Dockside Chat - Wrangler 4 door as daily driver

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View Full Version : Wrangler 4 door as daily driver


Graddy-fied
03-31-2012, 11:02 AM
Around this time each year I get the urge to get a jeep wrangler. I wish I could have one as a third car, but it would have to be my daily driver, and I'm worried about how comfortable/practical it would be. I typically have a day trip or two each week for work, so I'm on the highway a lot.

Any input?


alligatorgar
03-31-2012, 11:14 AM
They have poor gas milage.

Ghetto Lobster
03-31-2012, 11:17 AM
The 4 door with a longer wheel base may ride better but I rented a CJ on Maui and the ride was very uncomfortable.


SirFer
03-31-2012, 11:21 AM
I get the same feeling. I always think it would be cool to cruise around with no top and the doors off in spring/summer/fall.

That said, my uncle and best friend/roommate are both big Jeep guys and both of them have 4-door Wrangler's and I couldn't ever see myself in one as a daily driver.

It's definitely worth test-driving one just to see for yourself, but in my personal opinion I'd have one as a third car in a heartbeat but I'd never, ever have one as my one and only daily driver.

The new ones are slightly better, but they still don't get great fuel mileage and past generations definitely seemed to lack power. They aren't particularly comfortable, especially on longer rides. The ability to take doors/tops on/off is nice, but I've found that it leads to a lot of wind noise and even with the full doors and the hardtop secured down tight it's just not as quiet or solid feeling as a "normal" SUV.

GWcpa
03-31-2012, 11:21 AM
The 4 door with a longer wheel base may ride better but I rented a CJ on Maui and the ride was very uncomfortable.


Thats like saying dont' buy a new Mustang GT because the 1978 Mustang 2 was based on a Pinto. :grin:

I have a 2 door Unlimited LJ. Great 3rd vehicle, but the new JK 4 doors are much nicer for a DD.

Boatless33
03-31-2012, 11:33 AM
As you would expect, mpg isn't great and the ride is far from good. With that being said, its not a bad little truck. Theres plenty of room and its an absolute blast to drive. The new engine/transmission is a nice match. The 2012 isn't fast by any means but it can at least get out of its own way. It can get expensive with options. Its actually a pretty well refined vehicle however. Its very easy to live with. While the Jeep keys are not the first ones I reach for when I have to hit the highway, I would have no problem taking it on a roadtrip. Well, not so much for the '05 but the '12 I wouldn't mind taking it on a roadtrip.

thajeffski
03-31-2012, 11:38 AM
They are awful as daily drivers. Even the new ones. You want something with way more insulation from sound and a better ride.

Do what I did, find an old bronco with big tires and use that as your "to the boat/beach" transportation :)

Boatless33
03-31-2012, 12:17 PM
To those saying they suck as a DD, how much time do you have behind the wheel of one?

As for MPG, about 16/17 is the norm. I know people with base models that regularly see around 20.

The Ride: is bouncy but liveable. You get used to it. IMO, No worse than a new 1 ton pickup. Only difference is that you don't have to worry about parking.

Noise: Wind and tire noise are there. Switching the Rubicon mud terrains to all terrains took care of tire noise. Wind noise is bad on the '05 with the soft top. The '12 has the dual top group. I have yet to put on the soft top but the Freedom Top is great. Its easy to get on and off and is very secure. Easy way to take care of the wind noise: turn the radio on.

While its not a perfect DD, it will get the job done, and get it done well at that. I wouldn't want anything else.

http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/400534_2409726806123_1339800134_32141169_576980915 _n.jpg

gf
03-31-2012, 01:38 PM
All reviews say that the new Pentastar V6 in the 2012 makes a world of difference in performance and fuel economy.

My sister recently traded her 2010 4-door for a 2012 4-door and she reports 3-4 MPG better and much better drivability.

MacCTD
03-31-2012, 02:42 PM
I am thinking of getting a '12, I recently test drove a stick with the 3.21 gears even with the new engine the performance was not great, if you get one make sure you get the 3.73 gears or if you get a Rubicon I think they come with 4.11s. The rest of the Jeep was pretty good the new interior and seats are a huge improvement.

whays
03-31-2012, 03:26 PM
"The 2012 isn't fast by any means but it can at least get out of its own way"

That'f funny.

The 1969 Chevy Camaro (z-28) did 0-60 in 7.5s.
80's 911sc 0-60 in 6.6s.

Meanwhile the new jeep does 0-60 in 6.7s.

cgrand
03-31-2012, 05:19 PM
Getting 20 mpg in a 2012 driving it 80 miles a day every day
love the new engine and with the 6spd manual its a blast to drive
it is easily the most enjoyable vehicle purchase ive ever made
get the power door lock and windows and satellite radio and its every bit as nice inside as most other 30k suvs

MYTraveler
03-31-2012, 08:39 PM
My first car was a Triumph Spitfire convertible. Actually, it wasn't convertible -- it was topless. And no A/C. Didn't take long before I felt like I was driving my old go-cart.

My second car was a CJ (7?), with a V-8. I loved that car, and still think about buying one. Two concerns are holding me back.
First, I am not sure how safe it is (my past several cars have been Suburbans. -- I was in one accident, a drunk in a big old Olds pulled a U across 4 lanes of traffic right in front of me, no time to stop; I hit him broadside. His car was folded like a pretzel, he was relatively fine, my suburban was just about drivable.) I don't think the CJ would have fared as well, especially if it was the one being broadsided.

Second, I am afraid that my fond memories will prove to be a disappointment spawned by the happiness I had in stepping up from the Triumph.

Weekend-Hooker
03-31-2012, 09:26 PM
I dont have one but Im in rentals every week and have had a 4 door 4x4 hard top ......rented several ....I would drive it every day ...rides and drives good and not bad on gas.....I wish I could get one right now ...its definatly on my short list...

bellsisland
04-01-2012, 05:25 AM
I have always wanted one and was seriously considering it, when I rented one last year at the beach, it was a newer one. That thing rode awful. I couldn't imagine riding around in that thing all day.

Boat Hound
04-01-2012, 05:37 AM
I have thought about the same thing for the last 3 cars I have bought. I drive more then most, but not as much as some (30k/ year), the fuel economy is problematic. I know people say otherwise, but the other thing is reliability. Wife had a 2006 commander, biggest pos I had ever owned. Averaged a shop visit about every 6 weeks (transmission, transaxle, alternator, flash updates, seat belts, to name a few). Was towed 3 times. Traded at 40k.

All that being said they are very cool.

cgrand
04-01-2012, 05:59 AM
another thing to keep in mind is resale
i paid 15k for a 2007 with 40k miles at auction
traded it in on the 2012 at 80k miles for 17k
dealer sold it for 20k

as far as the ride, no its not a cadillac
its a jeep
either you want a jeep or you dont

lots of comments from guys who dont drive one every day
As i said, i do and i drive more than most people
go drive one and decide

sr31aj
04-01-2012, 10:23 AM
I've had mine since November. Ride is better than I expected, it bounces a bit, but it's not rough - not as bad as the last 3/4 ton pickup I rode in, probably not as smooth as some of the new "cowboy cadillacs" though. People with more Jeep experience than me say the longer wheelbase of the 4dr (vs 2dr) makes all the difference in the world. I've been getting 16 mpg around town, 20+ on hwy trips.

As far as wind noise, yes, it's louder than my last couple SUVs, but not awful, you get used to it - it's not as if it interferes with phone calls or normal conversation. Full disclosure - my experience to date is limited to driving with the hardtop on, so I don't know what life is like running with the softtop (or no top).

Mine's loaded with leather, auto air, etc, so it's not like I'm roughing it. One problem I could see for some for DD use is the big step up might be an issue if business makes you wear suits and fancy shoes; I live in jeans and boatshoes so not an issue for me. Women in skirts and dresses might not be happy with the step up, either.

btw, there was a program offered for Tread Lightly club members to purchase at friends and family pricing (1% below invoice) - I think the Tread Lightly membership is something around $50, so well worth it if the offer's still out there.

Spooled
04-01-2012, 12:03 PM
My buddy just got the rubicon version. Said it rides fine and even with the tires road noise wasnt bad at all and the six speed was nice.

Fuel was right where sticker said

Graddy-fied
04-02-2012, 06:26 AM
Thanks for the input. The comments are about what I expected. Seems people love them or hate them. I guess cars are like boats - they're all a compromise.

I Love Beer
04-02-2012, 07:21 AM
I just bought one this weekend as a 3rd car. I'm going to drive it in the summer and my wife parks her mini in the winter so this will be her winter ride. Drove it home from Wisconsin 7 1/2 hours and I thought it rode very comfortable

notdeankane
04-02-2012, 07:41 AM
here's my daily driver

Is it loud? yup..didn't expect a luxury cars level of soundproofing!

does the top leak? occasionally...but the inside dries out quick enough..and there are plugs in the floor pan to drain it if needed.

Does it get lousy mileage? not really..avg about 16 in town 19 on the highway.

Is it uncomfortable? not in the least to me...I like a little head and leg room.

Is it a blast to drive? you bet! Especially when there is a stretch of nice days and I can open it up

( I also have an old Bronco for a boat puller...that is a pig but necessary)

CenturyFisher
04-02-2012, 01:24 PM
I have a 2010 Rubicon Unlimited and love it. Nothing better than a nice day with the top and doors off. Its great car, and as its been mentioned before its not the best ride, buts its not bad. My parents got it for me last year cause my mom wanted it for the beach, and even coming from their nicer cars they are impressed. Go for it, even if the novelty wears off, they have great resale value.

FloatinChecks
04-02-2012, 02:09 PM
I always come back to Jeep. A warm evening with the top down always improves my mood. The Pentastar engine has 285hp, and when combined with 3.73 gears and a six speed, it is downright fun to drive.

Don't expect it to be a car, after all, it's a Jeep!

Boatless33
04-02-2012, 03:41 PM
The little issues you have to deal with are more than offset by the times you get to cruise around in the summer with the top and doors off. The "Jeep wave" is also an added perk. For me, my friends always tell me that they are looking into getting a Wrangler and at the last second, "decided to get something better on gas." Nearly always these same people call me up the following months and ask to go out in or even borrow one of my Jeeps for the day.

While I do love mine and know some very happy owners, I will admit, Wranglers are not for everyone. The new models have however come a long way but they are still subject to the biases and stereotypes of past Wranglers in terms of ride and creature comforts. Up here, I know you can get "weekend testdrives" in which you can take the vehicle home for a few days and really try it out without the pressure of a salesman. If you are still up in the air about a purchase, maybe you should suggest something along these lines?

As for the recurrent topic of gear ratios, my '05 Rubicon has the 4.11s with a 6 speed. Its fun but I go through 1-4 faster than an 18 wheeler. My '12 Rubi has the optional 3.73s. While it is an auto, it is a very good match for the new engine.

GWcpa
04-02-2012, 07:11 PM
Drove to work today with half doors and s safari top. Look forward to the commute driving my jeeps more than any vehicle I have had.

Will get a 12 (used) JK one day I am sure but hope to never sell my LJ.
231686

Sent from my iPhone using Forum Runner

Boatless33
04-02-2012, 10:49 PM
Drove to work today with half doors and s safari top. Look forward to the commute driving my jeeps more than any vehicle I have had.

Will get a 12 (used) JK one day I am sure but hope to never sell my LJ.
231686

Sent from my iPhone using Forum Runner

You have a lift on that? Looks like she's sitting high. Very nice ride :thumbsup: The only reason I'd get rid of my TJ would be to get either an LJ or an M35A2 Deuce and a Half

Monoman
04-29-2012, 05:55 AM
What is the realistic tow limits of the '12 Unlimited Wrangler?

cgrand
04-29-2012, 08:00 PM
tow rating is 3500 i think
mine pulls my 19' boat just fine

ScarabChris
04-30-2012, 08:33 AM
To those saying they suck as a DD, how much time do you have behind the wheel of one?

As for MPG, about 16/17 is the norm. I know people with base models that regularly see around 20.

The Ride: is bouncy but liveable. You get used to it. IMO, No worse than a new 1 ton pickup. Only difference is that you don't have to worry about parking.

Noise: Wind and tire noise are there. Switching the Rubicon mud terrains to all terrains took care of tire noise. Wind noise is bad on the '05 with the soft top. The '12 has the dual top group. I have yet to put on the soft top but the Freedom Top is great. Its easy to get on and off and is very secure. Easy way to take care of the wind noise: turn the radio on.

While its not a perfect DD, it will get the job done, and get it done well at that. I wouldn't want anything else.

http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/400534_2409726806123_1339800134_32141169_576980915 _n.jpg

My best friend has one identical to the 4 door one in this picture. He uses it as a daily driver roughly 50 miles a day and he loves it. While it doesn't get great milage it gets better than the GMC pick up he was driving before. The Jeep doesn't have the best ride, but if you are a Jeep lover it rides like a dream. If you want a nice smooth quiet ride get a mini van or a Chevy Tahoe.

Carolina Custom
04-30-2012, 09:22 AM
Loaned a friend my truck this week, so I have been driving his 4 door wrangler. I would not have this thing if somebody gave it to me as a daily driver. Rough, loud and a little painful. Good way to have sex, lousy way to get to work every day.

By the way, I have a '77 CJ5 that I will never part with. Great for scootin around town on the weekends when the weather is perfect, not for every day use.

Fl Fisherman
04-30-2012, 10:52 AM
You can not talk or hear on a cell phone w/the soft top.They are great for the
w/e.

FloataBoat
04-30-2012, 01:21 PM
I love the looks of the. 4-door Wranglers. Are they just as capable off road as the 2-door Wranglers?

SeaJay
04-30-2012, 02:27 PM
No worse than a new 1 ton pickup.

A 1 ton pickup is not everyone's idea of an acceptable daily driver.

WNY PAT
04-30-2012, 02:40 PM
Other than increased chances of high centering, and other disadvantages of the longer wheelbase off road (turning radius, etc) the approach and departure angles and ground clearance is identical. I had an 85 CJ-7 and it was an animal off road. I never even came close its limits on the trails I went 4 wheeling on.

I love the looks of the. 4-door Wranglers. Are they just as capable off road as the 2-door Wranglers?

Boatless33
04-30-2012, 04:33 PM
A 1 ton pickup is not everyone's idea of an acceptable daily driver.

I was basing this off of the generalization for THT vehicle standards in which you need an F-450 or similar to do anything. My real point is that new 3/4 ton and 1 ton trucks are comfortable and more than tolerable for long voyages. Case and point, take my father for instance. He ran a 3/4 ton diesel for years and he could probably be in the guinness book of world records for back problems. He had no problem driving the Silverado from NJ to GA multiple times per year and after driving my 2012 Rubicon, he wants to get rid of his current Escalade for one. Fuel consumption, size, and parking really are the only thing that should deter anyone from buying a big pickup, not the ride quality. The ride quality of the new Wrangler, it isn't that bad. If you are used to a Mercedes, your not going to like it. Just about anything else, it really isn't that bad at all.

Redfish44
04-30-2012, 04:53 PM
I drove a yj wrangler for 12 years everyday. Loved it. Had the hardtop and straight 6. Was younger though.

notdeankane
05-01-2012, 06:51 AM
Other than increased chances of high centering, and other disadvantages of the longer wheelbase off road (turning radius, etc) the approach and departure angles and ground clearance is identical. I had an 85 CJ-7 and it was an animal off road. I never even came close its limits on the trails I went 4 wheeling on.

High centering? meaning getting hung up in the middle? Or being 'tippy' ?

WNY PAT
05-01-2012, 07:17 AM
Breakover - if you are cresting a steep hill. It's when the undercarriage gets hung up. It's heavier too. But honestly depending on how serious you are about off roading, the Wranglers are among the best right from the factory. If you get a Rubicon - I would doubt you'd ever find the off road limits unless you were on some really nasty, hardcore trails. You might get it stuck on mud, but I would doubt the breakover angle would ever be an issue. I would guess the on road ride would be lots better in the Unlimited. Saying my '85 was choppy would be the understatement of the year but I was young - senior in high school when I got it so that didn't matter. Taking the top and doors off on a nice summer day just about guaranteed I'd be getting a girl naked later though - so I was willing to trade the choppy ride for the attention from the girls. LOL.

pgkeating
05-01-2012, 09:44 AM
an old CJ. I paid $2200.00 for this baby, '83 with 94K miles. Had to change anything rubber under the hood, but runs like a watch! I don't have a top (just a weather cover for rainy days)

If you pick your days, it's super fun, cheap to operate and even with body rot, gets looks at the light. Check your local Craigslist.....they're out there.

http://i355.photobucket.com/albums/r451/pgkeating/Ipswich120.jpg

doughnut
05-02-2012, 07:31 AM
Well, all I can say is that they must make a decent daily driver based on the fact that the majority of them purchased are daily drivers. :)

LI32
05-02-2012, 08:24 AM
Around this time each year I get the urge to get a jeep wrangler. I wish I could have one as a third car, but it would have to be my daily driver, and I'm worried about how comfortable/practical it would be. I typically have a day trip or two each week for work, so I'm on the highway a lot.

Any input?

Comfort and practicality are all in the eye of the user:
if you need to haul 4x8 sheets of plywood or tow a 10,000 lb boat, it isn't going to work; likewise, if you are expecting it to ride and handle like a Mercedes S550 or get 30 mpg, you will be very dissapointed; if you want to go offroad, it is better than 99.9% of the factory stock vehicles out there.

As a daily driver, so long as you aren't doing of 100+ mi highway stretches on a regular basis, it will be just fine - my biggest complaint is they are a little narrow inside. If you are looking for the best compromise of off-road capability, safety, ride, handling, performance (with the Hemi) and comfort, plus towing capacity and cargo room in a smaller suv, nothing is better than the current (2011-12) generation Jeep Grand Cherokee.

notdeankane
05-02-2012, 08:27 AM
You can not talk or hear on a cell phone w/the soft top.They are great for the
w/e.

?? really ?

I can use my phone just fine with a soft top ;?.

Admittedly, it's a little harder when the soft top is down though...but on thoses days I don't take calls :grin:

GWcpa
05-02-2012, 01:38 PM
Yeah, I use my phone with 33 BFG m/ts, soft door uppers and a safari top just fine. Now I'm sure people I talk to know I'm driving my Jeep, but that's ok, I don't want to talk for 10 minutes anyway.

Doors coming off for the trip home today. :thumbsup:



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