My 70 yr old parents are in need of a UTV on their farmette to help haul firewood, garden soil, mulch, etc around their 25 acres. Whatever they choose, it needs to be 4WD, small enough to get into the woods, and durable enough that they won’t have to take it to the shop too much (they live on an island) My mom currently has $2k saved up, and I think her realistic budget is about $3500. Naturally, vehicles like John Deere Gators and Yamaha Rhinos come to mind. But around our area, UTVs are in high demand, and used models typically demand $5-8k. This got me thinking about Jeeps, specifically the old CJs. Let’s compare:

Basic 4x4 Gator:

Image taken from

Wheelbase: 75.2"

Overall Length: 113"

Width: 60"

Payload: 1,400 lbs

CJ2A Jeep

Image taken from Wikipedia


Wheelbase: 81"

Overall Length: 132"

Width: 59"

Payload: 800 lbs

As you can see, the Jeep is about the same width as the Gator, while quite a bit longer. Width is more critical when trying to maneuver in the woods, especially since they will probably just drive straight in, then back straight out. I’m not sure my parents will ever need more than 500-600 lbs of payload. Around here Jeep CJs can be had for under $4k all day in “good” condition, “good” meaning free of major rust on the body and frame and in good mechanical order.


What say you Jeep fans? Would a CJ be a better vehicle than an modern UTV?