Enzo Ferrari is frequently quoted as having said that "Jeep is America's only real sports car." The man is as famous as people get in the automotive industry and he typically knew what he was talking about, even if his legendary volatility helped to spawn a sports car, the Ford GT40, that was pure American ingenuity and took Ferrari to school at Le Mans for most of the late 1960s.
Still, Jeep has stood tall as a mainstay of the US market for decades, consistently producing the Wrangler and its predecessors, which remain the best off-roading factory vehicle on the market today. Even if Jeep's lineup has expanded in the 21st century—and Ferrari would probably find it hilarious that the company is now a subsidiary of Italian-American conglomerate Fiat-Chrysler—the brand still retains a mythical status.
But not all myths are based in facts. Keep scrolling for 15 Jeep myths people still believe for some reason.
15 Wrangler Will Go Anywhere
The Jeep Wrangler is such a mainstay of the American automotive landscape that it has, indeed, achieved mythical status. But just because a brand-spanking-new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon has three locking diffs, automatically disconnecting sway bars, and huge tires don't mean it can go anywhere. In fact, Wranglers often inspire driver overconfidence.
14 The Gladiator Is Sick
The internet has been engaged in a veritable symphony (cacophony) of exultant expectation for decades surrounding the release of another Jeep pickup truck. The end result, the Gladiator, is a Wrangler with a longer wheelbase and some towing capacity. But it's just a Wrangler that's been stretched, lacks some of the off-roading capability, and costs way, way more.
13 The Cherokee Is An SUV
The Jeep Cherokee may have, once upon a time, been an SUV. But the recent few iterations of the Cherokee are truly crossovers. The model now even comes in a front-wheel-drive version, which should be a true embarrassment to everyone at Jeep. But the worst part is that owners may try to go off-roading in their raised minivans.
12 The Grand Cherokee Is Luxurious
The Jeep Grand Cherokee might be a step up in the luxury department when compared to the (even still) spartan interior of the Wrangler or the cheap plastic of the base Cherokee, but that doesn't make it a luxury car. This is just another Fiat product, people, stop getting so hyped up on brushed aluminum.
11 Wranglers Are Bulletproof
Early Jeep Wranglers achieved part of their legendary status by being rugged, utilitarian off-roaders that were simple enough to keep running forever. New Wranglers, especially the mild-hybrid packages, are anything but reliable. Fiat has always struggled with electronics and the new Wrangler is no different—a fact many streamers have discovered when their brand-new Jeep lights up in the middle of nowhere.
10 Bigger Is Better
In the modern era of huge pickup trucks and SUVs, where a Toyota Tundra is trying to compete with a Ram 3500, the Jeep Wrangler might still look small. But just look at the picture above to see how far things have come from the smaller, lighter origins of the Jeep form. These are big vehicles now, which isn't always ideal for off-roading.
9 The Original Jeep
Speaking of the Jeep Wrangler's origins, many off-roading enthusiasts might believe that Jeep, in fact, invented the jeep. But that's not quite true. Early jeeps were built by Willys and Ford for the US military, proving so capable that Dwight Eisenhower later said the little truck was "one of three decisive weapons the U.S. had during WWII."
8 Gotta Have That Snorkel
Jeep owners are almost as bad as Stance Nation bros with their Subarus and Hondas. Opining about the affordability of such a sick off-roader, Jeep owners will then drop tens of thousands of dollars in upgrades like beefier axles, enormous lifts, and, of course, the ubiquitous snorkel. But if a study were to be performend, it seems likely that approximately 0.1% of all Jeeps actually use their snorkel even once during their life.
7 Jeeps In Crates
There's a legend that persists online surrounding WWII-era Jeeps that are still in the original crate packaging the US Army used to ship them around the world with. The whole story is quite long, involving scammers, actual Jeeps, civilian Jeeps, and plenty of rust, but in its entirety, this myth is a pipe dream in the modern age.
6 Jeep Bobcat
The Jeep Bobcat myth started as part of the WWII-era Willys and Ford legend. Apparently, some of the little 4x4s were modified for use by airborne divisions and weighed only 1,475 pounds. Ever since then, Jeep guys have dreamed of a Jeep Bobcat (or Bob Cat) that could replicate something so cool.
5 M151 Jeep
Much like many people believe that Jeep built the original jeep for the US Army to use during WWII, plenty of Jeep fans believe that even if the original wasn't a true Jeep, then the Korean War version surely was. But that's not quite true, either, because next-gen was actually put together by Ford, Kaiser, and AM General—which makes it more of a predecessor to the Humvee and Hummer than anything else.
4 Jeeps Hold Their Value
Jeep Wrangler owners constantly sell their vehicles to upgrade to the newest, best model from Fiat Chrysler. But they are truly misguided, a fact that is clearly evident from Craigslist posts about their Jeeps. Some of the ads just get hilarious while trying to deny that Jeeps, just like any modern vehicle, depreciate in a big way as soon as they leave the dealer lot.
3 My LSD Is Great
Jeep owners who obsess about their differentials can be knowledgeable but they can also be pretty annoying. And there are plenty of Jeep drivers who will swear that they happily skipped over a Rubicon and went with a base model that they then added a limited-slip differential to. But that LSD is going to wear out much faster than a locking diff, while also being less effective, sorry.
2 Gotta Have A Stick Shift
The manual transmission may be rapidly going extinct but there are a few brands that seem committed to keep stick shifts and third pedals around. Jeep, to their credit, is one of those brands, along with Porsche. But though many Wrangler buyers may think they need to row the gears while off-roading, in many cases, an automatic would be the better bet.
1 Gotta Have 40-Inch Tires
Jeep Wrangler owners know that their precious babies aren't quite ready for the trail when they leave the dealer lot—part of their budget, even if they won't admit it, is set aside for immediate upgrades. Jeep will install big tires—possibly even up to 35 inches, depending on the dealer—at the dealer that won't void the warranty. This doesn't stop plenty of owners from believing the myth that they need bigger ASAP.
Sources: Wikipedia, War History Online, and CJ3B.