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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking of getting a TJ for my son. This will be his first vehicle. He is very responsible and not a hot head. My wife is concerned about safety being he is a new driver. In her head, they can be prone to overturning and doesn't feel it is appropriate for a first car for a new driver. She feels that there are safer choices. I have a JK and it would be nice if he had a Wrangler too. What are your thoughts on this concern that my wife has?
 

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I got a LJ as my first vehicle when I was 17. I did some stupid things when I first got it, but I can tell you that it take a lot to actually flip it on the road. As far as safety, how many vehicles do you know that comes with a stock roll cage? Aftermarket bumpers and you got a tank rolling down the street. I rear ended a honda in my jeep outfitted with aftermarket bumper and the honda took all the damage, I didn't feel much and my jeep didn't even have a scratch on it. I don't think safety is too big of a concern for a jeep. Also think of the father son bonding if you both have jeeps. How cool would it be if you both went off roading together.
 

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I'm a state trooper, if the kid is responsible he or the jeep overturning isn't the issue. Learning to drive in a society of terrible and aggressive drivers is the toughest challenge. I see excellent young driver's everyday get hurt by "experienced" drivers with bad habits. First vehicle I bought for myself was a 1999 Jeep TJ 2.5. I was an irresponsible hothead, party animal and everyday punk that drove around like an idiot and never once felt, thought or believed for a second that it would ever overturn. Get the damn kid a wrangler for **** sakes!
 

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Agree with all the above. He needs to understand that it's not a sports car and won't handle like one, so be aware of his surroundings while driving to try and avoid sudden maneuvers. Actually, that's good advice for driving, period. Be aware and always try to leave yourself room to maneuver, whether it be changing lanes or stopping. I wouldn't hesistate to put my youngest in a Wrangler. She's not getting mine though :D
 

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Those fears are unfounded. If you got him an older CJ with the narrow wheelbase, then yeah there's a chance it'll flip if he does something stupid. But if you get him a good used TJ/LJ, he'll be fine. I got my TJ when I was just about to turn 15, we got a great deal on it. I started driving by myself when I was 15 1/2 (legal in Mississippi at the time). I did drive aggressively at times, fishtail around corners, and of course burn outs on those dirt roads (roads here where all gravel and dirt for a long time after Katrina so it made it easy, never did those things on asphalt). And never did I feel like I was gonna flip or loose control. They are very safe vehicles. Just make sure he knows he can't be doing burnout contests with his friends on pavement unless be likes broken axles. And as long as he understands that, get him a jeep for sure. I'm 20 now and I still thank my parents all the time for getting me my jeep. I'm actually planning on paying them back for it and buying from them in full when I finish school and have a job. Your son will be very happy with it if he likes jeeps already.
 

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I got a 2004 LJ for my 16th (18 now) and I think that it has kept me out of trouble for almost 3 years. I took the back seat out of it early mostly to shed some weight but also to keep people from asking if they could ride with me. Jeeps handle pretty well for what they are. I have an antirock on the loosest setting and can still keep up with traffic in mountain turns. As long as he can understand that it isn't a sports car and figures out what he can comfortably do then he is pretty safe.
Tell him his first accident and he is off the road. That worked really well for me. Also the incentive of keeping insurance down with good grades. BTW jeeps for new drivers aren't too expensive to insure for a new driver.
 

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The Jeep is a baby tank compared to most vehicles and both my sons started out in one. My wife agrees completely that it is a great starter vehicle. # 1 son is selling his car and going back to a Jeep.
 

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I am thinking of getting a TJ for my son. This will be his first vehicle. He is very responsible and not a hot head. My wife is concerned about safety being he is a new driver. In her head, they can be prone to overturning and doesn't feel it is appropriate for a first car for a new driver. She feels that there are safer choices. I have a JK and it would be nice if he had a Wrangler too. What are your thoughts on this concern that my wife has?
They are very safe, I'm 20 and have been driving jeeps since I've gotten my license. I had an XJ that got totaled cause a lady pulled out in front of me in a Honda fit. I was completely fine, and walked a mile back to work after the accident. Now I have a tj and it is very difficult to flip this or the XJ unless you are doing something really dumb and as long as he knows the limits of the jeep it will be a great vehicle. I can actually out corner most people with sports cars through sweeping turns on freeway off and on ramps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you everyone. My wife read the responses and feels much better. It is nice that we are both on the same page.
 

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I just did this very thing - bought my son his first vehicle and we targeted only the TJ. We picked up a 2000 with low miles (71k). We did get an automatic thinking learning to drive and use a manual transmission would add to his stress, although both my wife and I learned on manual transmission vehicles, so not sure that is a huge deal. My boy has 5 months to his permit - 3 years driving it for high school, then it will pass down to my next son, etc.. until we run it into the ground. Living in CA we are not too worried about rust! Great first vehicle in my opinion.
 

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I got t-boned in my old TJ hard enough that the front axle was ripped off. The other car hit right on the front passenger tire. I was totally unhurt other than getting doused in their coolant which was a bit warm. Couple thousand $ later my Jeep was as good as new. The Malibu that hit me was folded to the windshield.
 

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41 years old and got my first TJ. Understand your concerns. But your son sounds responsible. As long as he is not going 70mph and rips the steering right, everything should be fine.
 

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No matter what vehicle you put him in, the biggest problem will be "friends", older brothers, and other drivers.
"Hey dude, smoke this".
"Hey dude, lets take this jeep offroading".
"Hey dude, lets ram into a snow drift as hard as we can", are all examples that come to mind.
 

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I've been thinking about the same thing for my kids, but I do have a few more years to decide. My concern would be gas mileage. My kids are going to fill their own tanks and I don't want them to burn all their money on gas. Not sure which direction we'll go when it's time, but I don't worry about the safety of a wrangler as much as the economical/practical factors.
 
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