My guess is that most people bought the LJ for specific reasons, since you kind of have to search them out as opposed to a TJ. Think your poll will be a lot of 'No'. And no I wouldn't... I looked for an LJ because I wanted the longer wheelbase, more interior room, better towing capacity.
Got an LJ two weeks ago because, like mapper said, I wanted (in this order) more towing capacity, more interior room and better ride (for long trips). When we first broached the idea of the LJ (for towing reasons) I originally fought the idea of moving from the TJ to an LJ as I didn't like the looks of the LJ (in my defense, I had only seen - locally - stock on stock wheels with the stock soft top). But as the other reasons started popping up (after two long trips - one to the beach, one to the mountains) and the ride/interior room issues started showing their ugliness in the TJ, I started accepting that I needed to make the move and started checking out ads. Once I saw what I eventually bought, I was hooked - with a frameless top and 33's, they look pretty damn good. The drive home cinched how great the ride is compared to the TJ (admittedly, my TJ is a '97 with 170k while the LJ is an '06 with 60k).
All that to say ... no, I wouldn't trade my LJ for a TJ
I, like most, have always wanted a jeep. Unfortunately TJs aren't practical enough for me as a daily driver. The LJ is small enough that it doesn't look like a hummer (JKU), but big enough to make life convenient.
When I was ready for a Jeep, I went into it looking for an LJ. I needed the room and personally, I do not like the JKUs. (Not bashing, just a preference.) I have three large dogs and they love to go for rides. No way they are fitting in a TJ. At least not all of them at once…
Not to mention I am in hurricane country, so for evacuation purposes, the extra room makes sense. They all aint gonna fit into Wifey's little coupe.
Plus they are relatively "unique" in that you don't see them that often. So when you make them your own, they stick out even more. I have had more conversations about it being an LJ than anything else.
Sure parts are more and other things can be impossible to find. But it is worth it every time I walk out to see her or sneak a glance as I walk away.
Oh and the longer wheelbase and that stock Dana 44 in the back doesn't hurt either when I am out wheeling.
I specifically targeted LJs in my search last year. Love it for the obvious reasons (size, space, towing) but also for the relative uniqueness compared to the TJ. If the LJ was never invented by Jeep, I'm sure I would own a TJ and love it all the same but now I am proud to be a member of the LJ club!
After I sold my first TJ I swore to myself I'd buy an LJ next time. I lied to myself. The main reason being $$. I wanted something I could get with cash, and not get into trouble w/ the wife...LJ's being newer and less common made that challenging...so I've got another TJ. Maybe next time
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