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People Who Love a Wrangler Know Why

It’s not the most fuel-efficient car in the company parking lot, but then again your cubicle mate’s Prius would be hard pressed to climb a rocky 60-degree incline. The little tank that got its start in the military during World War II just keeps chugging along and remains one of the best vehicles for holding its value. The Jeep Wrangler retains about 59 percent of its retail value after five years of ownership. Maybe that’s because of all the aftermarket products available to personalize a Jeep, or maybe it’s just because they are so darn cool and functional. With rumors rampant that Jeep is working on a fuel-efficient version of the rock crawler, expect the love affair to continue. Head up to the Rim Country and Payson Auto Center to see the complete lineup of Jeeps, particularly the Wrangler.

Used Wranglers Fetch Top Dollar

Aside from the introduction of the four-door Unlimited model, the design of the Wrangler hasn’t changed much in the past 50 years. There was that forgettable period with rectangular headlights, but other than that you can pick a Wrangler from any era and know immediately what it is. Because of that and the dependable drive train, used Wranglers bring top dollar on the open market. Although there are certainly examples of showroom restorations, most people who buy an old Wrangler aren’t particularly interested in the paint. They are dedicated to restoring the engine, adding a lift kit and maybe a locking rear axle or anything else that will help them climb the next hill. See what a Payson Jeep is all about when you visit Payson Auto Center.

Never a Bad Time to Buy a New Jeep

When you buy a new Wrangler, you’re assured that the depreciation suffered by most vehicles is not going to be a problem. Consider what you’re going to use the Jeep for, since there are several levels of “off-roadability.” If you just plan on going down some dusty trails and aren’t really interested in crushing boulders, perhaps a base Sport model is adequate. Starting at just $23,495, it comes with the powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine and Command-Trac 4×4 system of pricier models. For the ultimate Trail-rated machine, move all the way up to the Jeep Rubicon. The Rock-Trac 4×4 setup has a heavy duty transfer case and a low crawl ratio to make short work of the toughest trails. Electronic sway bar disconnects and locking differentials make this the ultimate four-wheel drive production vehicle.



One of the best things about living in the metropolitan Phoenix area is that it doesn’t take long to get out of town and begin communing with nature. Whether you head up to the Mogollon Rim or take one of the trails surrounding the city, you can be far from the hustle and bustle of civilization in less than an hour. The Chapman Payson Auto Center is just a little more than an hour’s drive from Phoenix, offering some of the best deals on four-wheel drive vehicles capable of taking you anywhere you want to go.

Four Peaks Trail Delivers Scenic Vistas

If you want one of the best places for expansive views close to the Valley, head north on Route 87 just past the Saguaro Lake turnoff to Forest Road 143. The first part of the trail has plenty of room to park if you have ATVs to unload, but if you’re in your Jeep or other 4X4, continue on past the FR 11 turnoff. Stay on FR 143 and you have a number of choices depending on how hardcore you want to be. The views to the west are phenomenal so make sure you bring a good camera. If you continue on you’ll intersect with Highway 188, which will either take you to Roosevelt Lake or you can head back through Apache Junction. This is a very popular spot on weekends, so drive carefully.

General Crook’s Trail Heads Across the Rim

If you buy your 4×4 at Chapman Payson Auto Center, one of the first places you should head is up through Pine and Strawberry until you get on top of the Mogollon Rim. At well over 7,000 feet high, the Rim is at least 30 degrees cooler than the Valley in the summer and a great place to camp and explore. General Crook’s Trail, named after the Apache fighter of the late 1800s, traverses the edge of the rim. Much of it has been replaced by FR 300. Also known as the Highline Trail, this path is 51 miles of pretty well maintained dirt road that runs from Highway 87 all the way to Highway 260 near Woods Canyon Lake. There are some challenging spots and plenty of side trails to test your mettle.

Take Back Way to Crown King for Real Excitement

Although most of this route is fairly well maintained, there are some challenging portions and steep drop offs that will raise the hair on the back of your neck. You start by heading past Lake Pleasant on Highway 74 and turning right on a paved road just past mile marker 19. From there you can expect to spend 4 or 5 hours to conquer the 34-mile trip of switch backs, steep climbs and sharp descents. Be careful on the weekends for motorcycles and ATVs coming around blind corners. Once you get to little mountain town of Crown King there are places to grab a burger and a drink before heading back to Phoenix on I-17.

Put Your Rubicon Through Paces to Desoto Mine

One of the most difficult off-road trips is the trail to the Desoto Mine near Prescott. This roller coaster ride of boulder fields and narrow ridges is why Jeep made the Rubicon, but it is not for inexperienced drivers. It’s a good trip to take with a four-wheel drive club who can help if you get into trouble. Take the Senator Highway south from Prescott and get onto FR 89. Although the trip is just 12 miles, it takes more than 4 hours due to the complexity of the terrain. Beware that this is an area that suffers from flash flooding.


Trail Rated Not Just an Accessory

The badge on each Jeep that says “Trail Rated” is an accomplishment that shows the Jeep can traverse the rough Rubicon Trail. Every turn, slope, crevice and stump demands ability in clearance, traction, water fording, maneuverability and articulation for which the Jeep brand is famous. Although the Wrangler is the iconic off-road vehicle, all the Jeep four-wheel drive brands have trail-rated models that you can be comfortable in tackling off-road conditions. For the complete line-up of vehicles, see your Payson Jeep dealer, Chapman Payson.

Traction and Water Fording Make Tough Trails Possible

Start off with traction, or the ability for the Jeep to grab a foothold where other vehicles might fail, and you find the Trail Rated 4 x 4s have the ability to climb some of the toughest trails on the face of the Earth. Different Jeep vehicles have different capabilities which are tested on trails, slippery roads and steep grades. The Wrangler Rubicon has the best traction of all the Jeeps, followed closely by the Cherokee Trailhawk and surprising Renegade. Jeeps aren’t made out of sugar and aren’t afraid of a little water. Extra body sealing and electrical wrapping team up with a high air intake to let your cross streams that others wouldn’t dare attempt. The Wrangler Rubicon can drive in water up to 30 inches deep with no problems.

Maneuverability and Articulation Help Navigate Voids

With the ability to dance through rough terrain like a gazelle with a hot foot, the Jeep gives you the ability to crawl up trails that have others looking for a way around. Large dips, big rocks and emergency movements are all part of a day’s work for a Jeep because of precision steering and wheelbases that are optimized for off-road duty. The Renegade Trailhawk features a turning radius of just 17.7 feet, allowing for quick maneuvers when trouble arises. Ground clearance on all the Jeeps lets you climb over logs and boulders without ripping apart the underbelly. Test the vehicles for yourself by taking a drive at your Payson Jeep dealer, Chapman Payson.

Jeep Badge of Honor Awards Those Who Dare

The Jeep Badge of Honor program celebrates people who take their Jeeps where they were meant to be driven. By completing more than 35 trails across the United States, you earn recognition for your boldness and trusting in the Jeep brand. Use a smartphone app to find the trails and check off your achievements for a badge you can truly wear with honor.

How to Avoid Long Distance Driving Pitfalls

If you are going to be doing any kind of long distance driving, you should have a plan in place that works. If not you can get tired and could result in some serious problems.

We will take a look at how to overcome problems associated with driving long distances. All the tips might not work for everyone, but you will find at least one tip that can work for you.

If a tip doesn’t apply for your situation, don’t use it. You will know which ones will work for you. Let’s begin by looking at the dangers that come with long distance driving:

Road Time

If you spend lots of time on the road it means that you will be spending more time with people you can collide with. The probability of an accident increases with the time you spend on the road with those who are thoughtless, reckless, bad, mindless and careless drivers. It gets even riskier when you consider things like weather, animals, construction, and road conditions.

How to deal with this challenge:
– Stay alert and look for possible hazards.
– Stay calm.
– Nervous people can be dangerous, don’t become one of them.


Prepare for anything. When driving for long distances you have to stay alert for long periods, which adds to fatigue. Bad weather conditions and decreased visibility can also make you fatigue.

How to deal with this challenge:
– Get refreshed when needed. Do it often if necessary.
– Get going before daylight.
– Keep cool and hungry.
– Stay alert by just being a bit uncomfortable.


It isn’t exciting to watch the road for endless hours, therefore boredom plays a huge role in long distance driving.

How to deal with this challenge:
– Drive during daylight.
– Avoid boredom by staying busy and vary your activities – roll down the windows, then roll them back up, change seating positions, play a license plate game with numbers and letters. Try anything to keep from getting bored.
– Drive friendly, wave to other drivers as you pass them or they pass you by to keep yourself entertained.

We at Chapman Payson want you to have a safe trip, so use any of these tips to stay safe on long trips. We hope one of these tips will resonate with you and help you to stay safe on your long driving trip.

Is Super Gas Worth the Cost?

Like most drivers when you pull into a gas station you just select one of the options without really thinking about the grade of gas you are putting into your vehicle. You might not even be aware of what the various grades include. The majority of drivers go for the “regular” or the cheapest octane gasoline.

An ongoing myth in the auto world is that “super,” the higher number and price option, sounds much better than “regular.” Most drivers believe that the gas quality is better, it works better in your engine and is definitely worth the higher price. In reality this is not true. Buying number 93 “super” quality gasoline is not significantly better than buying number 87 “regular” gasoline.

Different Grades

The different numbers represents the amount of octane in each grade of gasoline. Regular (87), mid-grade (89) and super or premium (93) are the 3 numbers seen most often. The lower number means the octane is less volatile and this makes the fuel easier to burn. All vehicles will list the most appropriate kind of gas to use for their engine design, with most doing well using regular unleaded gasoline.

If you use a higher octane gas than what your car calls for, there is no advantage and you are not doing yourself any favors when you do this.

Why the different types?

Why is the least used gasoline more expensive? It is a simple marketing tactic to use “super” on the higher grade. Customers usually associate higher numbers as well as stronger descriptors as being better. When you add a higher cost to the mix the perception that it is better is solidified. Don’t fall for this trick.

Gas eats up enough of your monthly income; therefore you don’t need to spend more than you really have to. Just go with the grade that your manufacturer recommends and stick to it. There is no doubt that some cars such as turbo-charged ones, definitely do need higher octane levels gas, because of the design of their engines they need higher pressure in order to ignite the fuel.

But if your car’s engine doesn’t specifically call for high-octane gas, you are not gaining any advantage, you are simply shelling out more cash. Don’t fall for the marketing ploys that try to suck more money out of you for gas.

At Chapman Payson, you will find many fuel efficient vehicles that will also save you money on gasoline. Stop by today to view our current lineup.