Calgary = City of Jeep Wranglers

I swear Calgary has more Jeeps per capita than any other city in the world. I see an endless stream of these post-military SUVs, stuck in traffic, sporting bright, peacock-ish colours and almost never showing any dirt, mud, or any other indicator that they have ever left the immaculate Calgary roads. 

Let’s be clear, a Jeep is designed to be an off-road vehicle. Built for the battlefield, it was first called a GP (for General Purpose) vehicle, which was slurred into the Jeep brand we all recognize today. A new Jeep Wrangler has an MSRP value of $39,145 for its base model. It is an incredibly expensive and inefficient choice as an urban commuter. A 2019 Jeep Wrangler averages out around 19 MPG in city driving, in a time when gas is a completely optional expense for any urban commuter (Tesla Model 3 starts at $44,999 CAN) 

Over the last 5 years I’ve put on approximately 160,000 KM travelling all over North America. Averaging over 30,000 KM per year. This was done all throughout the year, making multi-trips to a remote heli-ski resort in British Columbia, to other ski hills, with plenty of KMs done on gravel roads. Aside from adding a set of winter tires, the car has been completely safe and reliable in a northern climate. I purchased the car for $7,500 cash with 144,000 KMs on it. I haven’t put any additional money into repairs aside from tires and filters. I run the lowest rate of insurance and still use the car (though I mostly ride an electric bike as my main form of transportation now) 

I can’t see any possible reason why anyone in a major urban centre would ever need a Jeep for commuting. Period. 

In 2013, I invested $5000 of hard-earned cash into making a full-length album. My band at the time was breaking up and I decided to throw it into making a solo album. I was told by numerous people that it was a lot of money to spend out of pocket. I was made to believe it was a bad investment. 

That album allowed me to start touring around the country and opened the doors to hundreds of different experiences. That original $5000 investment has paid itself off year after year financially. Even it had provided zero financial return, I still think it would have been a great use of my finances, just purely for the cathartic reasoning of putting something out there into the world that I made. 

I find it absolutely crazy that our society has absolutely no problem spending $39,145 on a new Jeep, which is inefficient and rapidly decreases in value, but I took all sorts of flack for spending a measly $5000 on a personal dream. 

Maybe these numbers need to be flipped? Maybe it’s time to start reconsidering how we spend our money and utilize our time? What if you instead invest $40,000 into something that might be able to provide you some real benefit and potentially open new doors personally, creatively or in a business sense. 

Maybe it’s time we stop using Jeeps on city roads and save them for the battlefields. Smarten up.