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Old 04-17-2010, 07:40 AM   #1
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For all you daily driving Jeep Tj-ers

I am back.

I am now driving a 2006 Mazdaspeed6. I am playing with the idea of trading it in and picking up a 06 TJ sport with the 6cyl and 20k miles on it.

I have a few questions and didnt want to drag it out into a bunch of posts for different questions. I figured I would save some aggravation going back and forth as well as clutter on the forum.

1. I will have a 20 mile commute to work each way. How is the ride on the stock platform (stock wheels/tires/suspension - no lift yet). Mostly highway driving too.

2. How is the wind noise with the soft top?

3. Gas mileage dare I ask for the automatic? realistic approximates are appreciated.

4. Would you guys get into another jeep as a DD or would you have chosen something else?

One day I would hope to pick up a commuter car and build the Jeep. This is one of the things I have brewing in my head. But for now this would be my DD and therefore hence the questions.

Thanks in advance

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Old 04-17-2010, 07:54 AM   #2
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1.) It's not exactly comfortable, but you won't end up with an earsplitting headache by the time you make it to work either...IMO, it rides like a pickup truck as far as suspension goes. With no lift, you'll be fine ride wise (and some lifts actually will give you a smoother ride than stock)...when you start getting into larger tires and staying with stock gearing, that's when you run into trouble keeping up at highway speeds. The only issues I have with highway driving is it can be a lil squirrely in heavy rain, especially when you hit the brakes on an off-romp...gotta be gentle while braking for off-ramps in the rain at highway speeds...and when it's really windy (like "Wind Advisory" windy), it'll really keep you holding onto the wheel due to the wind trying to blow you off the road. You'll have that in any taller vehicles though.

2.) It's honestly not too terrible... it's a little louder inside, but if it's a newer sailcloth top, you can still hold a conversation without yelling back and forth. I keep the radio up partway and only hear the occasional flap depending on how windy it is.

3.) I hear the autos and manuals are quite similar to each other regardless of what fueleconomy.gov says. MIGHT be a hair less in an auto, but not by much. My 5 speed gets between 14-16 mixed (mostly city) driving. Which is just a little less than my old V6 Dodge Dakota got. I did get 18 one fill-up...so it varies a lot.

4.) My Jeep is my DD...and while sometimes I hate when I do something stupid like miss a gear or lurch between shifts, lol...I love having it. It's a fine DD, but with no cruise control and the bad gas mileage...long trips are harder for me to afford since I'm not rich. I don't mind driving it as a DD, but eventually I do plan to build it more into a trail rig and pick up a lil 4 banger car to use as my DD.

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Old 04-17-2010, 07:59 AM   #3
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1. With the newer TJ's sitting on coil springs rather than leaf springs, I don't think you will have any complaints as far as the ride goes. Now if you decide to lift it and put bigger tires on it later on then you can look forward to a bumpier ride. But I don't mind the ride for the look lol.

2. Can't speak for the stock soft top, but someone will chime in soon.

3. With your auto 6 cyl engine, your probably looking at 14-18 mpg, depending on how you drive it of course. And if you put big tires on it, expect that to go way down lol.

4. Personally I have no complaints with my 06 TJ for daily driving. I wish it got a few more mpg, but I didn't buy it for the gas mileage lol. It may be a bit of a rough ride with my lift and tires, but I had low profile tires on my last car and that stuff really doesn't bother me, but everyone is different.

hope some of this helps you out, and good luck with the Jeep!
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:00 AM   #4
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I daily drive mine and I enjoy the time in it. Gas milage was around 16 till I put a 2 inch lift and tires on. I only have a 4cyl but they really don't get better milage as they have to work harder to move. You get used to how they ride and if you off road it you will probly fall in love with the feel of your jeep and enjoy it anyway.
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:09 AM   #5
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I put over 180K miles onto my mostly daily driver '97 Wrangler TJ I bought brand-new in 1996 and I loved it. I recently started driving my Toyota to work a little more but only because I was worried about it being stolen with all the upgrades I had done to it which proved to be exactly what happened, it was stolen from where I work last month.

With the newer soft tops that come on Jeeps, the soft tops are actually pretty quiet. Older soft tops were noisy but they went to a very quiet heavy-duty fabric in around 2001 that is quiet.

Mileage-wise, autos and manual transmissions have been about the same for years now. My '97 Wrangler came with a 5-speed manual but due to the somewhat extreme forms of offroading I enjoy (rock crawling), I upgraded and converted to an automatic a little over two years ago. Best upgrade I have done to it for offroading and right up there with the lockers I had installed into it. So don't worry about getting an automatic, the hard-core offroaders long-ago figured out that automatics are better offroad. The tougher the trail, the more an automatic shines. For MPG, mid-teens is typical. My TJ was kind of a monster Jeep with big tires and low gearing so I was lucky to get 13 mpg. Others get in the high teens which isn't bad. But it was never designed to be an econo box, not with its barn-door aerodynamics and offroad orientation.

Comfort-wise on the daily commute, that's up to you. Stock, it rides fine and I only bought mine because with the '97 model and newer, Jeep finally brought out a model that had a good ride. Jeep switched from leaf springs to coil springs for the '97 and newer models which finally gave it a very good ride. So you can keep it stock or build it with a lift and still keep a good ride, or you can build it with a lift and give it a stiff (or stiffer) ride... it's up to you. I built mine to an awesome trail Jeep yet it still had a very good street ride, that's how I built it.

So even 14 years later, I still loved my Jeep as a daily driver. And at 62, an old guy, it had to ride pretty decently for me to be happy with it and I continue to be. So much so that I am picking up a replacement Wrangler today in a few hours.
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glocker23 View Post

1. I will have a 20 mile commute to work each way. How is the ride on the stock platform (stock wheels/tires/suspension - no lift yet). Mostly highway driving too.
It will be entirely different then your Mazda, but you may find that the commute is your favorite part of your job. I would recommend that you replace the stock tires with something a little beefier. It will make a big difference in the ride.

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2. How is the wind noise with the soft top?
Mine is quiet enough that I can use my cell phone (not recommended) and hold a normal conversation without raising my voice.

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Originally Posted by Glocker23 View Post
3. Gas mileage dare I ask for the automatic? realistic approximates are appreciated.
It really depends on your driving style. You would definitely have to forget the sportscar mentality. You will never see 20 mpg, but you won't care.

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Originally Posted by Glocker23 View Post
4. Would you guys get into another jeep as a DD or would you have chosen something else?
Absolutely! My BMW has been parked pretty much since the day I brought my Jeep home.
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:25 AM   #7
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So even 14 years later, I still loved my Jeep as a daily driver. And at 62, an old guy, it had to ride pretty decently for me to be happy with it and I continue to be. So much so that I am picking up a replacement Wrangler today in a few hours.
Good for you Jerry ! I was wondering what you were going to do. Pics, pics, pics.
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:28 AM   #8
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Funny, when i was thinking about buying a jeep i was asking myself the same questions you are.

But once i got in the jeep it put a smile on my face that i never had driving any car i ever owned and i forgot all about the same questions you are asking !!

Buy, the jeep you will love it and the people on this forum are the best and will help you out with anything you need to know !!!
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:41 AM   #9
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1. My Jeep is lifted on 35's and I only notice it on big bumps, especially over bridges. With a stock one it should be fine. Its not my dads carolla, but its damn comfy to me.

2. Its not bad at all if it is all buttoned up. It starts to get loud if you open a few windows, but this is to be expected.

3. I cant tell you with an automatic, but i have a manual with 35's and stock gearing and get 16-19 so I cant imagine you would get much worse.

4. Nope, I LOVE my TJ :-D
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:55 AM   #10
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My '05 LJ is my DD, and I love it more than I can say. Mileage is about 16mpg which is about average for the TJ's, auto (which I have) or stick unless it's built up. As for the factory soft top it has never been a problem having a conversation in the jeep or on the phone. That being said, BUY THE JEEP, you won't regret it. S.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:16 AM   #11
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Good questions...now I dont have to make a thread about it
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:01 AM   #12
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1. My Jeep is lifted on 35's

3. I cant tell you with an automatic, but i have a manual with 35's and stock gearing and get 16-19 so I cant imagine you would get much worse.
That sounds like, really Really good milage for having stock gears and 35s. Does having a 6cyl make that much of a difference in the gas milage? I don't think I've ever gotten 16 miles per gallon with my 4cyl..I would absolutely love to be able to though.
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:33 AM   #13
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So much so that I am picking up a replacement Wrangler today in a few hours.
Holy Cow Jerry! That's fantastic news!!! Keep us posted!!!
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:51 AM   #14
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That sounds like, really Really good milage for having stock gears and 35s. Does having a 6cyl make that much of a difference in the gas milage? I don't think I've ever gotten 16 miles per gallon with my 4cyl..I would absolutely love to be able to though.
16-19 mpg on 35's with stock gearing does sound a bit high. Stock gearing can mean a lot of different ratios though (3.07, 3.73, 4.10). I run 4.56's on 35's w/ a 5 speed and 6 cylinder. My Jeep is my DD and my mileage is in the 15-17 mpg range. I have gotten into the 18 mpg range a few times but the planets really have to align for that to happen.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:01 PM   #15
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I love my jeep, but I dont think Id want it as a daily driver. Im probably in the minority with this stance, but I like being able to leave my 'toy' jeep in the garage when its storming or when I need to travel. I love playin around in the Jeep, but I think I personally would get tired of using it as a DD.

I understand some do not have the luxury of bein able to have two cars for financial, storage or other reasons. In that case.....Id be awfully temped to get a Jeep for a DD. Would definitely get a soft top (for the summer) and a hard top (for the winter if you dont live in the south).
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:52 AM   #16
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My answers

1. I will have a 20 mile commute to work each way. How is the ride on the stock platform (stock wheels/tires/suspension - no lift yet). Mostly highway driving too. My stock rides just fine on the highway, no problems there.

2. How is the wind noise with the soft top? Don't have one anymore

3. Gas mileage dare I ask for the automatic? realistic approximates are appreciated. I drive about the same as yours, but in heavy traffic, and I'm usually ending up getting gas every 3 days or so. But it's also on how fast you drive, I'm technically a 5-10 over, hence the reason for so many fillups lol.

4. Would you guys get into another jeep as a DD or would you have chosen something else? I personally wouldn't get another jeep as a DD, I'd get something with better highway gas mileage.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:54 AM   #17
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This is my secong wrangler as my DD and not sure I would change. Have 4-5 years left on it and may have a new one for retirement ears.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:14 AM   #18
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I have driven both my wranglers as daily drivers AND 4wheel beasts.
You will do just fine as a stock unit. Granted, the ride is not like a passenger car, but if that's what you were wanting I don't think you would be in a Jeep

As for wind noise, you should be fine. It isn't any worse than any other convertible.

Gas mileage is going to be anywhere from 15mph to about 19 maybe 20mph if you are lucky. Between Auto and manual, I don't think there is going to be much of a difference, except what you prefer to drive with (There are several threads discussing that can of worms on the forum heh).

As for if I would do it again as a daily driver? Yep, you bet I would.
I drive my Jeep every day - everywhere I go. Honestly, after the lift went on it was a much better daily driver (Old Man Emu makes my ride nice and smooth... better than stock for sure).
I drive it to work, I drive to wheeleing and back (Even on multi-state trips) and plan on doing that as long as i am able to drive.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:27 AM   #19
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Our 2002 Jeep Wrangler with the 4.0, 5spd. Has been owned by us since brand new. Contrary to what some say it has been a very dependable, cost effective vehicle. We have 130k plus on it now. Yeah she has had some repairs done, and a few quirks along the way. But nothing worse than any other vehicle of this type out there. We have driven it cross country twice, towed with it, loaded it with camping gear, surf boards, kayaks, the dogs and our daughter and it has never failed us or made us feel unsafe.. We have both the hard and soft tops from the factory and while a bit noisier with the soft top, it isn't bad for daily driving. I have been in some hard top econ o boxes that have more road noise and a rougher ride. Besides half the fun of a Jeep is no top in the summer The only thing that isn't the best is the gas mileage, but that is just by the nature of the vehicle design. The Jeep was designed to run off road, and that it does well. The gearing and aerodynamics were never made to make it a super fuel efficient driver. I would and have recommended Jeeps to many freinds. Two now have Jeeps and one has Liberty, but that is really NOT a Jeep anyway
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:44 AM   #20
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One good thing is that it takes less gallons than trips to or from work. I would never have it any different. Wind noise is well worth driving a Jeep in my opinion. I don't have an automatic but I would think it would be better with a manual. Automatic trans is the worst thing that has happened to fuel mileage in a long time. IMHO.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:18 PM   #21
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Let me tell you this, I've daily driven a TJ for 4 years and am looking for a car(Subaru Legacy).

Not getting rid of the Jeep though. For about a year it was stock, and was fine, then I lifted it and it's still a good ride, just a bit rough because of my shocks and suspension. I still love driving my TJ, but I need something more comfortable and a bit better on gas.

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