Jeeps First? What's Your Second Choice?

by Larry Morton

Ford Bronco (File Photo)

Ford Bronco (File Photo)

If Jeeps are your favorite off road vehicle(s) then what would your second choice be...other than a Jeep?

I have always loved Jeeps, but practically speaking there are a few other off road capable vehicles that quite frankly fill some of the gaps left by the Jeep brand.

I have 2 Jeeps at the moment: a Wrangler and a Comanche Pickup. I also have a family car, which is a Toyota Corolla, for practical reasons which are primarily comfort and gas mileage.

Lately I have found myself thinking, or maybe yearning for something a little more "heavy duty" than my Jeeps. I can almost hear some of you saying, "then why don't you just put some heavy duty aftermarket equipment on your Jeeps?"

Good question, and the answer is that I have mildly built up the Wrangler, but the pickup would need a bunch of upgrades to get it anywhere near where I would like it to be. Those three nagging thoughts keep running through my head...time, effort and money.

If I could find what I wanted with most of the tough components I like already packaged in a specific vehicle, that would be ideal. I could look for a built up Jeep with heavy duty axles, lockers, gearing, etc. and that might fill the void, but then I run into the problem of trusting that the previous owner(s) did the job correctly and also hasn't abused the Jeep.

Another factor
is the fact that Jeeps are often overpriced due to strong demand and short supply especially in the used Jeep market. Finding a well built rig with all of the best components can be quite costly to acquire.

Also, I have a need for an expedition type of vehicle that will do well on long highway trips as well as off road. The short wheelbase Wrangler can be rough on long highway trips. The newer long Jeep Wrangler (Unlimited) might do the trick, but the initial cost gives pause for thought. An older Jeep Cherokee, or Grand Cherokee is another viable option. Towing could work as well but then there is the need for a strong tow vehicle, plus a suitable trailer (if not flat-towing).

I have to admit that before I actually got into Jeeps I had a Ford pickup and later a full-sized Ford Bronco 4x4, both of which I liked a lot. They were not nearly as proficient off road as a Jeep but for expedition purposes they were pretty darned good.

So what is the purpose of all this rambling? Well, I would like to hear about your ideas on an alternative to the Jeep, or maybe a supplemental vehicle for a different purpose. If your first love is Jeeps, then what would be your second love? Let's hear from you.

Use the "Comment" section below and please be specific as to your choice(s). Thanks!

Larry Morton

Comments for Jeeps First? What's Your Second Choice?

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Second choice
by: Steven

My second choice would have to be the Marauder (from Paramount Group). Price has put a stop to me buying one though.

Other than a Jeep
by: Mike

My other choice is the K5 Blazer/full size Bronco. More space to carry stuff, better towing capability and can carry five passengers when needed, can be built up for better off road capability, and can still be found at reasonable cost. Down side is not as maneuverable in tight areas as the Jeep and higher gas consumption. Also, let's be frank, nowhere near as cool.

Editor's Comment: Good choice, Mike. I had an old K5 Blazer at one time and loved it. It also had a fairly rare manual transmission with the 350 V8.

International Scout II
by: Herm

I had one of these and loved it. It had the 304 V8 and ran great. It was noisy inside, so I added insulation where I could.

I thought it was the perfect size and was tough right out of the box. Too bad International quit building these trucks. To own one now I hear that parts are hard to find.

Oh well, that's why Jeeps are tops today.

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