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Old 11-18-2007, 10:30 PM   #1
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Several questions from a hopeful future owner

So I'm getting near the end of my college career and I've always loved Wranglers. I'm hoping to buy something practical that I can use for a long time, and I want something that can double as a toy and a daily driver.

Wrangler LOOKS to me to be a really good choice for an only vehicle, considering the kinds of things I enjoy. But it's a big purchase and I have a few questions.

I'm an avid mountain biker, or was until college put the crunch on my free time. I've never done anything too remote with it but plenty of gravel roads, and some high elevation stuff in the Black Hills (South Dakota). I know the Wrangler can easily handle 2 bikes, me and a friend, with a mount on the spare tire, but how is it going to handle going up and down sometimes very steep gravel roads at high elevation? 4-low pretty good for that? I'd love a small displacement turbo-diesel...and since my purchase is likely not going to be until '09, that's a possibility but in the mean time, how do you guys feel the V-6 would handle that?

Also have a cabin in the middle of nowhere that me and my dad built. No way in but access roads, though they're well maintained enough that my little AWD Suzuki SX4 (which is a great vehicle, I love it, surprizing off-road capability for what it is) has absolutely no trouble. There's far too many trees and no trails wide enough for anything but a small 4wheeler once you get to the cabin, but we're working on clearing a few paths. I figured the Jeep would be pretty at home out there, and a great hunting vehicle. We've got a little trailer that we usually hook up to the 4wheeler to haul deer and such with, but it could be towed behind the Jeep too. One question I did have was for stump pulling. The area around the cabin is full on Minnesota forest stuff, and we were able to clear a relatively nice amount of space for vehicle parking and such, but we want some more room. We used the 4wheeler and some chains to pull the smaller stumps we needed to around the cabin, but if we want more room we need something bigger because the 4wheeler just doesn't have enough power. Anybody tried using the tow-hooks on a Wrangler for this kind of work? Can they handle it? Or would I need a winch?

I don't really know of any good off-roading places around where I live (and no idea about the area surrounding where I'll be working since that's likely going to be in or around Chicago), but I love going outdoors. So do you guys have any tips on finding some activities to use a Jeep for? Hints on finding some good trails, that sort of thing...

And most of all, this will be my only vehicle. I'm not to the point in my life where I can afford multiple vehicles and I need something I can use for everything. I'm not planning on a Rubicon, as it's just overkill for the kinds of things I'm interested in doing. I want something that's livable as a daily driver and capable off-road and in snow, good for utility, and cheap to maintain. To be honest, 90% of the vehicle's life will be spent on-road, as vacation times are hard to come by and hunting is only once or twice a year. Is something like a Wrangler X (S package) overkill for that too? I don't care a lick about ride quality or sports car handling (I went through that phase already, Camaros and Mustangs are fun but illegal to "play" with), but I would like something that's not terrible on gas and not a complete bear on the highway. Do you think I'd be pleased with day to day driving? What are some real-world numbers for a conservative driver in a non-Rubicon JK?

I love the open air stuff and being outdoors and all of that, but especially in my first few years out of college money will be tight and I need to be as economical as possible. One of my biggest draws to the Wrangler (besides it looking totally awesome) is being able to get into something that can do anything...for around 23,000 out the door. That's a great deal if you're going to be using it as a toy and a DD, in my opinion. But...basically, will I be happy with it or am I better off getting a cheap little econo-car like what I have now? (I AM very happy with the SX4, best car I've ever owned in terms of cost, gas, fun handling, and being able to handle ice and snow)

Sorry, long post and probably the exact same kinds of questions that every new kid asks, but yeah.

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Old 11-18-2007, 11:28 PM   #2
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first off the X is basicly just a trim package now, as they all come with the V6,
the V6 wil be able to handle everyhting there, it has good low range in 4wd to make it up steep hills and to pull stumps
i would go to the delaer and order one with the lower (numerically higher gear ratio) and get the base model besides that,
personally i like the manuall but some people wil ssay if you want to do rock crawling get an auto because it ahs infinitly low gear ratios,idk it just personaly preference

jeeps are great dependable cars especially wiht the new lifetime warranty, if you buy a JK it will serve you for at least the next twenty years, you can go into the YJ forum right now adn find PLENTY of 87's that people are still driving, os dont think of it as a 20,000 car that u will onyl use for five years like most cars, it wil be a car that you will use until you 50, so maybe it i sowrth it for the extra comfort and better trim package then idk???

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Old 11-19-2007, 06:24 PM   #3
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no long wordy reponse...based on your post, I'll say one thing and you'll have to trust me
Buy a Jeep


disclaimer: don't know about the stump pulling part
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerperson View Post
I know the Wrangler can easily handle 2 bikes, me and a friend, with a mount on the spare tire, but how is it going to handle going up and down sometimes very steep gravel roads at high elevation? 4-low pretty good for that? ...., how do you guys feel the V-6 would handle that?
The Jeep will handle the hills & gravel very nicely. The 4-low is VERY nice and the V6 is more than adequate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerperson
No way in but access roads, though they're well maintained enough that my little AWD Suzuki SX4 .... One question I did have was for stump pulling. The area around the cabin is full on Minnesota forest stuff, and we were able to clear a relatively nice amount of space for vehicle parking and such, but we want some more room. We used the 4wheeler and some chains to pull the smaller stumps we needed to around the cabin, but if we want more room we need something bigger because the 4wheeler just doesn't have enough power. Anybody tried using the tow-hooks on a Wrangler for this kind of work? Can they handle it? Or would I need a winch?
Anything your AWD Suzuki can or could do offroad, the Jeep will be able to do the same... if you were comfortable pulling stumps with a 4-wheeler, the Jeep should do fine for you there too. The hooks themselves probably have a higher recovery rating than your 4-wheeler since they are recovery points for a 1.5 ton vehicle instead of a couple hundred pounds 4-wheeler. Chains and stumps can be tricky.. just keep everyone at a safe distance since you could have either a broken chain with a lot of stored energy or a flying stump coming at you & your rig.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerperson
I don't really know of any good off-roading places around where I live (and no idea about the area surrounding where I'll be working since that's likely going to be in or around Chicago), but I love going outdoors. So do you guys have any tips on finding some activities to use a Jeep for? Hints on finding some good trails, that sort of thing...
I do not have anything for you here. Be sure to check out some local forums and such.. or ask other Jeepers you see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerperson
I want something that's livable as a daily driver and capable off-road and in snow, good for utility, and cheap to maintain.
You just described a Jeep, perfectly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerperson
I would like something that's not terrible on gas and not a complete bear on the highway. Do you think I'd be pleased with day to day driving? What are some real-world numbers for a conservative driver in a non-Rubicon JK?
A Jeep is not great on gas mileage. It is like a brick in the wind, however it is NOT a bear on the highway. I am pleased with my JK (as are many other people) as a daily driver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerperson
in my first few years out of college money will be tight and I need to be as economical as possible.
Many people have been known to start spending and modding their newly acquired Jeeps.. this will be a test of willpower & finances if you catch the "Jeep thing"

Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerperson
will I be happy with it or am I better off getting a cheap little econo-car like what I have now? (I AM very happy with the SX4, best car I've ever owned in terms of cost, gas, fun handling, and being able to handle ice and snow)
You being happy is going to be entirely up to you. You will need to know what is MOST important to you in a new vehicle and if financially possible, consider if it will meet your needs 3-5-10 years from now. You have made a great first-step by coming to wranglerforum.com however we are extremely biased and love our Jeeps!

WELCOME!
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:49 PM   #5
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I pulled a few stumps out with my Wifes 1995 Cherokee about 11 years ago. She was all for it since it was our youar I pulled the stumps out of.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:02 AM   #6
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Your first responder said you'd be "driving it til you are fifty."

For the record, I'm "fifty" NOW, and I just bought my first Wrangler JK....I can personally attest to the fact that you will STILL be driving one when you are fifty! (lol)

A good friend of mine stated when asked, that he saw 217,000 miles on the odometer of HIS "Jeep" before it finally died.

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Old 11-21-2007, 03:17 PM   #7
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I don't do much commuting so the majority of my miles, except for 3 or 4 times a year on my 450 mile round trips to the cabin, will be city driving, where aerodynamics aren't nearly as much of an issue. If I get the stick and drive her nice, can I see 20mpg on a regular basis?

Thanks you guys, very helpful forum. A lot of places aren't that friendly to newcomers, especially vehicle forums. I'm an avid camaro fan as well and the board I frequent for that vehicle is....grumpy.
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Old 11-21-2007, 03:30 PM   #8
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Any JK owners have any input on this, It seems to me that w/ the 6 speed, he might be able to creep up on 20 occasionally, huh? I don't know that I'd count on it, but it doesn't sound unreasonable, if he keeps his right foot light?
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Old 11-21-2007, 07:50 PM   #9
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idk i get like 9-13 with mine but is not a JK nor is it anywhere near stock, and i use the skinny pedal like its my job
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:38 PM   #10
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I have driven my JK for 11 months now and I have only averaged about 12 mpg. But it has not been stock since it reached 500 miles. If mine got 6 mpg I would still drive it
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Old 11-24-2007, 12:27 AM   #11
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On a tank of gas I do both daily driving and some off-roading and mall-crawling, ... I get 16-17 mpg. It is stock so far, .... but planning a 4 inch lift and 35 inch tires.

And while we're talking about pulling stumps out, I'm gonna go ahead and tell you to use straps and not chains. I agree with everyone that chains look cooler and are a lot more fun but......

http://www.kmtv.com/Global/story.asp...&nav=menu550_1

I do recommend that you keep chains with you in case you need help recover a vehicle that has no tow hooks, since a strap could get cut underneath, but use straps as much as possible.
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Old 11-29-2007, 03:27 PM   #12
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ok, 20MPH is few and far between. be happy with closer to 16.5 maybe 20 hwy on a long trip with cruise control on...

the JK in the most capable offroad vehicle on the market today.

the interior on the JKs has improved 10 fold over past models and is very comfortable on long trips.

if you get a jeep you will most likely like it, but it is not guaranteed.
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:22 AM   #13
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Thank you guys for the replies!

16 mpg is lower than I was hoping, especially for city. But my experience with cars is strange. My current vehicle is rated 24 in the city and I'm getting 31. I drive very nice...when I'm in the mood to anyways. I actually get better MPG in the city with the car than I do on the highway.

I'll of course be test driving the thing to see what kind of mileage I can expect in the real world. Does the vehicle have a digial MPG readout?

My only real reservation right now is...I very VERY much would like a Jeep Truck. They've been showing the Gladiator around...I love it. A bed for my Jeep would seal the deal regardless of mileage. It's so much more useful....I don't want something as big as the Unlimited but a short bed and small rear-seat area would be perfect, riding on the Wrangler platform with the same suspension. I would buy that so fast it's not even funny.

Do you guys know any inside information about that? I've heard conflicing reports that they want to make it and that they can't make it or what-have-you.
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgnellett View Post
Any JK owners have any input on this, It seems to me that w/ the 6 speed, he might be able to creep up on 20 occasionally, huh? I don't know that I'd count on it, but it doesn't sound unreasonable, if he keeps his right foot light?
6spd JK here, i get avg 16.5mpg in city if i drive "nice" vs. 13.5-14mpg driving aggressively. On highway i can get 20-23mpg, depends on traffic/weather condition/distance traveled.
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:21 PM   #15
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20 mpg is typical in my 2008 Wrangler "X" (Manual Transmission) in the city, and its telling me that I'm getting about 24 (average) on the highway.

I've only got 1100 miles (all mine) on it so far, so perhaps it will decline over time.

I'm looking for the endurance factor, in this vehicle, more than anything else.

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Old 12-20-2007, 02:41 PM   #16
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I got my 08 in august, and already have 5500. lol. I wonder how many miles will i be over by the end of my 39month lease.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:52 PM   #17
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Thank you guys for the replies!

16 mpg is lower than I was hoping, especially for city. But my experience with cars is strange. My current vehicle is rated 24 in the city and I'm getting 31. I drive very nice...when I'm in the mood to anyways. I actually get better MPG in the city with the car than I do on the highway.

I'll of course be test driving the thing to see what kind of mileage I can expect in the real world. Does the vehicle have a digial MPG readout?

My only real reservation right now is...I very VERY much would like a Jeep Truck. They've been showing the Gladiator around...I love it. A bed for my Jeep would seal the deal regardless of mileage. It's so much more useful....I don't want something as big as the Unlimited but a short bed and small rear-seat area would be perfect, riding on the Wrangler platform with the same suspension. I would buy that so fast it's not even funny.

Do you guys know any inside information about that? I've heard conflicing reports that they want to make it and that they can't make it or what-have-you.
I just bought an 08 4 door X 4x4 manual trans.. with the towing package 3.73 rear end. I'm getting 19mpg all around, but it is mostly freeway driving. It is my second Wrangler, I had an old square headlight YJ before. Great vehicles but it doesn't matter what size engine you get, about the best you will see is 19mpg.. If you get the stock X 3.21 rear end you might get a little better, and it should be fine as long as you don't plan on adding 35in tires. The JK is much better on the freeway than the YJ, the added room of the four door is great. And they are much quieter than previous Wranglers.. So far a great ride and lots of fun, even for just daily driving.. Living in Florida I went with the soft top. If I still lived where it snows I would go with a hard top.
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:22 PM   #18
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I pulled a few stumps out with my Wifes 1995 Cherokee about 11 years ago. She was all for it since it was our youar I pulled the stumps out of.
I was pulling out some tree stumps and on just riped out of the ground and landed on the hood. It left two small dents.
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:28 PM   #19
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:08 AM   #20
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i am getting 14 mpg with the top and doors off, and 17 mpg fully dressed with little non-stop driving. i have 32.7" tires on it, but i did get 18 mpg with the original tires.

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