View Poll Results: Jeep -vs- ATV

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  • Wrangler Unlimited

    9 34.62%
  • Ranger 900 Crew

    17 65.38%
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Thread: Jeep -vs- ATV?

  1. #1
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Question Jeep -vs- ATV?

    I want to get a "trail vehicle" for my family of five. So, I 've been using those "build-it" programs on both the Jeep and Polaris websites and the results are actually quite similar. (using MSRP to keep everything as apples-to-apples as possible.)

    A basic Jeep Wrangler Unlimited prices out at just under $30,000 MSRP.

    The Polaris Ranger Crew 900 starts out a lot lower in price. But, by car standards, it comes with almost nothing: no roof, doors, windshields or windows, heater, etc. By the time you add all the things to the ATV, that come "standard" on a Jeep, you're up into the mid-$20K's range. And because it's not road-legal, you also have to buy at least a flat-bed trailer to get it out to the trailhead. So, MSRP for the complete package will be nipping at the heals of the Jeep.

    For that same amount of money, you get:

    Jeep Wrangler Unlimited: seats 5 / 260HP / 10" clearance / 116" WB / 5100# gvwr / 3500# tow / 32x10" tires (255x75R17)
    Polaris Ranger Crew 900: seats 5 / 60HP / 11.3" clearance / 113" WB / 3321# max / 2000# tow / 26x9"&11" tires (12" rims)

    Which would you rather have?

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  2. #2
    Member jkb's Avatar
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    Option three build my own buggy or track rig thank you
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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  3. #3
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    I have had both at the same time. And I can say I loved my jeep, but theres places I wont take it compared to a 4 wheeler or side by side. With that said, you can buy and awesome used rubicon jk setup for the trail for the price range you mentioned. I wouldn't get a ranger crew anyway, if your kids are old enough I would get two 2 seat sxs or a wheeler and a side by side. Two is one and one is none! Good luck and let us know what you get!

  4. #4
    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    I went jeep. I bought an 06 LJ. 103.4 wb and only 3600#. 190hp. 3500# towing. If the road/trail get to wet, take the canoe off the top of the jeep.
    "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

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  5. #5
    Member BIGAKSTUFF's Avatar
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    Upfront costs don't show the whole picture. I'm assuming you will be getting a new jeep if you are building one online. Picture cruzing on down the trail, you come to a narrow spot where the alders are overgrown and ARE GOING TO SCRATCH THE CRAP out of your pretty new jeep's paintjob....does that make you cringe? It wouldnt in a ranger, i'm postitive. Then theres maintenance costs. Ya roll a ranger, meh, a few scratches/dents are no big deal. Ya roll your jeep, that can be one hell of a bad day for the pocketbook. Blow a tire out on a ranger, we're talking what - 175 bucks? blow out a 32 inch tire on your jeep, what we talking there? The examples are endless, and favor the ranger in the end I believe.

    edit- and something to add, I can get muddy and bloody in a ranger and not think twice about it, something about crawling into my 30K jeep muddy and bloody puts my heart in my throat.
    The Second Amendment.......Know it, love it, support it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrassLakeRon View Post
    I went jeep. I bought an 06 LJ. 103.4 wb and only 3600#. 190hp. 3500# towing. If the road/trail get to wet, take the canoe off the top of the jeep.
    that's a sweet rig. The LJ's are my fav.

  7. #7
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    another thing to consider, if you went jeep, it most likely needs to get your family home. If your out tearing it up in the swamps, trails, and creeks theres so many ways to make it where you wont be able to drive it home... I have been there.. if you are on wheelers or sxs literally a 350 3 wheeler could help pull you back to your truck. A jeep is to heavy and only a truck/jeep can pull you back. And like was pointed out, maintenance is far cheaper on the wheelers.

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    Over the years we have had Jeeps (1975 CJ, built for hunting) 4 wheelers and UTV's. While all had their places and jobs to do, we stuck with 4 wheelers and UTV's. Depending on where/when one goes four wheeling, they all need to be gotten to the starting point, which means that one will need a tow vehicle. Get a 4 wheeler/UTV stuck someplace and it is not a big deal to get it unstuck. It might take a little time but, for the most part, not a big deal. Get a Jeep stuck and one could have an issue on their hands. We have found that there are places that we take the UTV's, that I would not be taking a Jeep of any sort. Something else to consider is who will you be going out with? With a Jeep, one would need to be going with others that have similar vehicles and who all has them? With 4 wheelers/UTV's, there are lots of people out there that are always looking to go for a ride.
    While Jeeps are nice, I beleive that the OP would be better off with a UTV and 4wheelers depending on the ages.

  9. #9
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    I'm not looking for a "recreational" vehicle as much as a "utility" vehicle. I'm not going wheeling/mudding just for the sake of getting dirty. I want reliable transportation for my family, beyond the pavement. Just need to get us and our gear, away from the road and most (not all) of the crowds.

    I wish that I could afford two ATV's, but, the difference in base price between a 2/3-seater and a 5/6-seater is only about 10%. Two basic vehicles, plus two of everything else beyond the base-line, is much more costly than one of everything.

    Factoring out the "recreational" use, how much more territory is accessible with a Crew-sized ATV, than with a Wrangler Unlimited: 25%, 50%, twice as much, ten times as much?

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BluNosDav View Post
    I'm not looking for a "recreational" vehicle as much as a "utility" vehicle. I'm not going wheeling/mudding just for the sake of getting dirty. I want reliable transportation for my family, beyond the pavement. Just need to get us and our gear, away from the road and most (not all) of the crowds.

    I wish that I could afford two ATV's, but, the difference in base price between a 2/3-seater and a 5/6-seater is only about 10%. Two basic vehicles, plus two of everything else beyond the base-line, is much more costly than one of everything.

    Factoring out the "recreational" use, how much more territory is accessible with a Crew-sized ATV, than with a Wrangler Unlimited: 25%, 50%, twice as much, ten times as much?

    Thanx, Dave.


    to get to those places you want to go always mud. And personally from experience, I wouldn't venture off the beaten path with one rig and my family. If you can afford 20k+ in a rig, I would look at 2 used sxs of some sort. Or a regular ranger and a 6x6. Check out the new can am 6x6!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shayno View Post
    to get to those places you want to go always mud. And personally from experience, I wouldn't venture off the beaten path with one rig and my family. If you can afford 20k+ in a rig, I would look at 2 used sxs of some sort. Or a regular ranger and a 6x6. Check out the new can am 6x6!
    I didn't mean to say you want to go mud, I meant to say there is only mud when you get away from the crowds.

  12. #12
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    A Jeep with proper recovery gear and some common sense driving can go a long ways. When in doubt- get out and look about! I do agree with comments about one rig and family- much safer to have 2 vehicles just in case. Regardless of what you decide- make sure to let someone else know where you are and your expected time out. Sat phones are awesome too... If only money was not an issue!

  13. #13
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Having ATV'd around this state for many years, I would say that you could only access 20% of the available trails with a highway legal jeep that you could with a Ranger Crew (and that might be generous). On some of my favorite trails, a Jeep like you are looking at could only go the first mile of a 20 to 30 mile trail.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    I bought an 01 wrangler new out of Wa State. Was 7K less than buying it in Fairbanks....Sold it the next year and got my money back out of it...Will never buy another as long as Chrysler is making them... You don't mention where you are trying to off-road to, I have always preferred going lightweight, compared to the big bog machine...Getting something big bogged down is a whole bunch more work than winching a smaller atv out...Floatplanes or Cubs on tundra tires are popular for good reasons also....

  15. #15
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    1946 Willys Jeep vs John Deere Gator! - Dirt Ever…: http://youtu.be/fgGm0mA1FLY
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  16. #16
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    I bought a new Wrangler X in 2007'. It's still my daily driver. First thing I did 6 months after I bought it was rip off the rear fender and cave in the bottom of the passenger door when I took it on a 4 wheeler trail.....and I didn't even knew that I'd done it till I turned around to come back and saw the fender in the trail. After that I did take it on similar trails, only wider. Fact is, if you are going to wheel a Jeep you ARE going to break it. And if you wheel it a lot, you're going to break it a lot. If that's your only rig you need to get back and forth to work and such, then where's that gong to leave you having to fix it all the time?

    At a minimum, for the type of trails in AK, you would need a Rubicon to get anywhere close to where the Polaris will. And even at that I would venture to say you would even have to put even more off road mods (lift, BIG winch, and at least 35" tires) on the Rubicon to go where you want to go. This also takes big bucks.

    I like how my almost stock Jeep does off road but I don't want to break it, so it only goes off road on some fairly mild stuff. That being said I don't care that much for the big side by sides either......when they get stuck they get stuck pretty good. A regular wheeler will go where the bigger machines won't without getting stuck. So that's why I went with a new 450 Grizzly. I save my Jeep and still can get pretty much anywhere I want to go in the wheeler.

    If I were you I'd either get the Ranger, or a couple wheelers..... Personally I would go with the wheelers because once you start wheeling them, you're ARE going to want to go where you wouldn't be able to take the Ranger. I'm not bad mouthing the Ranger, but I had to get one unstuck once and even though I had all kinds of recovery gear, jacks and what have you, it pretty much took me all day. And believe it or not, it wasn't even in mud. Dang things are heavy...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  17. #17
    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I bought a new Wrangler X in 2007'. It's still my daily driver. First thing I did 6 months after I bought it was rip off the rear fender and cave in the bottom of the passenger door when I took it on a 4 wheeler trail.....and I didn't even knew that I'd done it till I turned around to come back and saw the fender in the trail. After that I did take it on similar trails, only wider. Fact is, if you are going to wheel a Jeep you ARE going to break it. And if you wheel it a lot, you're going to break it a lot. If that's your only rig you need to get back and forth to work and such, then where's that gong to leave you having to fix it all the time?

    At a minimum, for the type of trails in AK, you would need a Rubicon to get anywhere close to where the Polaris will. And even at that I would venture to say you would even have to put even more off road mods (lift, BIG winch, and at least 35" tires) on the Rubicon to go where you want to go. This also takes big bucks.

    I like how my almost stock Jeep does off road but I don't want to break it, so it only goes off road on some fairly mild stuff. That being said I don't care that much for the big side by sides either......when they get stuck they get stuck pretty good. A regular wheeler will go where the bigger machines won't without getting stuck. So that's why I went with a new 450 Grizzly. I save my Jeep and still can get pretty much anywhere I want to go in the wheeler.

    If I were you I'd either get the Ranger, or a couple wheelers..... Personally I would go with the wheelers because once you start wheeling them, you're ARE going to want to go where you wouldn't be able to take the Ranger. I'm not bad mouthing the Ranger, but I had to get one unstuck once and even though I had all kinds of recovery gear, jacks and what have you, it pretty much took me all day. And believe it or not, it wasn't even in mud. Dang things are heavy...!!!
    You are absolutely correct about mods. Alaska presents a few more challenges then here. Cost was the break point for me, $20k for a 4 wheeler or $18k for the jeep. I have taken my jeep to more places then my olé f150 could go.
    "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

    Edwin Hubble

  18. #18
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrassLakeRon View Post
    You are absolutely correct about mods. Alaska presents a few more challenges then here. Cost was the break point for me, $20k for a 4 wheeler or $18k for the jeep. I have taken my jeep to more places then my olé f150 could go.
    At least the Rubicon already has the lockers so that helps even though you pay for them upfront. But as far as the rest, winch, lift, big tires, etc... they will get you up in the $thousands$ real quick.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    At least the Rubicon already has the lockers so that helps even though you pay for them upfront. But as far as the rest, winch, lift, big tires, etc... they will get you up in the $thousands$ real quick.....
    if I was to do a jeep over I would build a 4 link with spooled axles! Obviously I was have to trailer it. And I would put a 5.3l in it!

  20. #20

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    Suburban!
    Here are the pros: For $15,000 I have a fuel injected SBC, one tone axles, Warn 16.5TI winch (not a wench ;-) ) Pull Pal winch anchor, 38" tires, locked rear end, roof rack, VHF radio, lots of reinforcement in the frame, too many little upgrades to list, room for 8 people AND ALL THEIR GEAR! I have never been denied on a trail that I have run with Jeeps or any other truck. We have slept four adults comfortably in it. Factory heater and wipers :-)

    The cons: it is HEAVY - thus the self-recovery gear. It cannot float over many of the bogs Alaska has in store for me where I like to go. Has room for 8 people AND ALL THEIR GEAR which makes it VERY heavy.

    Because of the weight and inability to go "just a little further", we purchased two ATVs (Polaris 500HO and Polaris Big Boss) to take me over the bogs to where I want to hunt and camp.

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