7 Reasons to Be Thankful for the Jeep Wrangler

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Any time we’re behind the wheel of a Jeep Wrangler, we’re thankful. We recently spent a week in a 2016 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock. Of course, we were grateful to be there, but we started thinking about other things we were grateful for, especially because Thanksgiving is almost here. A lot of things came to mind: our loving families, our loyal friends, our health, and many other things we intend to say to the people we care about over perfectly cooked turkeys…or while commercials are playing during the Cowboys/Redskins game. Then we thought of the rig we were in. So here it is, our list of things about the Jeep Wrangler to be thankful for (aside from its obvious and awesome abilities off-road):

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1.) Jeep Hasn’t Ruined Its Looks

There have been three distinct generations of the Wrangler over the past 30 years. A lot can change in that time and a lot has, but it doesn’t matter if you’re getting an eyeful of a YJ, TJ, or JK – you know you’re checking out a Wrangler. Everyone knows what a Wrangler looks like. Most importantly, so does Jeep.

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2.) Its Simplicity…or Complexity

If you just want the rugged looks of a Wrangler, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on one, you don’t have to. Want to hit the trails with a fully warrantied and fully capable beast of an off-roader? For the right price, Jeep’s got you covered. Speaking of cover, you can go roofless, rock a fabric lid, or sport a hard top – in black or in the same color as the Wrangler itself. If that’s not enough, there’s a wide variety of aftermarket parts out there to choose from to make any Wrangler perfectly personalized.

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3.) It’s a Standard for All Other Jeeps

An SUV is not a true Jeep if it’s not capable on rough terrain. Drilling that down a little further, let’s face it – a Jeep is not a Jeep unless it has at least a little Wrangler DNA in it. That’s why even the Renegade cute ute (in Trailhawk form) is available with a rock mode, a lift, and skid plates.

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4.) You Make Friends In It Wherever You Go

You can go to a party co-hosted by a person you know almost nothing about and chat with them comfortably for over an hour if they’re a Wrangler owner. Trust us. We recently did just that. We saw his TJ pickup conversion outside, mentioned the JKU we had parked down the street from it, then talked Jeeps with him under the shade of a pomegranate tree. A day of wheeling with him at an OHV park that usually has nothing but Wranglers flowing through it is already on our calendar for early next year. We’re sure we’ll make even more friends out there.

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5.) It Allows You to See Things from a Different Perspective

When you get to the top of a difficult incline in a Wrangler, you can see for miles ahead – the trees, the mountains, the horizon. From that vantage point, you might just realize certain things for the first time. Maybe you’ll gain a greater appreciation of nature or discover how determined and cool in the face of uncertainty you are. No matter what, you’ll have a great view.

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6.) The Cool Factor

You don’t need to get tattoos and a badass leather jacket for your significant other to find you even more attractive that they already find you. Just have them ride shotgun next to you in a Wrangler. It works. We know from experience.

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7.) It’s Only Going to Get Better

As great as the Wrangler is now, the JL version of it should be an improvement that brings reduced weight, a more modern transmission, an array of engine options, and better fuel economy.

If you haven’t hit the road in your Wrangler to make it to wherever you’ll be celebrating tomorrow’s holiday, please be careful out there. If you’ve already gotten your traveling done, we’re sure you’re grateful you can relax. Either way, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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