Is a Wrangler really what I'm looking for?

CybrSlydr

Member
First Name
Jordan
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
12
Location
Beverly, OH
Vehicle(s)
BMW M3
Occupation
Library Assistant/Student
Hi folks - first post here. :)

I currently have a 2005 BMW M3 Coupe (standard trim) that I adore. The E46 M's have always been, IMHO, one of the sexiest cars I've ever seen and back in 2010, I got the chance to buy one out-right and have daily driven it and loved it every day since.

The problem is that I live in SE Ohio and we can get some gnarly winter weather and my M just isn't up to the task when that weather comes around. I'm also a commuting student to a residential University who will never close despite the weather and work as a Library Assistant at another college who favors 2hr delays over closings. Being able to get out of my driveway and up my hill when the weather is nasty is turning out to be a bit of a larger issue than it used to be. I kinda need to get to work and school.

39673579242_86caf1d82f_b.jpg


27926134409_0861d94d62_b.jpg


At school, I'm studying to be a Geologist. My dream is, once I'm done with school, to move out west to somewhere like Wyoming and work for the Park Service or something. Where I can get out and work with a big sky overhead. I'm also an angler who is looking to expand his spinning gear to learning to fly fish (especially if I move out west and can get near some trout waters) as well as a Rucker (currently using a 20lb weight while I hike around). I'm also looking into getting a kayak since I'm currently shore bound as an angler.

So - now that you have some context in which to work, I guess I'll ask the question - is a Jeep Wrangler the kind of vehicle I'm looking for?

I'll be honest, I'm a big fan of the updates on the new JL. I'm looking at a 2-door Sport S. I don't forsee myself doing the crazy rock-crawling that a Rubicon would do, but I want something that can help me get to fishing spots and hiking trails off the beaten path as well as handle its-self in the ugly winter weather and daily driving - especially if I move out west. I also like the amenities that come with the vehicle. My parents just got a 2017 Ford Fusion and it has almost all the bells and whistles. I'm not used to that kind of stuff in my M3 and I have to say, I kinda like it.

So, looking on the Jeep site, I customized a Sport S and it's around $34k. With tax refund season coming up, I'm expecting to get about $1300-1500 back. On top of that, KBB says my car is worth about $10-12k, so I figure I might get $8.5k for it. So I'd be looking to finance around $25k. If I can get financing for it, that's pretty doable on my budget.

Now, I've been shooed away by other car people who say Jeep, especially after it's purchase by FCA, is egregiously unreliable and needs a lot of maintenance and is expensive to repair. I'm sure this would be compounded by the JL being a brand-new model year with none of the kinks worked out of production yet. I don't want to buy into a vehicle that's going to keep me elbow-deep in multi-thousand dollar repairs - my current car has been enough of a pain.

So... Yeah. :) Thanks for having this forum available and I appreciate your input! I hope to learn a lot here!

Jordan





Advertisement

 

macintux

Well-Known Member
First Name
John
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
828
Reaction score
885
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Vehicle(s)
2005 LJR
I'd never strongly dissuade someone from buying a Wrangler, but have you tried snow tires?

Since you're still a student, I'd suggest snow tires and/or buying an old YJ or TJ to supplement your car.

But we're rarely rational around here, so if you just can't wait, I'm sure you'll love a JL.
 
OP

CybrSlydr

Member
First Name
Jordan
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
12
Location
Beverly, OH
Vehicle(s)
BMW M3
Occupation
Library Assistant/Student
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I'd never strongly dissuade someone from buying a Wrangler, but have you tried snow tires?

Since you're still a student, I'd suggest snow tires and/or buying an old YJ or TJ to supplement your car.

But we're rarely rational around here, so if you just can't wait, I'm sure you'll love a JL.
Yes, I have considered snow tires. If I downsized to 17" ($400 for 4 new wheels, standard are 18"), the selection of winter tires is much better. Looking at about $1000 to get Blizzak WS08 on all four, mounted and balanced at TireRack.

The reason I'm looking at a new vehicle is that... Well, my M3 isn't getting any younger. It's got a little over 131k on it, though she still runs great. I really adore this car - this is the first car I've ever owned, so my sentimental attachment is quite large.

29379479106_37886ab90e_b.jpg


I'm an Aston Martin fan and the E46 M3 was always my "attainable" dream car since I doubt I'll ever be able to afford a DB9. lol

The car is at the point where I need to start thinking about if what I'm putting into it is worth it or not. It's 13 years old and approaching 150k. Throwing good money at bad - it's only going to depreciate more as time goes on and the miles keep piling on - I don't want to wait until my car is literally worthless as a trade-in. More and more is going to go wrong and it will get more and more expensive to repair.
 

OldGuyNewJeep

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Messages
3,099
Reaction score
5,038
Location
CT
Vehicle(s)
2018 Wrangler JL, 2016 Yukon XL
You drive a BMW and are worried about Jeep reliability? LOL

If I were your dad I’d advise you not to purchase a brand new vehicle while still in school. Graduate, get a job, and then buy a new car. Your parents get to drive a 2017 with bells and whistles because they aren’t full time students. I’ll double down on this if “commuting student” means “live with my parents.”

Now, if you want to sell your car and get into a used Wrangler for the same/similar $$, I’d say absolutely do it.

Not trying to be rough on you, but that’s my $0.02
 

RussJeep1

Banned
Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2016
Messages
2,548
Reaction score
1,873
Location
Westchester, NY
Vehicle(s)
JLU Sahara
You certainly fit many of the demographics that we'd expect of Jeep owners, and as someone who enjoys many aspects of the great outdoors, in both hobbies and avocation, I'll bet you'll appreciate the Wrangler's ability to get you to places other vehicles won't.

On the other hand, it sounds not only like you're still in school, not quite cashing in on your studies yet, but someone who's recently discovered in the folk's new car that bells and whistles are pretty cool.

Those bells and whistles, when available, cost a king's ransom in the new JL compared to other vehicles. The irony here may be that while its the JL that in part attracted you to the Wrangler line, that it's the JK in which a better deal for you, assuming you go Wrangler, may exist right now. The traction you seek: a whole lot of vehicles can do that better than than your M3, if not on par with the Wrangler, and snow chains are the least expensive option of all.

We're all attracted to Wranglers for different priorities even if it's easy to find someone here on the bboard who answers the question" "Why did you get a Wrangler?" just like we do.

The following question though, while presenting many different good answers, shares in commonality with all happy Wrangler owners the fact that it's easily answered by them:

How does a Wrangler make you feel getting from point A to B and do other vehicles earn your interest, even if for other reasons, as much?
 

Covfefe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2017
Messages
1,063
Reaction score
1,113
Location
USA
Vehicle(s)
JLUSS
Sounds like the Wrangler is the perfect vehicle for you right now and in the future as a geologist.
 
OP

CybrSlydr

Member
First Name
Jordan
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
12
Location
Beverly, OH
Vehicle(s)
BMW M3
Occupation
Library Assistant/Student
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
You drive a BMW and are worried about Jeep reliability? LOL

If I were your dad I’d advise you not to purchase a brand new vehicle while still in school. Graduate, get a job, and then buy a new car. Your parents get to drive a 2017 with bells and whistles because they aren’t full time students. I’ll double down on this if “commuting student” means “live with my parents.”

Now, if you want to sell your car and get into a used Wrangler for the same/similar $$, I’d say absolutely do it.

Not trying to be rough on you, but that’s my $0.02
No worries, I understand where you're coming from - but I'm not your typical poster.

I'm 33 (34 in February) and am attending school through Vocational Rehab. I was medically discharged from the Army after an IED broke my ankle. So, on top of my monthly disability payment, I'm also receiving a monthly VA stipend for school (both tax free) and making $14/hr as a Library Assistant (I think I estimated I'll be pulling in about $17k before taxes just in my part-time job). While, yes, I am living with my folks (who agreed to let me stay if I was attending school - only 2 semesters left until I'm done after this one is over), I lived in Columbus on my own for close to 8 years before I enlisted and worked and paid rent and all that. So I'm not too concerned about making payments. I'm not a 20yr old playing at life with mommy and daddy's money. :)

Which used Wranglers would you suggest then? I'm fully open to getting something used - I just was asking about the JL since it was new and would retain it's value the longest. Just looking at the prices of JKs shows they retain value quite well.
 
OP

CybrSlydr

Member
First Name
Jordan
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
12
Location
Beverly, OH
Vehicle(s)
BMW M3
Occupation
Library Assistant/Student
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
You certainly fit many of the demographics that we'd expect of Jeep owners, and as someone who enjoys many aspects of the great outdoors, in both hobbies and avocation, I'll bet you'll appreciate the Wrangler's ability to get you to places other vehicles won't.

On the other hand, it sounds not only like you're still in school, not quite cashing in on your studies yet, but someone who's recently discovered in the folk's new car that bells and whistles are pretty cool.

Those bells and whistles, when available, cost a king's ransom in the new JL compared to other vehicles. The irony here may be that while its the JL that in part attracted you to the Wrangler line, that it's the JK in which a better deal for you, assuming you go Wrangler, may exist right now. The traction you seek: a whole lot of vehicles can do that better than than your M3, if not on par with the Wrangler, and snow chains are the least expensive option of all.

We're all attracted to Wranglers for different priorities even if it's easy to find someone here on the bboard who answers the question" "Why did you get a Wrangler?" just like we do.

The following question though, while presenting many different good answers, shares in commonality with all happy Wrangler owners the fact that it's easily answered by them:

How does a Wrangler make you feel getting from point A to B and do other vehicles earn your interest, even if for other reasons, as much?
The bells and whistles are mostly just the Android integration (so tired of AUX cables and needing/losing USB cigarette adapters) and the convenience of what they have to offer. One of the main reasons I started looking at Wranglers was their general reputation for being spartan and utilitarian. I don't like trucks, I don't like 4-doors, etc. I'm looking for something small, that I feel like I'm wearing - much like in my M3.

Most of the money in options when I priced out the Sport S was in things like... a hard top. That's over $1000 right there. Yikes... And inclusion of A/C. And the hard-top liner. Things that make it a bit more waterproof/thief proof. Also included the block heater just in case I do end up somewhere like Yosemite (ahhh...) in the Winter and it's -20. lol I'm torn on the AUX switches and tow package - I can see where they'd be very useful but I'm not sure how much use.

Sure, the 7" screen is nice, but do I need it? Not really - but the cold weather package has some nice bits like the heated seats/steering wheel. Same with the $1300 Alpine sound upgrade - need it? Doubtful.
 

CantThinkOfAHandle

Well-Known Member
First Name
Gary
Joined
Nov 30, 2017
Messages
165
Reaction score
84
Location
Seattle
Vehicle(s)
1996 RAV4, 2015 BMW Diesel Sports Wagon
There are many car-based SUVs on the market that will get you everywhere you've described for less money, in more comfort, with better reliability and far superior gas mileage. And all of them come with a real roof that's permanently attached to the rest of the vehicle.

The only reasons I can think of to buy a Wrangler are (1) you just need to have that Jeep look; or (2) for serious off roading. In the Pacific Northwest, where I live, I've been to trailheads hundreds of times, and can't recall ever seeing a Wrangler parked at one (although I'm sure there were some). But there are so many Subarus you'd think they must reproduce up there.

Consider roof height for managing a kayak.

Finally, ask if you want to make such a large and specialized purchase now based on a Park service job at some unspecified time and place. You might end up in the Everglades!

Okay, and having read the comments that preceded mine, I'll add this: don't buy into the notion that you need a Wrangler to explore the back country. It's just not true, unless you are going to do some serious work over rock. I've been to places in a 1996 RAV4 where I didn't see any Jeeps, anyone else at all, for that matter. You're on a Wrangler forum, and you're going to get a Wrangler-centric bias. But if you're on a budget, as I assume, and have as-yet undefined needs, as you yourself have indicated, a Wrangler would be a strange choice, just to handle an Ohio winter.
 
OP

CybrSlydr

Member
First Name
Jordan
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
12
Location
Beverly, OH
Vehicle(s)
BMW M3
Occupation
Library Assistant/Student
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
There are many car-based SUVs on the market that will get you everywhere you've described for less money, in more comfort, with better reliability and far superior gas mileage. And all of them come with a real roof that's permanently attached to the rest of the vehicle.

The only reasons I can think of to buy a Wrangler are (1) you just need to have that Jeep look; or (2) for serious off roading. In the Pacific Northwest, where I live, I've been to trailheads hundreds of times, and can't recall ever seeing a Wrangler parked at one (although I'm sure there were some). But there are so many Subarus you'd think they must reproduce up there.

Consider roof height for managing a kayak.

Finally, ask if you want to make such a large and specialized purchase now based on a Park service job at some unspecified time and place. You might end up in the Everglades!
What kind of vehicles would you suggest then, matching this criteria?

- 2 door
- Manual transmission
- Not a truck
- 4-wheel drive (would love low-range availability)

I've looked at Subies but I'm concerned about the lack of ground clearance as well as the longer wheelbase for getting stuck or killing the underside on rocks. A 2-door Wrangler has significantly shorter wheelbase (nearly a foot) over an Outback and the Wrangler has a couple inches on it in ground clearance.

As for Florida? Ha! I was stationed in Louisiana - there is no way in hell you could pay me enough to go back to those sweat-boxes. I would gladly take a job in Alaska at Denali or something - I'm a cold-weather guy. :)
 
OP

CybrSlydr

Member
First Name
Jordan
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
12
Location
Beverly, OH
Vehicle(s)
BMW M3
Occupation
Library Assistant/Student
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
In my research, I've read and been told that the engine that came in the model up to 2006 was nearly nuke-proof.

What kind of models/trim levels would you suggest in an 06?

Thanks everyone for your help! :)
 

Hypermac954

Active Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
32
Reaction score
67
Location
California
Vehicle(s)
2018 Ferrari GTC4Lusso, 2018 Ferrari California T, 2016 Viper ACR-E, 2018 JLUR
Aston is overrated. Gorgeous as hell, but just sold my V12 Vantage S. And you want to talk about reliability issues...
 

RussJeep1

Banned
Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2016
Messages
2,548
Reaction score
1,873
Location
Westchester, NY
Vehicle(s)
JLU Sahara
I'm glad you did set me straight on your age/career profile. Disability (thank you for your service to our country) finds you in this situation, not because your "prom corsage is still fresh." Honestly, I guessed wrongly that H.S. wasn't long ago. The full recovery you deserve is my hope.

I also hope Jeep's military discount extends to those honorably discharged for injury: it darn well should--please look into that.

You expressed concern over repairs. It's my gut that the JL, an extremely well tested vehicle will prove not only reliable, but that FCA will stand by it if it isn't. This is their cash cow. They cannot afford it to get a bad rap.

That said, given the used JK that you might buy--or even the new one--is lightly to be at the more tail end battle tested stages of its production life, say 2014 on) your apt to find most of its bugs gone so late into its post 2007 introduction.

As you probably know, Wranglers in general have wonderful value retention, and sure, we can expect the JLs, all else equal, to have and hold value better than even the 2018 JKs.

With aspirations on "Going West, (not so) young man," as if I need to tell you, you'll encounter expenses. Only you know your finances, and how your value the features of the rig on your driveway, versus the size of the balance on your bank statement.

I do think though that given your future goals and plans, that you're unlikely to regret such a purchase from a feature/lifestyle standpoint.

Based on what you've told me, I think--and I may be wrong--that if your going to go Wrangler, that you getting a 2 door Sport S, with at least FCA's "24S" package.

24S is a common prepackaged order from FCA that includes some of the basic things that won't find you missing basic bells and whistles too much, like FOB key entry and electric windows. This prepackaged order number differs slight, offering the same features, when a manual transmission is chosen over automatic.

Remember, buying a Wrangler is like buying a house in that your expenses only begin upon loan assumption--and I'm not necessarily talking repairs. A plethora of aftermarket equipment summons your demographic.

"Jordan--I'm a winch. I would look so perfect on your front."
"Jordan--I'm a roof carrier. I hold kayaks and tents and above vehicle boxes"
"Jordan--I'm a light kit. You'll need me when the Park Service calls in the middle of the night, or in a forest fire."


The list is endless.;)
 

RussJeep1

Banned
Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2016
Messages
2,548
Reaction score
1,873
Location
Westchester, NY
Vehicle(s)
JLU Sahara
In my research, I've read and been told that the engine that came in the model up to 2006 was nearly nuke-proof.

What kind of models/trim levels would you suggest in an 06?

Thanks everyone for your help! :)
Appreciate that '06 is pre JK Wrangler, the new JL's predecessor.
 

CantThinkOfAHandle

Well-Known Member
First Name
Gary
Joined
Nov 30, 2017
Messages
165
Reaction score
84
Location
Seattle
Vehicle(s)
1996 RAV4, 2015 BMW Diesel Sports Wagon
What kind of vehicles would you suggest then, matching this criteria?

- 2 door
- Manual transmission
- Not a truck
- 4-wheel drive (would love low-range availability)

I've looked at Subies but I'm concerned about the lack of ground clearance as well as the longer wheelbase for getting stuck or killing the underside on rocks. A 2-door Wrangler has significantly shorter wheelbase (nearly a foot) over an Outback and the Wrangler has a couple inches on it in ground clearance.

As for Florida? Ha! I was stationed in Louisiana - there is no way in hell you could pay me enough to go back to those sweat-boxes. I would gladly take a job in Alaska at Denali or something - I'm a cold-weather guy. :)
If you know you want to do serious rock crawling in a vehicle you are preparing to purchase now, there are a lot of folks on this forum who can give you great advice, and I'm not one of them. If, instead, you're not familiar with the West and think it takes something like a Jeep to get to hiking trails and fishing holes, it absolutely does not. How could it?

It's possible that the problem you face is wanting a vehicle that can do anything, the trade off being that it will almost certainly do what you need it for the most often poorly. That's usually a bad decision. I'm looking at buying a JL myself, but I wouldn't own one as my daily driver, and I wouldn't need a Jeep as a daily driver that can also get me up dirt roads. In my opinion, a Jeep only makes sense as your sole vehicle if you're certain you want to do some serious back country exploration and are willing to put up with all the other compromises.
 

Advertisement




Quadratec
 



Advertisement
Top