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Old 08-24-2011, 09:25 AM   #1
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Wrangler Advice please....

Hello all.

This is my first post, but I've been reading through the threads. I'd like some advice on buying a Wrangler. Here's the story:

I have an 80 mile round trip commute to work each day, all highway, 60 MPH. I'm currently driving a wore out Chevrolet Malibu. This is the only car I've ever owned, and will probably be the last. I've had the car for about 6 years and put about 200K miles on it. It's been a great car, never had to make any repairs. But, I'm not a car person.

That being said, I'm looking to purchase a "new to me" Wrangler for commuting. I am looking for a 2005 or newer, less than 50K miles, manual transmission, 2 doors, and A/C. Other than that, I'm not picky. I don't want large mud tires, I would stick with a 31" or so smaller A/T. I definately don't want an Unlimited, or any of the fancy GPS/DVD options. I really don't like the BIG wheels on the 2011 Wrangler I looked at, either.

I've found several used Wranglers locally that I like, but I can't decide what I want. Should I get an 06' with the 4.0 (it has 21K miles) or should I go for a newer one with the 3.8 V6? I know the 4.0 is a reliable engine, and from what I've read on here, the 3.8 is reliable also.


I'd like some opinions from you guys about commuting in a Wrangler.

What kind of fuel mileage can I really expect? My car is getting about 23 MPG now...

Does the V6 give better fuel economy than the 4.0 liter?

Hardtop or softtop? The softtop on my CJ sucks, are the new ones better?

Do all Wranglers have lock-in/lock-out hubs? It really doesn't matter, I'd just like to know.

This won't be my 1st 4WD. I have a 2000 Chevy 4WD (15 MPG), an 84 Dodge 4WD (terrible MPG), and a 78 CJ-5(8-12 MPG, it has a 304 and 33"s). I'm saying this to say that I know a Wrangler won't be ideal for commuting, but I want to try it for a while.

BTW, I'm 6'5" tall, so leg room is a concern. The 2011 Wranglers I drove had enough room. Will all the models have about the same interior room?

Any opinions from you guys would be welcome.

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Old 08-24-2011, 10:24 AM   #2
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Being as tall as you are, I'm gonna think you'll like the JK better. TJ's have less leg room. Soft tops are easier now. MPG's will kill you tho' with your commute. You won't get close to 23mpg's I don't think. More likely 18 if you're lucky, but Idk, cause ours have bigger tires/wheels and are autos.

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Old 08-24-2011, 10:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SethBagwell View Post
I have an 80 mile round trip commute to work each day, all highway, 60 MPH.

That being said, I'm looking to purchase a "new to me" Wrangler for commuting. I am looking for a 2005 or newer, less than 50K miles, manual transmission, 2 doors, and A/C.

Should I get an 06' with the 4.0 (it has 21K miles) or should I go for a newer one with the 3.8 V6?
Wranglers are not optimal for highway commuting, though many people choose to use them that way. If that's what you're going to do, I strongly suggest you go with the JK rather than a TJ. The JK makes a better highway commuter for many reasons:

- it has more space inside
- it has better ergonomics than the TJ
- it is more fuel efficient than a TJ (13/17 for the 6-spd TJ, 15/18 for the 6-spd JK, both by the new EPA math)
- the JK's longer wheelbase and wider track promote better stability

Overall, I expect you'll be much happier commuting in a JK than you would in a TJ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SethBagwell View Post
Hardtop or softtop?
I love soft tops, but I only have a 4-mile drive to work. For your extended driving, I would recommend the hardtop. The reduced noise will be worth it. Also, if you live in a snowy climate, it will be nice to scrape the snow/ice off the glass windows.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:37 PM   #4
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I have to agree. I bought my 1999 Wrangler brand new. I only have 80,000 miles on it. I have driven it on a few long trips over the highway, and it can get expensive.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:53 AM   #5
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I drive 55 miles one way to work which is bad enough. If you're worried about gas mileage I don't know that Jeep is the right thing to get. That said, everything else is all personal preference, it will be totally what you prefer. I'd go test drive every possible combination you could want and go from there.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:58 PM   #6
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i recommend a 2004-06 unlimited. fuel economy between 16-21 mpg. lots of interior room, esp. with the seat out or tumbled.

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