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Old 07-07-2009, 09:44 PM   #1
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first time buyer! need answers please!

So i just graduated out of college and buying my first vehicle in the next couple weeks. Ive wanted a wrangler since i can remember and its finally time. I only have a couple basic questions that i would love to have answered from some jeep pros. my commute to work is 30-40 mins. Is a jeep the kind of car that should only be used as a secondary fun car, or could be driven as a primary car. Second, regarding the soft top, if i am out at a friends, work, or anywhere far from home and want to take the top off, is there a secure place to store the top or do you just have to throw it somewhere it can be stolen from. I appreciate any feedback.
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:55 PM   #2
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The new JK Wranglers (2007-2009) are perfectly suitable for a wife just bought one as her primary vehicle. The soft top can either flip up (Sunrider) or be completely put down for the full effect. In that event, the top folds neatly behind the rear seats and the windows get stored behind the seats as well. Up or down in like 5 or 10 minutes depending on your manual dexterity. That being said, I've owned TJs and YJs as my primary vehicle and was generally happy commuting or travelling. I've driven cross-country in both versions numerous times and never had a problem. The only time I've ever found a Jeep not to be my favorite possible vehicle was trying to put two baby seats in the back seat in the winter or the driving rain. Now that those days are over, I'm back to Jeeps.

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Old 07-07-2009, 09:59 PM   #3
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that all sounds good to me. thanks! That actually brings up one more concern. I live in illinois and the winters get pretty bad. Are the cold winters unbearable in the soft top? Ive always wanted the soft top over the hard top but i really have no idea how cold they get those conditions.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:15 PM   #4
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I just bought my first Jeep (2005, so its a TJ) and it has a soft top that will go through one more harsh winter before I head west. So I haven't personally experienced a winter in it yet, but I did some searching and reading up on it prior to buying and it sounds like its really not a big deal. Supposedly takes a tad longer to heat up the cabin, but it holds that heat fine. The biggest issue is snow/ice sticking to the rear window I think I recall reading, but you've got side mirrors to get around that. As far as the top goes, yeah it folds down to the back of the truck. The windows are a separate item, zip out and you gotta store them somewhere. I picked this up..

All Things Jeep - For Jeep Wrangler Window Storage, the Jeep Window Roll from Cloverpatch

so I can securely take the windows with me wherever.

Make sure you put the soft top up/down when you're looking over a used Jeep you're thinking about buying to check for snags and issues. You can find instructions online (youtube, some other places) to do it so you're not clueless when you show up to check out the truck.

Oh, and the commute: I also have a 30-40 min commute over 10 miles because of traffic, and was leary of this transition given I am used to 30+ MPG from my Ford Contour (college vehicle..), but its just a tradeoff you make. I am very willing to pay a little more at the pump for everything else in upgrades the Jeep offers.

Good luck!
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Old 07-08-2009, 01:10 PM   #5
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I have gone through the Philadelphia, Buffalo, and South Carolina (if they had one) winters. The soft top kept me warm without a problem. I used to just hop in my jeep and push up on the soft top to clear all the snow off. The only this that does suck is the salt gets on the rear window especially. The only way to clean it off real good without taking a hose to it yourself is to go to a car wash, luckily we have a 3 dollar one around here.

My commute is 45 minutes to an hour and a half a day depending on traffic. I also have driven all over the country when I was enlisted in my jeep. I have the half doors, so if your really worried get the full doors for a little more protection. The soft top on the TJ's folds behind the rear seat just like the JK's. I love my jeep and the looks I get are amazing, with 155,000 miles already I wouldnt want any other daily driver.
No more jeep for now
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:19 PM   #6
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Illinois here too, about 60 miles west of Chicago. My kid, my son's ex GF both have soft tops on their jeeps. It isn't grand but they survive the winters. They heat up really fast and the heat on the new ones will have you toasty so I wouldn't think the soft top would be a problem. I have both tops, bummer is I still haven't gotten around to switchen out the hard top. I am having fits at my big kid who is suppose to take five minutes and give me a hand with getting the hard top into the garage but so far, aside from one nice week our weather hasn't been super warm so flippen off the lids has been okay.
My dad has a new jeep too, he has just the soft top and seems fine with it.

All our jeeps are primary cars. I drive about 30 minutes each way to work, now that I have the jeep I actually don't mind the drive at all. Takes some time to break in the engine to get decent mpg's but it does improve once you hit 20K by about 2-3mpg.
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:25 PM   #7
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We just bought an 09 4dr JK with dual tops. We haven't been through a winter yet but my sense is that you might be more comfortable with the hard top in the winter and the soft top in warmer weather. But don't let that drive your buying decision. You can always buy another top later when you make up your mind that you want one. The variety of tops available for the whole jeep line is astounding.
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:35 PM   #8

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Mine is a primary (about 50 miles a day), and the main vehicle for family trips and while here in the Virginia coast snow is rare, no problems with being cold... You may want to consider the dual top option,
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:05 PM   #9
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I am not 100% sure but if you want the option of a hardtop latter I believe you need to make sure you get full doors.

I don't think there is too much difference heat wise, just convenience wise when it comes to cleaning off the rear and rear side windows in crappy weather. But hey, if you know how to drive and use your side mirrors, who needs to see out the back window?
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:59 PM   #10
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I bought the Jeep when I was in Watertown NY, pretty brutal in the winter. I had concern regarding the soft top since I got it used and there was no hard top option. For some reason the Jeep was toasty and warmer than my 2005 Subaru Outback

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