We spent the day looking at cars today . . . we found a good reliable vehicle that I think we're going to buy but we want to look into two cars and I found a Jeep Wrangler today. The Jeep seems like such an impractical car but it would be fun to have. Anyone have any experience down here (particularly in STX) with Jeeps for the maintenance, risk of theft, etc and anything else that I should consider???
A Wrangler would be fun but the reliability would worry me.
My neibors have one and they always say it's fun but alot of maitentance. They always out there doing something to it-I don't know what. I know that a jeep would come in handy for exploring the rainforest and some driveways are straight up!not to mention,if you're searching for a beach off the beaten path some of those roads are a bit bumpy. All in all- I would love to have one but I can't afford any sudden malfuntions that may happen my way.
Jeeps are very bad on gas and one of the top stolen vehicles.
I have been on island for almost 20 years...and my vehicle of preference is a Jeep Wrangler.
There are several models of Wrangler, and one is particularly good on the island, others of this model are not!
I have had a 1994 4 cylinder, another 1998 4 cylinder, and a 2001 4 cylinder.
The two older models have 5 speed transmission, no air (not necessary) and power steering (necessary). The 2001 had everything including a daily pass to the local gas station!!!
The 1998 has never been to the service garage in 3 years, get 21 to 22 mpg almost weekly, runs on regular, and gets the oil changed every 6 months whether it needs to or not!
The 6 cylinder models suck gas, the AC units suck gas, automatic transmissions suck gas....go basic.
One other writer said that they are top models to be stolen...lost the 1994 that way, but got it back....no worse for the wear.
The Wranglers of 7 to 12 years old are great if low mileage....I bought the 2001 new on island, wife just didn't like the car since it had no driving power with all the accessories, the other two would climb trees if allowed, the 5 speeds and 4 wheel drive pay for them selves in usage.
Of course I do my ow.n maintenance....wash it once or twice a year, change oil every 6 months, air filters as necessary, new batter every other year, tires, as we all know, about every 18 months....after that, keep the nuts and bolts tight, vacuum the junk out, play in the mud and climb all the dirt roads that I can find. It is a jeep and it is designed to play off road.
It is not a commuter vehicles, but then again this is not a commuter island....its only 28 miles x 8 miles! Roads are lousy, ,pothole capital of the world...and Jeeps just bounce over them.
I like my Jeeps....but they need to be manual, no auto, no AC, big stereo, and canvas top to get the sun!!!!
"...and canvas top to get the sun!!!!"
For me, there's too much sun here for a canvas top, and you can't leave anything of value in a vehicle with a canvas top (like groceries from one store while you check for something you still need at another) and expect it to be there when you return.
Gotta ask yourself how much you really need four wheel drive and is it worth the gas? On stx, for most people the answer is no you most likely will not NEED four wheel drive unless you're going to give tan tan a run for their money. You will get it broken into or ripped open if you leave any valuables in it or just lock it up. Its a very very popular tourist car and if yours looks new and you have a new shiny soft top all locked up, your odds aren't good. Lastly if you're not handy, don't do a jeep period.
I am on my second Jeep Wrangler. It is not as comfortable as my wife's SUV nor as fuel efficient but I haven't had any more problems with it than the Fords that we owned before.
I have flown the VIPD around looking for stolen cars a few times. They tell me the number one and two stolen cars are Honda Civics and Accords.
I cant wait till budget puts one of those four door hard tops on the market at the air port. I hope one is a stick but I don't think budget does stick . If you drive it nice and keep up on it there OK. I like Japanese cars for the most part. The tax on foreign cars there is a turn off. It caries over to used cars to and makes the draw less. Nisan is my favorite.
I have a 2000 Wrangler soft top, soft doors, 4 cyl, no AC and standard trans. I have had it on STX for 27 months and put 8,000 island miles on it and no mechanical problems. Only maintenance has been oil changes. Fun car. I drive it down to the Baths regularly. Not enough clearance to get up Goat Hill even with 30" tires, but great for getting elsewhere off the beaten track.
Gas mileage is OK
From what I read in the "Avis" Hondas are the cars getting stolen on STX. When I go to the beach I leave the Jeep open and doors off so the sneak theives won't bother it.
hi from south west florida, i will be on STX august 30 and plan on doing handyman work. i'm shipping a full size 8-foot bed ,v-6, 2-wheel drive chevy pickup(65,5000 miles). once i have been on the island long enough to get a loan i have been thinking about trading it in on a jeep wrangler and pull a 5'x8' utility trailer behind it for work. this would need the 6-cyl and being careful going down hill. are there many utility trailer's on island, good idea -bad idea??
Thanks for the opinions. I need something with higher clearance for our driveway (sometimes I feel like I'm on the Tan Tan Tour just getting to our house) but we're going to keep looking.