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Thread: Maybe a Jeep?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Maybe a Jeep?

    I am thinking of getting a different car. After 250,000 miles I have been informed that my 2000 Impala LS is not likely to make it through another Michigan winter. So I have been kicking around ideas and I am thinking of getting a Jeep. Not a Jeep Cherokee, but an actual Jeep (Wrangler type). It would be my daily driver and I drive an hour each way three days a week on the freeway. I am not looking to do a lot of off road driving, but I do want something with 4-wheel that I can drive in the winter.

    However, I know nothing about jeeps other than people who have them, seem to like them. Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    mskis - I don't know if you want to drive a Wrangler an hour each way 3 days a week. They're not the most comfortable ride. A friend of mine has a Jeep and doesn't take it on the freeways. He says the wind blows you around.

    Check the gas mileage too. If your worried about winter snows, there are a couple all-wheel drive cars you might want to look into.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    I'd only go with a Wrangler if you had some interest in off-roading, otherwise they're not the best for highway driving.

    Unless you plan on driving in deep snow, an all wheel drive car should be sufficient for what ever you'll encounter in Michigan. My dad had an AWD VW Passat when he lived there a few years back and it handled everything except deep snow like a champ.

  5. #5
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    They handle pretty badly at highway speeds and are uncomfortable for longer commutes like you described, even if you go with the larger Wrangler Unlimited. Wind buffeting, tire selection, suspension and road noise will get bothersome quickly. Plus for the price (even used), there are far better options out there that would accomplish your goals. Now if your commute was shorter and not as freeway-oriented, then it might be a good choice for something a bit more rugged & fun to drive. It is, after all, the only 4-door convertible really out there.

    Personally, and knowing you have a growing family, I would recommend a Suburu Outback. It has ample storage space, all wheel drive, more comfortable seating, far better MPG, and respectable ground clearance if you do take the family down a trail for some weekend camping. I'm sure trying to buy American has something to do with your choice for a Jeep as well (made in Toledo), so it is worth noting that Outbacks are made in Indiana. And of course Subaru's are renowned for their durability & longevity.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

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  6. #6
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Looks like it won't be a Jeep...

    The snow situation isn't too bad here and for when it does get bad, we also have a newer suburban that the wife drives as her daily driver. The three bad storms that we had this year, she drove my car the 5 blocks to her work and I took what we affectionately call "The Beast".

    Another option is another Impala as I have been very happy with mine thus far, but who knows. I will see what is available and what I can pay cash for in October.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  7. #7
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Looks like it won't be a Jeep...

    The snow situation isn't too bad here and for when it does get bad, we also have a newer suburban that the wife drives as her daily driver. The three bad storms that we had this year, she drove my car the 5 blocks to her work and I took what we affectionately call "The Beast".

    Another option is another Impala as I have been very happy with mine thus far, but who knows. I will see what is available and what I can pay cash for in October.
    I echo that jeeps can be harsh riders unless you're going for the ultra-luxe units like the Wagoneer.

    You could also look for a similar sedan with AWD like a Taurus or a 300. Maybe you can become a real city planner and buy a Subaru! Of course your gas milage will drop a bit, but it will still be better than the Suburban! Remember last winter was anything but typical. Even the ice hockey tournement always played on Lake Huron in St Ignace had to be moved indoors.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Looks like it won't be a Jeep...

    The snow situation isn't too bad here and for when it does get bad, we also have a newer suburban that the wife drives as her daily driver. The three bad storms that we had this year, she drove my car the 5 blocks to her work and I took what we affectionately call "The Beast".

    Another option is another Impala as I have been very happy with mine thus far, but who knows. I will see what is available and what I can pay cash for in October.
    There are still low mileage Hummers out there. American made too! Seriously, unless you're going off-road or just like to be beaten to death on long drives, you don't need a Jeep. When I lived in Michigan, I found that front wheel drive was good enough for most road conditions. AWD is even better but you'll eventually have higher maintenance costs.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  9. #9
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    I echo that jeeps can be harsh riders unless you're going for the ultra-luxe units like the Wagoneer.

    You could also look for a similar sedan with AWD like a Taurus or a 300. Maybe you can become a real city planner and buy a Subaru! Of course your gas milage will drop a bit, but it will still be better than the Suburban! Remember last winter was anything but typical. Even the ice hockey tournement always played on Lake Huron in St Ignace had to be moved indoors.
    I love the St. Ignace tournament I still have a scar from it a few years back.

    As for the Subaru, I test drove one before we bought the Suburban and did not care for it.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Maybe you can become a real city planner and buy a Subaru!
    IT types go for Impreza WRXs. True story.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    As for the Subaru, I test drove one before we bought the Suburban and did not care for it.
    Well you knew this place is very planner-cyntric so a Subaru was going to be suggessted...and it only took 3 posts.
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  12. #12
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    I drove Mrs. Coragus' Jeep Wrangler a few years back, and it was the funnest car I've ever driven. Not the best mileage or the nicest car I've ever had, but it was fun.

    And it helped get through a Michigan winter too, because it was a 4x4.
    Maintaining enthusiasm in the face of crushing apathy.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Went to an auto show a month or so ago. They had Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 edition Wrangler there with a base price of $37k; the particular one shown was nearly fifty grand. I couldn't for the life of me figure out who they were marketing that thing to.

    A midlife crisis maybe?

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I hope you're visiting a few car-buying comparison sites because I haven't heard much good about Jeeps in the last few years.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Who knows you might not mind the ride and feel of the Jeep. Are you open to a Japanese or German car or does it have to be American? Have you concerned on of the other Jeep products like the Liberty, Commander or Patriot? Look at the RAV4,CRV, Equinox or CJ. The CJ has the presence and stance of a Wrangler but is more refined for the road warrior class as well.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  16. #16
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    Who knows you might not mind the ride and feel of the Jeep. Are you open to a Japanese or German car or does it have to be American? Have you concerned on of the other Jeep products like the Liberty, Commander or Patriot? Look at the RAV4,CRV, Equinox or CJ. The CJ has the presence and stance of a Wrangler but is more refined for the road warrior class as well.
    We have a Jeep Commander and love it. We went for the Commander because we have 2 kids and a big dog. Plus we do a lot of weekend traveling, especially with our bikes during the summer.
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  17. #17
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    You might consider a Subaru Forester. They are tough, reliable, safe AWD SUVs. They can go off-road, plow through snow, and will get you out of places you probably shouldn't have gone in the first place (I speak from personal experience here!). They're built on a car chassis, so they are more comfortable for commuting than Jeeps and other 4WD vehicles built for off-roading. As SUVs go, they can carry four passengers plus stuff inside, have fold down backseats, and are fairly economical (2012s are rated 27/21 mpg). They last forever and hold their resale value amazingly well.

    I have used and abused my Forester since 2008, and I will be purchasing my next one this month, not because there's anything wrong with it, but just because I want a moonroof and heated seats.
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    How about a four-wheel drive Ford Fusion? Car-like drive and mileage, 4WD for Michigan winters, fairly reliable with low repair and maintenance costs, and generally good reviews from Consumer Reports and various enthusiast magazines and blogs.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  19. #19
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Wranglers are for college bros to cruise around in with their shirts off. I don't think they should be owned by anyone over the age of 25.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Jeep Visible In The Wayback Machine

    This info won't help at all.....you weren't even around when this Bear.....

    .....owned four different Jeeps. It was the 1970s, I was young and full of fun . I motored around in 3 CJ-5s and 1 CJ-7, purchasing and trading one after another over about a 10-year span. The first and third CJ-5 was red and the second CJ-5 was yellow. The CJ-7 was blue, with denim trim. I spent many of those days wandering the logging roads of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, top down, front windshield down, bouncing to and fro. They all were soft tops with soft (but framed inside the cloth) doors. With the top down, the doors off, and the windshield down it gave you the feeling of being on a big motorcycle.

    Unfortunately, I am a slow learner. The quality of American Motors' products at that time really sucked. Numerous quality poblems with 2 of the 4. Still, I enjoyed the Toledo-made Jeeps, still love their looks (especially the CJ-series). My first red CJ was where I learned the value of seat belts (and have been clicking seat belts ever since): Climbing a hill with some friends, kind of went sideways a bit and I had no belt on, putting my bod in the position of tumbling out of the vehicle. Not good.

    Click. Wayback Machine is now off.

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  21. #21
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    The Grand Cherokee comes with an optional diesel engine. That may be a good choice. Otherwise the Subaru suggestion can't be beaten. We are selling a 2005 Outback....
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  22. #22
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Why not go for broke?
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  23. #23
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    It sounds like the Wrangler idea has already been killed but I'll chime in anyway...

    I own a 2008 Wrangler and it has been my daily driver since I got it in April of that year (before that I briefly had a Mazda 3 that got totaled in my apartment complex parking spot, a Jeep Grand Wagoneer, and a 2000 Jeep Wrangler - I've also had two other Jeep Grand Wagoneers among previous vehicles). My daily commute is only about 11 miles each way.

    As far as practicality goes, the Wrangler is probably at the bottom of the pile. There is no room in the cargo area to carry much more than a couple grocery bags (unless you remove the rear seat or at least fold it up), getting into the backseat is a pain in the butt for even the most petite of passengers and putting a carseat back there for a baby is an exercise in futility. The power is really lacking, especially when trying to get up to highway speeds, towing something, or with a heavy load in the cargo area though they have improved that considerably with the 2012 model. The Wrangler also has the aerodynamics of a dorm room refrigerator and the smooth ride you would expect from that same appliance. The ride is so rough that I have lately been seriously considering buying myself another vehicle to be my daily driver to and from the office. Also, if you are on the shorter side, or have any sort of limited mobility, climbing into it can be difficult to outright hazardous - the height is a little bit of a problem but the real obstacle is the ledge that you must step over in order to get into it. Another big problem is the wind and road noise. There is almost no insulation so even with the hardtop on properly and everything sealed up, the interior can be incredibly loud compared to other vehicles.

    Now for the good: This morning I drove to the office with no doors, or windows, and basically a tarp across the top - I absolutely love the wind and the breeze when I am in my Jeep. My current Wrangler is probably the best performing vehicle I've ever had in the snow or on the ice and I rarely even need to bother putting it into 4wd (and in that list there are a couple AWD Audis, a Range Rover, and a few other various Jeeps). I attribute its good foul weather performance to the short wheelbase and the fact that the current Wrangler model (the JK) is nearly 6" wider than the previous versions (TJ and YJ). The residual value on the Wrangler is the second highest among all vehicles (behind only the Mini Cooper) so that can be a real added bonus if you are the type of person who typically only keeps a vehicle for a few years and if you look around, you will see that even a 10 year old Wrangler, a "TJ", will have what seems to be a pretty high resale value as well. Lastly, I have had absolutely zero maintenance issues among all of the Jeeps I've owned. From the brand new Wranglers to the Waggies with 100,000+ miles on them. Besides oil changes and new brakes at normal intervals, no unexpected mechanical problems ever occurred (the older Wagoneers are known for some electrical issues though and I've experienced my fair share of those).

    In the end, the combination of noise and rough ride can make any trip in my Wrangler over about 75 miles in one direction can downright brutal. But I still have no desire to get rid of it. I mean, it's not like I can take my wife's Oldsmobile to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes! However, if I were buying a new daily driver that would need to occasionally haul the kids around, and my commute were much more than what it currently is, a Wrangler wouldn't be at the top of my list.
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  24. #24
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Why not go for broke?
    Good grief, that's an ugly vehicle!
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  25. #25
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    Good grief, that's an ugly vehicle!
    I agree...

    Another option that I have been kicking around is a diesel VW TDI jetta. I test drove one the other day and I like the way it handled, it sounds like it gets great gas millage, and it is something that can run on bio diesel (if I can find it).

    Does anyone have any information on these? Personal reviews or opinions are welcomed!

    Only limitation with any vehicle is it needs to be black and have at least 5 lug nuts per wheel. (personal requirement) Otherwise I am open to any vehicle that I can legally drive in the US.... that is not ugly as sin.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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