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Mekelarje 10-02-2013 08:45 PM

Jeep Wrangler as first car?
 
Hello everybody! I am new to the forums and also to Jeeps. I'm a mother of two, the sons and college and the daughter is a junior in highschool...and she's the one who wants a jeep while my son wants a sporty little two door genesis coupe, lol. Anyways, we don't want to spend $20+ on a car for her, at the moment she has a 1998 limited Grand Cherokee 5.9 V8, but it's not definitely not a wrangler so I'm wondering would she be safe in one? Do they get good-decent gas mileage? how much would a 2008 model be? My main thing is price and safety, as I hear they can roll easily, and you know teenagers, Although she is very cautious when driving. That's all I can think of at the moment, is it a good first car? Well, sort of her second car. All extra information about jeeps specifically wranglers would be amazing, mom here is completely new to all this!

Thank you all.
Mekela

Dr. Evil 10-02-2013 09:07 PM

My wife and I recently bought our 16 year old son a 2003 Wrangler TJ. We felt comfortable after getting feedback from others. It comes down to your child. My son isn't a hothead and handles himself very maturely. Jeep doesn't go fast, doesn't seat a bunch of people, is a tank, and has a roll bar. Roll over was more of a concern with much earlier models although you can't be stupid when driving any vehicle. Gas is what it is. He loves my JK so he was hooked. I would rather he gets what he likes than be anal about gas mileage.

Dragonscape 10-02-2013 09:12 PM

Headed toward Mom of the year award
Get the Wrangler, you , she, and big brother will all enjoy it

adamfitz 10-02-2013 09:14 PM

Gas is terrible. I'm 16 bought my own it's just something you learn to deal with though. I work two jobs and go to school so I can manage but if they don't work I'd recommend them getting a job to help with gas costs

TLowry 10-02-2013 09:20 PM

Me, I wouldn't, but that's my way of thinking. Given that, we put our teen in vehicles that were less powered and had better handling manners under unexpected situations which the jeep doesn't handle all that well. You have to remember, that early in ones driving experience, their driving skills have yet to be developed to handle the unexpected when it presents itself,and it will...

machz 10-03-2013 07:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TLowry (Post 5045425)
Me, I wouldn't, but that's my way of thinking. Given that, we put our teen in vehicles that were less powered and had better handling manners under unexpected situations which the jeep doesn't handle all that well. You have to remember, that early in ones driving experience, their driving skills have yet to be developed to handle the unexpected when it presents itself,and it will...

I agree.... don't get me wrong I have had several wranglers and I love them but for a new-ish driver there are way better vehicles out there. The wranglers aren't known to be the most reliable on the road. They don't handle well and they are not good on gas.

They are one of the most fun vehicles on/off the road but better suited for a toy than a daily driver for a young driver IMO.

yacc 10-03-2013 07:18 AM

I personally think a Wrangler is a good choice for a 16 year old, especially an 2008, mainly because they are SLOW. When I was 16, I had a Forumula Firebird first, got into a lot of trouble because of speed, then went to a Ford truck, and never had any more issues. Jeeps and Trucks are both heavy and slow, and just do not lend themselves to driving fast, and speed is the most dangerous thing on the road, especially for a teen driver.

Most any decent sized car will absolutely run circles around a Wrangler as far as speed is concerned, and plus they feel "safer" when you drive them fast, making it even easier for a teen to do so. Also, in a car accident, you would rather be in the heavier, body on frame vehicle, than the low to the ground light weight car, that much I can assure you.

Somewhere on the forums I saw a list of top 50 vehicles for average deaths per year on the road. The Wrangler was one of the safest(least deaths per thousand vehicles) and I think the Nissan 350Z was the most dangerous. The difference between the two was staggering as far as likelyhood of death during an accident.

yacc 10-03-2013 07:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by adamfitz (Post 5045257)
Gas is terrible. I'm 16 bought my own it's just something you learn to deal with though. I work two jobs and go to school so I can manage but if they don't work I'd recommend them getting a job to help with gas costs

That seems like an exaggeration there. I drive 15-18k miles per year, and spend around $200/mo on gas. If I bought a Prius, I'd spend about $100/mo on gas. You have to drive a lot of miles to spend an extra $100/mo due to gas mileage, and I don't think $100/mo warrants having to get a second job.

That being said, there are cheaper vehicles to drive than Wrangler's for sure. However, look at total cost to own. Wrangler's hold their value extremely well, I think #1 in resale value retention. They also are fairly cheap to insure. You may find that the $50/mo in gas savings you get for driving a Ford fusion are more than spent in depreciation and insurance.

Barmanvarn 10-03-2013 07:36 AM

In regards to gas: who's paying for it and how much driving does your daughter do? What MPG is she getting in her current vehicle?

TurkTTR 10-03-2013 08:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dragonscape (Post 5045193)
Headed toward Mom of the year award
Get the Wrangler, you , she, and big brother will all enjoy it

x2!

I was in a couple accidents in my first Jeep (97). The worst was in a blizzard; my friend was designated driving me and she didn't know the Jeep didn't have antilock brakes... We slammed into the back of a car at about 35 mph and turned a little late 90's mazda sedan into a hatchback, literally put his trunk in his back seat, sent him into another car then into a ditch, and knocked him out cold for a minute. The Jeep drove home just fine after the accident. There was significant damage, but the three of us in the Jeep were completely unharmed.

Moral of the story is that jeeps do well head on- especially if you put a big steel bumper on it. As much steel armor as you can put on it would be ideal- it weighs it down so she couldn't go fast and it protects her in a collision.
As long as she wears her seatbelt and doesn't lift the suspension and put huge tires on it, you don't have to worry too much about roll over, plus... Roll cage!

Bobes 10-03-2013 11:33 AM

Other than the gas mileage I don't see why not. Like it was said above they are absolute tanks, and tons of fun. The only time I had any fear of rolling was because I made some bad decisions while driving a while back (taking turns fast, etc), but if they are careful there won't be a problem. And make sure they wear their seatbelts if and when the doors are off. Common sense I know, but I've had a decent amount of friends sit in my jeep without seatbelts on.

panthermark 10-03-2013 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TLowry (Post 5045425)
Me, I wouldn't, but that's my way of thinking. Given that, we put our teen in vehicles that were less powered and had better handling manners under unexpected situations which the jeep doesn't handle all that well. You have to remember, that early in ones driving experience, their driving skills have yet to be developed to handle the unexpected when it presents itself,and it will...

Quote:

Originally Posted by machz (Post 5051209)
I agree.... don't get me wrong I have had several wranglers and I love them but for a new-ish driver there are way better vehicles out there. The wranglers aren't known to be the most reliable on the road. They don't handle well and they are not good on gas.

They are one of the most fun vehicles on/off the road but better suited for a toy than a daily driver for a young driver IMO.

+1000 on both of those posts...

I'd find a different vehicle than a Wrangler.

spinlock 10-03-2013 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yacc (Post 5051337)
I personally think a Wrangler is a good choice for a 16 year old, especially an 2008, mainly because they are SLOW. When I was 16, I had a Forumula Firebird first, got into a lot of trouble because of speed, then went to a Ford truck, and never had any more issues. Jeeps and Trucks are both heavy and slow, and just do not lend themselves to driving fast, and speed is the most dangerous thing on the road, especially for a teen driver.

Most any decent sized car will absolutely run circles around a Wrangler as far as speed is concerned, and plus they feel "safer" when you drive them fast, making it even easier for a teen to do so. Also, in a car accident, you would rather be in the heavier, body on frame vehicle, than the low to the ground light weight car, that much I can assure you.

Somewhere on the forums I saw a list of top 50 vehicles for average deaths per year on the road. The Wrangler was one of the safest(least deaths per thousand vehicles) and I think the Nissan 350Z was the most dangerous. The difference between the two was staggering as far as likelyhood of death during an accident.

I fully agree.

Speed and reckless driving are the number danger with young drivers and the Wrangler promotes neither. On the contrary, not only is it an inherently slower vehicle but half the fun is just cruising at lower speed looking out the dated flat windshield, particularly when the top is off.

In term of the vehicle safety, the previous generations of 2 Door is can be a little more jittery above 65 MPH but from 2007 forward they very stable, particularly the 4 doors.

Most of the high support costs discussed on forums like this come from the wear and tear of climbing mountains of rocks and fording rivers not from driving back and forth to school and the mall.

Fuel economy is below average but what mileage does the 5.9 V8 provide?

i82much 10-03-2013 03:17 PM

1996 Buick something or other for a kid's first car. Something big and boring.

Duckquackers 10-03-2013 03:19 PM

First Jeep was an 83 scrambler when I was 15, had her till I deployed in 02 came back exwife sold her I cried. I learned everything about my Jeep and treated her like a baby because I knew she was a treasure. Fast forward to my next "car" I beat the hell out of it blew out a tranny threw a few rods and replaced a front end. Point to the story is if she/he knows what they have they will treat it with respect and know what it can and can't do. 7 Jeeps later I am still a Jeeper and bought my daughter who is 14 her first one recently an 06LJ.

adamfitz 10-03-2013 03:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yacc (Post 5051473)
That seems like an exaggeration there. I drive 15-18k miles per year, and spend around $200/mo on gas. If I bought a Prius, I'd spend about $100/mo on gas. You have to drive a lot of miles to spend an extra $100/mo due to gas mileage, and I don't think $100/mo warrants having to get a second job. That being said, there are cheaper vehicles to drive than Wrangler's for sure. However, look at total cost to own. Wrangler's hold their value extremely well, I think #1 in resale value retention. They also are fairly cheap to insure. You may find that the $50/mo in gas savings you get for driving a Ford fusion are more than spent in depreciation and insurance.

I work two jobs on the weekends only so I can focus during the week for school. I have to pay for gas myself without help from my parents so for me to drive to school and do all I want I work two jobs only on the weekends. It's all I can do while keeping good grades not saying two jobs are necessary but just havig a job to help with gas costs. Plus I'm saving up for college since I have to pay for that too

i82much 10-03-2013 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Duckquackers (Post 5062433)
First Jeep was an 83 scrambler when I was 15, had her till I deployed in 02 came back exwife sold her I cried. I learned everything about my Jeep and treated her like a baby because I knew she was a treasure. Fast forward to my next "car" I beat the hell out of it blew out a tranny threw a few rods and replaced a front end. Point to the story is if she/he knows what they have they will treat it with respect and know what it can and can't do. 7 Jeeps later I am still a Jeeper and bought my daughter who is 14 her first one recently an 06LJ.

WTF!!! If my ex-wife had sold my first car, she'd be my deceased ex wife. That is not ok.

Duckquackers 10-03-2013 03:37 PM

i82, trust me the thought did come up....

cosmokramer 10-03-2013 03:50 PM

Gas is not great. But it will teach responsibility if it is going to be your daughter's duty to pay for gas. I think safety is good for a teen. I echo the fact that they are not fast. Try to find one with stock suspension (one without a lift). Airbags are available on TJs and JKs. The Jk is the newest generation, and have then most safety features.

My little sister got one, after having audis and sporty coupes. Now she doesn't speed as much but she absolutely loves the jeep lifestyle. Slow with the soft top down. She also doesn't care so much about a loud expensive sound system as she understands it can easily be stolen with how much she drives with the soft top down. Another bonus is the aftermarket support to make it custom to her. Everything from seat covers to bumpers and half doors. She now treats the jeep with respect and not like a trash can. All of her friends want to go out in the jeep.

The 2007-2011 will be the most affordable of the newest generation because they have a weaker engine. Lots of people on the forums complain but it is fine, and safe. It just needs regular maintenance (some burn oil so even my sister checks the oil on a monthly basis). My sister found a 2 wheel drive one (without 4 wheel drive capability). Since she lives in Texas and never off roads, it was a no brained because she saved a few thousand.

Decide if you want 2 door or 4 door. I think auto transmission is safest for a teen. Look for mostly stock/no suspension changes. If you find a 2 wd, make sure you pay the lower price for it, as it is less desirable to the general jeep masses (but still very capable and should get slightly better gas mileage).

Otherwise the TJs can also be affordable too, and still have safe suspensions and airbags.

panthermark 10-03-2013 03:57 PM

My issue with a Wrangler isn't speed (they are clearly slow). It is that no matter what, kids do stooopid crap. So at some point, there will be 7 people hanging out of a topless Jeep after the football game (don't take a corner too fast)....and at some point, your 16 year old will be arrested for trespassing because he was going "trailing" in someone's field....and at some point, there will be a phone call saying that his Jeep is stuck in some mud/water.

At least that would have been the case with me....

Lincoln is going to hate me when I hand him to keys to something like this 1997 Toyota Tercel....

http://media.wheels.ca/vehicles/1077...50862-7-sm.jpg


Hopefully I can find him a STICK-SHIFT (no talking and texting, and no one else can drive his car)...just concentrate on the road.

jkjeeper06 10-03-2013 04:11 PM

Jeeps are definitely the way to go. Unmodified they can get decent mileage(15-20) the Audi I got when I was 16 was not the way to go. It was way too fast for a kid and I surely drove it like that. I blew the turbo In it cuz it was old so I decided to put a bigger one in and it was even faster.

The jeeps are safe because they have a full frame and roll cage and weigh so much plus they are just fin to drive less than 50mph. I've been rear ended twice in my jeep and have yet to fix a single piece. both of the cars that hit me were totaled too. If you flip them, the roll cage does a really good job at keeping anyone safe. If I had a kid I would buy them a wrangler and make sure it stays stock and make sure my kid knows if they wheel it without my permission, it's gone and I'd be pretty firm on that. You can let them off road but make sure it's responsible and make sure they know that it does cause things to break or wear out and that's on their dime

MOPWR2U 10-03-2013 05:16 PM

Mekela, :welcome:
Your daughter sounds like the kind of girl my son wishes he could get to know. Too bad a lot of these guys giving you answers sound like they wish they owned a Prius instead of their Jeep.:doh:

If you buy your daughter a Jeep, she might actually enjoy it. I bought my first Jeep when I was 14, and 39 years later I've owned one ever since. Better be careful, you might start something like that with your daughter.

pwecr 10-03-2013 07:00 PM

My 15 year old daughter is scared to drive my 2012 JK. Even though she learned to drive in it she never felt comfortable. I recently bought her a Honda Fit and she loves it. The size of the Fit is perfect for her and it gets her to school and back just fine. Plus the gas mileage is great. I am waiting for the day she asks me for the keys to the jeep. I will of course say go have fun but don't get stuck.

fljeepleo 10-03-2013 07:34 PM

I had a wrangler at 16 and I'm still alive, barely.. Yeah, now that I think of it I am lucky to be alive with the things I did in that poor jeep.
I'd find something a little more conservative. If you buy the kid a mustang they are gonna drive it fast, you but a jeep its gonna get thrashed.

LFWrangler 10-03-2013 08:43 PM

My older daughter was going into 11th grade when I bought my 1997 TJ. It was our third vehicle, so she drove it throughout high school. My other daughter is three years younger, and she also drove it until college. They loved it, and they also learned to drive a manual. A newer model JK is a safer vehicle than a TJ or YJ. I also explained that a Wrangler is not like driving a family sedan and explained its on road limitations. By the way, my neighbor, a senior in high school, just got a black 95 YJ. Here mom had a jeep when she was younger. She loves her "new" jeep.

bill9274 10-03-2013 09:16 PM

My 16 year old son bought his yj about a year ago. He spends the biggest part of his money on it. He has a 2004 gmc4x4 for his daily driver but he normally drives the jeep unless we are upgrading it. He does play in it but he takes really good care of it. The jeep really keeps him out of alot of trouble theres no telling what he could have got into with the extra 6 or $7000 he has put into the jeep.

adamfitz 10-03-2013 09:24 PM

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f19/jee...ar-224723.html Good solid thread. Lots of opinions and questions

JKBrad 10-04-2013 12:10 AM

I had a Scout II when I was 16. The only vehicle I had in those years that I didn't get in trouble with.

Bad gas mileage is a good thing where kids are concerned. Make then buy their own gas and they will quickly get real stingy about how much and where they drive. Their driving habits will also change to get more MPG.

I've raised 2 young drivers. If you get them something that gets good MPG and 4 doors, they'll be running all over the place, hauling other kids around. This will increase your exposure to liability.

Get the Jeep, YJ, TJ, XJ, JK, and feel good about it. I would avoid V8 CJs, especially CJ5s, as they will haul ass and tend to roll on their side easy if they are driven hard.
XJs usually destroy anything they come in contact with

In 23 years of law enforcement, very few accidents I've responded to have involved Jeeps. They take a hit very well. The only roll over I went to with a Jeep involved was a Liberty.

Lets not even talk about Hondas.....

TreyJK 10-04-2013 12:38 AM

I've had a 2008 JKU since I was 15. No wrecks, one speeding ticket (3 over), and it is absolutely the best vehicle choice I could've made! I feel completely safe in it and it's my baby. I wouldn't trade it for anything! Get a wrangler and you won't regret it, but make sure it's mainly stock, has airbags, and a soft top!

lysol 10-04-2013 05:26 AM

[COLOR=#000000 !important]I think it's a great idea. Most of these guys saying to buy a compact car are just talking from past experience. It depends on the maturity level. Some of them just can't handle anything at that age... Lol. If you are mature enough at that age, it won't matter what vehicle you get.

Females are usually a little more mature than males at that age so I'm sure a Wrangler is a fine first vehicle. Plus, its cool to be different sometimes.
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