Spank

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I could see that argument, but struggle with the frame rust. The JK frames hold up MUCH better. My Yj frame also did better. (1993 model year. Some YJ years were terrible for this.) Maybe the later TJ years are better, but every used TJ I've seen either has the issue or the issue has been repaired. I did ask a big TJ fan and local Jeep mod shop owner who is a fellow member of a Jeep club which year to look for and he said they all have the issue. He makes more money fixing frames than he does on any mods. Maybe down in the sun belt they do better?

But the TJ is the father of the JK and JL and was a real ground breaker with its4 link coil spring suspension. It took Jeeps to a whole new level, for sure!
Yeah, the frame issue certainly didn't do the TJ any favors and I'll never understand why Jeep didn't add a few holes to the bottom from the factory. That would've easily solved the issue at virtually no additional production cost. Frame rust isn't quite as much of an issue in drier climates, but still a serious consideration if you took your TJ on trails, got mud and junk into the side holes (that were totally worthless), and left it there.

Regardless, I think a TJ well taken care of will outlast a JL, especially in the electronics department. We've both gotten lucky having extremely reliable early '18s that haven't succumbed to most, if not all, of the TSBs and recalls over the past few years. However, I'm starting to notice computer issues creeping up. There have been a couple times my center gauge display has failed to wake up when I've climbed into my Jeep and I'm on my second UConnect radio and it has already had a screen replaced.

The radio eating shit doesn't surprise me at all, but the center screen bothers me. Nonetheless, these are things that should be happen years down the road. And as much as I love the design and aesthetics of the JL dash, I'd prefer the instrument cluster to be totally analog. I have no expectations of either display lasting another couple years without repair or replacement.

Mechanical parts that are used regularly, take beatings, and are tested to their limits are one thing. Firing up my Jeep and not being able to see how much fuel I have because my center screen fell into a coma is another.





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Stefano5777

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In my 29 years of driving I've owned more than 20 vehicles and my 2020 Jeep JLUR is the first I've ever owned that after 6 months of ownership I wasn't already looking for its replacement.
 

emptyminded42

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The JL is the first and only Wrangler I've been willing to buy (with the TJ being the only one that was remotely tempting), so for me, it's obviously the best Wrangler ever.
 

Dan M.

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First of all, thank you for posting this. There is so much negativity on this forum it is nice to read something positive about the my favorite vehicle I have ever owned. I am by no means a Jeep historian, but I can say for me it is the best Wrangler of all time as I use it as a daily driver and can't see myself doing that with any of the previous iterations.
 
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DanW

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Yeah, the frame issue certainly didn't do the TJ any favors and I'll never understand why Jeep didn't add a few holes to the bottom from the factory. That would've easily solved the issue at virtually no additional production cost. Frame rust isn't quite as much of an issue in drier climates, but still a serious consideration if you took your TJ on trails, got mud and junk into the side holes (that were totally worthless), and left it there.

Regardless, I think a TJ well taken care of will outlast a JL, especially in the electronics department. We've both gotten lucky having extremely reliable early '18s that haven't succumbed to most, if not all, of the TSBs and recalls over the past few years. However, I'm starting to notice computer issues creeping up. There have been a couple times my center gauge display has failed to wake up when I've climbed into my Jeep and I'm on my second UConnect radio and it has already had a screen replaced.

The radio eating shit doesn't surprise me at all, but the center screen bothers me. Nonetheless, these are things that should be happen years down the road. And as much as I love the design and aesthetics of the JL dash, I'd prefer the instrument cluster to be totally analog. I have no expectations of either display lasting another couple years without repair or replacement.

Mechanical parts that are used regularly, take beatings, and are tested to their limits are one thing. Firing up my Jeep and not being able to see how much fuel I have because my center screen fell into a coma is another.
Yeah, it would be a simple fix. Heck, a shot of Fluid Film up in there every year would probably do it.

Not so sure the TJ will outlast a JL, though. That'll have more to do with good maintenance and TLC than anything else.

But I do love the TJ and would not kick one out of the garage. It is a Jeep and was really a revolutionary one, at that. My brother and two nephews had TJs and they were great. Lots of them still on the road, in spite of the frame rust. If I came across a good one for the right deal, I'd have a hard time not grabbing it for one of my kids.
 

Bruce Willys

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All this reminiscent love for the TJ, my memories are of being terrified at 70 mph every time that I hit uneven pavement on the freeway and having loud conversations with my passenger. :giggle:

The JL is the best Jeep imo by far for driving to the trails, and for driving on the trails. For driving period. Yes, complexity has risen but that's the case with pretty much anything new and it's worth it to me. Reliability is definitely a concern, but I keep a Garmin Inreach and supplies if worse comes to worst and I'm far from cellular, so I'm not that worried.
 

MrMischief

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I'll throw in another voice for the TJ being the best Jeep, at least to me. It was the last of what I consider to be the no compromises Jeep. It really only did "the Jeep thing" well and everything else seemed to not be of much concern. Seems to me that the JK (and especially the JKU) started adding in comforts and complexity to make the vehicle more mainstream. I love my JL, it is the much better all arounder compared to my TJ, but the TJ was the last of its kind and there are times I miss it.

For my money, the "best" Jeep would be a 2005-2006 TJ Rubicon with the 6 speed, but a strong case can be made for the LJ Rubicons (especially when you consider resale value). If you have friends/family you need to consider, the AIL Storm Mk II could top your list if you can get your hands on one.
 

aldo98229

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TJ was the best Wrangler IMO. And I didn’t even own one.

TJ combined the size and simplicity of the original Wranglers, with modern improvements like QuadraCoil suspension and fuel injection.

I love my JL: it is comfortable, refined, capable, and has been trouble free. But I will dread the day I have to go into the dealership to get something fixed, the day the warranty expires with all these complex electronics, and the day I have to trade it in for a JM with a starting MSRP of $99,000.
 

Zandcwhite

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TJ was the best Wrangler IMO. And I didn’t even own one.

TJ combined the size and simplicity of the original Wranglers, with modern improvements like QuadraCoil suspension and fuel injection.

I love my JL: it is comfortable, refined, capable, and has been trouble free. But I will dread the day I have to go into the dealership to get something fixed, the day the warranty expires with all these complex electronics, and the day I have to trade it in for a JM with a starting MSRP of $99,000.
You like the idea of the tj, but the reality was not anywhere near that good. Poor handling, down right terrifying and unsafe at freeway speeds especially when lifted on the factory short arms. We all could have bought TJ's for pennies on the dollar for what we paid for our JL's, and yet here we are on the JL forum...
 

Jeepjunkie

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I’ve owned 4 TJs, 2 built rubicons and 2 sports. While I loved those TJs, and daily drove 3 of them from 1998 until 2008, the JL is (for me) the best Wrangler. The TJs were great, but loud, and handling over 65 was questionable, especially after modifyin. My built 6 speed JL (35s, with armor and a PR44) can still get 18-19 MPG, while my TJs started at 18 stock and went to 11 MPG modified. That I6 was an awesome engine, but its its roots dated back to the 1960s.

I originally kept my ‘05 TJR after buying my JL. But the JL was so nice and did everything on the trail the TJR did (after a few mods) I wound up selling the TJ. I actually don’t miss the TJ, although still think highly of it.
 

DwnSth

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I love my '02 TJ! Purchased new and have built it up to be a great off-roader. Although It's on it's 2nd engine it's still a fun vehicle to drive both on and off-road. That being said, on-road is no comparison to the '21 JLU Diesel. Have not taken the JLU off-road yet but will get a chance in a few weeks. The TJ is low tech, especially being manual with only an added hand throttle. It will be very interesting on the JL to just push a button to crawl or descend a hill - almost feel like we will have to learn things all over again. Can't wait to have a chance in the coming months to get both on same trail at same time.
 

Ridgerunner542

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Love your avatar, btw. God help me if I were to stumble across a WWII Jeep for the right price. That might cost me some doghouse time if I showed up at home with one. But they are just soooo great. I met a guy in Italy on a Jeep forum that explores all of his country in a 1944 or 45 and just loves it. Drives it every day.
Thanks man! That’s my 42 GPW, I finished the restoration on it two years ago It was a dream of mine since I was a child to have a real WWII Jeep. I drive it as much as time allows me to. My two year old son is obsessed with it and all Jeeps. lol shocker right? I made friends with people from all over the world while sourcing parts for it. Everyone that has one is very passionate about Jeeps and WWII history. If you find one in you budget you should just buy it. If you are ever interested just reach out to me and I can point you in the right direction.
 

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