I finally re-acquired another Jeep Wrangler, this one a 1995 Rio Grande edition. I had the same model, brand new, from 1995-2001. Except for the color, it's the exact same Jeep I had previously. No a/...
I finally re-acquired another Jeep Wrangler, this one a 1995 Rio Grande edition. I had the same model, brand new, from 1995-2001. Except for the color, it's the exact same Jeep I had previously. No a/c. no air bags, a 2.5L 4cyl. engine. The dealer did a nice job upgrading wiring, new tires and brakes and it needed about $450 worth of work, which the dealer took off the sales price. So I bought it for $4400 and put about $500 in for this and that. Having a CARFAX helped close the deal. The Rio Grande has a special cloth interior, carpeting and speakers in the roll bar. Nice. The Jeep almost no rust, a hard top and was in generally very good shape for 15 years old.
For people who know their Jeeps, this was a good deal. We already knew the ride is noisy and bumpy. We know it's a slug driving uphill on the highway. We know it will need upkeep eventually. But it's a "third car" so to speak. More modern Wranglers cost way too much used (the Cherokee is the by far the best value if you can find a good one). The newer Wranglers also have a lot more that can go wrong with them, too. It's a Jeep, not a commuter car, and you have to love it for what it is.
If you know what you're buying into and can find an older YJ -series Wrangler with lower mileage (mine had 111k), you'll get a fun banger and weekend vehicle that can still take on snow, sand and mud. But I wouldn't make a habit of it as I can only afford so much upkeep!