looking to buy a jeep and I have never had one before I would like to keep the price below 20,000
I probably will not be using it to go four-wheeling
i am totally new at this
i was in this spot last year, i had always liked jeeps but had always needed more cargo space so hadn't shopped for one until last year (life and living situation changed, can get by without cargo space now).
some key points i learned when looking:
2007 and up are significantly different from all previous years for several reasons, which may be pluses or minuses depending on what you want.
I don't see much diff in anything from 2007 to current. called "XJ".
2006 on back to 1996 are primarily the same too, "TJ", more on them in a sec.
1995- i don't know how far back, are the next block where they are mostly the same, YJ,
prior to YJ is CJ which began in the 1940's when these things were first offered to civilians "CJ = civilian jeep".
but i won't speak about YJ and earlier because i know nothing about them -and- you're not looking to buy that old.
XJ - began in 2007,
come in 4 door and 2 door versions,
have a V-6 engine,
are wider than prevous years,
the 4door is i'm sure the longest "wrangler" ever made, i doubt you're looking at the 4door one(?)
these come with hard or soft top, the hard top *appears* functionally neat in that it comes apart into 3 sections (for the 2door), but be wary some people have reported a lot of water leak problems with this hard top, and no aftermarket hardtop yet exists. The flaw is that in order to make the top more sectional, you now have seams that could leak.
Do some research on jeep hardtop leaks, especially if buying a used JK someone may be trying to get rid of a problem.
Older jeeps' hardtops are one piece thus no seam that even can leak really.
the risk of hardtop leaks is a big reason i didn't bother looking at JK's; i just didn't want to risk it, knew i was buying used, etc. This problem simply doesn't exist with TJ's and older.
have Inline 6 engines, or Inline4, don't buy a 4cyl unless it's really super cheap price!! i saw so many 4cyl's for sale at the same or 95% of the same price i could get a 6cyl, it was just foolish pricing, and they all sat on lots unsold; the 6's would be gone in a week or two. it's okay to buy a 4, but don't do it unless you save a ton, i'll give a number example:
2006 TJ, 6cyl, 40k miles, $18,000,
2006 TJ, 4cyl, 40k miles, $10,000
That would be about right. if someone tries to push that 4cyl on you for $15grand tell them to stuffit.
TJ's also came in a longer-bed version called the "Unlimited". useful if you need a little more cargo space but UNdesirable in the market, so again be aware and don't pay the same price for an "unlimited" -- if they've got the less desirable model, the price has to reflect it.
Mostly, few people want the longer-bed TJ; it doesn't have 4 doors like the longer XJ so it doesn't add that much functional benefit.
Now about other stuff not model specific:
if you're budget is up near $20k then don't even look at any with over 50k miles; you have plenty of funds to find a good one, i missed a deal on one with 20k miles for $16grand, that showed up a week later at another dealer in another state for $19grand - and i still would've bought it, but i had another one already on the way.
Tons of sellers will try to convince you their 150k mile jeep is "good for another 100kmi", don't believe 'em. You have a high enough budget you can get a nice low-mid miles jeep. a 150k mile vehicle may or may not be good for a lot more miles, value is often about RISK, and 150k miles is a lot of darn risk. and jeeps are treated rough, it's not like buying a cadillac used for interstate commuting.
Tops - i found foolish prices on jeeps with soft tops as compared to hard tops. it costs $2grand to buy a hard top, but in the used jeep market it only bumped the price up $1grand. never understood that, if i'm looking at 2 identical jeeps one with hard one with soft, the to me the softie is automatically worth $2grand less, but sellers wouldn't budge, so i passed. i simply found fewer hardtop jeeps available, but they were out there.
doors - another one that surprised me, buying fulldoors new and getting them painted costs well over $2grand; but sellers with simply half doors wouldn't come down on their prices; so i just quit looking at any jeeps that didn't have full metal doors. i'm still confounded by that one. you can get aftermarket halfdoors for dirt; but you can't buy full metal doors anywhere for a low price, no aftermarket makes them, etc.
manual or auto trans - that is simply whatever you prefer, it really didn't make the price higher for either, i just found fewer manuals for sale; technically the auto should cost more but it's negligible.
modifications, lift kits, etc.; be wary if anything was installed properly.
5th wheel - hurt them in the wallet if they were too cheap to have a proper matching 5th wheel. wheels & tires are expensive. i'll buy dorked up or missing stuff if it's CHEAP, if it isn't cheap they can suckit.
pricing - look at ALL resources:
- online dealers
- kelley blue book
- nada blue book
and then when you find a jeep or two you like, key their exact parameters into autotrader.com as if you were SELLING that jeep, and see how low the values come back. it'll be shocking. doesn't mean you can ever buy one that low but it lets you know what it's worth if you had to sell in a year.
prior to my jeep i had a vehicle i'd paid $17k for, thought that when i traded it it'd be worth $14k because the kbb and nada both said it was worth $16k-17k,
and instead 3 responses came back telling me it was only worth $9k.
So i looked at the $18k jeeps i was shopping at, they came back valued at $10k.
hope this helps, sorry it's so long