: The ultimate winter AND summer vehicle . . . .

01-14-11, 03:53 AM
So I've kind of been getting the itch to buy a Jeep Wrangler. Probably a square light YJ, as that would be more in my budget, and still has the fuel injected 4.0L straight six. I'm sure somebody sells a round light conversion, as I don't care for the square lights. Please help me out of my insanity here.

My main reason for buying one is that its the ultimate convertible. Honestly I don't care if the A/C works, if the soft top is trash or not. Warm months it would have no top, no doors all the time. If its raining, I'd leave it under the carport with no top, just drive the Caddy. Cold months I'd buy a hardtop for it, if it didn't come with one.

Its also the ultimate winter weather vehicle with a hardtop. It really doesn't snow enough to justify 4wd here in Nashville, but if I move(something I've been thinking about) north, it would be real nice to have.

This would be a 2nd vehicle, the Caddy won't be going anywhere, I love it way too much to ever sell it.

Anyways, as funny as it sounds, my choices are between a Jeep and a N/A Miata. Budget is less than $5,000. Requirements for both vehicles would be pretty basic:

Decent paint
Runs great
Passes emissions, would be a tailpipe sniffer for 95 and older, OBDII code scan for 96 and newer
Could care less if the a/c works in either, it works in the Caddy, good enough.
Jeep could have a rough interior, I'd probably take the carpet out anyways if it had it.

01-14-11, 04:25 AM
+1 for I'm a fuddy duddy who doesn't like convertibles! :D

01-14-11, 04:28 AM
+1 for I'm a fuddy duddy who doesn't like convertibles! :D


I'd imagine a Jeep drives somewhat like a tractor with more horsepower, but I really don't care, as long as it will track reasonably straight.

01-14-11, 04:51 AM
Well, I like privacy, for example I always keep the door of my room closed....for the same reason I don't feel comfortable in a convertible car. I need a hard roof over my head! :D

01-14-11, 04:52 AM
I think that a Wrangler would fit your convertible lust, and also have the functionality of a pickup. I know you can't fit a whole lot in them, but you could put a trailer hitch on it. Plus you could use it as a fun vehicle or a daily driver. And being a Jeep, you wouldn't have to be too overly concerned about treating it like a Jeep. You could have fun with it without worrying. I say go for it if you can afford it!

01-14-11, 05:36 AM
Under 5k Wranglers are tough but by no means impossible. Definitely looking at a YJ and I recommend the 4.0L if at all possible.

That said, in the Summer months, my Jeep wasn't much fun, or terribly practical. I would far prefer to tool around in the Miata if I actually fit in one.

Paging Rick.

01-14-11, 06:15 AM
I have the opportunity to drive my cousin's '04 Wrangler from time to time. His is the 4.0, 5 speed, and 4x4. I love the looks of it and it's fun from time to time, but I don't see you living with it on a daily basis. The 4.0 has plenty of power for the job, but the trans just gets tiresome after a while. I LOVE having a straight shift, so it's not rowing through the gears that gets old, it's the gearing. If you enjoy the occasional spirited or enthusiastic drive the gearing of the Jeep will get on your nerves. You can hustle it, but there's really no fun in it. The ride (depending on how it's set up) isn't that bad, the steering is direct and fairly communicative, and visibility isn't an issue. They're purpose built vehicles. They can take just about anything you throw at them and keep going, and you can feel it while behind the wheel. They're cool and great for bad weather, but from an enthusiast standpoint and gas mileage stand point I would go with a Miata.

01-14-11, 07:35 AM
Yeah, a Miata gets A LOT better MPG'S. Really I am having a hard time justifying a 4wd vehicle since I really have no use for it where I currently live. A Jeep would be a lot of fun in the summer months though, even if its hot and drives like crap.

Just something about no doors, no top, no worrys is pretty damn fun though. I wouldn't buy an automatic Jeep, it has to be a standard shift, just doesn't feel right with an automatic. My cousin buys/sells vintage Jeeps, I'd feel pretty confident buying an older CJ5 or CJ7 from him, if it was the right one honestly.

If funds were unlimited, I'd buy a CJ-8 or CJ-10 pickup Jeep. Those are my favorite vintage Jeep.

01-14-11, 07:46 AM
Well, the Wrangler is capable of towing, but you don't need off-roading (though it would be fun to get into the hobby). It does have seating for four and some storage with the rear seat folded up. The top is a bit of a pain at first but I did manage to get it shut within a couple minutes after a few tries.

The Miata is awesome, so unless you need the comfort, storage, and extra seats in a Jeep, get the Miata. Are you considering NA or NB? If NA, 1.6 or 1.8?

01-14-11, 09:54 AM
Jeeps drive like they've been wrecked.

01-14-11, 10:56 AM
Miata for sure, but I'm a non-convertible fuddy duddy so if I ever buy one it had better come with the hard top at least.

01-14-11, 12:04 PM
so this is a question i ask out of genuine curiosity

what is with the sudden obsession and lust over miatas?

it used to be any time you heard mention of a miata, someone turned around and called it the gay mans car. not saying i agree with that sentiment, just wondering when the opinion changed...

01-14-11, 12:13 PM
Most people still do - those people are retards. They're fun as crap to drive.

01-14-11, 12:23 PM
From what I understand from those that own, and attempt to drive a Miata in the snow and ice, a Miata is terrible in winter conditions .... to the point that owners resort to taking the bus in snowy or icey conditions!

As far as the Jeep goes ..... if you enjoy beating yourself around your head and shoulders with an iron frying pan ...... a Jeep CJ be a real joy to own for you!

01-14-11, 12:45 PM
Thats true, to winterize a Miata you -must- have snow tires and a sandbag. No way around it. But winters in TN seem mild.

johnny kannapo
01-14-11, 03:53 PM
Summer & winter, here are mine:


01-14-11, 06:32 PM
I thought Jeeps came with rust factory installed! Bad mileage, terrible handling, noisy...

Miatas, besides being useless for winter (and for strictly for girls in the summer, I don't care how well they handle) get BAD gas mileage for their size/weight/displacement. Once you see the numbers, you think, "wow, did they do something to actually make that thing get mileage that bad?"

01-14-11, 07:30 PM
The cliche held true for me:the best two days I owned my old Jeep were the day I bought it, and the day I got rid of it. I had an 80' model with a V8. It was loud, rode like a covered wagon, hot in the summer, cold in the winter, but despite all that it was fun while I owned it. I wouldn't mind having one again to play with, but definitely wouldn't want it as my daily driver. If you're keeping the Cadi as a backup vehicle I say go for it.

The mid 90s models seem to be the most affordable nowadays. I agree that this era of square headlights lost the signature appeal that the round lights have. The problem with the mid 90s jeeps is finding one that isn't a fire hazard. Everybody that's owned the thing has hacked into the wiring to add lights, stereos, etc and all that hacking adds up. Most of the mid 90s Jeeps I've looked at have slow leaks from the transfer case and or differentials, but still run and function fine.

I respectively disagree that they offer anything close to the utility of a pickup truck. Ever try to load a lawn mower into a Jeep? They don't offer much by the way of cargo space.

01-14-11, 08:30 PM
If someone put a gun to my head, I'd buy the Miata, but then I'd put the commonly seen "I LOVE MY WIFE" bumper sticker on the back of it, just to clarify any possible questions. :lol:

I hate Jeep Wranglers (and yes, I do have previous experience with them) so I'd never buy one, but I've heard a Miata is incredibly fun to drive.

01-14-11, 09:28 PM
Chad -- new honorary member of Promise Keepers...

01-14-11, 10:24 PM
I have no idea what that is.

EDIT: It's some sort of a conservative, christian religious organization, the same people that make those stickers. Pass. I hate organized religious organizations.

01-14-11, 10:29 PM
Their stickers were what brought them to mind. You could put it next to one of Freddie Mercury on the back of your Miata...that would really keep them guessing ;-)

01-14-11, 10:31 PM
LOL. That reminds me of a hilarious sticker I saw on the back of a VW Jetta last summer. "I'm so gay, I can't even DRIVE straight!" :lol: :lol:

01-14-11, 11:25 PM

01-15-11, 12:02 AM
Both say FUN (and are the least practical cars, ever.) Either would make a good second car but get tiresome as a daily driver.

01-15-11, 12:20 AM
I don't understand what gives the Miata the gay stigma. Is it because it's kinda thought of as a chick car or what? Whatever it is, I would rock a Miata all day long. It's one of those cars you just have to drive to understand. There is something undeniably cool about being able to drop the top over your shoulder and haul ass. I would also love a Mini Cooper S, another "chick" car.

01-15-11, 12:26 AM
I dunno how it started Austin, but I used to think so when I was younger, but as I got older and more mature, I saw beyond the stigma and respected them because everyone said how fun they are to drive.

I never thought of the Cooper S as a girly car. It might be "metrosexual", but not girly or gay.

01-15-11, 12:32 AM
Miata was the first car I ever loved. Not sure why I havent owned one yet.

01-15-11, 12:42 AM
Lotus Elans were the most fun cars to drive ever, but they couldn't be depended on to make it to the drug store and back. Mazda took the Elan made it super reliable and screwed it together properly and created one of the all time great "fun" cars. Funny thing is no one, but Mazda, has really tried make an even better light sportscar.

Only guys with severe insecurities about their sexual preferences would hold the fact young women like Miata's against the car. The fact is if you like to drive you will really like a Miata!

01-15-11, 12:42 AM
Clearance issues? Not gonna lie Jesda, that's the first thing that came to mind.

01-15-11, 12:49 AM
When I peaked in fatness a couple years back I think I'd be pretty uncomfortable in one. Even the E46 convertible felt a bit snug to me.

01-15-11, 12:52 AM
Actually a British Racing Green Miata, with camel seats and top, and gold BBS honeycomb wheels, would be the flashy IT!

Like this: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Like-new-2001-Special-Edition-Miata-Only-8648-miles-/220722200383?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item3364117f3f -- except for the gold wheels :-(

01-15-11, 01:04 AM
I'm cramped in a Miata and I'm only 5'6", 145 lbs.

01-15-11, 01:06 AM
I think the Miata is too reliable and pedestrian for Jesda to own. It doesn't have any quirks, therefore he won't own it.

01-15-11, 02:02 AM
Yeah, that is one thing a Miata has going in its favor is reliability. An older Jeep is not going to be as reliable, especially if the wiring harness has been hacked all to hell. As for the practical thing, both of them are totally useless, that's why I wouldn't own either as my only car. I'd probably ditch the back seat in the Jeep for more cargo space.

01-15-11, 02:49 AM
Think about it this way. If you get a NA Miata you'll never have to worry about needing a tow. If it breaks down for some reason you can always put it in the trunk of the Brougham.

01-15-11, 03:33 AM
hehehehe, true!!!

I guess I need to get out there and shop around to really make up my mind. Decided I'm not getting a truck, too damn expensive for what you're getting IMO.

01-15-11, 04:55 AM
if someone put a gun to my head, i'd buy the miata, but then i'd put the commonly seen "i love my wife" bumper sticker on the back of it, just to clarify any possible questions. :lol:

I hate jeep wranglers (and yes, i do have previous experience with them) so i'd never buy one, but i've heard a miata is incredibly fun to drive.

"My OTHER ride is my WIFE."

01-15-11, 09:08 PM
Judging from the comments in this thread, and the desires of this threads OP, that new 2011 Nissan Murano "Cross Cabriolet" might be just the the thing for several of the CF members. 4 wheel drive, good road clearance and fun in the sun .... a real winner for both Summer fun and Winter mobility! From the pictures this car seems to have been designed with those of "broad beam" in mind. And it looks like there is plenty of room for disclaiming bumper stickers!!!

01-15-11, 09:13 PM
Judging from the comments in this thread, and the desires of this threads OP, that new 2011 Nissan Murano "Cross Cabriolet" might be just the the thing for several of the CF members. 4 wheel drive, good road clearance and fun in the sun .... a real winner for both Summer fun and Winter mobility! From the pictures this car seems to have been designed with those of "broad beam" in mind. And it looks like there is plenty of room for disclaiming bumper stickers!!!

That's pretty damn low man. I think you have to have a vagina to like that ugly pos.:nono:

01-16-11, 05:08 PM
^^^ Well, it seemed to meet all the criteria including possibly,in a few years, being cheap on the used car market! Sure does beat a Volkswagen "Thing."

01-16-11, 05:13 PM
W. T. *UCK???


It makes a Juke look like a Camry by comparison. :lol:

01-17-11, 02:32 AM
^^^ Well, it seemed to meet all the criteria including possibly,in a few years, being cheap on the used car market! Sure does beat a Volkswagen "Thing."

Actually it doesn't meet any of my main criteria:

1. Good looking
2. A very open convertible experience. I've already owned a converitble with a huge, raked windshield. No thanks on a second one, especially with those stupid high doors on the Nissan.
3. Affordable
4. A visceral driving experience. That thing is going to drive like the Caddy, totally isolated, heavy, and like a boat. Both in the Jeep and Miata, there is a real connection between man and machine that's hard to describe.

Also, I was just saying the Jeep could be used year round if I lived up north. The Miata can be used year round where I'm at now, but I wouldn't dare take it out on an icy day. If I lived in Minnesota the Miata would sit 5 months of the year, the Jeep would be the definite choice vehicle up there.

Also, I happen to like the VW Thing. Its like a German version of a Jeep, just a lot weirder.

01-17-11, 02:49 AM
:highfive: I think the Thing is awesome.

There were even orange ones :D (I can see Ben adding it to my list of obscure vehicles that I love... lol)

01-17-11, 03:17 AM
OK, at this moment, Ben officially gives up! There is no hope of salvation for you.....Amen :D

01-17-11, 01:51 PM
Back when they were more common (yes, Roo, there was a time) the VW "Thing" was considered a girl's car very popular among hippy chicks who painted them in "psychodelic" designs and drove them to love-ins! Then they caught on with the San Fran maso Gay community!