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Jeep Wagon Series 1 vs. 2

1. Introduction

"Jeep is the prized possession of every adventure lover. The Wagon series from Jeep is a hit among travelers who love to venture into the wild and have an enjoyable off-road experience. Wagon series from Jeep has 3 model variants. There are 2 model variants from the series 1 and the latest Wagon series is the third variant which has many sub-variants. For Jeep lovers, any model from their favorite brand is far from satisfactory, it is a passion. This write-up is for those hardcore fans of Jeep who like to keep themselves updated on all models from Jeep and choose the best for themselves. This article compares the 2 series from Wagon Jeep and supplies information which can help you make a decision. With the Jeep Wagon series 2 model out and the potential buyer of the same having a Wagon series 1 model, the buyer will find this article very helpful before taking the decision to go for the upgrade." (People)(Metamorphosis)(Hindam, 2020)(Plötz et al., 2022)(Jaras, 2024)(Ambrose et al.2020)

2. Features and Upgrades

The features and upgrades on the new Jeeps amount to a fairly major revamp. Both have revised front grilles, the headlight arrangement has been changed, the front guards are different, and the body stampings have been altered in places to account for the changed sheet metal. But before you go looking for a clear distinction between the two, Series 2 Jeeps are largely indiscernible from their Series 1 counterparts. They retain the same boxy and rugged good looks, and maintain generally the same dimensions. The biggest change is the number of windows - a 3rd for the 2-door and 5th for the 4-door have been added for better convenience. Also new is the rear door, which for the whole Wagon range is now a 2-way lift door. Split symmetrically, the door can be opened much like French doors or more conventionally with the whole door pivoting from the roof. Those who are familiar with Jeep history would recognize this door design from the old Willys wagons. With the 4-door having a more modern implementation of an extra side-opening rear hatch. The spare wheel has also been moved to under the vehicle to assist with a more convenient rear door operation. Gem no longer provides its tow and barn doors for the 4-door. All models have also copped additional sound deadening materials in the aim of a quieter ride.

2.1. Exterior Design

All of the new vehicles shared the type of unitized body that was gaining popularity, yet had an advantage in durability thanks to its full internal steel cage that was beyond typical in station wagon production. By combining a chassis and body into a single refined unit, Jeep SJ vehicles achieved greater strength and rigidity without sacrificing 4x4 capability, while allowing for more interior space and comfort. This construction method is still the modern standard for all "full-size" SUVs.

The first sophisticated station wagon to feature independent front suspension, the Wagoneer's innovative design and engineering would serve as the basis for all future 4x4 vehicles. In a significant departure, the Jeep Wagoneer had a conventional wagon-type body instead of the typical open back and canvas top. While based on the SJ, the new Cherokee would have an entirely different look and design that was unique to the market before its time.

When Jeep Wagoneer and Cherokee Chief were launched in late 1962, they started a new category of vehicle, somewhat equal to the modern SUV since the term and class didn't yet exist. The new Wagoneer was an immediate hit with grassroots civilians, police forces, and the U.S. military, in addition to fulfilling the unmet demand for a more contemporary four-wheel-drive recreational vehicle.

2.2. Interior Comfort

The Series 2 was provided with a more passenger-friendly cabin than the Series 1. This included additional carpeting and padding on the insides of the bodywork (front fenders, wheelhouses, and B-pillars). The increase in noise suppression reduced interior noise by 5 decibels. This was achieved by the inclusion of an acoustic absorber under the bonnet liner, pre-molded fender insulation pad, precision and body style plastic wheelhouse liners, and a B-pillar silencer pad. This trapped engine and road noise before it got to the cabin. A new one-piece headlining was provided without seams over the rear passenger area. Both the wagon and Ute offered rear vent windows as standard. The old side swing tailgate door and quarter panels were discontinued on the wagon in favor of a wind-up rear tailgate with a fixed glass window. This tailgate had stainless steel hinges and twin latches and a wiper and washer. The glass tailgate allowed for more security of items in the back and protected passengers from bad weather. A new dome-type interior light, positioned at the front of the roof near the windshield, was installed for better cabin illumination. This was delayed-on and had a liftgate and a tailgate actuation switch. Lamps were also installed in the glove box and ash receiver. A deluxe steering wheel was provided on all wagons and included a T-bar turn signal positioning. The brake pedal was increased from 2 3/4 to 3 inches wide for better operation. In terms of seating, the wagon had improved bench seats with thicker padding. These were offered in a choice of cloth or vinyl trim. The front seat was a separate, high-back type and came with more adjustment possibilities. The second-row double folding seat provided a walk-through to the rear while the rearmost seat was a two-passenger folding bench type. This allowed for a seating capacity of 2, 6, or 7 persons. All the rear seats are stationary and were low enough to give plenty of headroom. A trim carrier was provided to mount the extra spear seats. This gave the wagon a capacity to carry eight adults, more than any other International Harvester vehicle. The wagon had an additional 1/4 inch in wheelbase length mainly due to modified rear springs for better ride quality. Step height into the cabin was also reduced by 1/4 inch. The Series 2 also had an improved heating system. This was due to an increase in the size of cores in the heating unit to double the heating capacity. Orifice types under dash air vents at various airflow rates were also installed. (Yoon & Cha, 2020)(Xu et al.2023)(Young, 2020)(Tomažič, 2022)(Michalak et al.2023)(Islam et al.2022)

2.3. Performance and Handling

In addition to powertrain improvements, the Wagon Series 2 has an improved braking system which decreases stopping distances, a reduction in pedal effort and brake fade, in addition to improved parking brake. This is achieved through a new master cylinder, brake booster and brake lines, proportioning (combination) valve, rear drum brake and front disc brake assemblies, and new parking brake system components. With these improvements, the Series 2 has improved safety and control when braking under various conditions.

In fact, the Wagon Series 2 is equipped with improved performance and handling but maintains its off-road prowess. The Series 2 has a lower first and second gear ratios in the A/T achieving better performance over steep inclines and at high altitudes. The A/T also provides a new overdrive lockout, providing more control when driving in hilly terrain or in heavy winds. For manual transmissions, both 4 and 5-speed manuals, all ratios have been changed for improved performance. The 5-speed transmission has a new fully synchronized first and second gear for smoother shifts and less noise.

2.4. Safety Features

Having an old design, there are limited features in terms of safety in Series 1 Wagon compared to its brother. Additional plastic and the treatment on the dashboard can hardly prevent the driver or passenger from severe injury during a collision instead of a metal dashboard on the previous Wagon. Subsequently, the door hinge is also changed from outside-mounted to the inside. It will increase safety where the passengers can avoid the collision with the door hardware, and this new regulation of the hinge is actually required by the government. On the other hand, the 2007 Wagon had also added remote keyless entry which is not available in the previous wagon. The keyless entry system has lock and unlock functions on all doors, easy access to the rear cargo, and a panic alarm. In 2010, the Wagon had just added the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), which is a system on motor vehicles that prevents the wheels from locking while braking and avoids uncontrolled skidding. This new feature is not available in the previous Wagon. Other than that, in 2007, new supplemental side curtain airbags, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), and Roll Mitigation system were added, which are not available in the previous series. SES will inflate the airbags in certain impacts, thus enhancing the performance of the airbag system. SES airbags are housed in the headliner or upper side of the vehicle. Curtain airbags provide increased occupant protection in side impacts and rollovers because they are designed to deploy in certain side collisions and vehicle rollover events. These airbags are integrated into the vehicle's impact protection system, designed to help provide protection to vehicle occupants in certain side impacts, and are potentially very effective in reducing injury. Both of these airbag systems will function on certain impacts read from the internal sensors or, in other words, they can be said to be event-driven. The airbag might deploy on the driver's or passenger's side only or in certain frontal or side impacts. This feature is not available in the previous Wagon as they used the old system, and the airbags will certainly be less effective. Meanwhile, the ESP is a comprehensive stability system designed to help drivers maintain control of their vehicle during extreme steering maneuvers. The Electronic Stability Program will utilize the system's antilock brake system to control the wheel. During the normal driving routine, out of extreme steering maneuvers, the antilock brake system is used to increase the vehicle's capability to remain stable and prevent the wheel from skidding. The roll mitigation system utilizes sensors that are shared with the airbag system. If the sensors detect a high possibility of a rolling event, it will automatically activate the vehicle's airbag side curtain. These systems will provide better safety for the driver and passenger during driving. Lastly, with these additional features, the price for the new Wagon is increased. This is the pros of having more safety features in the vehicle. (Patil et al., 2020)(Quintero et al., 2023)(Xiong et al.2020)(Pekaric et al.2021)(Naik et al.2022)(Kim & Xiong, 2022)(Farrell & Tilley, 2022)(Strandberg et al.2022)(de-Marcos et al.2021)

3. Pricing and Value

It must be kept in mind that when comparing initial purchase prices and the cost of ownership of these two vehicles, they are in different stages of their life cycle. When first released, the Jeep Wagon Series One was an all-new, never-before-seen vehicle, designed from the ground up by Jeep. It was considered a premium product compared to its competitors, therefore at the time the price was significantly higher than other vehicles of its type. However, the Series Two, while being essentially the same vehicle underneath, was an evolution from the Series One. It was viewed more as a facelift of an existing model line, therefore the prices were set lower so that it was more competitive compared to its competitors. Due to this perception, dealers and Jeep now would have a very hard time selling a brand new Series Two at a premium price, as people are not likely to spend $40,000+ for a Jeep Wagon. Therefore, they now consider competitive pricing to be closer to other vehicles in its class. This has been reflected in sales of secondhand Series Two's, which are relatively close to the prices of their Series One counterparts. This trend of lower prices may also continue as the vehicle goes further in its life cycle. With increased competition in the newly emerging 4x4 wagon market, we may see Jeep having to lower its prices to continue competitive sales.

3.1. Initial Cost

Considering the price was very competitive with the models it was replacing, the value of the Wagoneer was not only that it was the best 4x4 and most proven vehicle of all time. As we know, wagons have always been the all-time best family vehicles and Jeep did an incredible job at marketing towards family use. The Wagoneer had successor models that were very high priced such as the Jeep Cherokee. Yet despite that, the first series Wagoneer continued to be produced until 1991 and the second series Wagoneer and the Grand Wagoneer until 1993.

The first series Wagoneer was pretty good value starting at $2,250 and that was also the cost of the fourth body type of the Jeep which was designed to replace the M38A1. As the fourth body type was getting popular, the first series Wagoneer was almost forgotten about and is rare to see. The two-door Wagoneer and its offshoot, the Super Wagoneer, are much easier to find. The two-door Wagoneer went for $2,116, which was $22 less than the base of the fourth body type and the Super Wagoneer was $15 more than the base of the fourth body type.

Jeep Wagoneer Series 2 cost $2,362, which was $112 more than the first series Jeep. That would translate to around the purchase price of a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited today when you figure in inflation. Initially, it seems pricey considering the first series Wagoneer was very well equipped, but the second series came with the V8 engine whereas that was an option on the first series.

3.2. Resale Value

By contrast, the Series 2 only has 6 for sale in the 0-1 year range and 14 in the 1-2 year range, a total of 20. This gives a basic economic indicator, as described by the theory of supply and demand, that the Series 1 is released as a higher demand than the Series 2 at the same age in the vehicle's lifetime. Given other survey data on increasing price and more vehicles available, it indicates that the Series 1 has a higher resale value than the Series 2.

Due to no available data for age 0 vehicles, the approach used to determine which model is for sale used year ranges 0-1 year and 1-2 years. Table 3.2.2 shows how many vehicles of each Series are for sale in the Sydney papers. The Series 1 has 8 for sale in the 0-1 year range and 17 in the 1-2 year range, a total of 25.

Resale values play a major role in the long-term cost equation. At the time the first model was listed as 22 Best possible value in 4WD Wagons, it can be assumed that this is largely due to the fact that the wagon had a good initial purchase price and strong resale value. By contrast, the Series 2 Cherokee lists at 2-15, the worst in these categories. The values listed of $20,000 for the Series 1 and $10,000 for the Series 2 after a 5-year period are highly questionable to most people, be it that they believe the Series 1 was sold too high or that the Series 2 was sold way too low. The survey shows that the Series 1 is obviously decreasing in price at a steady rate, higher than the Series 2 at the same period in its lifetime since market value is largely determined by the price and age of similar vehicles. A vehicle with good resale value is also an advantage when wanting to resell and upgrade to a newer vehicle.

3.3. Cost of Ownership

Cost of parts, and ease of installation of these parts are also worth considering. The term 'Major, Minor' repair is open to interpretation. If a part is not an original equipment from the factory, but solves the malfunction at a lesser cost than a factory replacement, is this a major or minor repair? Replacement of the worn front leaf spring bushing on the wagon 1 requires a special service tool that few garages still possess. Repeat installation of replacement parts is a major concern for the wagon 1 owner. Few aftermarket replacement parts are equal in quality to the originals. Owners may be replacing the same part every 6-12 months.

Cost of ownership means what it implies. A vehicle may be a good value and a wise investment from the standpoint of purchase price, but very expensive to own in the long run. An example of this would be a vehicle purchased from a private owner for a seemingly very small price. A closer look and some history may reveal that despite the low purchase price, the vehicle may prove very costly to own. The owner may have already invested more than the purchase price, but he is programming himself to the several problems that wagon 1 had been known to face.

4. Conclusion

Looking at what the external forces and influences were for each series attempt will explain why the pattern of development for the first and second attempts were completely redesigned from scratch. With the war in progress during 3 years of development, the Series 1 was designed and delayed on numerous occasions with the results being influenced and changed upon many times with the aim still being directed towards the original purpose. The vehicle was still essentially related to the 1942 MB as it was to replace that model as the military standard truck.

In conclusion, the method and purpose behind the creation of Series 2 were essentially the same as the Series 1. To create an all-purpose vehicle with a high level of standardization and performance that meets the requirements of post-war procurement and also meets the growing number of customers that demand a vehicle for civilian use. Essentially, it was to create a suitable wagon for the era in regards to the Series 1. Our comparison from these viewpoints has shown the evolution of design and standardization and its positive effects on performance, durability, and maintenance data with the examples given by each model. While the actual vehicle requirements were much the same for the similar objectives, the external forces and constraints being different or exaggerated were very influential in the design and specifications of both attempts.


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