We Need to Talk! If You Could Buy Either a Wrangler or a Side-by-Side: Which Should You get?

Deciding how to spend your money in the off-road world can be a tough call, so let us step in and try to help!

This week, we’re talking about whether or not your money is better spend on a side-by-side or a Jeep Wrangler. And while yes, we know these are very different machines, the conversation began in the YouTube comments section on a TFLoffroad called “why are side-by-sides so expensive?”

ALSO SEE: Why Are Side-by-Sides so Expensive?

If you watch the video you’ll see the specific comments, but generally the argument goes like this: “why would I spend over $20K for a side-by-side that will break right away and can’t even drive down the road when I can buy a street-legal Jeep with a roof and a heater.” That is a simplification of a number of comments, but the general feeling among many off-road enthusiasts seems to be that you can replace a side-by-side with a Jeep and be more than satisfied.

Is this really true? Well, how you spend your money all depends on what interests you, and we all know that humans interests are widely varied. But that doesn’t mean we can’t lay out all the arguments for or against these machines.

So the first and most obvious argument is that all Jeeps can be street legal, while side-by-sides can only run on the road in certain places and are usually limited to side streets. That takes a lot of value away from the side-by-side.

When it comes to overall off-road capability, straight out of the box most side-by-sides are a little more capable than a Wrangler, but this gets muddy quickly once modifications begin on Jeeps. One thing is for sure though, side-by-sides place a priority on high speed while Jeeps are much more geared towards slow-speed crawling and control.

And then, the biggest argument has to be price. Side-by-sides in general will be cheaper, especially if you buy one brand new from the dealership. A Polaris RZR 570 for example starts at just over $10,000 in the US, while the cheapest new Wrangler you can buy is the Sport at around $28K. The used market changes this story though, where you can find old cheap Jeeps for less than $10K.

There are plenty of other factors that need to be discussed when you’re comparing these two, so make sure you checkout the video embedded above.