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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, this is my first post here, I just joined the forum today...

I'm looking for a new vehicle, and I really like the Wrangler, but after reading many negative reviews, I'm having some doubts. The reviews mostly say the same thing -- that the Wrangler makes a terrible daily driver and is only good if you go off-road often.

Here is what I'm looking for in a vehicle:

1) First thing I should mention is I do NOT go off-road. I suppose if I get a Wrangler I could become interested in trying that sometime, but I never have before in the past.

2) This will be my daily driver and will spend its time on the pavement, with about 50% of that being highway driving.

3) I have a really bad back, so I need a vehicle with a very upright seating position. I test drove the Wrangler and found it very comfortable.

4) I don't care about back seat space -- I cannot remember the last time someone sat in my back seat. Nor do I need a ton of cargo space. I prefer a smaller vehicle that I can parallel park somewhat easily.

5) I live in the Northeast, so it needs to be great in the snow. Having a bad back, I prefer to avoid shoveling snow. Often times my car gets plowed in, and I would like a vehicle that I can drive out of (or over) a pile of snow without much difficulty.

6) The roads around here are terrible -- lots of pot holes and broken road. I want a vehicle that has a robust suspension that I don't need to worry about this and drive around dodging the pot holes. I just want to be able to bounce over them without much harshness.


So far it seems like most of the vehicles with higher seating positions are huge full size trucks like the F150 which is exactly what I don't want. The only other smaller vehicles I've found that are comfortable and fit the other criteria are the Range Rover Evoque, Subaru Forester and the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk.

The Subaru Forester just reminds me too much of a soccer mom car -- no fun there. The Renegade seems nice, but it's a Fiat, so I worry about the reliability. The Evoque is great, but a bit pricey -- not sure if I want to spend that much on a vehicle.

I test drove a really nice 2-door Wrangler Sahara which was pretty loaded... MSRP was $39k. I'm thinking something like this would be good for me. Any thoughts or advise?
 

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My 2015 Willy's is my daily driver and the only thing I miss about the f150 I had before it is the gas milage. But my smiles per gallon rating is way higher in the Wrangler.
 

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The 2 door Wranglers are not the greatest vehicle as highway rigs. They'll handle the job just fine, though it's been my experience that 70-75 MPH is about as fast as you'll ever want to go in one, and while traveling at that speed your gas mileage drops dramatically.

A Jeep isn't typically purchased for it's fuel mileage, so keep in mind if you go for the Jeep, if you're getting upwards of 15-16 mpg you're probably doing quite well in that department (dependent upon your gearing).

The Wrangler should be able to handle the abuse of the crappy roads, though you will need to exercise some common sense as to what you hit and how hard that you do it. The seating position is adjustable, though I'm not sure how comfortable it would be on a long trip, mostly due to the harsher ride than you'd receive in a larger vehicle with a longer wheel base, etc.

Ask you dealer if you can do an extended test drive, perhaps keep a Jeep all weekend long, driving it over a series of different roads under different conditions, etc. I doubt that the quick 15-20 minutes test drive will give you a true feeling for these great vehicles, but if you burn an entire tank of gas over the weekend you should have a good idea

good luck

Exco
 

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My friend, get the wrangler, you will love it. I was in the same boat as you two years ago and despite being frightened by all these reviews about stiff ride and horrible fuel economy I went for it and bought one and I'm glad I did. I have arthritis in my lower back and I find the JKU comfortable especially getting in and out. I'm a tall guy and with my back acting up from time to time I've always found the sedans difficult to get in and out of. JKU not so much. With the right tires the wrangler is an outstanding winter snow vehicle. In 2014 when my jeep was on stock 32" tires I was averaging 19 mpg for mixed city and highway, so compared to other SUVs the consumption is not really any worse. The only consideration is wind noise at high speeds due to aerodynamics, so test drive on the highway first
 

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Since I am an expert in all things Jeep, I have owned one now for 2 weeks. LOL I just bought a 2015 Sahara Edition. It was traded in with 200 miles on it because an older couple bought it and it was too rough for them. Boy did I get the deal of the year!!

That being said. It is a Jeep and it is a 4X4 so it won't be as smooth as a luxury car. But for what it is in my opinion I think it rides pretty nice! It is nicer than my 2000 Taurus and my 08 Ranger 4X4. I haven't had the snow to really test it.

I have a 55 mile drive to work and mostly open road. I think it does fine and see no reason why it can't be a daily driver. I have been getting 19.5 MPG combined. I am no speed demon. Maybe 5 over the limit. Its a manual 6 speed.

It will rock side to side pretty good if you hit the right kind of bumps while turning. But for the highway pot holes I think its pretty smooth. I notice more wind noise than my other 2 vehicles, but a Jeep isn't as aerodynamic either.

Like Exocastie said. See if you can drive one for a week first.
 

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You should look for my review I posted about a week ago, I think it will help. I'd post a link but it's a PIA doing it from a cell phone.

I think it all depends on your expectations. If you are expecting it to be a compact SUV, don't buy it. It will have worse than average gas mileage, noisier interior, subpar handling, and a rough(er) ride.

But if you are expecting all of this and still want to buy it, you will love it and look forward to driving it every day.
 

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As others have stated, extended test drive. Get some time with both the 2 door and 4 door. The 4 door will be smoother due to the wheelbase but is still plenty agile especially when compared to full size trucks. Jeeps can be somewhat harsh on the road compared to your other options so making sure to throughly experience it on the roads you drive on is key to knowing if it is for you.
It is funny what you said about the Forester because when I first started reading your post, that is the first vehicle I thought about for your situation. You will find a lot diehard Jeep lovers here of course, but most experienced Jeepers are realistic about what to expect in on road handling and will many times suggest that a different vehicle will be better for a given scenario. I will again say, get the extended test drive.
 

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I purchased a 2016 JKUS for my wife right before Christmas. It is her daily driver (mid Atlantic area) and she loves it. Its a great vehicle if you know what you are getting into. Its not the fanciest of options out there but plenty nice for us. It handles great in the snow and it comfortable on the highway. (Ive gotten it up to 80-85 with no problems) I prefer driving it over my ford f250 nowadays.
 

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A Wrangler is....well a Wrangler. Nothing else like it. Frankly you don't buy it for cerebral reasons (mileage, comfort, commuting, low cost, etc). You buy it because it calls to you. Take a 4 door on a long test drive (see if you can keep it over the weekend). It will either speak to you or not. You will know.
 

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It’s no wonder that advice and advise are often confused; they are used in similar contexts and separated by just one letter, but that letter signals important distinctions to keep in mind when using the terms.

So what are the differences between the two?

Advise is a verb meaning “to give counsel to; offer an opinion or suggestion as worth following.”

Advice is a noun meaning “an opinion or recommendation offered as a guide to action, conduct, etc.”


OK, now for some ADVICE to your 6 criteria:

1) First thing I should mention is I do NOT go off-road. I suppose if I get a Wrangler I could become interested in trying that sometime, but I never have before in the past.

*** Then why consider an Off Road Capable Vehicle ?

2) This will be my daily driver and will spend its time on the pavement, with about 50% of that being highway driving.

*** The Wrangler has the aerodynamics of a Brick, Google Hood Flutter... They sit high and get tossed around in the Highway Turbulence.

3) I have a really bad back, so I need a vehicle with a very upright seating position. I test drove the Wrangler and found it very comfortable.

*** Drive on the Highway for a few hours and report back.

4) I don't care about back seat space -- I cannot remember the last time someone sat in my back seat. Nor do I need a ton of cargo space. I prefer a smaller vehicle that I can parallel park somewhat easily.

***The Wrangler fits the bill here !

5) I live in the Northeast, so it needs to be great in the snow. Having a bad back, I prefer to avoid shoveling snow. Often times my car gets plowed in, and I would like a vehicle that I can drive out of (or over) a pile of snow without much difficulty.

***OK, another area that the Wrangler fits the bill !

6) The roads around here are terrible -- lots of pot holes and broken road. I want a vehicle that has a robust suspension that I don't need to worry about this and drive around dodging the pot holes. I just want to be able to bounce over them without much harshness.

***OK, 3 out of 6...

Best Advice I can offer ( sorry about the intro...) is to spend a week in Jeep, rent one, borrow one, ask the dealer an extended test drive...

Be warned, its FUN... Act accordingly based on your honest evaluation of a prolonged trial period, your gut will tell you what to do.
 

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Eric,

If you want a comfortable vehicle that can handle snow without having to clear your driveway, doesn't make you look like a soccer mom/dad, and never plan to off-road, I recommend you get a Sahara with LSD.

The seats in the 2013+ JKs are very comfortable, the LSD will keep you going regardless of weather, and no one will ever mistake a Wrangler for a minivan.

The Sahara you found seems to fit the bill; check if it has a Trac-Loc Limited Slip Differential (LSD). If it does, get them to take at least 5% off MSRP and get it. If it doesn't, consider it will cost about $1,000 to add an aftermarket Detroit TrueTrac.

Good luck.

My 2014 Sahara with TrueTrac LSD and Goodyear Duratrac tires playing in the snows of Montana and British Columbia two months ago




 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks so much for all of the advise.


A Jeep isn't typically purchased for it's fuel mileage, so keep in mind if you go for the Jeep, if you're getting upwards of 15-16 mpg you're probably doing quite well in that department (dependent upon your gearing).
This would have been an issue for me 10 years ago when gas was $4 per gallon and I drove 15-20 miles each way to and from work. Now I work from home and gas is $1.50 per gallon. My current vehicle is almost 3 years old and has 11k miles on it. I don't drive enough for fuel economy to matter that much in my decision. While I think the price of gasoline will go up in the future, with all of the hybrids and electrical cars out there and with fuel economy way up overall on most vehicles, I don't think demand will be high enough that we will see $4 per gallon gasoline any time in the next decade.


Ask you dealer if you can do an extended test drive, perhaps keep a Jeep all weekend long, driving it over a series of different roads under different conditions, etc. I doubt that the quick 15-20 minutes test drive will give you a true feeling for these great vehicles, but if you burn an entire tank of gas over the weekend you should have a good idea
I do plan to take an extended test drive when I get closer to making a final decision. I still have a few months left on my lease, so I have some time to decide.


1) First thing I should mention is I do NOT go off-road. I suppose if I get a Wrangler I could become interested in trying that sometime, but I never have before in the past.

*** Then why consider an Off Road Capable Vehicle ?
As I mentioned, there are not a ton of small vehicles out there that have a high seating position. It seems like a high seating position only comes on off road vehicles, large trucks and minivans.


3) I have a really bad back, so I need a vehicle with a very upright seating position. I test drove the Wrangler and found it very comfortable.

*** Drive on the Highway for a few hours and report back.
I read many reviews that say the Wrangler has a very rough and uncomfortable ride. However, to me I would describe it as "bouncy" and not "rough".

Prior to injuring my back, most of my daily drivers were small 2 seat sports cars. For the better part of a decade I drove an MR2 and then an NSX. Those are vehicles that had hard rides. Hit a pot hole in the NSX and it feels like someone swung a baseball bat at the bottom of your seat and you worry that you may have bent a wheel or suspension component.

In my test drive of the Wrangler, I went over some rough road with a few pot holes going around 40 mph, and while I did feel them, it wasn't harsh, just bouncy. I don't mind that at all. It was actually a nice feeling to know the vehicle was made to handle it.

The roads are so crappy around here that sometimes driving on road feels like driving off road.


With the right tires the wrangler is an outstanding winter snow vehicle.
Keeping a set of dedicated winter tires is not something that I would want to do. I did that many years ago with some sports cars and it was a pain.

On that note, which of the Wrangler models has tires that are best equipped for snow? In looking around the dealer lot, I noticed there are 4 makes of tires that come from the factory on a Wrangler:

1) Rubicon and Willys both come with mud tires -- I know that I don't want these as they would be too noisy for on road and since I don't go off road, they are not necessary.

2) Sahara comes with Bridgestone Duelers

3) Sport and Black Bear edition comes with Goodyears

4) Back Country edition comes with BF Goodrich KO2s

Any advise as to which is best for on road and bad weather?
 

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The only issue I see is your bad back if you had a long drive.
Gas mileage in a 4x4 is very dependent. I just sold a Powerstroke (diesel), last owned an F150, before that was a Nissian Frontier. My father owns a 2013 Z71. My JKUS gets better fuel economy than all of them.
In fairness, I run a 6-speed manual with a 3:21, and drive like a grandpa. My drive to work is very flat, with few curves, 24 miles one-way. I set the cruise on 55 (let those who want pass) and average 20-22 mpg.
I didn't want anything for serious off-roading (just getting to fishing/hunting spots), and don't tow anything heavy anymore.
I've had a lot of 4x4 vehicles and none compare for the fun factor (have 3 boys and they love it), and none that I have had is more capable.
Mine came with the black wheel option and Dueler AT's. About a month ago we had over a foot of snow and I had no issues at all getting to work.
I love my jeep, I may never own anything else.
 

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Black bear and sport both come with good years but different tires. Black bears tires are a bit more rugged and appear that they would handle snow much better than the sport's.

Man would I love an RR evoque to rip around the city in! Starting price for them would be pretty similar to a loaded up Rubi or Sahara I would think..
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Man would I love an RR evoque to rip around the city in! Starting price for them would be pretty similar to a loaded up Rubi or Sahara I would think..
Yes, but I want navigation and to get that you need to get the premium package and that boost the price to $46k. Even a loaded up 2-Door Back Country Wrangler with every option added is only $42k. I priced out a Sahara, and the way I would order it, was around $39k.
 

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Earlier this winter I got 22" of snow in less than 2 days at my house. Like you I HATE to shovel snow so I didn't. I even drove over the snow bank that the darn snow plow left for me whereas ALL of my neighbors had to clear the snow in the driveways. I never did nor did I shovel my driveway - I just let it melt about 9 weeks later. Don't think my neighbors were too happy with me this year.

In my defense - I deliver mail for a living and the last thing I want to do after delivering in the snow all day long for weeks on end is to shovel my own driveway. I simply do not have the energy or the back strength to do it.

That is enough reason for me right there to own a JK - well many other reasons but right now at this time of the year it is the best reason!
 

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I suggest a 4runner or Land Cruiser.
 
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