and the vision that Karl Probst presented way back in 1941.