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Old 05-13-2012, 06:54 AM   #1
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The Wrangler As An Everyday Car?

Greetings Folks,

New here - first post, although I have been reading posts for a couple of weeks now.
I've always liked the Wrangler and finally went for a test drive a few weeks ago and LOVED it! I preferred it on the road to even a fully loaded Jeep Cherokee!
In the 10 minutes or so that I was driving, the only problem I found was not having a footrest for the left foot (I'm in the UK). Does one get used to this?!

I really want to get one (short wheel base, new, probably Overland) but wanted to get some thoughts as this will be my main car; in fact, my only car! It will also spend 95% of it's time on normal roads, with very little off roaring (and certainly nothing extreme!!). What's it like to drive around in London with lots of corners? I've had a couple of Nissan X-Trails and a Pathfinder, so the size is fine, just wondering on roll etc.

How's the reliability and security, and any recommendations on excellent service for London Jeep dealers would be welcome!!

Also, is it comfortable on long motorway journeys? Lastly, any comments on the water tightness of the hard top? The UK can get wet at times! I figured for the cold I'd order some headliners to help with some insulation.

My aim would also be to take out the rear seats completely and get a metal security box made up to fit in their place. I'm a photographer so will be carrying equipment around when on assignment and need to have it secure. Anyone else done this? If so, where do you get it made? Any pictures will also be much appreciated! As I'll be fitting this box, I may relocate the woofer - any thoughts on where to put this if the boot (trunk) is not available?

Naturally, any feedback or thoughts would be much appreciated, so please let me know!!

Apologies for the silly questions!

Many Thanks,

Edmond

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Old 05-13-2012, 07:07 AM   #2
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i drive 235 miles a week for work. 90% hi way. i can honestly say the JK is a blast to drive. the 12 has been improved with better sound proofing and the 3.6 the interior provided all that i could want.

the foot rest issue is solved by a misch dead pedal. (one of my favorite mods). it is adjustable. only for automatics.

http://www.quadratec.com/products/12590_1100.htm

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Old 05-13-2012, 07:10 AM   #3
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:25 AM   #4
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You come to the right place to get an honest biased opinion lol. First thing is, calling a Wrangler a car is taboo. You can call it a Jeep, truck, rig, Wrangler, or 4wd.

As far as a daily driver, they may not be the best on road vehicle you may drive as far as comforts but it is one of the more fun 4wd's you will drive. It is very versatile as far as taking the top off and pulling off the doors to let the air in. Doesn't have the best side impact rating if you don't get a model with side airbags but is considered very safe every where else. Insurance is usually very cheap on a Wrangler because of this. Even with the one without side airbags.

As far as reliability, they are as reliable as most 4wd's if not better. Of course everyone can get an issue with any vehicle they buy but the only real complaint that can arise is leaks. It is a square top convertible and it can happen. Not a common issue but it does happen. The older 3.8 was a every reliable motor. The new 3.6 motor has only been around a couple years now in other models and first year in a Wrangler so no one really knows about the long term reliability yet but it gets great reviews. A lot more power over the 3.8l. Some early Wrangler owners have had a issue with motor ticking but isn't real common and Chrysler seems to fix it without much issue if it does happen.

Just trying to be honest. But for the majority, there is no issues. The thing about a Jeep is that if you drive one and love it, you must own it. It is very addictive. It is also very expensive in the fact that you must buy stuff for your Jeep. It's like a drug. You are looking for the next fix to make it your own. The best thing is that there is so much available to buy for it. It's not expensive in the area of maintenance or upkeep though. It is actually a very inexpensive vehicle to work on. But the need to mod a Jeep is very addictive, especially if you come to the forum a lot and see what others have done to theirs.

I wouldn't own any other 4wd. Not that their isn't another 4wd out their that would better fit a daily driver but their is no other one out their that has the fun factor a Jeep Wrangler has.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:30 AM   #5
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I've put 8500 miles (3500 of it on a wheelin trip out west) on mine since I bought it in January...IT makes a great daily driver. Although most of it is highway, around town its a blast since you can see over most other cars (new 3.5" lift), the cornering is very good with this new suspension, especially in town. Body roll is minimal or the Electronic Stability Program would fire the brakes automatically when cornering... and I do corner hard to test the limits. The shorty version would make a good choice for alot of city traffic driving. DO IT!

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Old 05-13-2012, 07:31 AM   #6
Really liking the Jeep...

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First of all, welcome!

Second, a mild correction: We like to refer to our vehicles as "Jeeps" exclusively due to their unique nature that puts them into a class somewhat removed from mere "cars".

I use mine as a daily driver (DD) and it is great.
That issue you have with the lack of foot support can be remedied by the installation of a "dead pedal" that is essentially an adjustable foot rest.

I have experienced no leaks from my hard top, but have not been across the pond to know how a JKU would do in London. Sorry.

If I didn't have passengers occasionally then I'd cancel the rear seats as well and install the same system.

Luckily for you, you have considered a vehicle that is almost infinitely configurable, so you can make it exactly what you need/want it to be!

Other more technical points will no doubt be addressed by our more knowledgeable members, but I hope you learn what you need to know to lock in your decision. Good luck!
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:01 AM   #7
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The best part of my day is driving my Jeep to work, then driving it home from work. It's usually the highlight of otherwise shitty work days.
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:26 AM   #8
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Go for it. I have a 4dr soft top that is my daily driver and I love it.

You can get lockable boxes for storage.
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:54 AM   #9
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Potential downside in the UK. The price of "petrol" vs the fuel economy of the Jeep is pretty shocking. If you put a lot of miles on it be ready with your wallet.
With locked storage boxes bolted to the floor , your valuables should be ok. Never leave your gear just sitting in the JeeP, especially the w the soft top .
All said and done, I love my 2012 JKR, it brings a smile to my face when I get in and drive
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:13 AM   #10
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The rear speaker in mine is virtually worthless although it does add 'some' low end response. My audio-tech advisor told me I'd gain useable space by just removing it and leaving it out.

Although I rarely use the radio, after 16 months I'm about ready to find some sound system more satisfying.

Re: extended travel
I've put many 400-500 mile days in mine with absolute comfort.

My Jeep continues to give me a big smile every time I drive it. I've had a half-dozen 2-4000 mile trips in it, and plan a longer one this summer.

If I can 'average' as good as 20 mpg I'm satisfied.

It does well in traffic for me, but I'm not used to such as the Mini-Cooper etc style. In any case, parking is never an issue as it is short wheel base compared to many US rigs.

I've heard the Wrangler is available in Europe in a diesel version. You might check that option out.

I'm in the Pacific North West, known for foul weather rain storms a good part of the winter. No leaks in my 2008 hard top, now approaching 40,000 miles.

Jeep is a most satisfying experience as DD in my own use. Depending on how much room for your gear you may need, there is a longer 4 door version.

Good luck. And "photographs or it didn't happen"
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:13 AM   #11
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Isnt the diesel version avaliable in the UK?
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:26 AM   #12
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My wife and I DD a 2012 Rubicon and an Exige S, with a V70R for the rainy/snowy days. You can do this easily.

Wranglers actually make GREAT city vehicles because you can park them anywhere you won't get a ticket, they LAUGH at potholes, and mpg is not as much of an issue.

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Old 05-13-2012, 10:02 AM   #13
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Nice jeep but that lotus love it.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:02 AM   #14
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Hard top and auto and u will be fine. I've been to London and I think with a jeep turning radius and small size it would be a good choice for over there when it comes to traffic and parking.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:52 AM   #15
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Thank you all SO MUCH!! Really appreciate all the feedback :-)

Thanks for the friendly education too ;-) It's a Jeep!! I'm so close to ordering one!

Many thanks also for the dead pedal suggestion - alas having the steering wheel on the worn side in the UK means that the US dead pedal won't work with a right hand drive car. Also, I find there is quite a bulky (I think it's the transmission tunnel) part jutting out and forcing the left leg to move towards the right! Any right hand Wrangle drivers have any solutions?

Indeed there is a diesel version here and it will definitely be the model I get.

Again, a huge word of thanks for all the replies - I really appreciate it :-)

Cheers,

Edmond
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:18 AM   #16
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Did he really use the word "car"....... I want him banned !! Where's my rope !!!

To own a Jeep is to love a Jeep. There's just nothing to compare it to.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:20 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by mxman122 View Post
Did he really use the word "car"....... I want him banned !! Where's my rope !!!

To own a Jeep is to love a Jeep. There's just nothing to compare it to.
I think we'll let it slide this time.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:20 AM   #18
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Did he really use the word "car"....... I want him banned !! Where's my rope !!!

To own a Jeep is to love a Jeep. There's just nothing to compare it to.
Alas he did use the 'c' word but has learnt his lesson
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:32 AM   #19
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This might be an option for gear security Security Cages, Security Barriers Design, Manufacture with Reinforced Steel Doors, UK

AP here in New York as some Ford Explorers outfitted with similar cages.

I don't own a JK yet, but I've rented a 2 door 2012 and it was a great city driver here in NYC. Easy to park, good visibility, and you don't really have to worry about bumper rash when "parking by Braille" like everyone here likes to do.

Cheers!
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:49 AM   #20
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Many thanks for the link :-) Coincidentally, I know this company and have had them make a cage for me in the past!! Small world!!

Also thanks for the feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveBoro View Post
This might be an option for gear security Security Cages, Security Barriers Design, Manufacture with Reinforced Steel Doors, UK

AP here in New York as some Ford Explorers outfitted with similar cages.

I don't own a JK yet, but I've rented a 2 door 2012 and it was a great city driver here in NYC. Easy to park, good visibility, and you don't really have to worry about bumper rash when "parking by Braille" like everyone here likes to do.

Cheers!
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:50 AM   #21
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Mine is a daily drive. Wouldn't drive anything else.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:28 PM   #22
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Alas he did use the 'c' word but has learnt his lesson
I thought the C words was mostly limited to Ozzies
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:01 PM   #23
Really liking the Jeep...

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Forgot about driving on the other side. :o

Not sure what you are dealing with there, but if you look around online I'm sure you will find some UK JK owners that have found a solution.
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:02 PM   #24
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Mines a daily driver and I love every second of it! It's the only vehicle I own! The MORE dead pedal made a world of difference on those longer trips. Even if I had a second vehicle I would still drive the Jeep. Even just cruising around town it's a blast.
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:16 PM   #25
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I've had nothing but jeeps since I was 15 and I'm now 30. I would not want any other car. highway isn't bad as long as your realize its a jeep. I did lots of highway driving with my older jeeps and was never unhappy.
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:23 PM   #26
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If I did not use my Jeep to explore and take off-road, I probably would not have one. I prefer driving my V8 4Runner on pavement. My Subaru too. The Wrangler is a slightly tiring drive when compared to the other two. That said, it is fun and some absolutely love driving it. I really only enjoy driving it off road. It's okay on pavement but I prefer others by a large degree, especially since I do a lot of highway driving at 70-80.
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:39 PM   #27
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I drive mine everyday and wouldn't change if i could!!!!!! I even pick my kids up after work One is 2 and the other is 4 months!!
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:17 PM   #28
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Many thanks folks for all the feedback; most encouraging

Strider, the problem is that there's practically no space in there - makes me wonder how the manual (stick) gearbox works as I'm sure there's no room for a clutch pedal! Shall continue researching this.

Cheers All,

Edmond
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:18 PM   #29
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Quote:
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I thought the C words was mostly limited to Ozzies
Nah, it's a UK thing too
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:32 PM   #30
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Why aren't diesels available (or in demand) in the US? VW TDI's are incredibly popular here, run like gas engines, and offer incredible fuel economy. And what happened with the Jeep "Common Rail Diesel" in the US? I recall it coming out in the Liberty around 2005 and thought it was a great idea - although I was surprised by the low fuel economy rating (like 24 mpg?). Is it even available any longer? Did they ever offer it in a Wrangler? I would think that diesel torque would be welcomed by the Jeep community as well as 24 mpg.

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