Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Peter asks: I am thinking of buying a Jeep Wrangler YJ. I looked through your site and could not find any comments on it. Please can you let me know if you have any thoughts / past experiences with it.
My reply: Wranglers and Jeeps generally have a very large and loyal following; they are living legends, in a way – being among the very few new vehicles that don’t look like every other vehicle. They also don’t drive like every other vehicle. They are known – deservedly – for being dogged off-roaders and can be made even more so with the panoply of aftermarket parts available.
But if you’ve never owned a Wrangler before, I recommend an extended test drive before buying one as the very qualities that make them endearing also make them polarizing – depending on your likes and dislikes. They still ride, drive and handle like the serious off-roaders they are – which isn’t to say poorly. It is to say differently. These are not “crossovers” let alone cars. You will probably either love this – or not. A drive is the only way to know – and be sure to drive the way you usually do, on the roads you usually do at the speeds you usually do.
Gas mileage, of course, will not be great – but you probably aren’t especially worried about that if you’re considering a Wrangler. The V6 is strong and it’s still available paired with a manual transmission. I would avoid the turbo four – because it’s a turbo four. These little engines with turbos bolted to them are being marketed as the way to get big-engined power with small-engined fuel economy but it’s largely a con because if you use the power (via the boost) you will not get the advertised mileage. You’ll get about the same mileage as you would have with the V6, but with a turbo which may have to be replaced at huge cost post-warranty.
There is also the turbo-diesel to consider. But I would skip it – unless you plan to use the Jeep to tow regularly, in which case the buy-in cost is worth it. Otherwise,it’s arguably not relative to the not-huge difference in fuel savings and factoring in the modern diesel maintenance/upkeep issues (e.g., DEF, particulate traps) and the much higher cost of diesel fuel.
Hope this helps!
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