I know this is a tough question, with lots of 'variables'. But, thought I would give it a shot. I have never owned a Wrangler, but am in the market for one now. I will use it as a daily driver, and for some light trail riding (nothing extreme yet). I do light construction on the side, and will need to pull a landscape/open trailer with materials from time to time. I would like to buy a used wrangler. Which models should I 'stay away from', or which ones would you recommend? Reliability and comfort are key for me. I appreciate your input.
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If you're willing to spend 15-20k on a used Jeep....
I'd recommend buying a low mileage/later model stock Sahara, as they have a few more options inside and out.
Then with the extra dough...build the suspension to fit YOUR needs.
Buying something that someone has already built isn't the best way to go in my opinion, IF you have the money to build it the way you want it.
As said above,
Jeeps aren't the most comfortable vehicles.
At the same time...it's enough comfort for some.
Mine's never bothered me on 3-4 hour trips, but other may disagree.
As far as navigation....
buy a portable one man.
At least that can go with you in any vehicle your driving, right?
If you need to tow something.. I would look at a TJ Unlimited 2dr.. I think they can tow upto 3500lbs with the tow pkg. Also it has a bit more room for tools in the back as its longer than the standard TJ. You could find a rubicon verison in your price range.. std 2dr's have been seen for 12k for early years. Auto or stick which ever you like is fine. Get AC, and look for full doors with nice roll up windows.. if you keep stuff in it a lot.. look for a hardtop.
CJ.XJ.CJ. TJ. TJ.ZJ. TJ.TJ. ZJ.ZJ.YJ. XJ
like said before, buy it stock and then put the extra cash into it to fit your needs.
i personally have a 99 TJ sport, bought it stock, and am putting some grades into it. but a jeep will never be comfy, that's why it's a jeep. you'll definitely want that 4.0 though, especially if you're looking to tow.
Definitely look into anything with a 4.0L. Here's the breakdown of models.
SE - base model 4 cyl. with very few frills
X -> base w/ 4.0L. and then most options as upgrade
Sport - 4.0-liter, 190-hp inline-6, fancy wheels and graphics
Rubicon - super-low range in the transfer case, 31-inch tires and locking Dana axles front and rear
Sahara - 4.0-liter six, air-conditioning, upgraded upholstery, CD player
Unlimited - longer wheelbase w/ Dana 44
Now don't get it wrong, the Sport and the X often come with air conditioning and similar packages as the Sahara, but it varies by vehicle. The Rubicon is the motherload, and difficult to find. The Unlimited is longer and has more towing power. The Dana 44 was an option on the X, Sport, and Sahara - so you may find a vehicle that has it. Go under the rear, look for a plug on the right side of the diff. and if it's metal, not rubber, then it's a Dana 44. If it's rubber, its a Dana 35 - which I don't really think is all that much a deal breaker.
Things To Know
They're not a comfortable vehicle. I can do 4 hours in it with no problems. Many others can't.
Get a 4.0L, that's a necessity. You'll thank me later.
MAKE SURE TO GET A HARDTOP. If you're doing a lot of driving, a hardtop is a must on noise, theft, etc. Softtops are cheap. Buying a hardtop will run you $1000k new. Be smart and find one that comes with it.
Good job burton160w.
I bought my X used and love it for what it is. However, for a daily driver and tow vehicle I couldn't recommend it. Good luck and have fun
I bought mine having driven my friend's SE a few times (what an upgrade for the engine ), and knew that what I was getting into was far different from my Cougar and Mustang. But I'm absolutely in love with it, and don't think it is really all that uncomfortable or dangerous as my sister swears.
Going with your price range, while I hate to drop this in the TJ forum, try looking for a used JK with low miles. You shouldn't have a difficult time finding a 200 7 for under $20k. If not, look of course for a later year TJ. The JK's engine, while a smaller displacement, has a higher torque and HP rating. Whatever you do, I can't recommend much more then I6/V6 and the hardtop. The Dana 44 is a bonus.
But the cars I'm comparing it to are miata, s2k, z4, lotus elise
LOL, yeah, no push button. But I just mean that IMO, having a Jeep means having the flexibilty to change vehicle configurations on the fly. Just though maybe the OP should try to drive a LJ Soft top prior to deciding on the hard top.
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