As my hunt for a Wrangler drags on, I had the privilege of driving a TJ-U (LJ), JK and a JL this past week. All 6 speed manual two door base models. My neighbour has a YJ, I feel like I should ask to drive it, just to round out the week.
Fun fact, only the LJ had AC! (Yes, I am buying another car without AC, but this time, the roof and doors come off!)
I also drove them in descending order of “newness”, which gave a kinda neat “de-evolution” feel to my test drives. I shall give my thoughts on each.
I saw this online at 10pm on Saturday night. I drove 45 minutes each way to check it out on Sunday morning, but sadly, by early Monday morning when the dealer re-opened the “Jeep People” had found it and many, many offers had been made (sight unseen, without test drives!)
64,000km/40,000 miles at a $15,000CAD or $10,700USD price, this was way undervalued.
I didn’t have the immediate capital to move on it, as about half of my money is in the form of a white Kia Forte, so I couldn’t compete with the dudes waving around $18,000 certified cheques.
I did however, get to drive it with my wife on Vancouver’s beautiful North Shore. For that half hour, I was, in my mind at least, a TJ owner and very proud and happy.
It was pretty, but the clutch was heavy (compared to modern vehicles), as was the steering. It would be a hard DD and take a pretty TJ out of circulation.
Obviously, convenience wise, it was pretty sparse, but as mentioned above, it had AC.
First off, this example was a POS. Something tramatic had happened to this Jeep, you could tell. Secondly, the dealership was a dump and the salesman didn’t give a FUCK about the Jeep or me. VW dealer, so we took the Sportwagen to at least, I dunno, demonstrate I had a VW?
Despite the relative shitty quality of both the dealership and Jeep, it was still priced at $25,000.00 CAD. I pointed out some damage and the ratty quality and said I wouldn’t pay more than $21,000.00. They wouldn’t budge from $24,000 and honestly, given the incentives right now, it would likely be cheaper to buy a new JL.
Driving wise, you get the same sorta vauge shifting as in a TJ, slightly lighter clutch and everything else is kinda meh. This was a 2018 with 30,000km or 18,500 miles again for $24,000CAD or $17,000USD.
To be honest, it is stunning how little you get in a 2018. No Bluetooth, no AC, no power windows and the same key as I got in the TJ. The interior is straight outta 2006 without any updates.
I’ve driven a few JK’s before and loved them, but with the improvements of a JL and the limited price difference, I don’t understand why people still pay good money for these.
I didn’t take a photo of this one, but I am 95% sure I am getting a JL now. Maybe not for a few months, but it will come (pending plauge/financial ruin/war)
I test drove this, black on black combo, two doors and a six speed. The transmission is MUCH improved. Feels like I’m driving a car, but the clutch is kinda weird. I’d get used to it. Driving again, feels like a car, with a great turning radius and a pretty stiff but comfy ride.
Android auto, a backup cam and push to start are all on tap and the folding top seems pretty intuitive.
Also, my dad has taken lots of rubicon bits off his JL and offered them to me for free, so that’s a bonus.
FCA Canada has some pretty delicous deals on right now, but I will likley lose a grand on the Kia, but...that’s pretty good for two years of ownership on a new car.
I am going to write a post on the 3 vastly different dealer experiences sometime soon as well.