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Old 12-01-2019, 06:41 PM
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OK, so I saw an old Jeep, looked newish, on the side of the road with a sign.

It is a 2005 TJ, inline 4.0 liter 6 cyl, orginally an X or Sport.

It has 35s, long arm suspension, 4.56 gears, 6 inch lift, and all the upgrades, including rear limited slip diff, but the front is open. 105,000 miles, and a 5 speed manual.

The guy comes out. He works at a place where they upgrade 4 wheel drives and Jeeps.

He claims that he built it for his wife two years ago and has about 20K in it without counting his labor.

He claims that he is only getting rid of it because she never drives it. 2000 miles in two years.

The exterior, original paint looks good, very clean engine compartment, the interior is not ripped but looks as old as it is.

I drove it and it was straight and flew over a small patch of dirt road smoothly. I took over a small hill of dirt, went over no problem, of course my escalde could do that.

He is asking 14.5K.

I am thinking of giving him a lower offer. Is this a bad idea?

My thinking is I could beat it up and sell it for ballpark what Im buying it for?

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Old 12-01-2019, 06:48 PM   #32
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A UTV would be so much better.

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Old 12-02-2019, 07:19 AM   #33
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Sometimes peoples ideas get the better of them. This TJ IMHO is a case in point. A 6" lift on a TJ is extreme and the reason it also has the long arm suspension. His wife probably had issues just getting in the thing. He probably spent $5K or more on the suspension parts alone.

A 2005 with a manual came from the factory with the same six speed all the JKs have. If the Jeep in fact does have a 5 speed and that is not a typo, then that was changed as well.
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Old 12-02-2019, 08:10 AM
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Sometimes peoples ideas get the better of them. This TJ IMHO is a case in point. A 6" lift on a TJ is extreme and the reason it also has the long arm suspension. His wife probably had issues just getting in the thing. He probably spent $5K or more on the suspension parts alone.

A 2005 with a manual came from the factory with the same six speed all the JKs have. If the Jeep in fact does have a 5 speed and that is not a typo, then that was changed as well.
Supposed to have a 6 speed?

Hmm, that is interesting. Thanks.
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Old 12-02-2019, 08:13 AM
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Did a 2004 have a six speed? I thought it was 2005 but the sign on it says 2004?
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Old 12-02-2019, 08:21 AM
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Ok, it must be a 2004.

"As for the*transmission, the*Wrangler*Rubicon*TJ*used a standard five-speed manual transmission*through*2004. In 2005, the*transmission*was changed to a six-speed manual."

I am 6'2", getting in the Jeep with the supposed 6 inch lift was easy for me.

Is a 6 inch lift bad, like too high center of gravity?

Other issues with the height?

I live in Florida, where we have no rocks. None. Even the Indians had to use fish bones to tip their arrows. But we have lots of water. Coukd the six inch lift be for crossing mud?
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Old 12-02-2019, 08:34 AM
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Is 14.5K a crazy price for such an old Jeep?

I was going to offer 10 and go no higher than 12?

As described, in rust free, highly modified, condition what is ballpark on that vehicle?

Obviously the bluebook is lower, more like 7 to 10. That year Rubicons are 10.5 to 14k.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:12 AM   #38
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Is 14.5K a crazy price for such an old Jeep?

I was going to offer 10 and go no higher than 12?

As described, in rust free, highly modified, condition what is ballpark on that vehicle?

Obviously the bluebook is lower, more like 7 to 10. That year Rubicons are 10.5 to 14k.
If I was selling a Jeep and someone offered me 31% less than my asking price, I'd just stop dealing with them completely.

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Old 12-02-2019, 10:19 AM   #39
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Welcome to the forum!

Hmmm...I believe the 6-speed manual first appeared on JK, in mid-2006 as a 2007 model year.

If you really want to learn how to off-road, going with an older Jeep is the correct way to do it IMO.

However:
  1. As fun as a stick-shift Jeep can be, I wouldn’t get a manual transmission Jeep to take off-road. Off-roading with an automatic transmission is 100 times easier. The most important skills you are going to need on the trail are (a) learning how to pick your lines well, and (b) knowing how to take the lines you picked. Knowing how to row gears doesn’t really help much with either of those.
  2. Getting a older Jeep is a great idea because you will be less concerned with scratching it and will be more willing to try things that are out of your comfort zone. However, Jeeps being Jeeps, high miles and someone else’s mods can make a big difference between spending most of your time in the garage vs the trail. If I were in your shoes, I’d be looking for a Jeep with an automatic transmission, less than 60,000 miles, and as close to stock as possible.
Finally, your surroundings are going to determine how much and what kind of wheeling you end up doing. For instance, I learned to off-road in California: I could go in any direction, find any level of trail difficulty and wheel to my heart’s content. Since I moved to Washington State, I spend most of my time on mountain forest roads of low-to-moderate difficulty, but snow can throw a wild card at any moment; even in the city. Also, my Jeep is now my main household vehicle. So I find that for my new situation, a Sahara with Selec-Trac and LSD comes in more handy than a Rubicon with lockers.

Similarly, you want to figure out what type of off-roading you are going to be doing most of in Florida, and what vehicle role a Jeep will play in your household; an affordable Jeep should help you with those.

Good luck!
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:20 PM
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If I was selling a Jeep and someone offered me 31% less than my asking price, I'd just stop dealing with them completely.

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That is hilarious.

The market sets price not you. The bluebook price of that Jeep is less than I will be offering. He is free to act like a child, like you, or to counter offer.

Do you always pay asking price?
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:37 PM   #41
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That is hilarious.



The market sets price not you. The bluebook price of that Jeep is less than I will be offering. He is free to act like a child, like you, or to counter offer.



Do you always pay asking price?
Bluebook on a Jeep is almost never the market price. The market price on that Jeep is probably less than he's asking but nobody likes to be insulted. I'd have laughed in your face.

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Old 12-02-2019, 12:38 PM
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I wouldn’t get a manual transmission Jeep to take off-road. Off-roading with an automatic transmission is 100 times easier. The most important skills you are going to need on the trail are (a) learning how to pick your lines well, and (b) knowing how to take the lines you picked. Knowing how to row gears doesn’t really help much with either of those. [*]Getting a older Jeep is a great idea because you will be less concerned with scratching it and will be more willing to try things that are out of your comfort zone. However, Jeeps being Jeeps, high miles and someone else’s mods can make a big difference between spending most of your time in the garage vs the trail. If I were in your shoes, I’d be looking for a Jeep with an automatic transmission, less than 60,000 miles, and as close to stock as possible.

Good luck!
Good point. The manual trans was my main problem with this particular Jeep. The guy seemed to be an expert at upgrading, its what he earns his paycheck from. It drove really nice, like new? But that old, with 105k miles, and 14.5K for a manual 5 speed?

Yeah, that 8 speed automatic in the JL is pretty attractive. I can get a stripper 2-door Sport for 28K new all day. Even get it with rear limited slip for that price. Half that price for a manual transmission and 15 years old?

If I could get this cheap enough, so I could dump it at a minimal loss? That was my motivation.

I would also save on upgrades, since the upgrades are done.

If I buy a new Rubicon, I would be out 10 to 15K in depreciation by the time I got rid of it if it did not work out. Ug. That is the price of this clunker which I can resell at a small loss.
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:40 PM
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I'd have laughed in your face.

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No, actually I doubt you would have.
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:46 PM   #44
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No, actually I doubt you would have.
Well, I'm virtually doing it now.

Btw, 105k miles for a 15 year old TJ is nothing. He gets to ask more because it's low mileage.

A manual is hit or miss. It doesn't add or detract.

The mods do absolutely add value, especially if they're quality parts and done correctly, as you are implying. They don't add a ton but definitely a few k over stock.

You should stick with your Escalade and UTV that both do everything a Jeep can do.

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Old 12-02-2019, 12:55 PM   #45
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Good point. The manual trans was my main problem with this particular Jeep. The guy seemed to be an expert at upgrading, its what he earns his paycheck from. It drove really nice, like new? But that old, with 105k miles, and 14.5K for a manual 5 speed?

Yeah, that 8 speed automatic in the JL is pretty attractive. I can get a stripper 2-door Sport for 28K new all day. Even get it with rear limited slip for that price. Half that price for a manual transmission and 15 years old?

If I could get this cheap enough, so I could dump it at a minimal loss? That was my motivation.

I would also save on upgrades, since the upgrades are done.

If I buy a new Rubicon, I would be out 10 to 15K in depreciation by the time I got rid of it if it did not work out. Ug. That is the price of this clunker which I can resell at a small loss.
Yeah, that’s the thing with Wranglers: they hold their value to the point that often times it doesn’t make sense to buy used.

If he modifies Jeeps for a living, chances are the Jeep has quality mods and is in good shape for 105k miles.

If I had the choice of buying a stripped Sport without a LSD, I would. Adding a rear LSD is no big deal. In fact an aftermarket Detroit TrueTrac will last you a lot longer the the clutch-based Dana Trac-Lok LSD Jeep installs at the factory.

In my experience, the best overall value for a Wrangler normally is 1-2 years old with less than 30,000 miles. At that point the bulk of the initial depreciation has already happened, yet the Jeep still has the original warranty in case it needs something taken care of —especially with the myriad of electronics current Wranglers have.

Something else to keep in mind: when you buy a newer Jeep you are paying more, proportionally speaking, for the comfort and convenience features than for the off-road hardware. As you shop older Wranglers, you are buying mostly off-road hardware and the ability to customize it, in great part because they have fewer comfort and convenience features. Historically, it is the off-road hardware and ability to customize that has given Wranglers their strong resale value; the comfort and convenience features can be had on any other vehicle.

If maximizing resale on a newer Wrangler is a key concern, automatic transmission, 4-doors and a hardtop will make it easiest to resell.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:03 PM
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Yeah, that’s the thing with Wranglers: they hold their value to the point that often times it doesn’t make sense to buy used.

If he modifies Jeeps for a living, chances are the Jeep has quality mods and is in good shape for 105k miles.

If I had the choice of buying a stripped Sport without a LSD, I would. Adding a rear LSD is no big deal. In fact an aftermarket Detroit TrueTrac will last you a lot longer the the clutch-based Dana Trac-Lok LSD Jeep installs at the factory.

In my experience, the best overall value for a Wrangler normally is 1-2 years old with less than 30,000 miles. At that point the bulk of the initial depreciation has already happened, yet the Jeep still has the original warranty in case it needs something taken care of —especially with the myriad of electronics current Wranglers have.

Something else to keep in mind: when you buy a newer Jeep you are paying more, proportionally speaking, for the comfort and convenience features than for the off-road hardware. As you shop older Wranglers, you are buying mostly off-road hardware and the ability to customize it, in great part because they have fewer comfort and convenience features. Historically, it is the off-road hardware and ability to customize that has given Wranglers their strong resale value; the comfort and convenience features can be had on any other vehicle.

If maximizing resale on a newer Wrangler is a key concern, automatic transmission, 4-doors and a hardtop will make it easiest to resell.
I agree. Sounds like good advice. I will note it. Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:04 PM
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Well, I'm virtually doing it now.

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Which is entirely my point.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:49 PM   #48
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Which is entirely my point.
Got to love assumptions

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Old 12-02-2019, 07:56 PM   #49
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Rubi route for me. No regrets!
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:17 PM   #50
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OK, so I saw an old Jeep, looked newish, on the side of the road with a sign.

It is a 2005 TJ, inline 4.0 liter 6 cyl, orginally an X or Sport.

It has 35s, long arm suspension, 4.56 gears, 6 inch lift, and all the upgrades, including rear limited slip diff, but the front is open. 105,000 miles, and a 5 speed manual.

The guy comes out. He works at a place where they upgrade 4 wheel drives and Jeeps.

He claims that he built it for his wife two years ago and has about 20K in it without counting his labor.

He claims that he is only getting rid of it because she never drives it. 2000 miles in two years.

The exterior, original paint looks good, very clean engine compartment, the interior is not ripped but looks as old as it is.

I drove it and it was straight and flew over a small patch of dirt road smoothly. I took over a small hill of dirt, went over no problem, of course my escalde could do that.

He is asking 14.5K.

I am thinking of giving him a lower offer. Is this a bad idea?

My thinking is I could beat it up and sell it for ballpark what Im buying it for?
Recommend bringing that thing up to 75mph, keep it there and see how it feels. 99% of your driving will be freeway and beach stuff in Florida. Getting a TJ to Moab is quite the adventure these days compared to the refinements of a JK//JL. Sure you will be able to do it, but it will be much more of an adventure than these other models. Add in daily driving a 2007+ JK beats a TJ hands down.

Add to your search a early JK just as a comparison that can be had for sub-$14k and similar mileage.

Additional consideration if it was not mentioned is the axles it is equipped with and the non-Rubi transfer case if it matters.
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:37 PM   #51
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I am 6'2", getting in the Jeep with the supposed 6 inch lift was easy for me.

Is a 6 inch lift bad, like too high center of gravity?

Other issues with the height?

I live in Florida, where we have no rocks. None. Even the Indians had to use fish bones to tip their arrows. But we have lots of water. Coukd the six inch lift be for crossing mud?

To my way of thinking, a 6" lift on a TJ is extreme. Yes it will raise the CG 6" as well. Unless it has a much wider stance than normal, it could be tippy. Given that, any Jeep because of the fairly short wheel base and aggressive steering angles (the reason it turns so sharp) can combine to lay it on it's side if your not careful. The son of a friend who got his TJ (a stock 98 I believe with the 4 cyl) laid his on the side and he was not acting silly. He was on a dirt road in S. Georgia (not a whole lot different than N. Florida) going about 25 MPH and in the turn caught a front wheel in a rut and over he went. The total damage to the Jeep was a dimpled milk jug on the front bumper.

His dad had pictures and one was of the complete underside. When he showed that one, he said "Look - no rust!". We kidded the youngster over it and all was good, but it could have been nasty. Oh, BTW - no lift and 28" tires.

Dad btw drives a 4dr Punk"n JKU RHD as a mail carrier. Mom is hinting Jeep to dad.
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:57 PM   #52
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As fun as a stick-shift Jeep can be, I wouldn’t get a manual transmission Jeep to take off-road. Off-roading with an automatic transmission is 100 times easier. The most important skills you are going to need on the trail are (a) learning how to pick your lines well, and (b) knowing how to take the lines you picked. Knowing how to row gears doesn’t really help much with either of those.
At the risk starting a flame war... I think this depends on the individual and what experience you hope to achieve.

Keep in mind that People learned to drive off-road for decades without the option of an automatic transmission, and in Jeeps far less capable than a JK/JL. Although I will certainly concede that an automatic is substantially easier to drive off-road than a stick, I would contend that I have WAAAAY more fun with a stick (I’ve rented auto Jeeps in Sedona, Moab and Hawaii…). Working a clutch on obstacles was challenging in the beginning, but I loved it. Never once did I regret my decision. There’s a strong feeling of accomplishment when you get to the top of ‘Cadillac Hill’ with 3 pedals and clean shorts. I'm nowhere near a Jeep savant... and assume plenty others are at least as capable as I am.

I will say that a stick makes you think a whole lot more when you're learning. Where you can second guess your line and come to a complete stop on the way up some gnarly obstacle, that's VERY painful with a stick. I find myself planning my line through an entire obstacle, and committing to that line. The hill-hold feature on the JK's makes life a little easier, but I don't rely on it. 4:11 gears and 4Lo also make this considerably easier than you might think.

Another perk - I’m often invited to hang out with the ‘experienced’ crowd when out on the trail… which is where I’ve picked up a lot of really cool tips and techniques (maybe they just feel sorry for me!). In these groups you don’t find a lot of automatics and light-bars.

So, If you’re not comfortable with a stick, and are looking to get to the gnarly stuff faster with less effort… get an auto. If you’re more interested in developing the skill of off-road driving, and are in it for the challenge and the fun… get a stick. I don’t think either is bad.

-Gonzo
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Old 12-03-2019, 05:57 PM   #53
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At the risk starting a flame war... I think this depends on the individual and what experience you hope to achieve.

Keep in mind that People learned to drive off-road for decades without the option of an automatic transmission, and in Jeeps far less capable than a JK/JL. Although I will certainly concede that an automatic is substantially easier to drive off-road than a stick, I would contend that I have WAAAAY more fun with a stick (I’ve rented auto Jeeps in Sedona, Moab and Hawaii…). Working a clutch on obstacles was challenging in the beginning, but I loved it. Never once did I regret my decision. There’s a strong feeling of accomplishment when you get to the top of ‘Cadillac Hill’ with 3 pedals and clean shorts. I'm nowhere near a Jeep savant... and assume plenty others are at least as capable as I am.

I will say that a stick makes you think a whole lot more when you're learning. Where you can second guess your line and come to a complete stop on the way up some gnarly obstacle, that's VERY painful with a stick. I find myself planning my line through an entire obstacle, and committing to that line. The hill-hold feature on the JK's makes life a little easier, but I don't rely on it. 4:11 gears and 4Lo also make this considerably easier than you might think.

Another perk - I’m often invited to hang out with the ‘experienced’ crowd when out on the trail… which is where I’ve picked up a lot of really cool tips and techniques (maybe they just feel sorry for me!). In these groups you don’t find a lot of automatics and light-bars.

So, If you’re not comfortable with a stick, and are looking to get to the gnarly stuff faster with less effort… get an auto. If you’re more interested in developing the skill of off-road driving, and are in it for the challenge and the fun… get a stick. I don’t think either is bad.

-Gonzo
Manual transmission definitely has its perks, time and place.

My first several Wranglers were all stick shifts, and I loved them. In fact, I was seriously considering getting a manual transmission this time around. But the 8-speed automatic is so good, I had to have it.

PS - I didn’t realize how much easier it was to wheel with an automatic until I finally tried it.
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:58 PM
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Doing a lot of price checking.

JK Rubicons seem to be plentiful and not terriblly priced.

That 8 speed tranny in the JL, is it hugely helpful or something ya don't notice much between that and a JK?
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:05 PM   #56
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Lighten up Francis.
Hahahahahahahaha

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Old 12-03-2019, 09:08 PM
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Manual transmission definitely has its perks, time and place.

My first several Wranglers were all stick shifts, and I loved them. In fact, I was seriously considering getting a manual transmission this time around. But the 8-speed automatic is so good, I had to have it.

PS - I didn’t realize how much easier it was to wheel with an automatic until I finally tried it.
I totally think for a pure toy the manual would be a hoot. But, traffic?

Not so much.

How is the 8 speed doing?
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:33 PM   #58
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I totally think for a pure toy the manual would be a hoot. But, traffic?

Not so much.

How is the 8 speed doing?
The 8-speed is soweet: smooth, responsive, quick and always on the right gear. Total opposite from the automatic on my Toyota Tacoma.
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:45 PM   #59
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DC9loser,
What kind of 1000 cc UTV do you have? I've been four-wheeling for 45 years now, starting with Jeeps for decades, then adding on UTVs back when they first came out. I've owned most of the 1000 cc UTVs, and now own a couple of Can Am's. I have the 2020 Maverick X3 XRC Turbo RR for rock crawling and open desert, and a 2020 Maverick 1000 Trail for 50" wide ATV trails in the mountains. They both work very well for their intended purposes. But living someplace that has all four seasons means you also need an off road vehicle for the bad weather months, and open air UTVs don't work well when it is near 0 F. I looked at the Polaris Ranger XP Northstar edition, and the Can Am Defender Limited, and couldn't believe what they charge for them. The Polaris at our dealer was going for $34K. I knew I could buy a new Jeep for that, because I've done it several times. I ended up getting a fairly loaded JL Rubicon, although it cost me $42K. So for only $8K more than a relatively crude and unrefined UTV with a cab, I get sooo much more with a new JL Rubicon.

So for you, being as you already have a UTV, ... keep it. Continue to enjoy it for higher speed off road use. But also buy a Jeep for slower paced off road fun, or on bad weather days (if that happens in Florida). The Jeeps also work better when distances traveled on an off road trip exceed the fuel range of UTVs, or for when you will be re-entering the highway some place other than where you left the highway (and trailer). I bought a JL Rubicon because I've been doing Jeeps for most of my life, and I already knew what I wanted. You are new to Jeeps, and haven't yet decided which route you want to go with your Jeep. So I would continue looking at good quality used Jeeps, like you are doing. Choose one that has been well maintained and is set up properly to begin with. Enjoy it, and learn what you want on your next Jeep, or the one after that, or the one after that ...
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2019 Wrangler JL Rubicon; 2.0 L Turbo

2020 Can Am Maverick X3 XRC Turbo RR
2020 Can Am Maverick Trail 1000
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:21 PM   #60
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