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outdoorprogrammer 07-09-2013 07:05 AM

BMW owner considering a Wrangler
 
Yesterday I was in a Jeep dealership checking out the 2014 GC summit as a replacement for the family SUV - we have an Acura MDX right now and I can't stand driving it. I told the car dealer it felt like I was driving a pillow - falling asleep in that thing is actually a pretty big danger. :surrender:

So while I was there, out of the corner of my eye, I spied a 4 door all black Wrangler Sport Unlimited something.. (I'm a newb, so I don't know the jargon for what I was looking at).

Here's my dilemma.. I own a bright red 2012 twin turbo BMW 335i Sport with M-sport quick shifter and upgraded run flat wheels. This car is badass and frequently gets appreciative stares in parking lots and while I'm driving around. I have even had a cop at a seatbelt onramp check stop me and ask me questions about this car. It does 0-60 in less time than Dr. Who's TARDIS.

I am going back to this dealership on Thursday to test drive the wrangler but I remain skeptical. Consumer Reports rated the Wrangler at 20 while it rated the GC Summit at 80. The wrangler is on their "do not recommend" list, even as a potential zombie apocalypse survival vehicle (yes, they actually have an article about that...)

So, here's my challenge to the Jeep people here: convince me that I'm going to love driving this thing to the grocery store and to pick my daughter up from cheerleading. I know it'll be a blast to take off-road, and if I do swap, I will seek out trails... but, 90% of my driving will me around a small suburb or on New England highways.

The second challenge is, what would you say to the people who would inevitably say, "You traded a BMW 335i sport for a WHAT?!?"

Discuss :punk:

michiganadam 07-09-2013 07:29 AM

You should probably have posted this in the JK technical forum, but thats ok, it took me a while to find out that the 2007+ wranglers are "JK"s....

Wranglers get unfair ratings from consumer reports for several reasons. They make a lot of compromises in road comfort for off road performance. So they ride....uhm...like a jeep. They also get unfair ratings on "safety" because they don't generally have side impact airbags, curtain airbags, etc.....but it is a full frame truck and is high enough that generally a side impact would hit the frame and not door anyway.


Wranglers aren't fast.

4 door wranglers are very common and don't really turn heads. They're far more common than the 2 door and usually never taken off road, in my area anyway.

2 door wranglers turn heads, especially if you put 33x12.5s and a couple of other very minor mods of your choice. But they don't have much room for stuff or people, and you have a choice of either using the backseat or putting stuff in it. Stuff or people.

It's also a part time four wheel drive system, and if you're driving in the winter you're going to be shifting in and out of 4hi and 2 hi repeatedly. Can't really use 4x4 on dry roads, and if you're turning from a icy road onto a dry one, you're going to have to kick it back out.

but part time is where its at for offroading. and it does work very very well in the snow and ice.

My suggestion is if you're going to do it, do it right. Get a stripped down base model. No power windows, no power mirrors, no power locks, nothing. Get the cheapest stereo package available, but do get cruise control and AC, and i dont have those either.

Put a 2.5 inch lift and 33x12.5s on it. everyone will stare. :)

and actually take it off roading. Take the doors off (which is why i said not to get power options, makes them heavier!), take the top down, ........ lots.

But i would do everything you could to get the dealer to let you test drive it for a couple of days. Make sure you can stand it. The lack of storage space sucks. The backseat is almost impossible to get into. But its about the most fun vehicle i've ever driven. And i've driven most of the late model muscle cars on the market...

dabolt55 07-09-2013 08:04 AM

Welcome, Life is short, where else can you just take the top off and go anywhere with it ??? Good luck on your decision though...:thumb:

outdoorprogrammer 07-09-2013 08:21 AM

Well, if the 2-door version has an "impossible to get into" back seat, it rules it out from a practical standpoint as I still have to be able to pick up my daughter from school and I am occasionally responsible for the car pool that includes 1 or 2 of her friends.

BeerIAm 07-09-2013 08:23 AM

Just traded in my highly modified Chrysler 300SRT8 on a Wrangler. It was a tough decision because I loved the performance of that car, but it was time for something new and different.

You have to know what it is going in. It's a Jeep not a sports car. It will not go 0-60 in less than 5 seconds. Or even 6. Or 7. Or 8.... It's not designed too so don't expect it. It also has a much higher center of gravity and will not handle like a sports car. Not even close. The steering is not tight and it does not hug the corners.

If you're good giving up the above, then maybe a Jeep is for you. It's a completely different driving experience. Especially when you take the top off. It is really awesome. And I haven't even been off-road yet.

And yeah while I miss the performance of my 300, I do not miss dodging potholes, or speedbumps, or curbs, or wet pavement.

If you think you're still interested, I would suggest you check out a 2012 or newer model as that will give you an extra 83hp over the previous years.

outdoorprogrammer 07-09-2013 08:30 AM

Are they safe, though? I mean, if I get into an accident in the BMW, I feel confident that my daughter will survive it in the back seat or the front. It has like 40 hojillion air bags and big steel poles that reinforce the doors, it even automatically disables flow of fuel through the lines when it detects an impact, preventing after-crash flames.

Flyfisher76 07-09-2013 08:46 AM

You are really comparing apples to oranges here. It is NOT a BMW nor will it perform like one. I would say go rent one for a week or so and see what you think. Yes it will nto be cheap to rent but you will know after a few days if you want to pursue the purchase.

Jeeps do get bad ratings overall because they are not the most comfortable vehicles, from a car standpoint, but overall they are not that bad. I have driven mine on a few 600 mile rond trip trips and had no problems.

As far as accidents go you also have to consider that the Jeep sits a little higher than most vehicles so while the side impact ratigns are not super high the majority of impacts will be below the passengers. I also think you can get side impact airbags as an option but not 100% sure on that one.

Living in NE you wil lfind that it wil lhandle a whole ot better on snowy roads than your BMW too. IT is also not a huge deal to leave the 4WD hi on if you are encountering on again and off again slick roads as long as you are careful and not goosing it around dry turns.

Go ahead and get the options you want too since it sounds like this will be a daily driver. SUre power windows and the like add weight but it also adds comfort which you will need when you move from a luxury car to the Jeep. If you go bare bones in your Jeep the gap between the two will be huge and may taint your experience.

I also will agree with looking at the 2012 and up models. When i bought mine i test drove a 2011 and a 2012 and the power increase was noticeable between the two. I haven't had any issues with needing more power but I am also not coming from a BMW either, just a 2000 Subaru outback :)

Good luck in your purchasing decision.

outdoorprogrammer 07-09-2013 08:58 AM

Yeah, I know it's Apples and Oranges. As one of the other posters mentioned, I dread roads with potholes (which covers a lot of New England), I dread going through construction (much of new england), I cringe every time I'm on dry oily roads that get that first rain in weeks - I know how to drive properly and work the 6-speed manual so I don't go sliding into a ditch, but it's a source of stress for sure.

Bottom line is I want something that's fun to drive, can carry the kids, and that I'm not worried about and I don't have to park out in the boonies in a parking lot for fear of shopping cart dings.

michiganadam 07-09-2013 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by outdoorprogrammer (Post 3941843)
Well, if the 2-door version has an "impossible to get into" back seat, it rules it out from a practical standpoint as I still have to be able to pick up my daughter from school and I am occasionally responsible for the car pool that includes 1 or 2 of her friends.

Buy an older model that you can pay cash for and keep the bimmer too then.

the 2 door is a 4 seater and i dont know if the 4 door seats 4 or 5

outdoorprogrammer 07-09-2013 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by michiganadam (Post 3941947)
Buy an older model that you can pay cash for and keep the bimmer too then.

the 2 door is a 4 seater and i dont know if the 4 door seats 4 or 5

My BMW seats 4 including the driver, and that's what I use for car pooling, so I should be OK provided the Jeep has 4 seats, regardless of the number of doors :)

ksdindy 07-09-2013 09:13 AM

I've got a 2012 Wrangler JKU Sport and a 2013 BMW x5. Obviously, the BMW handles like a f*&$ing dream - it's fast, it's responsive, it's comfortable - it's a BMW!

That being said, I love my Wrangler. It's slow, it's clunky, it's noisy, and it drinks gas like it's still $2.00 a gallon. But, I still smile every time I get in and choose it over the BMW 75% of the time when I'm deciding what to drive.

I originally had the Jeep to tow our boat, but since we no longer have a boat, I sometimes consider just trading them both in for a BMW convertible of some kind, but I still think I would miss the Jeep.

Tough decision to be sure.

michiganadam 07-09-2013 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by outdoorprogrammer (Post 3941968)
My BMW seats 4 including the driver, and that's what I use for car pooling, so I should be OK provided the Jeep has 4 seats, regardless of the number of doors :)

Cool. Well impossible to get into is just my opinion and all. Ive had adults ride in my backseat before. No clue how he got in or out.

GoldenSahara00 07-09-2013 09:16 AM

I say keep the BMW and buy a TJ if you want a fun, sporty vehicle. Best of both worlds :thumb:

dadrunamok 07-09-2013 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by outdoorprogrammer (Post 3941923)
Bottom line is I want something that's fun to drive, can carry the kids, and that I'm not worried about and I don't have to park out in the boonies in a parking lot for fear of shopping cart dings.

They're definitely fun to drive, although not in the "hair on fire" sense that you are no doubt used to coming from the luxury-sport world. Being able to drive without worrying about uneven pavement is nice. Blasting through puddles is fun. Hitting the occasional dirt road is a luxury that most BMWs can't afford. And the first time you head out without your doors, you will learn the second-best part of owning a Wrangler. (The best, of course, is the instant group of friends you will acquire along with your Jeep.)

My JK was the first new vehicle I had ever owned and I was parking it out in the boonies for a while. Then I realized what a silly notion that was, especially when I started drilling holes in it to install upgrades and taking it out among trees and rocks.

When I bought it, I went no-frills - Sport (base) model with manual transmission and power nothing. And I moved from a pretty nice sedan with an auto transmission and power everything. I haven't missed the creature comforts at all.

Lanco 07-09-2013 09:36 AM

I speak from a little experience.. When i bought my jeep i already had an 07 Infiniti G35 coupe.. lightly modified. that thing was a rocket. tight handling, big power, rwd mated to a slick 6spd. :dance:

fast forward 6 months into jeep ownership.. some kid hits me in the infiniti and spins me out. ends up totaling the G. :facepalm:

i can honestly say the only time i miss that car is long highway trips [on a nice day].

in every other conceivable driving situation ill take the wrangler hands down. :punk:

i kept the insurance money and am loving the jeep, which i lucked into in the first place. i was never actually looking to buy one when i did.

im glad i did. easily my favorite all around vehicle ive owned. and ive had 8 in 13 years of driving.


only thing ill say which my story does not line up to yours is that i own a tj (2001) and they tend to be tourque-ier and stiffer then JK's. which i like so..

I say if you like the test drive, you'll love owning it.

ps. my mom has a 335xi and my little jeep easily get more attention :D

Cdwright 07-09-2013 09:45 AM

Was in a similar situation to you and was looking at Jeep vs sporty coupe.


Went with the Jeep and it has been a blast. Had no idea I would love it as much as I do. With top and doors, it is an amazing feeling.

Also, in the winter, you will look like a boss.

Duckquackers 07-09-2013 09:50 AM

Buy a Jeep JKU, I have 3 kids 3, 10, and 12 they almost refuse to ride in the luxury suv(Lexus 470LX) because the Jeep is just so damn fun. I had previously owned an 07 JKU and hated her lack of power and just bulky, I LOVE my 2013 she's beautiful and gives me everything I wanted and more.

Beastmaster 07-09-2013 10:25 AM

Jeeps = fun


Welcome to the forum! :wavey:

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Click here for helpful tips for newcomers

outdoorprogrammer 07-09-2013 10:26 AM

Apparently customization options abound for Jeeps, even for people like me who have an unhealthy infatuation with the zombie apocalypse:

Jeep ZombieSlayer ZS1

GabeTJ 07-09-2013 10:43 AM

Listen man... I hear you on all of these issues. Jeeps don't do this, and your BMW does that.. It's all stuff to think about. But believe me when I say you will absolutely fall in love with your jeep. I personally think what someone said earlier might be a path to go down if you have the $$.. Don't trade the BMW. Get an older TJ model jeep. (97-06). That way, you won't have all the "new car worries" like dings and scratches. Oh, and believe me. Every kid loves a jeep. Take the top off, and you're the coolest parent out there unless one of the kids is worried about their hair! Hahaha

Lanco 07-09-2013 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GabeTJ (Post 3942256)
Listen man... I hear you on all of these issues. Jeeps don't do this, and your BMW does that.. It's all stuff to think about. But believe me when I say you will absolutely fall in love with your jeep. I personally think what someone said earlier might be a path to go down if you have the $$.. Don't trade the BMW. Get an older TJ model jeep. (97-06). That way, you won't have all the "new car worries" like dings and scratches. Oh, and believe me. Every kid loves a jeep. Take the top off, and you're the coolest parent out there unless one of the kids is worried about their hair! Hahaha


yup.

bpaintx 07-09-2013 11:11 AM

We have a Honda Pilot so I know what you are feeling with the MDX. I just bought a used 2012 2 door wrangler and love it. Have not had it off road but the kids love it with the top down or just the sundowner back.

outdoorprogrammer 07-09-2013 02:32 PM

The local car dealer has agreed to let me test drive a JKU 6-speed, picking it up tonight and dropping off tomorrow night. This should give me a good taste of everyday on-road driving.

Off-road, however - I might have to play hookie and find a trail ... or go driving around in my back yard :)

ksdindy 07-09-2013 03:06 PM

Yeah, that's what I did. I test drove it for a day too and was hooked.

Enjoy your new Jeep :)

BeerIAm 07-09-2013 07:08 PM

Nice man! Enjoy your new Jeep....haha!

jokerchief462 07-09-2013 07:11 PM

:wavey: Welcome to the forum!!!

Its a Jeep whole different experience. It also more fun.

outdoorprogrammer 07-09-2013 08:18 PM

Picked up the Sport "S" Wrangler Unlimited and took it on its rounds of a normal night of me being part of the family taxi fleet. My daughter loves it, for completely bizarre reasons (she can touch the top of the window with her elbow resting on the window bottom).

Took it around town and my left foot stalled the crap out of it on three separate occasions. The BMW was far more tolerant of light clutching in first. I also noticed that sixth gear is a true 6th gear for a truck (like my beloved 1992 Toyota 4x2.. RIP) and if I lost momentum uphill on the highway, I had to downshift into 5th to regain enough power to get back up into the high 60s.

The other thing I noticed, which actually put a huge smile on my face, is that every Wrangler owner that I encountered driving in the opposing lane gave me the steering-wheel wave hello. No Cherokee owners did this, and certainly no other strangers in other cars. But, without fail, every single Wrangler owner waved at me, and I knew none of them and this Jeep has no front plate, so they're not mistaking me for someone else. Words can't describe how great that made me feel.

It drives like a truck, but the fun part of a truck and not the sucky part of a truck. You know, it's what you imagined driving a truck would be like when you were a 10 year old kid.

I can't deal with the cloth seats - kids and cloth seats are a bad match. Leather is infinitely more cleanable and de-germable :)

I can feel the addiction growing like I've gotten my "first free hit" from the dealer, and I've only had the lot model a couple hours - I get to drive it all day tomorrow too. I didn't like that when I open the door there's nothing inside that lights up, so I couldn't find the keyhole in the dark :)

I'll post again tomorrow, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's after I've put a deposit down on this thing. All afternoon long while driving it, I had a grin on my face and I felt relaxed.

The BMW gives me claustrophobia, the Jeep makes me feel free.

BeerIAm 07-09-2013 08:24 PM

Nice OP (those are your initials and the fact that your are the Original Poster is just a coincidence). Glad to hear you are enjoying it. I'm with you on the stress free driving piece. I felt that too after dumping the 300 for this. No longer felt like I had to go faster than the car next to me.

My kids like it because the back windows go all the way down...

Did you at least get to open the front of the top? I was amazed at the openess as soon as I did it. I will never look at a sunroof the same again.

Enjoy your commute to work tomorrow. Hope you don't get lost...

Duckquackers 07-09-2013 09:49 PM

Op, congrats on your first Jeep and welcome to the addiction. ...

M3roar 07-09-2013 09:54 PM

I came from a 2010 e92 M3 6speed. My 2013 10a JKUR is definitely different. And I'd love another M3. But the 10a is here to stay.


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