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So I must admit I do not drive a Jeep. My husband and I are in the market for a new car and the only car we can agree on is a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. We have a two year old son and are expecting our second child this September. My question is... Is a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited really a practical choice? Our only other vehicles will be a F150 work truck and a 66 mustang convertible. Neither great family vehicles. I work from home so we will not even be driving everyday. So Mom's and Dad's is a Jeep practical?
 

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No, a Jeep is not practical. Not compared to cross-overs and mini-vans.

But a 4 door Jeep is indeed doable with the right options and expecations.....and much more fun.

My first child is do in June. For less money, I could have gotten a more practical vehicle...but it would not be nearly as fun or unique. I picked up my 2013 Sahara about 9 weeks ago.

The wife got a new Rav4 this time last year in preparation for future kids....that is a practical vehicle.
 

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take a good test drive, a long one. get the kid in/out many times. and then remember you got rear facing seat time coming up. I do not have a 4 door, but really many variables at play whether this wi'll work for you.

I can say that as the kids get older they will love the jeep! Sorry t hat I am unable to be more helpful.
 

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It is perfectly practical. I have 3 kids and it is fine for local around town pickups. With only 2 kids, you would be a perfect fit. there is a a ton of room in the back for strollers and pack and plays. Living in the northeast I need good 4WD to get around In the winter so it was a good fit for my needs.

The small SUV's are small and don't get great gas mileage with AWD. Also they are so low to the ground, a heavy snow and your in trouble.

MJK
MJK
 

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This was posted by another parent

View attachment 190959

I always liked jeeps but with 2 girls a 2 door was a no go. I needed to upgrade from my midsized truck with a cramped back seat. My old cramped truck fit an infant carseat just fine with the forward facing next to it. My girls have long legs and we out grew our little Toyota Tundra. It was the first model of tundras. The 4 door wrangler is like a Cadillac in comparison for room. So far the cloth seats clean up well from pudding and milk. I like the fact that the rear doors do have child safety locks and my tall 6 & 8 year old girls have no problem climbing in and out of it.

If I had the chance to buy something else it would be another wrangler 4 door for my wife. The back seems to be just as roomy as our 2007 Toyota Sequoia full size suv. It's the best resale vehicle on the market and very safe. It's costing me $265/ 6 months less on my insurance vs the tundra.

Buy your wrangler and enjoy because we love it as parents.
 

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Just depends on how the two of you are. If you're both the spontaneous and outdoor fun type, you'll like the Jeep. If practicality and logic rules your lives, then the Jeep will be second guessed after you've had it for a short time. When my daughter was 1 we had a YJ Sahara (2dr of course) and it was fine. She loved being able to see out if all the windows. later I had a Scout. Sold it when she was 4 and she cried for an hour when the new owner drove it away. When she bought her first new car she bought a JK. I guess she was imprinted on these kind of vehicles.
 

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wat3rdog said:
Oops here's what I ment to post with. It was posted by another member
Good lord, I didn't think that was possible. I have a 2door and 2 kids in car seats plus a 3rd on the way. Our "practical" vehicle is the minivan, our fun vehicle, the one we take when it's just me and the wife is the Jeep, I'll also take it of its just me and 1 of my kids. Putting car seats in the 2door is a HUGE pain in the ass, the 4 door should be no problem. Definitely get a Jeep, you won't regret it!
 

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If you are planning for a big family, you may want to check out something more practical. I had a 2009 Honda Pilot prior to the Jeep and everything was just much easier to deal with in it. Putting the baby in the car seat, putting the dogs in the back, etc. It was WAY roomier too.

A Wrangler Unlimited will work, but it's not as easy as a mini van or SUV. A Jeep owner will get used to it, but if you aren't 100% sold on it, I would move on to something more practical for you. Having to juggle 2 small children in public is no easy task... having to wrestle them into a vehicle you don't love will make you hate it.
 

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I just bought my '13 JKU sport at the beginning of this month. I have 2 kids, 3 and 5. It is great and both of the kids love it. I recommend getting running boards (getting mine installed tomorrow), as climbing in and out for a smaller child can be difficult. As it stands now, I just lift my 3 year old into it. It has enough room for 3 forward facing car seats and includes the LATCH system (I think all on road vehicles have to have it now). Before I had my daughter I had a 2 door soft top YJ. That was not practical to have a baby in, but this new JK of mine is awesome! I'm a die hard Jeep mom though, and would not be caught dead in a mini van, lol, but that's just me. I also am done having children. Wanted two, got a boy and a girl, and that was that.

I also like to rock crawl and 4 wheel. As far as practicality goes in terms of my lifestyle, a Jeep is exactly what I need to be in. My future plans include roll cage mods to install 5 point safety harnesses for my kids, because they also fancy off-roading. We haven't done any crazy off-roading yet, but they keep asking to. Apparently, the hills I've taken them on aren't high or steep enough. I can't wait to take them to Moab! My hardcore kids are the pride and joy of my heart :thumb:
 

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I have a 08 Toyota Highlander and a 13 JKUR. I love my Rubicon and its my daily driver. Even though I can fit the 3 kids comfortably, it does get a little right.

For errands with the whole family the highlander is a lot easier to use with car seats and the kids getting in and out.

The JK is doable but my Highlander is a lot more comfortable when we all go. We take the jeep for fun trips.

However if your husband and you agree go for it. You will most likely get used to it. Have you looked at other jeep products like Cherokee or Commander?
 

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I'm obviously not a Jeep mom, but a buddy just got a '13 JKU and the back seat is plenty big, and there's a lot of storage in back. Another cool thing is the back seat collapses into the floor so it's also good if you need to do a bit of hauling. I'm 6' 1" and have broad shoulders. I'm rarely comfortable in the back seats of most vehicles, but the JKU is great. Getting car seats back there would be no problem as long as you don't lift the Jeep. Sure there are boring vehicles where the only selling point is that they're practical, but a Wrangler is a fun vehicle that's still perfectly practical, and you'll be proud to drive it.

Test drive it on the freeway so you know what to expect and keep in mind the tires on the different trim levels make a big difference in ride and comfort. I love my Rubicon with it's mud tires and the additional off road capability, but if I didn't enjoy taking it off road so much, a Sport or Saraha would make more sense with all weather tires, better mileage, and a more comfortable ride. If a Jeep is what you want, don't settle for anything else or you'll be left with a major purchase that you won't be satisfied with. I for one refuse to spend a lot of money on something that I don't really enjoy.
 

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There are many choices when it comes to 4 door AND room for 4 (or more)

Yes, the JKU will fit 4 people (adults even), however fitting 5 can be a bit cramped (height and weight).

gas mileage is poor compared to other options.

There's nothing special about a JKU vs other vehicles other than it's a jeep and you can take the top off. It's not exceptionally powerful like a sports car, doesn't tow & haul like a truck, isn't as comfortable as luxury vehicles.. yet.. it's still loved by many, myself included.

definately take one for a test drive before making any decisions.

If the JKU isn't for you for whatever reason (and there could be many having a family with young children), check out subaru.

:punk: I'd have to say you'd be a way cooler mom driving a JKU over mini van :punk:

I have many friends who have children that drive other vehicles and they have jeep envy :dance:
 

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Just wanted to chime in on the side of it being a great family vehicle. of course I'm a month or so away from actually knowing anything about that, but we bought it as a replacement for a 2-door honda. Infant carrier fits in nicely in the back seat with plenty of room. Visibility when driving is great, lots of room in the "way back" for stuff.

At the end of the day it may not have as many convenient gadgets, but it meets the necessary requirements and is just plain fun. To a child you're effectively driving a monster truck. I mean what's more fun than that! Someone here I think mentioned that their kids think of every trip as an adventure. And you'll totally be the coolest mom on the block with a Wrangler.
 

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We have 3 kids, ages 9, 6 & 4. They LOVE the Jeep! The 4 year old needs some help getting in, but other than that they fit just fine. Like others have said, it is a feasible option, especially if you are sold on Jeep. However, if you're looking for a family vehicle, there are better options out there for that. We also have a Honda Odyssey, so the Jeep was a logical choice for my daily driver. :) Hope that helps.
 

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We have a family of 5. We take the JK Unlimited everytime we all ride together. When the kids are young, no problem. When the kids start getting bigger, it gets really cramped.

The JKU rear seat has a back that is pretty vertical. Not very comfortable. Also, the center position has NO structural support. It's just foam and cloth. Be sure to look up under the rear seat and see what I mean when you test drive. When you try to get in/out of the rear doors, your clothes will rub against the rear fender flare and if it's been raining or snowing you'll get dirty. Also, there is a big hump in the center for the drivetrain.

Is it doable as a family vehicle? Absolutely. Are there better choices? Absolutely.
 

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I got my Unlimited on Father's Day 2011. We leave my wife's Expedition in the garage and almost always take the Jeep. We have an 11 year old and an 8 year old. We've gone on 2 trips from Texas to Colorado and make a 2 hour drive to the lake house once a month. Plenty of room for all of our gear and no complaining from the back seat, either... (As long as they have their iPods and DSs). There is no other vehicle made that will make more memories for a family in my opinion.
 

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I'm a dad of 4 boys 5 and under. For up to 2 kids I think the jeep is a fine option. But choosing a vehicle is such a personal choice its very hard for others to be able to make a value judgment on your decision. My opinion would be that depending on ages of the kids and your height you may find it considerably less practice getting the kids in and out of compared to other choices, but it has plenty of room for the kids and other strong points that many of those vehicles won't have. If you are shorter go practice it, my 5 yr old can get in and out on his own, I still have to help my 4 yr olds. One thing to note is that the doors are set in comparison to the fenders/running boards. The back door is a tad on the small side as well and is not full width at the bottom, so I do regularly get my pants leg dirty leaning against the rear fender putting my kids in the car seats. Also, go read at least a little of the gas mileage thread, it's annoying how many people choose a jeep and then come here to complain about gas, so just know going in, it gets bad gas mileage.

I have 4 kids: a 5 yr old, Twin 4 yr olds, and an 8 month old. The jeep wouldn't work for my wife now, but when we had 3 very young kids and she was driving a maxima I think it would have been more practical than that vehicle for comparison. Honestly nothing is as practical for many moms as a mini van. Our sienna is by far the best choice for my wife. I have several close friends with 3 to 4 kids and all of them LOVE their mini vans, so I'm a big proponent of once you get up to 3 kids a mini van is the way to roll and even at 2 kids it's the choice my wife would have made because she would WANT the most practice vehicle available to her. I choose the jeep because I WANTED a Wrangler and it had acceptable practicality for me.

Pros for my kids, they LOVE riding with the top off ;-) (doors too when I only have one with me and can put him in the center of the rear bench) Honestly one reason I chose a red jeep wrangler was because I think it will be a great memory for my kids of their childhood with their dad. Lets face it, their are some vehicles that are just more iconic and fun than others (even to kids) and a Wrangler is definitely one of them.
 

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The 4 door as similar cargo space as my wife's new Outback. With that said, if you carry tons of stuff when you travel a minivan may be a better. When comparing against most other compact/midsized SUV's I don't see much disadvantage with the Wrangler. My only wish would be a higher tow rating.

On a separate note when comparing against convertibles, the Wrangler give you a full roll cage whereas convertible coupes offer no protection at all. There is always the freak chance a piece of road debris could get kicked up an land on the roof potentially harming any occupants. I won't put the top down on the highway with our kids on board, not that it would stop something large like a 2x4. I recently had a large piece of lumber dent the roof of one of my other cars, so the thought of this happening in my Jeep crosses my mind.
 
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