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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All...

Hopefully you can provide me with some guidance. I'm in the process of buying a used Wrangler and have been seriously looking for the past couple weeks. I'm looking for a 2005-2008 stock Wrangler X, Sport or Sahara with a manual transmission. I had a SE 12 years ago; at the time it was my only ride and was a horrible commuter vehicle. Now I'm looking for a weekend driver for the occasional weekend road trip. I've found a couple of possibilities.

Option #1 is a REALLY nice looking 2007 Jeep Wrangler X that is crystal clean inside/out and under the hood. It has 16,500 miles and is priced at $17,500. It is a 3.8L V6. According to the dealer (whom of course I trust completely...NOT!) the last owner only used it to pull a trailer and jet ski. Except for an after-market radio and back-up video camera(!) it is completely stock. The Car Fax report shows a single owner, no accidents, but 3 different recalls for separate items. It's been on the dealer's lot for nearly 5 months, which doesn't exactly give me a lot of confidence either.

Option #2 is a 2006 Wrangler X that is also very clean. It has 25,500 miles and is priced at $16,500. It's a 6-speed and is fully stock. The car fax report shows 2 owners and no accidents or repairs.

While both rides are very nice, I just can't shake the feeling that something is "wrong" with them. The reason I say this is because I've seen a lot of other Jeeps with many more miles (50-60K) miles in roughly the same condition priced a lot (i.e. $2-4K) higher.

Obviously, I'll get them checked out by a mechanic before buying either. But is a low-mileage jeep with a reasonable ($16-17K) asking price something I should be extra careful about? Or is it just good deal? According to Kelly Blue Book both are priced roughly where they're valued at. But again, I see a lot of other higher-mileage Jeeps on dealer lots with higher asking prices.

I realize that this is a bit of a subjective question, but I would greatly appreciate any input that any of you might have. In case you're wondering, I probably will not do any off-roading, so lift kits and over-size tires aren't what I'm looking for...at least right now.:)
 

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thats not unreasonable at all, 1 factor you have to look at is the economy, dealers dont make any money by having a vehicle sit on the lot, so sometimes it is worth it to lower the price below what others are going for if they are having a hard time selling the vehicle. i just bought an 05 with 35K miles on it, it was bone stock and in perfect condition, i stole it at $13,000 but the guy needed money, so i got a great deal.

one big thing to consider is that jeep completely re-did everything on the wrangler between 06 and 07, so look at the what was changed and decide which factors are important to you. i have not had the chance to drive one of the JK (07 and newer) wranglers yet, but i have been told the difference is very noticable between the two.
just my $0.02
 

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Based off the info, I'd go with the TJ. It's a proven vehicle, strong engine, no more recalls; hopefully, good price, and tons of mods. And you are posting this question in a TJ thread, so I think subconsciously you really want the TJ. Good luck.
 

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I picked up my LJ w/ dual tops at a local dealer for something like 17K out the door (including tradein). I think those prices are probably about right.

JK vs TJ, it's mostly a preference thing.

After driving both, I just prefer the TJ.

To me is seems that TJ's are more of an evolutionary design. They took the YJ's redesigned this bit, tweaked that bit, etc. Same for the CJ -> YJ.

The JK is more of clean-slate design. Instead of tweaking and revamping, they had a set of features and design cues they incorporated into a new vehicle they were designing. Those set of features and design cues are are like a checksheet for what a "Wrangler" is. But it seems to the JK is just missing the inherited soul of the older designs.
 

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I picked up my LJ w/ dual tops at a local dealer for something like 17K out the door (including tradein). I think those prices are probably about right.

JK vs TJ, it's mostly a preference thing.

After driving both, I just prefer the TJ.

To me is seems that TJ's are more of an evolutionary design. They took the YJ's redesigned this bit, tweaked that bit, etc. Same for the CJ -> YJ.

The JK is more of clean-slate design. Instead of tweaking and revamping, they had a set of features and design cues they incorporated into a new vehicle they were designing. Those set of features and design cues are are like a checksheet for what a "Wrangler" is. But it seems to the JK is just missing the inherited soul of the older designs.
very well put :appl:
 

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The TJ sounds like a pretty good deal. I did a lot of shopping around this past summer for a TJ and eventually found my 03 with 56-57k miles for $13,500 (got it for less though.) But around here that was a good deal. I've seen late 1990s and early 2000s jeeps with 100k+ miles for well over $10k. If you like it and feel good about it, then get it. If not, then there's plenty more jeeps out there to choose from. I saw tons that I wanted but just held out for the one that seemed just right. Wasn't thrilled about the color at first but now i wouldn't trade it for another one.
 

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I'm glad I went TJ...looked at the JK's, drove one and it was almost the same as my friends Jeep Commander, nice, too nice...just did not feel like a Jeep. Then I stumbled across a 99 Sahara with 85K miles for $6700. Looked at it, talked to the lady that owned it and found out they used to tow it behind their RV, they only drove it for about 20K miles...bought it on the spot...still running superb and have not had one single issue with it!
 

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bought my 99 in 08 with 78K miles for $7K. Never let me down. No rust, ac works....and there are just TONS of things you can do to it. For the extra 10K you are going to spend.... just imagine what I could do to my TJ!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey All...

Thanks loads for your great info. Your feedback on the pricing of various rides (along with mileage) has been particularly helpful for general comparison purposes. I'm still looking and continue to be amazed at the disparity in pricing for various Jeeps. The conventional wisdom (to me anyway) is an older, higher-mileage vehicle would cost less than a newer, lower-mileage vehicle. But Jeep pricing is literally all over the map. It's a definitely the kind of ride where it pays to do your research; there are enough used Jeeps out there that you're bound to find something you like (at the right price) if you look long enough. I've found a few more Jeeps that I like since my original post; they're a bit out of the price range I want, but hopefully I'll be able to negotiate down a bit.
 

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Yeah, some people like to take advantage of Wranglers high resale value. If you find any more wranglers, post em'! I'm really curious what you choose.
 

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I'm in OHIO and didn't want want any rust. I picked up a 05X for 14,300 with 38,000 from MIAMI off Autotrader. Newer (75% left) tires VERY CLEAN. ALL STOCK
 

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MechanicJay said:
I picked up my LJ w/ dual tops at a local dealer for something like 17K out the door (including tradein). I think those prices are probably about right.

JK vs TJ, it's mostly a preference thing.

After driving both, I just prefer the TJ.

To me is seems that TJ's are more of an evolutionary design. They took the YJ's redesigned this bit, tweaked that bit, etc. Same for the CJ -> YJ.

The JK is more of clean-slate design. Instead of tweaking and revamping, they had a set of features and design cues they incorporated into a new vehicle they were designing. Those set of features and design cues are are like a checksheet for what a "Wrangler" is. But it seems to the JK is just missing the inherited soul of the older designs.
Great comment......
I would definitely go with the TJ.
 

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I bought an '05 Rubicon 6-speed with 34k miles on it for 14k. The guy had it listed for 16,500 and I got him down to 14. Kelly Blue Book value was 19,300! I feel like I stole it from him. It's a great feeling. :)

Oh, and it has 33's and a 3.5 in lift.
 

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I don't want to tell you what I paid for mine, because it'll blow your mind. BUT to the OP..I think you should drive both and sleep on them over night (not literally, please) let the hype and excitement calm down for a bit so you know you're making a conscious decision. If you have cold feet; walk away. At the same time if you have warm feet (thats probably not the correct terminology, but you get what I'm trying to say) go get 'em! Either way, I'm sure you'll love it. They both seem like good deals as far as my research has gone when I was pricing wranglers. Good luck, and post some pics! Ps...don't forget to wave.
 

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I would hold out for a good deal on a low miles (under 60k) TJ rubicon if it where my money.
 

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Just to give my .02 cents as a car salesman. If you look at what approximate trade in values are it will give you a better deal when you do find the ride you are looking at. If it happens to be a car lot they should have about 2500 to 4000 markup. The 04 wrangler x with 81k I purchased here was on the lot at $13988. We gave the guy a trade of only 8500 kinda stole it. I bought it for $9100 plus tax and tag. If it is a private owner willing to negotiate then look at private party resale and trade in and hope to get somewhere in between. I hope this helps you along the way get the deal you want.
 

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get it checked out, and low ball his price, and get him to throw extras in.
He wants to sell it more than you want to buy it, so make him work for his sale.
 
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