How to buy a used Jeep Wrangler

look for:

  • Jeep of JK generation after 2012. It features a 285 horsepower 3.6-liter V-6, a 5-speed automatic, and a better interior.
  • Original 2004-2006 Unlimited (long wheelbase, but 2 doors).
  • If the price is reasonable, JL after 2018 equipped with a 270 horsepower 2.0 liter turbo.


    • 3-speed automatic transmission (final year: 2002).
    • 202 horsepower 3.8 liter V6 / old interior The end of the JK year. There is a big difference between 2010 and 2012.
    • Anything new enough that you should get a new one.

      So you want to buy a Jeep Wrangler, is the new one too expensive? We feel you The Wrangler seems to have to be reasonably priced in nature, given that it’s the closest thing to a street legal dune buggy you can buy. However, feature creep means that the new JL, while arguably the best Wrangler of all time, starts at $ 29,790, is much more expensive from there, and can exceed $ 60,000 on onboard diesel models. To do. As a result, the second-hand market is always busy and underpinned by the consistency of the iconic Jeep style. The 2000 model doesn’t really look obsolete, as 2021 looks basically the same. However, the driving experience and features are very different. You may need some advice there. So indulge us in this primer on a used Wrangler Wrangler. There, we strive to guide you to a jeep that is used but not exhausted.

      1986-1995: Square-Headlight One

      OK, I know there are fans in this generation (known as YJ), but Wrangler hunting is limited to new models. The YJ, first named after the Wrangler, had solid front and rear axles like the current Wrangler, but without coil springs. Like CJ and all its predecessors dating back to World War II, the YJ Wrangler rode front and rear leaf springs. And if you can avoid driving short wheelbases, body-on-frames, solid axles, and leaf spring cars, you should.

      What to get: The next one following YJ, coil spring TJ. However, if necessary, use the 180-horsepower 4.0-liter in-line 6-cylinder that appeared in the 1991 YJ. If this is not the case, you will need to use the previous 112 horsepower 4.2-liter in-line 6-cylinder engine. In the 1990 Wrangler Sahara AC / D test with that engine, the time to 60 was 15.4 seconds and the top speed was 81 mph.

      1997-2006: Modern template

      Wait, what happened to the Wrangler in 1996? Did the Jeep really get hooked on grunge and surf America Online and forget to make it? No, it was just caught between generations, and it was already 1996 by the time Jeep switched production from YJ to the new TJ. Therefore, they made a direct transition from the 1995 YJ sale to the 1997 TJ. If you find a 1996 Wrangler, you can park it next to the 1983 Corvette.

      Anyway, the TJ represents a revolution, bringing a 4-wheel coil spring suspension to the game, in addition to a 4.0-liter in-line 6-cylinder gaining 1 horsepower for a total of 181. (You may have noticed that the Jeep had a 90’s North American Land Rover Defender and needed to be at least as technologically advanced as it was.) Therefore, the TJ is more comfortable to ride than its predecessor. Not only is it better, but it tends to be better off. The roads also have excellent articulations. The interior has also made great strides. Or at least it has taken a step from the straight 80’s to the softer 90’s.

      And of course: round headlights. So TJ still looks pretty modern. This is also the generation that Jeep realized that some Wrangler buyers wanted more space, and in 2004 they rolled out a stretch wheelbase version called Unlimited. It was still a two-door (the name was later applied to the four-door model), but gained a length of 15 inches, ten of which went to the wheelbase. Passengers in the back seats have more legroom and double the cargo space. And if you’re interested in towing, the unlimited valuation was £ 3,500, well above the standard Wrangler’s £ 2,000. This sought-after derivative is known by its followers as LJ.

      The Rubicon model debuted in 2003 and has the same basic elements as it does today. More robust axles (Dana 44s front and rear), lock front and rear differentials, and larger tires. Expect LJ Rubicon to pay more for one of them by changing the resale price. This allows you to find new ones that are cheaper.

      What to get: 2005-2006 Unlimited Rubicon with 4.0-liter 6-speed and 6-speed manual transmission.

      Car and driverCar and driver

      2007-2019: Popular

      By 2007, Jeep thought that the Wrangler could become mainstream if it wasn’t too painful to live and drive with. To that end, the biggest revelation was the 4-door unlimited model. This ultimately made the Wrangler a viable family transport. Jeep showed the concept of a 4-door Wrangler in the 90’s, but it took until 2007 to build it. Sales surged, producing 2,165,678 units, and the Wrangler moved from a niche off-road vehicle to today’s ubiquitous spectacle.

      As long as there’s something like a Wrangler bargain, it’s seen in the 2007-2010 JK, which had a different (read: less desirable) powertrain and interior. With the transition from TJ to JK, the Jeep killed the ancient but beloved 4.0-liter in-line 6-cylinder and installed a handy one. This is almost the same as the 3.8-liter V6 engine borrowed from the Chrysler minivan. It was categorically appropriate and produced 202 horsepower and 237 lb-ft of torque. And the interior of those early JKs was also best described as appropriate. But hey, you still got the essential jeep goodness — drop the top, remove the door, and who cares what’s under the hood?

      In 2011 JK got a new, highly modernized interior, but still had a sad 3.8 liter. In 2012, the pushrod 3.8 V-6 was replaced by the 285 horsepower DOHC 24-valve 3.6-liter V-6 still in use. This greatly improved power output and made cruising on the highway less hassle. However, it is considered to be much more reliable. To further enhance the advantage, the automatic 3.6-liter engine was equipped with a 5-speed automatic, while the 3.8 was equipped with a 4-speed automatic.

      JK was such a big hit that it continued to build JK for several years after being replaced by the current Wrangler, JL. As a used Jeep shopper, the main thing to keep in mind at JK is the stupid pricing that makes them the newer and stupid. It turns out that the used 2017 JK Rubicon is 16,000 miles and the asking price is $ 39,000. Meanwhile, the new 2021 JL Rubicon starts at around $ 42,000. Penny wise, don’t make a fool of the Rubicon.

      2018-Present: JL era

      The JL was a big leap that wasn’t characteristic of the Wrangler, and the Jeep fine-tuned the fun while preserving the Wrangler’s essential appeal. The doors are light and easy to remove, and the tops and soft tops have zipperless windows for less effort. The automatic transmission has acquired three more gears (eight), and the new 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder and 3.0-liter diesel have been added to the lineup. If you are considering the same amount of money as the late JK (but less decked out JL), vote for JL. But again, if you’re considering a used JL, make sure its price makes sense compared to the new one. New ones tend to trade incentives and financing. Used one, probably not. A $ 32,000 car loaned at 6.5% for 60 months will have about the same total spending as a $ 35,000 car at 2.9%. Note the total number, and it may turn out that the most commonly used Wrangler is new.

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