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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the market for a new car, and I've been considering a used Jeep Wrangler -- not for off-roading or anything like that, I just like the looks of it. Also, I think it might be a good winter-driving car. I don't know how reliable Wranglers are and am wondering if anyone has had any experience with one or has opinions/advice they could share? Thanks!

(If it matters, I'd need to get an automatic.)
 

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I learned to drive stick on a wrangler. I've never owned one but one of my roommates in college had one and would let me borrow it all the time. I don't recall it ever having problems but this was early 90's... I don't know about more current ones. The manual has a really touchy clutch. It was hellish learning stick on it because there were all these hills where I kept stalling. Actually I've known three people with wranglers and they all seemed to love them. All three of them had manuals and I sort of assumed they only came that way.

Anyway, I agree with you about the looks. They are really cool looking. I don't usually stare at cars, but I'll sort of gaze at wranglers for some reason. And you also get a pretty good view from the driver's seat. But they are gas hogs and impractical where I live since it never snows here and I don't go off roading. I have driven it in the snow and yes they do handle well. But the problem is that people often push them more because they know they handle better. Anyway, that's what I did when I was an inexperienced driver... I'd drive it like the snow was no big deal. But let me tell you, losing control of a car in the snow, wrangler or otherwise, is not fun.

If reliability is a concern, I'd look up consumer reports for the year of the car you're looking at. Sometimes the same model has good and bad years. You can't really get a good sense by informally asking around... it's better to look up stats for reliability.

Pros: fun to drive, great view, handling, easy to park in tight spots.

Cons: mileage, no room to carry stuff, uncomfortable rear seats.
 

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I'm in the market for a new car, and I've been considering a used Jeep Wrangler -- not for off-roading or anything like that, I just like the looks of it. Also, I think it might be a good winter-driving car. I don't know how reliable Wranglers are and am wondering if anyone has had any experience with one or has opinions/advice they could share? Thanks!

(If it matters, I'd need to get an automatic.)
I had a couple of friends in university who had jeep wranglers. They looked very strong, were very tall, but the interior was far too cramped to carry more than one passenger, never mind cargo. The ride was also pretty stiff even on pavement. I don't think it's a car for someone looking for a comfortable car.

On the flipside, what was definitely cool about my friends' jeeps was that you could remove the doors and the roof and have a very cool summer car.
 

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I've worked on them, haven't noticed any major problems that seem common to that particular model. Mid to late 90's with the 4.0 engines were known for cracking exhaust manifolds, I've replaced a lot of crankshaft sensors on those engines too (which causes a no start condition). They use basically the same automatic transmission as the Dodge Dakota, Durango, etc. which I've seen issues with, but I don't know if I'd let it stop me from buying one.

We haven't seen any '07 and newer models in for service yet since most of that stuff is still covered under warranty...but for the most part the ones I've dealt with seem pretty reliable. Fun vehicles too, especially in the summer when you can take the top and doors off. My first vehicle was a '76 Jeep but I sold it after high school. I've always wanted to buy a 70's era CJ to restore...maybe someday.
 

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a wrangler isnt worth it if your not going off-road, theyre uncomfortable, rough and a pain as a daily driver.

but they are reliable only real problems ive seen are the heated 02 sensors, but theyre cheap and easy to change. and if you do get one definantly try to get a solid front axle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all so much for the info! I'm glad to hear that they seem reliable, but I'm concerned that a Wrangler may not be practical for me since I have a long commute to work -- potential comfort and mileage issues. I really want one though!
 

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I hate people who drive big all terrains and SUVs around everywhere despite having no use for such vehicles. They're always getting stuck around small roads and cutting off lanes. If you don't actually live somewhere rural you don't have any reason to own one.
 

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We have a Wrangler I've driven around quite a bit.

Pros:
- rugged look
- visibility is good
- impressive turn radius. . . parallel parking doesn't get any easier
- convertible
- reliable: have had ours 9 years and only have had to replace a fan for the AC/heat
- the Jeep wave. . . Wrangler drivers wave at each other on the road, seriously!

Cons:
- a bit of a gas hog
- not comfortable
- It's difficult to hold a conversation in (especially if one is soft spoken like me) and music must be played loudly because of road noise. . . and we have a hard top.
- primitive interior (manual locks, windows. . . may not be true for the newer models); this may be a pro for some as more bells and whistles means there's more things that can break.

Have you considered a Subaru Outback? I bought one in '05. It was a bit more pricey than the Wrangler, but worth it. They're sporty, handle well in the rain, have all-wheel drive (4 wheel drive all the time), are comfy (<3 seat warmer <3), get better gas mileage, and have good reliability & safety ratings. I know they have automatic models (adds ~$1000 to the price). . . not sure if the Wrangler does. It quickly became our primary ride.

The only con with the Outback so far had to do with the tires. Last year some delinquent decided to puncture the front driver's side tire of every car parked on my street. If your tires have too much wear, you can't replace just one or even two tires. Because it's all-wheel drive, you have to replace them ALL. :fall

Good luck!
 
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