I’ve been searching for a new car for awhile. Not out of need, I’m just looking for something new to replace my S60R. I’ve test driven a lot, only to find myself jaded by the selection of AWD/RWD Manual Offerings, that are fast, well-built, and maintain sleeper status.

Long story short, I want a Wrangler. Driven a few and they’re charming, honest, and fun. It’s not the type of fun I’m used to, but I love it. I love it enough I’ve actually listed my R on eBay, looking to buy something new within the next week or so.

So the search began for a new Wrangler. My first stop was at Valley Dodge in Boulder, where they have a 2012 Wrangler X w/ 45K, a lift, and a list price of $27,575. I knew the price was steep, but it’s within my budget (towards the top), and a lot of the stuff I want to do (lift) is already done. On the test drive, I reached into the glove box, only to find the original window sticker. MSRP: $27,180. I told this to the salesguy at the end of the ride, and he tried to justify to me why this one, with 45K and three years of use, including an accident has managed to appreciate in value...needless to say I walked out on them.

Afterwards, after spending hours on CL, Ebay, Cars.com, and Autotrader, I reached the epitome of why don’t I just buy new? Used 2012’s are like $2,000 less than their new counterpart. Chrysler never incentivizes Wrangler’s anyway.

I was about to buy new, until I found this guy:

It’s a 2012 Wrangler X with everything I want (power windows, hardtop, manual, uConnect) in a discontinued color (green). It’s Jeep Certified (7 year/100K warranty) with 21K. Moreover, it’s got some tasteful mods to it, drives great, and feels pretty much new. I’m able to get them to $24,300 for it.

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While I love this one, I feel like an idiot for getting something maybe $3,000 off new price, when it’s nearly 4 years old, with 21k on it...would you bite the bullet and buy new for a few grand more, or get the used one in the color you want, with some mods, and a CPO Warranty?

On a side note, I’ve now been to three separate Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep dealers, and have come to a conclusion....they all suck. I’ve never dealt with such stereotypical dealer processes (fat manager in a little room where the salesguy goes for a price, literally not able to walk a foot out of my car without being approached by a salesperson, why it’s the best time to buy spiels, etc).