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View Full Version : Why are Jeep Wranglers so expensive?


Imyourzero
08-08-2010, 03:02 PM
So I miss having a convertible, but all of the ones I'd want are RWD which would suck for a couple of months out of the year here in VA.

I have always kind of liked Wranglers for their rugged look, and the idea of being able to have an open top combined with 4WD is appealing since I could enjoy the benefits during both the summer and winter months.

I did a search on AutoTrader for Wranglers 2006-2010, manual transmission, under 45k miles, etc. Prices start at around $15k all the way up to $30k, with MANY of them being $22k+. This surprises me, because there just doesn't seem to be much "to" a Wrangler. No way am I going to pay that much for a small vehicle with cloth seats and a cheap-looking interior/dash. For that amount of money, I'd just get a preowned TL or IS 250 AWD and feel like that payment was going towards something nice.

So what makes them so expensive (for what they are)?

IronWing
08-08-2010, 03:06 PM
People forget they are made by Chrysler. If they could that into consideration, they would cost less.

spaceman
08-08-2010, 03:36 PM
they are a true offroad vehicle
with a frame
not some wanna be unibody POS
they hold their resale superbly
thru 06 they came with the legendary 4.0 inline 6
which is known to just..last.
they are one of the most accesorized vehicle on the planet
i LOVE my wrangler, its not my dd..but id get rid of my dd before it
its rare that u have affection for a car, with me anyways..i truley love my YJ like i have no other vehicle

Tristicus
08-08-2010, 03:38 PM
People forget they are made by Chrysler. If they could that into consideration, they would cost less.

You doesn't afraid of anything.



Probably because they have a strong following and are solid so people will buy them anyways.

StageLeft
08-08-2010, 03:40 PM
They are pricey as hell and their quality does seem a bit dicey not to mention sh*t ride from what I hear and horrendous on gas, plus apparently the door hinges always, always rust out. This is just what I learned researching them a year back. I love the look of the Rubicon and a jeep would be a cool vehicle to own.

spaceman
08-08-2010, 03:43 PM
they arent for everyone
my 1992 sahara is built like a tank and in awesome shape
but its bone stock and not beasted
its a manual
ive had it 2 years,aside from cosmetic ive put an exhuast on, a couple bulbs and a battery
(and reg tuneup stuff)
the newer ones are nice..just gotta do due dilligence like anything else.

Bignate603
08-08-2010, 03:49 PM
People forget they are made by Chrysler. If they could that into consideration, they would cost less.

:rolleyes: The wrangler is one of the very few vehicles made by Chrysler that's worth a darn. For the money it's the best out of the box offoader out there.

They hold their value because they're in high demand. They're in high demand for the exact reasons you want one. If you're financing you may want to consider just buying new, you might be able to get a better deal on financing.

IronWing
08-08-2010, 03:56 PM
:rolleyes: The wrangler is one of the very few vehicles made by Chrysler that's worth a darn. For the money it's the best out of the box offoader out there.

They hold their value because they're in high demand. They're in high demand for the exact reasons you want one. If you're financing you may want to consider just buying new, you might be able to get a better deal on financing.

The 2008 we have at work had been in the shop four times in the first year. They are great vehicles, very capable, when they are running.

destrekor
08-08-2010, 03:59 PM
There is more to a Jeep than the interior materials.

In fact, for a Wrangler - most buyers have NO interest in expensive materials and fancy options in the interior. Why? Because Wranglers, above all other Jeeps but certainly not exclusive, are vehicles made to be abused.

If you aren't going to do anything with your vehicle other than drive it on pavement, don't get a Wrangler. They are the among the most versatile, useful, and capable vehicles out there, but are not exactly designed for apparently what you want.

The fact that you are comparing an open-top Wrangler to a convertible coupe is extremely comical. ;)


People forget they are made by Chrysler. If they could that into consideration, they would cost less.

Also, this is laughable.

Jeep has always produced some of the most dependable vehicle platforms out there. It is owned by Chrysler, but most of their vehicles do not share platforms with any other badge. The ones that do are the ones with laughable suspension systems, made for the "SUVs are great for stuffing full with random shit and/or people" type.

I may be a little biased since the Wrangler is built in my hometown, and love the history of the platform. ;)
But they are amazing vehicles.

Anyhow - Chrysler is not the company most think of these days. The new ownership is completely turning the company around, though they started that on their own a few years back. I'd buy a vehicle with a lifetime powertrain warranty. :)

If it wasn't nearly 40k, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee would be at the top of my list. Always was a terrific vehicle, extremely capable like the Wrangler, but it's a lot more of a "complete" vehicle. But the new ownership, Pentastar engine, and redesign look amazing.

MJinZ
08-08-2010, 04:00 PM
It's a good design, but you are right in that they are sorely overpriced.

Antiquated engine, poor fuel economy, etc

LTC8K6
08-08-2010, 04:01 PM
They should soon get the new Pentastar, though.

Bignate603
08-08-2010, 04:05 PM
They are pricey as hell and their quality does seem a bit dicey not to mention sh*t ride from what I hear and horrendous on gas, plus apparently the door hinges always, always rust out. This is just what I learned researching them a year back. I love the look of the Rubicon and a jeep would be a cool vehicle to own.

The ride on the TJ and JK wranglers (JK is the newest generation, TJ is the one before the JK) is significantly better than the previous generations. That being said, if you're expecting it to ride like your average car or SUV you're not going to be happy. It's got front and rear solid axles and suspension designed to survive abuse.

What it comes down to is if you want it to drive like a car you're not going to be happy. If you want a fun vehicle that can do what a jeep does and can accept all the other things that go along with it you're going to think its great. Almost every jeep owner I've met absolutely loves their jeeps. The only ones I've met that didn't enjoy them were because they hated how it was different from a car or normal road oriented SUV.

Imyourzero
08-08-2010, 04:05 PM
they are a true offroad vehicle
with a frame
not some wanna be unibody POS
they hold their resale superbly
thru 06 they came with the legendary 4.0 inline 6
which is known to just..last.
they are one of the most accesorized vehicle on the planet
i LOVE my wrangler, its not my dd..but id get rid of my dd before it
its rare that u have affection for a car, with me anyways..i truley love my YJ like i have no other vehicle

Yeah, I know they are a true off-road vehicle with a frame and you're right, the 4.0 has the reputation for being a workhorse, extremely reliable engine...just like the Nissan 3.5 VQ 6 cylinder and of course the Ford 5.0L 302ci. Like Skoorb said, the 4.0 is a gas-guzzler but I guess most people buying these vehicles don't care or are willing to deal with that considering the purpose of the vehicle. Didn't know about the door hinges, though. Of course I'd want to ride with the doors off, but not all the time. :\

I know you probably pay a premium for the Jeep name and of course anything 4x4 is going to be inherently more expensive, but it blows my mind that Wranglers can approach $30k and above. I can maybe see the Unlimited costing that much, but the regular Wrangler?

And yeah Skoorb, that ride isn't great. Loud and rough. But I guess that's part of the charm for such a purpose-driven vehicle, or people are just willing to overlook it. Everyone knows the STi doesn't take bumps like a Cadillac, but most people buying that car don't care.

Wyndru
08-08-2010, 04:08 PM
Why do people in Jeep Wranglers all wave at each other?

Tristicus
08-08-2010, 04:08 PM
Why do people in Jeep Wranglers all wave at each other?

It's the Jeep wave babeh.

Bignate603
08-08-2010, 04:10 PM
Yeah, I know they are a true off-road vehicle with a frame and you're right, the 4.0 has the reputation for being a workhorse, extremely reliable engine...just like the Nissan 3.5 VQ 6 cylinder and of course the Ford 5.0L 302ci. Like Skoorb said, the 4.0 is a gas-guzzler but I guess most people buying these vehicles don't care or are willing to deal with that considering the purpose of the vehicle. Didn't know about the door hinges, though. Of course I'd want to ride with the doors off, but not all the time. :\

Just so you're aware, the only year that you were looking at in your search range of 2006 to 2010 that came with the 4.0 liter engine was 2006. The 2007 and later ones came with a V6.

Imyourzero
08-08-2010, 04:18 PM
:rolleyes: The wrangler is one of the very few vehicles made by Chrysler that's worth a darn. For the money it's the best out of the box offoader out there.

They hold their value because they're in high demand. They're in high demand for the exact reasons you want one. If you're financing you may want to consider just buying new, you might be able to get a better deal on financing.

For a vehicle high in demand, there sure are a shit-ton of them for sale though. I live in the sticks and searched within a 300 mile radius, and the search returned 733 results (and that was with filters for transmission, mileage, etc.). I could see them being priced so high if there were few for sale, but it looks like there are a lot more for sale than people buying them.

Traditionally, I haven't ever considered purchasing a new vehicle. I know it makes sense in certain scenarios, but taking that major depreciation hit during the first year or two has never appealed to me. I bought my 2004 Maxima when it was 2 years old, fully loaded with everything except nav, for less than 1/2 of the original selling price. I financed for 4 years and paid it off in a little over 3. That's what I'd like to do with my next vehicle. And I'm in a better position financially now than I was then, so I'll have a much more substantial downpayment in addition to my trade-in or whatever I sell the Max for if I go that route. Buying a new vehicle in order to take advantage of better financing doesn't really appeal to me at this point, but I appreciate the suggestion.

darkswordsman17
08-08-2010, 05:24 PM
For a vehicle high in demand, there sure are a shit-ton of them for sale though. I live in the sticks and searched within a 300 mile radius, and the search returned 733 results (and that was with filters for transmission, mileage, etc.). I could see them being priced so high if there were few for sale, but it looks like there are a lot more for sale than people buying them.

Jeeps are secondary vehicles for a lot of people, and with the down economy you're going to find a lot of people trying to offload them. Also, there's plenty of people that love the thought or idea of a Jeep but can't live with the reality.

Imyourzero
08-08-2010, 05:25 PM
There is more to a Jeep than the interior materials.

In fact, for a Wrangler - most buyers have NO interest in expensive materials and fancy options in the interior. Why? Because Wranglers, above all other Jeeps but certainly not exclusive, are vehicles made to be abused.

I realize that. I know you have to make compromises at any given price point. The Jeep obviously sacrifices a good ride and luxurious amenities in order to offer a tough package that's meant to go where crossovers can't. Just like an Acura will give you lots of bells and whistles and gadgets but isn't meant to stray far from paved roads.

I realize sacrifices have to be made, and the Jeep certainly has strengths, but it still seems like they should cost less than they do.

If you aren't going to do anything with your vehicle other than drive it on pavement, don't get a Wrangler. They are the among the most versatile, useful, and capable vehicles out there, but are not exactly designed for apparently what you want.

I likely wouldn't be taking it off-road, so some of its abilities would be going to waste, but they are visually appealing and one of the few vehicles that offer 4WD to get me through the winter while also allowing me to ride with an open top when the weather's nice.

The fact that you are comparing an open-top Wrangler to a convertible coupe is extremely comical. ;)

I'm glad you were able to find humor where none was intended, but here's the thing...unlike a lot of car buyers, I'm not really looking for a certain type of vehicle.

I've typically been a car guy, as I rarely need to go off road or haul anything and I like the better fuel economy and acceleration that the cars I like afford. I owned a supercharged Miata 9 years ago, and impractical as it was, it was an absolute blast to drive. It was quick, handled like a go-kart, and the freedom I felt when dropping the top on a warm summer day (or night) was incredible. Being able to hear the whine of the supercharger and feel the wind blowing through my hair made all my worries disappear (ok, that's borderline cheesy, but you convertible owners know what I'm talking about). For this reason, I considered keeping my car and buying a motorcycle but after thinking on it for a year or so I've almost talked myself out of it. With the prevalence of cell phones, there are just too many idiots texting while driving and the adrenaline rush just isn't worth getting killed or seriously injured for.

So I considered getting another convertible for my next car. Options that appeal to me:

S2000 - Hold their value really well, decent fuel economy. But just about as impractical as my Miata and rather docile on the bottom end.

350Z Roadster - Torquier than the S2000, many say it's a better DD. Still somewhat impractical and the coupe version is IMO more attractive. The 370Z is more appealing and reportedly a structurally better-built convertible, but much better deals can be had on the older model.

Mustang GT - Most powerful engine of them all, and damn do I love the sound of an American V8 (the convertible aspect makes this even better). Rear seats are a plus and it has more trunk room than the S2000 or 350Z. Interior quality OK but not up to par with Honda's...though significantly improved over the 1994 GT coupe I had prior to the Maxima. Fuel economy decent but not great (not a huge priority for me as my commute to work is about 5 miles). The new GT with the 412HP 5.0L is amazing, and the new V6 makes about as much power as the old V8 did, but again I do not want to buy a new car.

All of the above are RWD. The Jeep would give me a compromise; a more practical vehicle with rear seats combined with 4WD and the ability to remove the top. To add to the hilarity, in addition to the sporty coupes and utilitarian Jeep, I'm also considering the TL and IS 250 as mentioned in the OP. I realize it's all about sacrifice and no one vehicle excels in all aspects. But should I decide that I can live without a convertible, I certainly wouldn't mind driving something with a bit of class and luxury. Front wheel drive is enough to get me through most snows, but I far prefer the feel of RWD. So there is much to think about, and I realize I'll have to make sacrifices and decide what I really want.

But this thread wasn't intended to help me pick a new car, I am just trying to explain why I'm considering vastly different vehicles for my next purchase.

If it wasn't nearly 40k, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee would be at the top of my list. Always was a terrific vehicle, extremely capable like the Wrangler, but it's a lot more of a "complete" vehicle. But the new ownership, Pentastar engine, and redesign look amazing.

Agreed. Just for S&Gs, what do you think about the Commander? The Liberty and Compass are just a joke IMO, but they obviously appeal to some buyers.

MJinZ
08-08-2010, 07:57 PM
There is more to a Jeep than the interior materials.

In fact, for a Wrangler - most buyers have NO interest in expensive materials and fancy options in the interior. Why? Because Wranglers, above all other Jeeps but certainly not exclusive, are vehicles made to be abused.

If you aren't going to do anything with your vehicle other than drive it on pavement, don't get a Wrangler. They are the among the most versatile, useful, and capable vehicles out there, but are not exactly designed for apparently what you want.

The fact that you are comparing an open-top Wrangler to a convertible coupe is extremely comical. ;)




Also, this is laughable.

Jeep has always produced some of the most dependable vehicle platforms out there. It is owned by Chrysler, but most of their vehicles do not share platforms with any other badge. The ones that do are the ones with laughable suspension systems, made for the "SUVs are great for stuffing full with random shit and/or people" type.

I may be a little biased since the Wrangler is built in my hometown, and love the history of the platform. ;)
But they are amazing vehicles.

Anyhow - Chrysler is not the company most think of these days. The new ownership is completely turning the company around, though they started that on their own a few years back. I'd buy a vehicle with a lifetime powertrain warranty. :)

If it wasn't nearly 40k, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee would be at the top of my list. Always was a terrific vehicle, extremely capable like the Wrangler, but it's a lot more of a "complete" vehicle. But the new ownership, Pentastar engine, and redesign look amazing.

Actually I would probably say that 80%-90% of Jeep Wrangler buyers never take their Wrangler off road.

Sorry, but that's just demographics.

People buy cars for lots of reasons, and Wrangler gets the image, style, appeal, 4WD, and convertible SUV (the only one of its kind) for the majority of buyers. Fuel economy and seating, comfort and power not so much. The rest do buy it for taking it off-road, but they are the huge minority.

destrekor
08-08-2010, 08:04 PM
I realize that. I know you have to make compromises at any given price point. The Jeep obviously sacrifices a good ride and luxurious amenities in order to offer a tough package that's meant to go where crossovers can't. Just like an Acura will give you lots of bells and whistles and gadgets but isn't meant to stray far from paved roads.

I realize sacrifices have to be made, and the Jeep certainly has strengths, but it still seems like they should cost less than they do.



I likely wouldn't be taking it off-road, so some of its abilities would be going to waste, but they are visually appealing and one of the few vehicles that offer 4WD to get me through the winter while also allowing me to ride with an open top when the weather's nice.



I'm glad you were able to find humor where none was intended, but here's the thing...unlike a lot of car buyers, I'm not really looking for a certain type of vehicle.

I've typically been a car guy, as I rarely need to go off road or haul anything and I like the better fuel economy and acceleration that the cars I like afford. I owned a supercharged Miata 9 years ago, and impractical as it was, it was an absolute blast to drive. It was quick, handled like a go-kart, and the freedom I felt when dropping the top on a warm summer day (or night) was incredible. Being able to hear the whine of the supercharger and feel the wind blowing through my hair made all my worries disappear (ok, that's borderline cheesy, but you convertible owners know what I'm talking about). For this reason, I considered keeping my car and buying a motorcycle but after thinking on it for a year or so I've almost talked myself out of it. With the prevalence of cell phones, there are just too many idiots texting while driving and the adrenaline rush just isn't worth getting killed or seriously injured for.

So I considered getting another convertible for my next car. Options that appeal to me:

S2000 - Hold their value really well, decent fuel economy. But just about as impractical as my Miata and rather docile on the bottom end.

350Z Roadster - Torquier than the S2000, many say it's a better DD. Still somewhat impractical and the coupe version is IMO more attractive. The 370Z is more appealing and reportedly a structurally better-built convertible, but much better deals can be had on the older model.

Mustang GT - Most powerful engine of them all, and damn do I love the sound of an American V8 (the convertible aspect makes this even better). Rear seats are a plus and it has more trunk room than the S2000 or 350Z. Interior quality OK but not up to par with Honda's...though significantly improved over the 1994 GT coupe I had prior to the Maxima. Fuel economy decent but not great (not a huge priority for me as my commute to work is about 5 miles). The new GT with the 412HP 5.0L is amazing, and the new V6 makes about as much power as the old V8 did, but again I do not want to buy a new car.

All of the above are RWD. The Jeep would give me a compromise; a more practical vehicle with rear seats combined with 4WD and the ability to remove the top. To add to the hilarity, in addition to the sporty coupes and utilitarian Jeep, I'm also considering the TL and IS 250 as mentioned in the OP. I realize it's all about sacrifice and no one vehicle excels in all aspects. But should I decide that I can live without a convertible, I certainly wouldn't mind driving something with a bit of class and luxury. Front wheel drive is enough to get me through most snows, but I far prefer the feel of RWD. So there is much to think about, and I realize I'll have to make sacrifices and decide what I really want.

But this thread wasn't intended to help me pick a new car, I am just trying to explain why I'm considering vastly different vehicles for my next purchase.



Agreed. Just for S&Gs, what do you think about the Commander? The Liberty and Compass are just a joke IMO, but they obviously appeal to some buyers.

The Liberty isn't terrible, but it really shouldn't carry the Jeep name.
The Compass - lol indeed
The Commander - eh... my personal jury is still out on that one. Have heard it has decent capability, and is definitely geared to fill that utilitarian role... but I can't make my mind up on it. More unsettling is Car and Driver's take on the 2009 Limited model, they seem to just loathe the thing.

Jeep certainly seems to remain as a brand with a two-vehicle fleet - the rest are just kind of riding along as the posse.
Comically enough, the two vehicles I really see as the true Jeeps are the two assembled nearest to me: The Wrangler and Grand Cherokee.

Personally, I love those two vehicles, but as for a vehicle with broader necessary uses, my next vehicle is likely going to be an AWD car. I've been scouring the next, just researching all the makes and models that match that little requirement of mine (and not very excited at the cost of entry into that little market niche).

You mentioned the STI and I had to grin. The Impreza WRX and WRX STI have been toward the top of my list for awhile. Cost is going to be a big factor in my decision, but thankfully, I hopefully have a couple years before I really need to replace my Dakota.

A few hours each way, once a month, is going to be terrifying in the winter if there is a nasty storm. Thus my demand for AWD, and the performance cars still have curb weight but also lower center-of-gravity. :)

And I just like AWD in general, I like the responsiveness and handling. Lancer EVO sadly has a cost that just keeps skyrocketing, and tough decision between Lancer Ralliart (AWD, twin-clutch :)) and the WRX. Still keeping my eye out for the revamped Dodge Charger for 2011, should retain an AWD option (and might be better than the previous years... perhaps not, though).

destrekor
08-08-2010, 08:06 PM
Actually I would probably say that 80%-90% of Jeep Wrangler buyers never take their Wrangler off road.

Sorry, but that's just demographics.

People buy cars for lots of reasons, and Wrangler gets the image, style, appeal, 4WD, and convertible SUV (the only one of its kind) for the majority of buyers. Fuel economy and seating, comfort and power not so much. The rest do buy it for taking it off-road, but they are the huge minority.

I won't argue there.

But people who do buy it, even if just because of its iconic nature, still recognize the vehicle as one that is made to take punishment, and not made to look fancy.

Pacfanweb
08-08-2010, 09:02 PM
Jeep has always produced some of the most dependable vehicle platforms out there. It is owned by Chrysler, but most of their vehicles do not share platforms with any other badge. The ones that do are the ones with laughable suspension systems, made for the "SUVs are great for stuffing full with random shit and/or people" type.

I may be a little biased since the Wrangler is built in my hometown, and love the history of the platform. ;)
But they are amazing vehicles.

Anyhow - Chrysler is not the company most think of these days. The new ownership is completely turning the company around, though they started that on their own a few years back. I'd buy a vehicle with a lifetime powertrain warranty. :)

This is so wrong it's funny, dude.

First off, EVERY platform Jeep makes now has a TON of Chrysler in it. Even the Wrangler, which is totally a Chrysler abomination now that they did away with the classic 6-cylinder in 2007.
Second, since when did Jeep make "some of the most dependable platforms out there"? Not since the 4.0 was put to bed, they haven't. They had some of the worst transmissions ever installed in a domestic engine.
I'll concede they had a few models over the years that did pretty well, reliability-wise. The Grand Cherokee wasn't one of them, though.

Chrysler is still building the worst vehicles that of the Big 3, and it's really not even close.


All that said, the Rubicon Wrangler is unmatched in 4-wheeling. Nothing that is factory-stock can out-perform it. Too bad they put the ball-less V-6 in it, though.

MJinZ
08-09-2010, 08:33 AM
This is so wrong it's funny, dude.

First off, EVERY platform Jeep makes now has a TON of Chrysler in it. Even the Wrangler, which is totally a Chrysler abomination now that they did away with the classic 6-cylinder in 2007.
Second, since when did Jeep make "some of the most dependable platforms out there"? Not since the 4.0 was put to bed, they haven't. They had some of the worst transmissions ever installed in a domestic engine.
I'll concede they had a few models over the years that did pretty well, reliability-wise. The Grand Cherokee wasn't one of them, though.

Chrysler is still building the worst vehicles that of the Big 3, and it's really not even close.


All that said, the Rubicon Wrangler is unmatched in 4-wheeling. Nothing that is factory-stock can out-perform it. Too bad they put the ball-less V-6 in it, though.

Yes, unfortunately I would take an Xterra or FJ Cruiser most days over a Wrangler because of the extra amenities and modern drivetrain.

Jeep fans have been complaining about the crappy V6 in the Wrangler for years and Chrysler does not really care.

krunchykrome
08-09-2010, 08:41 AM
When I was in the market for a small SUV a few years ago, I test drive a new 2008 Wrangler. The thing felt like a cheap econobox on big wheels. It didn't even feel like an earlier model jeep; felt like a lifted Chevy Cobalt.

fbrdphreak
08-09-2010, 11:27 AM
there is more to a jeep than the interior materials.

In fact, for a wrangler - most buyers have no interest in expensive materials and fancy options in the interior. Why? Because wranglers, above all other jeeps but certainly not exclusive, are vehicles made to be abused.

If you aren't going to do anything with your vehicle other than drive it on pavement, don't get a wrangler. They are the among the most versatile, useful, and capable vehicles out there, but are not exactly designed for apparently what you want.

The fact that you are comparing an open-top wrangler to a convertible coupe is extremely comical. ;)




also, this is laughable.

Jeep has always produced some of the most dependable vehicle platforms out there. It is owned by chrysler, but most of their vehicles do not share platforms with any other badge. The ones that do are the ones with laughable suspension systems, made for the "suvs are great for stuffing full with random shit and/or people" type.

I may be a little biased since the wrangler is built in my hometown, and love the history of the platform. ;)
but they are amazing vehicles.

Anyhow - chrysler is not the company most think of these days. The new ownership is completely turning the company around, though they started that on their own a few years back. I'd buy a vehicle with a lifetime powertrain warranty. :)

if it wasn't nearly 40k, the 2011 jeep grand cherokee would be at the top of my list. Always was a terrific vehicle, extremely capable like the wrangler, but it's a lot more of a "complete" vehicle. But the new ownership, pentastar engine, and redesign look amazing.danger, will robinson, danger! Fanboy alert!!

dainthomas
08-09-2010, 01:25 PM
Yes, unfortunately I would take an Xterra or FJ Cruiser most days over a Wrangler because of the extra amenities and modern drivetrain.

Jeep fans have been complaining about the crappy V6 in the Wrangler for years and Chrysler does not really care.

Someone at work was selling a nice 98 Wrangler (with the straight 6) last year for around 4500. Thing looked like it was in great shape, I kick myself for not snapping that up. :(

Throckmorton
08-09-2010, 01:31 PM
So I miss having a convertible, but all of the ones I'd want are RWD which would suck for a couple of months out of the year here in VA.

I have always kind of liked Wranglers for their rugged look, and the idea of being able to have an open top combined with 4WD is appealing since I could enjoy the benefits during both the summer and winter months.

I did a search on AutoTrader for Wranglers 2006-2010, manual transmission, under 45k miles, etc. Prices start at around $15k all the way up to $30k, with MANY of them being $22k+. This surprises me, because there just doesn't seem to be much "to" a Wrangler. No way am I going to pay that much for a small vehicle with cloth seats and a cheap-looking interior/dash. For that amount of money, I'd just get a preowned TL or IS 250 AWD and feel like that payment was going towards something nice.

So what makes them so expensive (for what they are)?

You can't use the Wrangler's 4WD on the road, whether it's icy or snowy or rainy. It's for loose surfaces only. On the street you are stuck in RWD mode.

v8envy
08-09-2010, 01:32 PM
Just chiming in as an owner of the 'new' (08) jeep with the minivan engine.

First: the expense. Mine was something like 18.5k brand new fall '07, but I got a version without AC and with vinyl seats. Jeep always overprices options, and requires 10 options nobody would ever want with useful ones. I wanted the better tires and wheels and 4:11 gearing but had to buy cloth interior and a ton of other unwanted crap to get it. Aftermarket it is for the offroad capable goodies. Anyhoo, for 18.5k, what other car gives me 2 tons of metal, a 6 banger with a 6 speed, a decent sound system, rag top and 4x4?

Second: the ergonomics. New jeeps are nothing like classic jeeps. The ride is cushier than most other trucks, it's quiet, and nothing leaks. It's very civilized and livable with, unlike the CJ5 I had decades ago. The plastics look cheap but are surprisingly rugged.

Third: lineage. This thing is *SO* Chrysler it's not even funny. Mine's been in the shop twice for transmission issues, and wife's got a new transmission at 6k miles. But other than that it's never left me stranded and gets 20 mpg. Comparable to family sedans.

Anyhoo, if this thing dropped in value like typical cars I'd be looking at like 12k for it 3 years later. 12k for this vs anything else in the price range is a no brainer -- I'd pick the Wrangler in a heartbeat. Hence higher prices for the used hardware.

If you want one, get a new one stripped.

StageLeft
08-09-2010, 02:21 PM
Just chiming in as an owner of the 'new' (08) jeep with the minivan engine.

First: the expense. Mine was something like 18.5k brand new fall '07, but I got a version without AC and with vinyl seats. Jeep always overprices options, and requires 10 options nobody would ever want with useful ones. I wanted the better tires and wheels and 4:11 gearing but had to buy cloth interior and a ton of other unwanted crap to get it. Aftermarket it is for the offroad capable goodies. Anyhoo, for 18.5k, what other car gives me 2 tons of metal, a 6 banger with a 6 speed, a decent sound system, rag top and 4x4?

Second: the ergonomics. New jeeps are nothing like classic jeeps. The ride is cushier than most other trucks, it's quiet, and nothing leaks. It's very civilized and livable with, unlike the CJ5 I had decades ago. The plastics look cheap but are surprisingly rugged.

Third: lineage. This thing is *SO* Chrysler it's not even funny. Mine's been in the shop twice for transmission issues, and wife's got a new transmission at 6k miles. But other than that it's never left me stranded and gets 20 mpg. Comparable to family sedans.

Anyhoo, if this thing dropped in value like typical cars I'd be looking at like 12k for it 3 years later. 12k for this vs anything else in the price range is a no brainer -- I'd pick the Wrangler in a heartbeat. Hence higher prices for the used hardware.

If you want one, get a new one stripped.18.5k for that is a steal, no argument.

Imyourzero
08-09-2010, 03:44 PM
You can't use the Wrangler's 4WD on the road, whether it's icy or snowy or rainy. It's for loose surfaces only. On the street you are stuck in RWD mode.

Why is that? And why hasn't that been brought up way before now? That's kind of a major reason I was even considering the vehicle, as mentioned in the OP.

If that's truly the case, there's no point in buying a Wrangler for the 4WD since I'd be using it in snow more than sand/dirt/mud/etc. If I can't use the 4WD in snow, I might as well get the 2WD version or another vehicle altogether.

I don't understand why the surface would matter; I thought 4WD was 4WD and it just made all four wheels pull so that you were able to negotiate whatever difficult surface you were on, e.g. hills, mud, snow. But I certainly don't proclaim to be an expert on the Wrangler's particular system, so school me. I'm genuinely interested in learning more about this.

LTC8K6
08-09-2010, 04:08 PM
http://www.jeep.com/en/4x4/how_systems_work/

v8envy
08-09-2010, 04:56 PM
Packed snow qualifies as loose road surface. A bit of slush or wet pavement doesn't. You *can* use 4x4 in those conditions, but you'll be wearing your drivetrain and tires pretty hard and get worse than no benefit.

Just like off roading you wouldn't shift into 4x4 unless you're in trouble (or a park ranger is yelling at you for tearing up the trail in 2wd). Because just like off roading, if you get stuck while in 4x4 you're well and truly screwed.

That said, I've never "needed" 4x4 even after a several foot overnight snowfall. Between traction and stability control and aggressive tires you're simply good to go.

bruceb
08-09-2010, 06:34 PM
I agree. They were intended as more of an 'off road' vehicle and a lot of people are modding them with lifts and bigger tires for 4 wheel off roading fun. Hence they keep a good value. And drivetrain parts to either repair the original or upgrade to something better are easy to get. GM engines fit in nicely, as does many heavy duty axles and transfer cases. Check out episodes of Xtreme 4 x 4 on Spike TV (cablevision CH#41) or the web site: http://www.powerblocktv.com/site3/index.php/xtreme

Throckmorton
08-09-2010, 08:17 PM
Why is that? And why hasn't that been brought up way before now? That's kind of a major reason I was even considering the vehicle, as mentioned in the OP.

If that's truly the case, there's no point in buying a Wrangler for the 4WD since I'd be using it in snow more than sand/dirt/mud/etc. If I can't use the 4WD in snow, I might as well get the 2WD version or another vehicle altogether.

I don't understand why the surface would matter; I thought 4WD was 4WD and it just made all four wheels pull so that you were able to negotiate whatever difficult surface you were on, e.g. hills, mud, snow. But I certainly don't proclaim to be an expert on the Wrangler's particular system, so school me. I'm genuinely interested in learning more about this.

It's because the transfer case is set up so in 4WD mode the front and rear axles are locked together. They can only spin at the same speed. That's fine on loose dirt or mud, but not on a surface with traction like a road, because the front and rear wheels need to turn at different speeds when you go around corners. It's like driving without a differential.

On dry pavement it causes binding in the system, and parts can wear out or break. On wet or icy pavement, it can cause loss of traction.

The only time you'd want to use the part time 4WD is on dirt, or if you're literally on top of the snow, or if you just need to go straight forward or back to get unstuck.

Imyourzero
08-09-2010, 09:25 PM
Packed snow qualifies as loose road surface. A bit of slush or wet pavement doesn't. You *can* use 4x4 in those conditions, but you'll be wearing your drivetrain and tires pretty hard and get worse than no benefit.

Just like off roading you wouldn't shift into 4x4 unless you're in trouble (or a park ranger is yelling at you for tearing up the trail in 2wd). Because just like off roading, if you get stuck while in 4x4 you're well and truly screwed.

That said, I've never "needed" 4x4 even after a several foot overnight snowfall. Between traction and stability control and aggressive tires you're simply good to go.

OK, that makes more sense. I never intended to use 4WD on wet roads (lol) or even slush. It would be for snow only, and there would have to be a lot of it (and there was, this past winter). I realize that using 4x4 when it's not needed wears the drivetrain & tires unnecessarily but it's not as if I would wake up one morning, see an inch of snow on the roads and think "Oh man, I've gotta use 4WD all the way to work!" or use a light dusting as an excuse to throw `er in 4 high.

I'm kind of surprised that you haven't ever needed 4x4 even after a large snowfall, but the tires can make or break you. I had an Isuzu Trooper with nice truck tires on it, and it did provide a lot of grip even in 2WD. I was slipping and sliding all over the place this past winter even with my Maxima's FWD, but the tires are all-season. I realize I would do far better with dedicated snow tires like the Blizzaks.

What threw me off was Throckmorton's statement that I couldn't use the Wrangler's 4WD on the road. I see now that you can, it's just not a good idea, at least not for any extended period of time.

Considering I'd probably only utilize 4x4 once or twice a year, honestly I'd probably be better off with an AWD vehicle + decent tires; that way I'd get the traction and stability benefits in rain, slush, etc. year round in a system that was designed to run all the time (or as needed). Not sure how many AWD verts there are that don't cost a fortune, but it's something to look into.

Imyourzero
08-09-2010, 09:28 PM
It's because the transfer case is set up so in 4WD mode the front and rear axles are locked together. They can only spin at the same speed. That's fine on loose dirt or mud, but not on a surface with traction like a road, because the front and rear wheels need to turn at different speeds when you go around corners. It's like driving without a differential.

On dry pavement it causes binding in the system, and parts can wear out or break. On wet or icy pavement, it can cause loss of traction.

The only time you'd want to use the part time 4WD is on dirt, or if you're literally on top of the snow, or if you just need to go straight forward or back to get unstuck.

Thanks man, that completely clarifies things. I already knew how 4WD worked, but like I said what threw me was your statement that I couldn't use it on the road. I can...just wouldn't want to unless I enjoy replacing parts much sooner than I would otherwise. ^_^

roguerower
08-09-2010, 09:53 PM
I've been wanting to get a wrangler for a very long time. My dad had a '98 that he traded in for a civic when we moved to Northern Virginia and he was commuting to DC every day. That said, I remember having a blast with him in it.

Unfortunately the new models (07+) now looks like every other piece of compromised jeep crap coming out. When I end up picking one up it'll be an early to mid 2000s or late 90s TJ or if I can find a decent LJ Unlimited I would be extremely happy (want to be able to tow and the short wheelbase can make that difficult).

I won't use it as a daily driver, I have my motorcycle with it's amazing gas mileage (55-60, suck it dumbass prius) to do that. Oh, and riding makes driving interesting again.

I'm really glad to see that Ford and *maybe* GM are pulling their heads out of their asses and putting out some good looking and useful cars, but Chrysler is still a toss-up to me.

EDIT: I also think the new unlimited looks stupid. Really stupid.

Pacfanweb
08-09-2010, 10:14 PM
Just chiming in as an owner of the 'new' (08) jeep with the minivan engine.

First: the expense. Mine was something like 18.5k brand new fall '07, but I got a version without AC and with vinyl seats. Jeep always overprices options, and requires 10 options nobody would ever want with useful ones. I wanted the better tires and wheels and 4:11 gearing but had to buy cloth interior and a ton of other unwanted crap to get it. Aftermarket it is for the offroad capable goodies. Anyhoo, for 18.5k, what other car gives me 2 tons of metal, a 6 banger with a 6 speed, a decent sound system, rag top and 4x4?

Second: the ergonomics. New jeeps are nothing like classic jeeps. The ride is cushier than most other trucks, it's quiet, and nothing leaks. It's very civilized and livable with, unlike the CJ5 I had decades ago. The plastics look cheap but are surprisingly rugged.

Third: lineage. This thing is *SO* Chrysler it's not even funny. Mine's been in the shop twice for transmission issues, and wife's got a new transmission at 6k miles. But other than that it's never left me stranded and gets 20 mpg. Comparable to family sedans.

Anyhoo, if this thing dropped in value like typical cars I'd be looking at like 12k for it 3 years later. 12k for this vs anything else in the price range is a no brainer -- I'd pick the Wrangler in a heartbeat. Hence higher prices for the used hardware.

If you want one, get a new one stripped.

If yours doesn't leak water into the interior, consider yourself VERY lucky. The current JK Wronglers are FAR more prone to leak water than the previous TJ's.