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Jeep: Losing Sight Of Their Heritage

ourjeeplifeourjeeplife Posts: 44

Upon login this morning to my Google Plus page.. Yes I'm sorry to admit that I have a G+ page.. Anyway, I'm following several Jeep type sites when I take noticed of "Jeep" posting images of concepts. Mind you I have seen several of these concepts before.

The one that I flat out don't like and disapprove of is the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee, which takes on the appearance of a small Asian style minivan, I posted a comment on their page indicating my displeasure with how jeep is handling their future. Because of Fiat's ownership merger and Fiat’s influence in the jeep’s new designs etc.. About only thing I see coming from this, is that Fiat has been producing some very powerful engines and I look forward to seeing and hearing great things when the Diesel engine is unveiled.

I can not get over the fact that when we drove a 1999 (TJ) Wrangler which drove like a tank.. We thought that it would be our last one. But due to a bad decision and bad advice.. we bought a Jeep Commander.. which was the worst thing we could have done. Right away we set out to get back into a Wrangler.

At that time Jeep had just introduced the new Wrangler with the powerful fiat engine.. but after several attempts to actually buy a new jeep, we settled for a used 08 Wrangler. Also I wasn't thrilled with the color of this slightly used Wrangler ether. Over time, the color has become a non-issue and we're still planning on upgrades thou slow in coming this year.

Two other concepts caught my eye as well.. Yet current wrangler owners are at odds with at least one of the concepts.. Seems the "new" or future wrangler is lighter and beefier looking sort of speak. All images I've seen of this new wrangler seem to point to Jeeps past.. which is a good thing.

The new wrangler sort of reminds me of the old Jeepster and at one point I thought I heard it said that this concept started out as the New Jeepster, but later changed to Wrangler. One concept that really takes me back is the jeep truck. sort of reminds me of the Willys flatfender or Honcho pickup.. which I sorely miss.

Lastly, I just see Jeep heading in the wrong direction and because of Fiat's influence on with the small car market.. Jeep will continue to appeal to and draw away those drives of Hyundai, Toyota etc with their new Grand Cherokee.. With yet another unveiling,The new 2015 Jeep Renegade takes on a Nissan Cubeish Factor and again.. we disapprove. Is this Jeeps attempt to revamp the Compass or Patriot and just slap on a new name.

Who are these people that claim “Best in Show” or “Most Award Winning SUV” etc.. Apparently the people voting have never spoken with a 30+ year veteran from the days when jeep’s meant something. Jeep, you’re going down the wrong road and it’s going to get bumpy real fast..

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Comments

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259

    People thought the world was going to end when Porsche started making SUVs. Turned out to be a smart (and very profitable) move for the company. The sales will tell.

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  • ourjeeplifeourjeeplife Posts: 44

    Steve, Your response was reasonable and to the point.. Thank you for the input. So as you can see.. this is the type of stuff I write about.. be it good or bad..(From the visitors point of view) I write what I feel.

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259
    edited March 4

    Plenty of fans thought Jeep lost their way when they came out with the Liberty, but it turned out to win some repeat customers who moved on to the Grand Cherokee. And lots more probably decided to go to a Wrangler or Wrangler Unlimited after getting a taste of riding on dirt in their Liberty.

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  • ourjeeplifeourjeeplife Posts: 44
    edited March 5

    Update: I've just log out of my MSN account, but before I did, I took notice of a post via the auto review section which indicated that the Jeep Wrangler made a "15 used cars to avoid" list. Needless to say I'm out raged based on that editors remarks.. in other words.. "It's A Jeep Thing" and He doesn't get it.. and reposted my above article at MSN Auto's (http://editorial.autos.msn.com/15-used-cars-to-avoid#16) mind you the Jeep made 16th.. but the article say 15 used cars.. lastly the jeep is not a "Car".

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259
    edited March 5

    JD Power doesn't think much of Wrangler reliability either. (US News)

    The 2013 ones don't fare so well over at True Delta either.

    Consumer Reports really hates the Unlimited.

    The customer reviews here (for the 2013) average 5 stars. B)

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259
    edited March 5

    Do you think the new Renegade follows the heritage path? Perhaps the Trailhawk Edition? Sort of resembles a Kia Soul, but compact rigs are good for off-roading, especially in places like Tellico where the trails are narrow.

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  • ourjeeplifeourjeeplife Posts: 44
    edited March 6

    First let me respond to my recent update. It would appear that I've turned 4 (http://forums.edmunds.com/badge/anniversary-4) and I wanted to thank Edmunds and Steve for allowing to stay this long while other forums have banned me.. The "experts" seem to know what the average Joe wants as to predicting what car/truck we want.. rate those consumer blah blahs.. but these are views from writers and testers that want something different in their life and something different to drive.. but again that their views and they are welcome to it.. but ask any true "jeep" guy/gal.. this little renegade isn't within their lines of thinking. Mind you 68% of those reading my blogs or actually going out to look at new cars aren't relying on some consumer report to tell them what to buy. It called "I want that" syndrome.. add flash appeal and the will buy it.. yet if the Jeep name doesn't live up to their products.. the sales will decline. and may never recover. As for the new jeep's heritage.. I don't see it. Thou coming from a family that has always attempting to "mod" our jeep with larger tires and slightly lifted.. this new Renegade reminds me of the older Liberty which we looked at before buying the 08.. the issue with the liberty was that there wasn't any margin for improvement.. Thou we have seen a few CRD Liberty cruising the streets with 2 inch lifts and larger tires.. True about the smaller car/truck being used in third world countries.. take the Suzuki or the GEO these are still on those mud trails and being converted everyday. I guess I'm old fashion.. wanting a cut rate jeep with nothing more that two seats and a powerful engine/drive train.. Radios and Ac wouldn't be offered. I was excited to see the Jeep truck..and I was actually hoping to see more of them on the road.. I think because of fiat's influence jeep is losing their heritage.. the "jeep's" are looking more European or Asian than the classic Jeep of years past. The Renegade just seems "synthetic" in design, which jeep/fiat is hoping to capture or pull those away from buying the Hyundai or alike. It's sort of like the Chevy Cavalier syndrome.. ending up as a Cobalt.. but still have the guts of a cavalier.. is this the answer to how to "revamp" auto sales?. I'm sure this Jeep will appeal to the younger set.. just not anyone in our family would be willing to give any of these new jeeps a second look and when this happens in the knowing we've been a jeep fan for more than 38 years.. sort of makes us want to start looking at other vehicles..Perhaps the FJ Cruiser or if Ford would get off their butts and revamp the Bronco.. I don't see Jeep making an easy recovery after these "new" introductions. Lastly.. I think if you lose one customer, you lost to many..

  • ourjeeplifeourjeeplife Posts: 44
    edited March 6

    Overnight, I had a chance to to think about yesterdays topic.. Nothing has changed, although I did have an idea based on my comments about the new Renegade looking synthetic. I could change my view on this jeep "IF" this jeep model had:

    1. Wider stance
    2. Shortened wheel base
    3. Removed Second Row Seat
    4. Removed Second Row Doors
    5. Incorporate a Removable hardtop/convertible
    6. Allow for more options or customizing when ordering (aka Scion style)
    7. Removing non accentual components (IE radio, AC etc)
    8. Diesel would be a must

    New Mini Jeep?..then I may actually be interested. I think what is happen here, is that auto markers have forgotten what "SUV" means.. "Sport Utility Vehicle" and all we're seeing are big clunky trucks/vans that have nothing to do with "Sport" So Jeep.. Make those changes to the Renegade.. and we might have something better to say in this respect.

  • ourjeeplifeourjeeplife Posts: 44

    Continuing: Get this.. The new revamped Jeep Wrangler will remove the folding windshield option as well as the spare tire option.. phfftt.. Jeep.. You're Losing your heritage as well as your mind.. This just about seals it for us.. Although we are keeping our 08, we may start looking into other vehicle options.. Just in case.. Hum whats that old saying?.. "If It Aint Broke, Don't Fix It"

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259

    Can't have a folding windshield if you are going to offer a power top. But I guess the power top is just in the "design" phase.

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  • ourjeeplifeourjeeplife Posts: 44
    edited March 7

    Steve.. I just see this conversation like beating a dead house.. Power soft top jeep?.. This new jeep Renegade will be the lazy mans jeep, just push a button.. what are they going to add "drive it self" mode next?. The only power I want is the diesel engine.. who cares about glitz and glamor on a jeep wrangler.. I want to see it get 60 mpgs not sit there looking pretty at a stop light.. The new jeeps are nothing more than a fashion statement.. There auto makers are shooting themselves in the foot because everyone going to be flocking to buy the older jeeps just to keep them alive. But then again I must be hanging around the jeep forums to much.. I see what they are saying.. and it's nothing like this low key edmunds forum.. Words like the "f" bomb are used to describe how the new jeeps look.. Lastly, there are so many divisions when it comes to the jeep wrangler that one jeep owner doesn't know if he should do the jeep wave of do the jeep finger.. simply because no one is waving anymore.

    P.S. Steve just got word from our sign company.. Our JWN decals will arrive next week.. we at JWN would like for you to have one. Pm me if interested.

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259
    edited March 7

    Actually the power top is being considered for the 2016 Wrangler.

    I remember my old '74 CJ-5. I think all the snaps on the soft top may have fit for the first month. After a while I just paid attention to the ones on the windshield and any of the rest I was able to snap down were just gravy.

    By the third year it was mostly a Bimini style top and it was just about completely toast when I traded it in.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,801

    Man.. I forgot about snapping the top... What a pain.. :(

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  • ourjeeplifeourjeeplife Posts: 44

    Double teaming me I see.. Why?.. is there an issues with my comments?.. as for the olden days.. I'd much rather be back then, than now..

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259

    We're just talking cars here. You have your preferences, I have mine. If you had an older Jeep, you'd know all about the soft tops and how they didn't work very well. Back in those days, convertible tops on most cars didn't last very many years. I'm think that's how Bestop really got established since the OEM tops weren't very good. Then in '86 Bestop just took over making tops for Jeeps.

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  • toddmntoddmn Posts: 13
    edited March 14

    I see Jeep is continuing on the radically divergent path from where it belongs. The big problem here is (should be) that Jeep is a niche market vehicle. Since Renault and Chrysler, we keep seeing more luxurious, Lexus like Jeeps. These wind tunnel designed, over-featured, abominations, have taken the heart out of what a Jeep should be. Simple, tough,Jeep. I know all the arguments will be "Oh, but modern consumers want...." which is totally wrong. REAL, Jeep buyers want Tough and simple. If you don't want tough and simple, your opinion is not needed on a Jeep forum. You should be buying a different brand of vehicle (the Porsche mentioned above for example) that offers all the stuff you think is important. Once again...Luxurious, feature rich, road handling = not Jeep. Simple, tough=Jeep.

  • toddmntoddmn Posts: 13
    edited March 14

    OurJeepLife, don't get you too bent about the mention of power tops...My 1967 Jeepster Has a POWER convertible top! :) However, unlike modern Jeeps, it is a tough as nails, CJ but with a fancy body.

  • toddmntoddmn Posts: 13

    @Stever@Edmunds said: Plenty of fans thought Jeep lost their way when they came out with the Liberty, but it turned out to win some repeat customers who moved on to the Grand Cherokee. And lots more probably decided to go to a Wrangler or Wrangler Unlimited after getting a taste of riding on dirt in their Liberty.

    This is the problem with consumers and reviews of Jeeps. People are settings standards for Jeeps based on what they would consider important when buying an AWD sedan. A real Jeep should have more in common with a farm tractor than with, Dodge Charger.

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259

    Wow, was that OEM? Good friends in Chattanooga had one back in the day when I was living there with my CJ-5. It was the metal topped one and they may have taken the top off once. Unfortunately they did a slow roll in it, turning down a driveway into a store parking lot, of all things.

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  • toddmntoddmn Posts: 13

    Sure was. Glass back window too, on the deluxe revival edition Jeepster. Commando convertible was just plastic. The windshield doesn't fold on the Jeepster/Commando, but it easily could have. This is a feature Jeep should Keep on Wranglers.

    The CJ5 was surely not made for quick turns!

    I don't blame Chrysler for ruining Jeep. It is the reality that they can't afford the development costs and litigation that would surely follow if they built "real" Jeeps for the few of us who actually want them. The name lives on even if the "Brer Rabbit" tradition does not.

  • toddmntoddmn Posts: 13

    For me, the love affair with Jeeps started without my knowing. For years I've been attracted to different objects in use throughout our modern world. Evinrude Outboard motors, 1960s Jeeps, Milwaukee railroad passenger cars and so on. Turns out all these beautifully designed machines were the brain child of legendary designer Brooks Stevens. That's the problem these days, there are no iconic industrial designers. Everything is a product of market research, government regulation, risk analysis of of possible litigation, and profit margin. In the 21st century, the art is missing from the things we use.

    I can't imagine the Renegade will be very popular for the Jeep faithful. I'm sure it will sell like hotcakes amongst people who have never owned a Jeep but like to think of themselves as rugged individuals who drive a Jeep to the mall for a mocha.

    For me, when the last Brooks Stevens designed Jeep Wagoneer rolled of the line in 1991, the party was over. I've had a 02 Liberty, 07 Compass, 08 Patriot and I currently own a Commander. At least the Commander Looks like a Jeep and is a fairly good replacement for the old Wagoneer in size and for on road use. However when the real work needs to happen, like plowing snow, it is time to trust in the blizzardproof CJ8 Scrambler to get things moving again. You will never see a plow mounted on a new 2015 Renegade.(and that's a crying shame)

  • ourjeeplifeourjeeplife Posts: 44

    Having been right there with you on as many jeep within our families history.. and still till this day family members are continuing to drive jeeps. But I have yet to hear any of them say they would buy any of these newer jeeps. One must learn not to get involved in these types of family discussions.. The family is already at odds with one another. But lets not get side tracked here.. I've had some of the best cars & trucks.. and some of the worst. Surprisingly the best car I had ever own was a 2003 50th anniversary Corvette Z06 but that too was short lived.. I was skeptical about purchasing the 08 Jeep Wrangler first because I didn't like the color..second it was starting to head down that road where jeep/mopar was incorporating lighter parts and plastics.. Having grown up with the jeeps that drove like tanks.. The 08 just seem silly to me.. Once I recalled posting.. "JK" meant Joke.. Thou learning of our jeeps history.. my views have changed.

  • toddmntoddmn Posts: 13

    "But I have yet to hear any of them say they would buy any of these newer jeeps" Yes. What would anyone want with a Jeep that looks like a potato on wheels?

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778

    Our son bought a new 2012 Wrangler Unlimited and he is happy with it.

    I find it to be crude, primitive,, uncomfortable and noisy with a back seat that is torture to ride in.

    I don't see the attraction but I don't have to live with it. to each his own I suppose!

  • toddmntoddmn Posts: 13

    isellhondas that speaks to my point exactly about "real" Jeeps". Jeep is a niche market vehicle and it should stay that way. When they make a Jeep you like, it will no longer be a Jeep, it will be just another SUV in an over crowded segment of vehicles that are pretty good on the road, fine for snow and gravel and get marginal mileage.

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259
    edited March 16

    And those vehicles sell. And are very profitable for the manufacturer.

    You know, it's the Porsche argument all over again.

    Interesting stuff about Brooks Stevens btw; wasn't familiar with him.

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  • toddmntoddmn Posts: 13

    Jeep has had such positive feedback from the Jeep community on concept vehicles like the Gladiator Pickup, NuKaiser, and Mighty FC it is just a crime they do not pursue these inspiring Jeeps. Instead, they launch something that has to compete with other, lack luster, models for market share, offering nothing more than slightly better off road capability to set it apart from the competition. Jeep leaving the hard core utility market by eliminating their pickup and commercial platforms is the biggest mistake Jeep ever made. It moved Jeep from being a viable player in fleet service to, lost in the vast SUV universe. The corporate model for Jeep should be to make the toughest, most reliable, utility vehicle possible in a downsized package, from Ford, Dodge and Chevy full size. That model built the brand from 1942 to 1986 and it could easily fill that void (useful but not fancy) in the market today.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778

    @toddmn said: isellhondas that speaks to my point exactly about "real" Jeeps". Jeep is a niche market vehicle and it should stay that way. When they make a Jeep you like, it will no longer be a Jeep, it will be just another SUV in an over crowded segment of vehicles that are pretty good on the road, fine for snow and gravel and get marginal mileage.

    I have to totally agree with what you said!

    There's a saying in the car biz..." There's an a** for every seat"!

    Just not mine!

  • toddmntoddmn Posts: 13

    @Stever@Edmunds said: And those vehicles sell. And are very profitable for the manufacturer.

    You know, it's the Porsche argument all over again.

    Interesting stuff about Brooks Stevens btw; wasn't familiar with him.

    "Profitable for the manufacturer"

    Jeep used to have a monopoly on what they did best. Over the past 3 decades they lost that advantage by watering down the vehicle, eliminating models that appealed to commercial buyers, and by listening to advice from the masses about what they claim they are are interested in buying.

  • Hey, guys. Its 2014. Things change. FCA is emerging as a leader with their worldwide branding, excellent quality, class-leading infotainment systems, styling and mechanicals. The Renegade I plan to order will rip the doors off the Kia Soul and Nissan Juke, plus it will make a great garage mate for my 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trail Hawk (which is also awesome).

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