In stock form the TJ is a great daily driver, you will sacrifice some MPGs because of its brick wall-like aerodynamics though. Even with a lift and larger tires my jeep is still fairly comfortable to drive. It is an extra vehicle for me but I have a lot of friends who use their TJs as daily drivers and are happy with them.
Favorite quote, Thanks GoldenSahara00 "not many people do it. most of the guys who do do it, don't sit on the computer and talk/write about it, they do it then go wheel"
mine's a DD(by choice) it's fine for me. it's a 4 cyl, 100% stock and while it's not the ride of a lexus i've been in regular cars that were worse. i have about 40 min(total) commute now but when i got it i had 3 hrs and did that for 7 months. while the mpg isn't the best, i actually got it for that-almost 2x's of my pickup(right around 20 mpg)
while i was looking i did test a few that were lifted and if i was 30 yrs younger i probably would have jumped at em but 3 hrs on the road at the time, not sure i would have survived.
i would say test drive em-if possible the distance you travel to work and see what you think, only you can decide. try a few lifted ones if you want but i think you'd be happier with a stock one-know i am.
If only for a daily driver the MPG will dissappoint you especially with Houston driving...
I'm not worried about the MPG.
When I find the right TJ, I will be selling my 2002 Ford F-150 XLT. (Don't want or need an extra vehicle.)
That truck is a smooth ride, but the MPGs are worse than a TJ.
I'm looking forward to going everywhere in the TJ.
I go to a local drive-in movie theater around here. When I take my truck, I back it in, and sit in the bed.
It would be cool to take the TJ, without the top, and enjoy the show that way.
... i would say test drive em-if possible the distance you travel to work and see what you think, only you can decide. try a few lifted ones if you want but i think you'd be happier with a stock one-know i am.
Sounds like good advice.
Just like any other vehicle, depending on its' prior owner's use (abuse), every ride will be different.
My 2004 4.0 5sp is a daily driver. I just took it on a 900 mile round trip up to Norfolk from Charleston, SC with no problems. Security is a bit of a problem beings that it is a soft top but thieves will get into anything if they want to.
2004 "X" Wrangler, Shale Green, 5sp, 6cyl, 33" Duratrac tires, Pro Comp rims JKS 1.25'' body lift, JKS 1" MML.
I had a TJ as a daily driver 10 or so years ago. I loved it but hated to drive it long distances on the highway. I had a 1 hr+ commute. It wad very noisy and was not good on gas. I sold it and missed it every day since but not as a DD.
I now have a TJ as a second vehicle and couldn't be happier.
I suggest driving one and make sure you are comfortable with it. Everyone has different needs and expectations.
I drive mine daily, about 20 miles total to and from work. About half of that is slow, 45mph and the other half is 65mph. I personally love driving it. On the highway it's very smooth, but bumpy roads can be a bit annoying. I don't know if it's stock gearing or someone regeared it before I bought it, but I can run 65 to 70 in 5th gear and 2800rpms. I average about 17~18mpg on that drive. And it's a 4cyl.
I guess I need to clarify ...
The TJ would be MY only vehicle. My wife has a Ford Escape.
besides the 2500hd, CC, long bed, 8.1L gas saver(which is basically a tow vehicle) wife has a compass. around town or just taking a ride we usually take the TJ(wife went from "i'm not gettin in that thing" to "aren't you dropping the top and takeing the doors off") for longer trips or more than just the 2 of us we usually take "HER" jeep. get the TJ, you won't look back, and you'll figure out what works for you.
If you like the ride and quiet of the F-150 then do not buy a TJ to daily drive if you are concerned about ride quality too. You can probably get the right shocks and springs and keep a similar ride, but you will be nowhere near as quiet or comfortable in the TJ without having a hard top, carpet, insulation. I do not suggest it unless you really plan to play off road or want a convertible. Don't forget that you cannot tow much with it if you need to.
I love my Jeep and it is a semi-daily driver for me, but it will never be my sole vehicle to DD. I like the comforts of other vehicles too much. I love that I can get into my Jeep and go almost anywhere I want without worrying if I can get there and back no matter the terrain, but I love that I can have a conversation with the passenger at 70mph in my Chevy truck.
I find them to be very comfortable, and totally uncivilized a the same time...they dont corner they just go in a general direction...as for being bumpy Ive never noticed that much although having an LJ helps a bit....DDing a TJ is like using a sledgehammer for a job that could use a scalpel....I love it, but many dont so you will have to drive one to make that choice......oh and I dont even mind long distance trips with a small exception of range...I wish I had more before I had to fill up, mpgs be damned thats what the Cooper is for.
I have a company car in addition to the 05 Sport. Every day, I wish I could talk my boss into putting the company's gas into my TJ so I could drive it instead. I love the way it rides, I love shifting, I love the seat, I love everything about it! Well, except the little leak I have to get to.
Depends on what exactly your looking for. If your literally going to do a daily drive and dont plan on playing in the mud at ALL. Then i would get something with some better gas mileage. Mine is a daily drive and I get roughly 15...16 MPG? But, then again you always find me out in a field or a mud hole after a fresh rain.
As long as life is good,,,, I will always own a Jeep,,,, but NEVER as my daily driver.
Life could go not so good suddenely and I could be forced to either sell my Jeep or sell one of my other vehicles (2012 Dodge Ram 1500, 2011 Acura MDX) and use my Jeep as my daily driver. Bad times is the only way I would use a Jeep as a daily driver.
But as long as life is good, my Jeep will ONLY be a take the top off all summer play toy.
Not sure with a hard top, but with my soft top TJ, most of the wind noise I have at 50+ is from the top, so I'd have to imagine a hard top might be a little quieter. I can carry on a conversation at 70, but I unquestionably have to speak up.
A TJ as a DD is a compromise (mine is my DD btw), but to me it's a perfectly acceptable one- I just love driving it!