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@Bramble07 - this reply is not really for you, but read on...! I'm an old dude. I can probably afford to drive anything, within reason. I have 5 vehicles in my garage. I choose to DD my '98 Wrangler.
Emotionally, you either do, or you don't! Read all the other replies about gas, money, mechanicals. the ride. I took my wife to the hospital to have our first child in a '63 Corvette coupe.
 

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Hi everyone! I am considering buying a 2004 Jeep TJ. I would only be able to afford one car so it would have to be my daily driver as well. I travel to and from school about once a month and the trip is 2hours long on the highway. Has anyone driven their TJ on the highway, and how was it? I don’t mind noise. Also I know Jeep’s are bad on gas but I was wondering how bad? I drove an F150 for 2 years and my car right now needs premium gas so I am used to paying higher for gas. Thank you in advance for any advice and information you can offer me!
I have daily driven and long distance driven my ‘06 LJ since ‘09.
Running the 6 speed manual and 32x10.50 I was at 17-18mpg hwy and 14 city.
Longest distance was 900 miles straight through. These were to different job sites one on East coast and several in the gulf from the mid west.
Room was the biggest problem as I had a lot of stuff to carry (learned to next day stuff and expense it).
When working home area trips were 20-50 miles each way. I’m bigger guy but the LJ was more comfortable than the extended cab Ranger that had lift and tires and geared running 35 12.50’s.
LJ was better in the mud too.
Maintain and a Jeep can do fine as a DD.
 

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Hi everyone! I am considering buying a 2004 Jeep TJ. I would only be able to afford one car so it would have to be my daily driver as well. I travel to and from school about once a month and the trip is 2hours long on the highway. Has anyone driven their TJ on the highway, and how was it? I don’t mind noise. Also I know Jeep’s are bad on gas but I was wondering how bad? I drove an F150 for 2 years and my car right now needs premium gas so I am used to paying higher for gas. Thank you in advance for any advice and information you can offer me!
I live in Erie,PA and bought my 2004 TJ in Virginia. We drove it home and had no problems. On snowy roads it needs to be in 4 w.d. or it fishtails. We get about 17 mpg with our 4 cylinder. I heard that the6 cyl. gets about 13.
 

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Obviously it depends what it's built like. What lift kit and tires and gear ratio . . .
I drive a stock 2002 TJ every day at 75 MPH with 17-19mpg and I've gone on 1200 mile trips.
It wont drive like a pickup.
Im not going to lie, I do often wonder how great a stocker TJ drives. Mine seems to drive better than my JKU. Very agile and ‘darty’ in comparison to the JK. So a stock one must be a ball!
 

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Hi everyone! I am considering buying a 2004 Jeep TJ. I would only be able to afford one car so it would have to be my daily driver as well. I travel to and from school about once a month and the trip is 2hours long on the highway. Has anyone driven their TJ on the highway, and how was it? I don’t mind noise. Also I know Jeep’s are bad on gas but I was wondering how bad? I drove an F150 for 2 years and my car right now needs premium gas so I am used to paying higher for gas. Thank you in advance for any advice and information you can offer me!
Hey there .. i own 98 wrangler and still own as my daily driver it fun to drive everywhere u goes it will never boring. U know tj are highly 5 spd than automatic. Suggest getting 5 spd it more fun to drive
 

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Hi everyone! I am considering buying a 2004 Jeep TJ. I would only be able to afford one car so it would have to be my daily driver as well. I travel to and from school about once a month and the trip is 2hours long on the highway. Has anyone driven their TJ on the highway, and how was it? I don’t mind noise. Also I know Jeep’s are bad on gas but I was wondering how bad? I drove an F150 for 2 years and my car right now needs premium gas so I am used to paying higher for gas. Thank you in advance for any advice and information you can offer me!
I have had a '97 Sahara 6 banger stick that I have been using as a daily driver for 24 years. It only has 97,000 miles on the clock. I get around 15 MPG city and about 18 MPG highway. It's box stock.

Only problem is the rear differential gave out on me in a freak breakdown at around 75,000 miles.
 

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I, unfortunately owned a JunKer. It was an 08 if I recall. The oil burning POS was horrid. It was more like the box my TJ came in. I will apologize in advance, I hate JKs. JL, I sort of lie, but JKs, no, just no. As far as fuel economy and driveability and reliability, the TJ is a amature design and better all around including fuel economy. While my TJ Rubicon tends to average about 15 year around MPG, I have managed over 20 MPG at steady 55 to 60 on a long trip. And 17 MPG is doable in the warm season if I stay off the go pedal. Winter though, it tends to use more fuel and stop and go driving, yeah, year around average is about 15. But that beats the JunKer I had that managed about 13 and used nearly as much oil. And I bought it new :(. Now the later JKs with the Pentastar engine may be better, but the JunKs with the 3.8, avoid those. The TJ has a much sportier feel, quicker afoot all around and much more nimble.

Oh, and I forgot about the wind noise and water leaks, my TJ is dry and quiet, the JK leaked water everywhere and the wind noise from the top to windshield frame was unbearable.

A late JK might be an option for the same money as a late TJ, by then most of the issues had been bandaged and you have a vehicle that is not 16 years old minimum.
 

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Hi everyone! I am considering buying a 2004 Jeep TJ. I would only be able to afford one car so it would have to be my daily driver as well. I travel to and from school about once a month and the trip is 2hours long on the highway. Has anyone driven their TJ on the highway, and how was it? I don’t mind noise. Also I know Jeep’s are bad on gas but I was wondering how bad? I drove an F150 for 2 years and my car right now needs premium gas so I am used to paying higher for gas. Thank you in advance for any advice and information you can offer me!
I would consider that the Sahara’s, or at least 97-02, have better seats, padding and material. My 1997 Sahara was more comfortable than my 2003 sport. Also, the seating position was higher in the 97-02 which I like better. Also tilt and slide seats are on the Sahara models at least the earlier ones. Driver and passenger side, which makes getting stuff in and out of the back easier. Roll up or slide windows help at the drive thru. I’d also say the HVAC is better on 99-06 models. Definitely doable, although if you are in a salty area, age would factor into wether I’d drive it in winter.
 

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Hi everyone! I am considering buying a 2004 Jeep TJ. I would only be able to afford one car so it would have to be my daily driver as well. I travel to and from school about once a month and the trip is 2hours long on the highway. Has anyone driven their TJ on the highway, and how was it? I don’t mind noise. Also I know Jeep’s are bad on gas but I was wondering how bad? I drove an F150 for 2 years and my car right now needs premium gas so I am used to paying higher for gas. Thank you in advance for any advice and information you can offer me!
Okay, here goes... Advice, information, lengthy experience with the 2004 Jeep Wrangler (Sport), which I think is an excellent choice, if you can find one in good shape. (Incidentally, I read somewhere that anytime someone refers to a Wrangler as a “car” a kitten dies. I don’t know that there’s any truth to it, but as a cat lover I’m inclined to play it safe.)

I bought mine new in November 2003, and it’s been my only ride since the day I drove it home. I wouldn’t think of parting with that little truck. I lifted it 2.5”, put 31x10.5 tires on it, added new bumpers, a winch (and have needed it more than once), plenty of useful auxiliary lighting for nights on off-road trails, surfcasting Long Island’s south shore (now NC’s Outer Banks), on-board air (very useful for my purposes), and an sPOD system to control all the extras. I’ve driven it on just about any surface you can think of, including back and forth from NY to NC at least twice. (Permanently in NC since 2014.) How does it ride on the highway? Depends on your expectations. Mine rides like a Wrangler, as I expected, perhaps more like a truck than post-2006 (etc) incarnations, and no different than when new. My wife’s 2016 Grand Cherokee rides like I imagine a Lexus might. After driving my TJ for 17 years, I find the new GC intimidating. Those older Wranglers were engineered to optimize highway travel, just before reaching the point of diminishing returns. I think they did a pretty good job. Since 2003, the only other Wrangler I’ve had a ride in is a friend’s 2020 4-door Rubicon. The cockpit and ride reminded me of the GC. My first exposure to the interior of a post-2004 Wrangler was a bit of a shock. It felt as though I’d stepped 17 years into the future and wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. I missed the wonderful simplicity of my TJ.

The “feel” is fine on the highways. Comfortable enough for me up front, adequately so for backseaters on short runs. Mine came with a hard top and soft top. I used to put the hard top on for winters up north, but found it wasn’t necessary. The interior heats up and cools off, as required, in minutes. I discovered no advantage with the hard top pertaining to climate control. It is quieter with the hard top installed, but I prefer the soft top for several reasons. (One 2004 Wrangler hard top for sale, excellent condition.) It’s louder with the soft top and even more so when I fold it down. But what a ride!

My 6-cylinder engine propels the vehicle from stop to highway merge speed like a champ. It will do 80+ without me noticing on a good highway, but it is inherently aerodynamically challenged, not designed for that sort of racing. And the winds will buffet you a bit. Still, it performs better than expected. Bear in mind, the manual specifies regular gas, so that would save you a few pennies. As for mileage, no surprises there. I think 14 or 15 MPG is about right for highways with a good tailwind. But one’s mileage may vary. I nearly burned through a full tank logging 9 miles in 4 hours on the trails at Uwharrie National Forest. But my modestly modified TJ made it through Uwharrie’s hairy trails without a scratch, and stock Wranglers regularly do the same. You are considering a vehicle entirely in a class of its own, especially these older two-door models. It’s fun on finished roads but really shines off pavement. Mine‘s nimble, agile, easily performs u-turns so tight it pivots me 180° from the turnoff of an eastbound highway directly into the fast lane going west. And that comes in handy in many situations.

My Wrangler can be hard on batteries, but I place heavy demands on them. My only complaint is a problem that developed about 10 years after I bought it. It’s prone to a sort of vapor lock at the 3rd fuel injector (I believe) after shutting down and trying to restart on hot days. It’s proved difficult to remedy. Otherwise, the engine runs great after all these years. Then again, the odometer only reads 56,000 miles, and it’s my only personal vehicle. I get the sense you intend to use your new used vehicle similar to how I‘ve used mine, at least for now.

Because Wranglers are so unique among “SUVs,” I’ve always thought it was a vehicle one really really wants or doesn’t particularly care for, especially if it’s to be one’s only vehicle. An easy choice for me.

Anyway, here’s my Wrangler in the sands of the Outer Banks, September 2020. It was a comfortable 4+ hours to get there, five days in the sand, then another 4+ comfortable hours to get home. Unfortunately, all that time I didn’t drive it during my end-of-year bout with COVID-19 sapped my poor battery, so I’m off to buy a new Diehard Platinum AGM.

I think you’ll love driving a Wrangler. (Don’t forget to wave.)
4495686
 

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Hi everyone! I am considering buying a 2004 Jeep TJ. I would only be able to afford one car so it would have to be my daily driver as well. I travel to and from school about once a month and the trip is 2hours long on the highway. Has anyone driven their TJ on the highway, and how was it? I don’t mind noise. Also I know Jeep’s are bad on gas but I was wondering how bad? I drove an F150 for 2 years and my car right now needs premium gas so I am used to paying higher for gas. Thank you in advance for any advice and information you can offer me!
My 6 speed TJ was my daily driver from 2000 to 2018. (Now I'm in a JK). I drive mostly highways to work, about 60 miles round trip. I had 31" tires but it was otherwise stock, and I got i think 18 mpg. I almost never had the back seat in it so I had a decent amount of cargo/dog space. Also was able to get to/from work in any weather (no snow days). However, it is noisy! No Bluetooth conversations on the highway in a TJ. Otherwise loved it!
 

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I love how everyone here knows what a POS these jeeps are as daily drivers but if you ask the question, they all tell you how wonderful it is. Seriously, if you have a choice dont use your TJ as a daily driver. Something will fall off of it every couple days or so. These old Jeeps are fun but as daily drivers they are unreliable, noisy, gas guzzling rust buckets. If you don't really have a choice, then the answer is yes, you can DD. But as several posters here have said, keep up on the maintenance. If you need more convincing, look at the "You know you drive a TJ thread" where people are a bit more honest.
 
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