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I still don't understand the JK8 - it costs several thousand dollars to convert a 35k+ Jeep into a 25k Ford Ranger with poor hauling/towing ability. It is different (if that is your goal) but the entire setup just does not make any sense to me.
I think the 4-door AEV looks really cool - but for me personally, dumping that amount of cash into a vehicle would be filed under poor financial planning. However, I am glad to someone makes them and someone buys them because they are cool to look at online.
The JK8 conversions is marketed to people who have money to burn in excess. Just like the HEMI and GM V8 conversions, they are not for everyone.

If you have the money, you like it, and you want it, buy it. It's that simple...

Actually the cost savings of driving a similar marketed fuel efficient car vs. a Jeep is not that great. Sure, someone is going to say, I have 96" tires and get 0.5 MPG - that is not the average Jeep owner.

Cost of Gas in Midwest today $3.61
My JK MPG 18 MPG (calculated over 15,xxx miles)
Mini Cooper 33 MPG Combined

Annual cost of fuel for a JK @ 15,000 mi. per year @ $3.61 Per Gallon - $3008.33

Annual cost of fuel for a Mini @ 15,000 mi. per year @ $3.61 Per Gallon - $1640.09 (Disregarding the need for premium)

Annual Fuel Difference - $1367.42

Cost difference over 5 years - $6837.11

Using the calculation above, you pay a $1367.42 fuel penalty each year to drive a Jeep vs. a Mini Cooper. The cost of a JK8 mentioned by the OP was 55k or about a 20k premium over the stock sport. Over 5 years that breaks down to $4,000 per year. It is not yet known if the resale of the JK8 will be increased.

My point - $1367.43 is not a significant penalty in my opinion, however, $4,000 per year for the JK8 is a significant penalty. I really like my Jeep also, but I have a lot of other interests.
Although I get your point, your comparison is not valid because they are not similar vehicles. People do not buy Jeep Wranglers for fuel efficiency...
 
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