Sunday, October 02, 2011

Alright folks, dissuade me

Go to and look at a 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with 55,000 miles. I just did a Craigslist search and can assure you that the dealer list price, at least, is exactly what claims it is for that Jeep -- around $20K. This is apparently a much-in-demand Jeep amongst hard-core offroaders because it's long enough to climb well, but short enough to handle tight courses well. The private party price is around $17K.

Okay, now look at the invoice price of a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, the regular one, not the Unlimited model. Right now it appears that only automatic transmission ones are available, at an invoice price of around $32K. That's okay though, I'm tired of shifting anyways.

So -- for around $15K, I can upgrade to a 285 horsepower engine, a more comfortable car , and about 7mpg more fuel economy (I'm currently getting 10 in the city and 15 on the highway, the new one is rated at 17/23). Hmm....

The other possibility: Buy some Korean crapbox car for $18K, and then make my current Jeep a project car. Thing is, while it's a great project car, being much easier to work on than the new Jeeps with all the computerized shit, I just don't do hard-core offroading. My offroading is mild to moderate, mostly to get to historic ruins and shit, and even the stock Jeep Rubicon with *no* modifications can do it right off the dealer floor. I know that because the stock Jeep Rubicon with *no* modifications is pretty much what my Jeep's configuration was until recently (when I added the rocker guards). So anyhow, the Korean crapbox would end up costing around $80/month extra insurance too. And I end up with two vehicles in my driveway, one of which gets driven only a few times a month. But the Korean crapbox gets 30mpg city, 40mpg highway. Almost twice the fuel economy, in other words. But I'm only spending $200/month on gas. So it'd cost me about as much to insure it as it'd save me on gas.

Then there's the final option: Just stick with my current Jeep for another five years as my only car. Problem there is that 1) it gets terrible fuel economy, 2) reliability is going to be an issue with the 2005-2006 Jeep Wrangler series due to OPDA/cam sensor drive issues 3) They only made around 38,000 of the 2004-2006 Unlimited body style so getting accessories and body parts is going to be an issue in the future, for example I can't buy an aftermarket soft top or hard top for this Jeep because of its rarity so if the OEM ones get damaged I'd need to pay for the very pricey OEM ones. And the OEM ones are *not* going to be available forever.

None of that matters to hard-core offroaders, because they tow their Jeep to the trailhead and they don't run a top and they're quite capable of fabricating anything they want to fabricate. But my current Jeep just isn't ideal going forward as a daily driver due to those issues.

So anyhow... opinions?

-- Badtux the Pondering Penguin


  1. Dissuade you? It sounds to me like you might want someone to talk you into a new Jeep. ;)

  2. Jeeps - and most especially Wrangler Rubicons - are made with off-roaders in mind.

    Can you say that about ANY other vehicle?


  3. Buying a crapbox under the guise of saving money on fuel is foolish. You can buy a swimming-pool's worth of gasoline for the price of a new Korean shitbox that gets 35mpg. How much will that cost you over time?

    My two old cars get maybe 25mpg, but I rarely drive them more than 50 miles a week. They're paid off, reliable, and there's no reason for me to buy a new car.


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