"I drove the Wrangler through the mud and record snowfall of the Sierra," says photographer Brian Vance, who recorded 2000 miles in the Jeep during a roundtrip from Los Angeles to Reno via Sacramento. Confronted with six to eight feet of snow from a hefty January storm, Vance says, "I couldn't have picked a better vehicle with which to be caught in this blizzard-awesome traction in the deep, deep snow, and engaging/disengaging four-wheel drive is super easy." But while the Jeep can make you dream of a white Christmas, it gave Vance nightmares when he was back on dry roads: "The Wrangler's weaknesses stand out like a sore thumb as soon as you get it back in the lower elevations and drive it for any distance over 50 miles. It is noisy, incredibly underpowered, and tracks sloppily; the seats are uncomfortable, and it's poorly insulated."


2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Months/miles in service 9/13,330
Avg econ/CO2 15.1 mpg / 1.28 lb/mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $131.90 (2 oil change/inspection/rotate tires)
Normal-wear cost $0