A Classic, but Not for Everyone
Virtually no repairs until 40,000 miles, at which point minor problems began exacerbated by poor dealer network.
Most persistent problem is the door assemblies that come with optional hard tops. The door mechanism is poorly designed and when it wears you can be locked in or out of the vehicle. Dealers know little about this and one even assembled the mechanism back-wards.
The intermittent wipers began malfunctioning about 45,000 miles and are basically useless though the standard settings work.
The old add-on factory air unit was anemic and replaced with a $1,200 dealer installed "green" version. It developed a slow leak that no one can find and requires $20 worth of the new freon each summer.
At 78,000 miles the fuel tank filler valve broke, causing gas to gush over the floor each time the tank was filled and the whole tank assembly had to be replaced. Fuel filler is in a very poor location; better in later models.
Began leaking oil at 80,000 miles requiring front and rear seals ($900). This lasted until the dealer forgot to check the pollution control valve valve, which blew out the seal again (not their fault!).
Seems to run hot (195 to 210) with lower oil pressure (41 psi) under power. But manual indicates it is normal.
Car is great fun to drive around town and highly maneuverable. The 6-cylinder is vastly different than the 4-cylinder, which is slow and unpleasant to drive.
On the highway it is usable, but uncomfortable for long trips over 50 MPH.
Plenty of power, but as 1st is geared for off road you have to get out of it soon to get any acceleration. 2nd-5th are good performers.
Gas mileage is poor as vehicle is not aerodynamic and is geared for stump pulling.
Styling is timeless and much prefer the "YJ" style with higher ground clearance and square lights to the "kiddie car" round headlight versions now out that look like KIA. Paint lasts a long time if cared for; even in desert and salt water climates.
Under 50,000 miles there are few repairs, but over they begins to have problems. Jeep dealer service is in general very poor and work is rarely done correctly on the first try. Had to take mine to a Chrysler dealer or an aftermarket mechanic to have repairs done right. Amazing for a vehicle that has half the electronics of current models.
Shocks and brakes seem to last forever; at 83,000 miles am on the original shocks and 2nd set of front brakes.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 12th March, 2004