As a Grand Cherokee owner, I find all this talk about making it so bricks offer more amenities than the Wrangler, silly. Air conditioning and comfortable seats are awesome, and it's not like everyone who's complaining can afford a new vehicle anyway. It's not like you'd buy a JK2 if it was stripped out like you want. You'd just get a CJ7, YJ, or TJ and modify it. You know why the JK sells ridiculously well? Because it appeals to LOTS OF PEOPLE, not just a bunch of sour-faced Jeepers who can't afford it.
And for that matter, the JK ain't that expensive. They start out at 23 grand, which is about as cheap as you can get a new vehicle these days. The only things that still hang out below 20 large are compact imports. Kia Fortes and Ford Fiestas. I'm still in shock that the Patriot and Compass come in as cheap as they do. In fact, adjusted for inflation, the 6-cylinder 1993 YJ had a base MSRP of $22,600. The current 6-cylinder JK has a base price of $22,300. And 100 more horsepower along much the same curve, a higher torque figure along a similar torque curve, better axles and suspension, and greater comfort. The only word to describe the JK versus the TJ, YJ, and CJ, is BETTER
The Wrangler is Jeep's Corvette, so don't worry about it getting adulterated. The Corvette's still an FMR V8-only sports car, and the Wrangler will always be a rough-and-ready, vaguely-brick-shaped, solid-axle 4x4. It just has to have some damn improvements to get even better and meet various rules, regulations, and laws. And to continue attracting new buyers because Jeep isn't looking to please US, they're looking to please BUYERS. People who have 20 or 30 grand worth of credit to drop on a new vehicle and who don't plan on buying a $4,000 20-year-old beater to put new axles in (Did I mention the JK comes with a standard rear D44? Yeah, you heard right, they don't even make the 35 anymore) and put 33" or 35" tires on, with some silly lift. (JKs can fit 33s from stock, though they might rub under some conditions) I'll be the first to admit, I spent $1200 buying a ZJ and that was that. I can't afford a new Jeep and if I could I'd probably put that money elsewhere. And Jeep knows that and that's why they don't conform to my specific wants. (Actually they do. They offer everything I want in a 4x4. Damn I wish I had more money)
As a Grand Cherokee owner, I have to say, amenities are awesome. I bought my Jeep because it can do anything every day of the week. It's a goat offroad, but when I get back on the road and have to drive to work and class every day, it's comfortable, keeps me warm and cool, doesn't make a lot of noise, and plays some nice tunes on a good radio. I have room for 5 to fit comfortably and still carry the dog, cooler, and fishing equipment, and probably pull a small trailer. (Don't wanna push it- the 4.0's durable but it's got no power at all. Shoulda sprung for the V8. Which the Pentastar has 50hp over.) It does many things very well and is just as good on road as off. Which is to say it's amazing at both. The JK is just the same. It's fairly comfortable, it's not as loud as former iterations, it has a working air conditioner and famous Jeep heater, and it seats 5 with room for the dog, cooler, et cetera. It's a very usable, utilitarian vehicle. And for as good as it is on road, it's even better off. It is, hands down, the best stock 4x4 ever made. Ridiculously capable, without sacrificing daily usability, that's what Jeep is. Not stripped-down single-purpose nonsense, not loud discomfort, not cheap no-frills. Jeep means no compromise.
And that's what I want for the next generation Wrangler. I want it to stay true to Jeep's no-compromise spirit. I want it to be everything it is today, but better. And I have faith that Jeep can do that, because that's what they've always done.
1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited
2016 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Edition
Signature rules are dumb