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Jeep Wrangler or Honda Element(72 posts)

Jeep Wrangler or Honda ElementFranchise
Nov 13, 2003 9:19 AM

I am on the verge of purchasing a four wheel drive vehicle, and I would appreciate any input or insights you could give me. I am trying to decide between a Jeep Wrangler and a Honda Element. The Honda gets the nod for reliability, cargo space(has optional bike mounts in cargo area), mileage, and distinctive styling. The Jeep is great because of the hardtop/softtop combo as well as the ruggedness associated with Wranglers. The Jeep's mileage is quite lower than the Element, but the Element has styling that I may have to get used to. Also, the Jeep would require me to buy another bike rack that is hitch mounted rather than roof mounted.

I currently live in the midwest, but I may be moving to a warmer climate in May if that is of any concern. If anyone has any experience with these vehicles, I'd appreciate an opinion. Thanks!
Wranglers are totally impratical....mtbmon
Nov 13, 2003 10:02 AM
I keep saying that over and over since the day I sold mine. I miss mine dearly but I'll stand by my statement too. The softop is sweet but forget swapping to a hard top unless you want to invest in or build a hoist to get it on/off. Terrible mileage, limited seating/cargo, no real way to secure valuables inside, cold, loud, but way fun to drive and high on the coolness scale. The Elelment would be significantly more practical IMO and as a bonus, you can sleep in it if need be. During some 24 hr events, I would have loved to have that rather than my tent.

Just an opinion. Jeeps rock but be aware of the downsides before you decide. Good luck.

Scott (still missing his cold, loud, impractical Wrangler)
Other options (and my current vehicles)mtbmon
Nov 13, 2003 11:18 AM
I am driving a Subaru Outback Legacy wagon and my wife is in a Honda Pilot. I have been really impressed with the Pilot and the deals are out there sometimes. Tons of room, nice V6 (maybe slightly underpowered) and a very comfy ride.

The Subaru is a pratical with a rack added on. Good room, nice ride and affordable. Nice in the winter and pretty good clearance (esp. relative to some current "SUV's"). You should check out both if you are in the market and see what you think.
Other options (and my current vehicles)Franchise
Nov 13, 2003 11:23 AM
Thanks for the information. I already own another SUV. This is for a second car. Thanks! I appreciate the real world input from you experiences.
re: Jeep Wrangler or Honda ElementBulldozer
Nov 13, 2003 10:06 AM
I think it's a little premature to give the nod on reliability to the Honda. The Element is a new model with many more bugs to be found. The Wrangler has a rock solid I6 engine (and driveline) with plenty of torque. Not much has changed on the Wrangler in quite some time.

I own a Wrangler and have been pleased with it. Love the open top in the summer. I also think that it would take me a reeeeeaaaallllyyyy long time to get used to the styling of the Element
Element is not newjma24
Nov 13, 2003 10:22 AM
The Element is a reconfigured Honda CR-V. the current iteration of that vehicle went on sale in the US in late 2001. The innards of that vehicle are not new, and given that this is a Honda that we are talking about, reliability shouldn't be a question by this time.

On the other hand, you are right in pointing out the track record for the Wrangler is much more established. The fact that it hasn't had any significant changes in quite some time isn't necessarily a good thing, though.

The Element may seem radical, but in a year or three, as Toyota sells more and more of its Scion vehichles, it won't seem so outlandish. That depends a lot on where you live, I'd guess.
Element is not newFranchise
Nov 13, 2003 11:25 AM
Thanks for the information. I was told that the drivetrain and "innards" were essentially the same. What is the Scion? I'll do a search or two to get some more information. Thanks again!
Scion is a Toyotajma24
Nov 13, 2003 11:57 AM
It's a line of vehicles they are using to attract the young and hip crowd. Sadly, at age 34, I am even too old for the target audience here. The styling (if not performance) of these vehicles is supposed to be so offensive to the baby-boomer set that simply being different is part of the appeal. As an example, they have a little SUV coming out that is styled along the lines of the Element, but much more aggressive. If Toyota can sell a few of these (it will be their 6th SUV, by the way), it will make the Element look tame in comparison.

From what I am reading, I'm not too fired up about these vehicles. I think they are all flash and little substance. Then again, I am not the target demographic.

I have no idea if this link will work, but if it does, go read Car and Driver's review here:
My Jeep had 200K miles and..AaronL
Nov 13, 2003 11:08 AM
it was still running very strong. The 4.0 inline 6 in the wrangler (I had a Cherokee) is pretty much bombproof. However, the nod goes to Honda for bulletproof electronics.

But, what you should consider is how you are going to use this vehicle. Are you going to REALLY take it off road and use it the way it's built to be used? If not then a Wrangler probably isn't going to make you happy in the long run. I assume you are looking at new, so why not look at the Liberty, Grand Cherokee or Highlander? I sold my Cherokee and was ready to buy a Grand Cherokee (I was very impressed with Jeep after owning the Cherokee), but got a Highlander on a sweetheart deal. It's not 4wd and is a 4 banger, but I live in California and can't stand the 8 hour drive to get to the snow. :) The Highlander allows me to toss my bike in the back, with all the seats up. I can remove the wheels and put two bikes in the back, and still have the seats up. I couldn't do that with the Grand and I know you can't do that with the Wrangler or Element. BTW, I was seriously looking at the Element too. But, found it pretty sluggish in acceleration.

Anyway, best of luck and have fun. Car shopping is always like Xmas.
My Jeep had 200K miles and..Franchise
Nov 13, 2003 11:28 AM

Thanks for the insight. I don't know if I am going to take a Jeep off road, but I kind of like to have that as an option. I already have an suv, but this was going to be a second car. I'm planning on test driving some vehicles tomorrow. I'm anxious to see how acceleration is with the Element. Thanks again.
midwest? warmer climate? whattya need a 4WD for?ColnagoFE
Nov 13, 2003 10:09 AM
Are you gonna take it off roading? If no, the Wrangler should come off the list fast. Nice vehicles for off roading, but not very practical for commuting or regualr driving. The Element looks like a big shoebox. I'm sure it is practical as heck, but it is UGLY! Have you looked at the Subaru Legacy/Outback and Forresters? Or even the larger Jeeps?
midwest? warmer climate? whattya need a 4WD for?Franchise
Nov 13, 2003 11:29 AM
I don't really have a desire for the larger Jeeps because I already have an suv. This was going to be a second car. I like to think of the honda styling as distinctive, not ugly. Although, I am still not in love with the design, I don't know what I like about it, but I do like it.

I may have to look into the Subarus. Do they have decent ground clearance?
Forester and Outback have deent ground clearanceColnagoFE
Nov 13, 2003 11:35 AM
Not what a typical mid or full size SUV has of course, but are you really gonna be driving on stuff that rough?
Impress everyone and buy a Colnago :-) (nm)PEDDLEFOOT
Nov 13, 2003 10:18 AM
Impress everyone and buy a Colnago :-) (nm)Franchise
Nov 13, 2003 11:31 AM
Good one! With all of the recent talk of Colnago riders, I'll take this opportunity to let everyone know I ride a MXL in AD10. I love steel, although this was my first steel bike!
I've always thought Jeeps were fun, for about 5 minutes...No_sprint
Nov 13, 2003 10:24 AM
Not what I'd ever drive daily. The Element is kinda growing on me... Wierd.

Neither are for me though. I'm a 2 seater sports car fan.
I've always thought Jeeps were fun, for about 5 minutes...Franchise
Nov 13, 2003 11:32 AM
I thoght about a sports car, but I think I'm going to go with another SUV. I already have one, but I was going for something a little different, hence the Wrangler and the Element. I don't know what it is about the Element, but I like it. I am not in love with the styling cues, but I definitely like it. Maybe it's something quirky about the design.
I don't know why it's growing on me either...No_sprint
Nov 13, 2003 11:46 AM
It has a strange neo retro look to me, kind of a large size hint of Chicago gangster era 1920s car feel. It's the boxiness of the passenger era.
If your thinking practical sports car ... the Impreza WRX wagonjmr986
Nov 13, 2003 2:53 PM
Nov 13, 2003 4:15 PM
A hearty 2nd on the WRX. It's reliable, practical, economical and f'ing fast, especially for a cheap wagon.

If you don't care about sporty performance, then a Legacy or Outback is a great AWD bike vehicle. We just bought a '97 Outback for dirt cheap as a 2nd car. It has enough room to carry all our gear and then some.
Nov 13, 2003 5:21 PM
How is the ground clearance with the Outback? Did you have enough room for everything inside the vehicle, or with a roof rack?
ground clearanceNatC
Nov 13, 2003 8:02 PM
I don't know the exact figures on clearance, but I bet you could find them pretty easily with Google.

I no longer drive off-road very much, but I have taken our Outback on a few pretty mangled county roads without any problems. One nice thing is it has an auto tranny with a relatively low 1st gear for creeping along. It's not anything close to a true 4WD low range, but it's better than other auto transmissions I've seen.

We have a roof rack for the bikes, but keep all the other junk inside. It has more cargo space than most mid-sized SUV's I've peeked into.
ground clearanceFranchise
Nov 14, 2003 4:46 AM
Thanks for the information. I'm definitely glad I posted this because I would have never even thought about the Subarus. Thanks!
If your thinking practical sports car ... the Impreza WRX wagonFranchise
Nov 13, 2003 5:20 PM
I was just looking at those on the Subaru website. They very nice. I think I may have to call for an appointment for a test drive.
Depends what you want.KG 361
Nov 13, 2003 10:31 AM
A realiable, fairly economical, practical, fairly "cool" vehicle or a totally impractical, relatively gas-gusseling, out-dated vehicle. Have you ever driven a wrangler? Takes a while to get used to. Do yourself a favor-buy the Element.
Depends what you want.Franchise
Nov 13, 2003 11:34 AM
I scheduled some test drives tomorrow. Thanks for your opinion. What do you think about the design of the Element? Also, I thought you were going to change your screen name. Did you get your new 461 built up yet?
Didn't get it yet =(KG 361
Nov 13, 2003 3:10 PM
I'm still waiting for MR. Brown shorts to drop it off. UPS is about the slowest carrier available! As for the Element, it won't win any beauty contests but I think it's a really good idea. Still contemplating the name change.....
Didn't get it yet =(Franchise
Nov 14, 2003 4:48 AM
It will get there soon enough I'm sure. The anticipation always gets the best of me. I check the tracking number almost every hour to see if my shipments are closer. I like the excitement. Kind of like Christmas coming early this year.
Just got it Friday!KG 361
Nov 15, 2003 2:43 PM
It's a beaut. Can't wait to get over to the lbs to have them face the BB and rebuild my D/A BB and cut the fork. I'll build it from there. Should be able to ride it by late next week =) I'll post pics.
Just got it Friday!Franchise
Nov 16, 2003 8:34 AM
Sounds good. Congratulations! I'm always happy for a fellow cyclist that has given into some bike lust. Although, I do get a little jealous. I don't have a cf bike as of yet.
Nov 13, 2003 11:39 AM
get a jeep grand cherokee. its american made, not jap-crap. jeep's v6 is totally bulletproof and will run forever. ive got a 97 and i love it. do not buy a black one. just dont. my jeep GC is also pretty good on gas, i get about 17mpg. i dont have any complaints yet. (got mine for under 8 grand, and thats in absolutely perfect condition!) its a great outdoors-car....i surf and ride both road and mtn bikes and it always keeps up. cmon wheres ur heart? buy american made.
Nov 13, 2003 11:53 AM
Ouch. Jap-Crap. Well, I already own an suv, that is probably jap-crap(Lexus)to you. Sorry. Glad to hear you enjoy the Grand Cherokee. I would think about it, but my suv thus far has been extremely reliable, and I have had no issues with it. Thanks for your input.
p.s., soulsurfer: jeep's 6 is an inline, not a V n.m.shawndoggy
Nov 13, 2003 3:15 PM
Sorry to throw cold water on the Jeep fire...Lone Gunman
Nov 13, 2003 5:18 PM
Wranglers are junk, I work for a Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Nissan Dealership. I see all lines come through daily. After 50K miles guess which vehicle is more durable and of more value? Jeeps, Durangos or Nissans? Hands down Nissans. Jap Crap? Built in Tennessee.
Clearance issuesmtncranker
Nov 13, 2003 10:53 AM
If you're thinking of off-road driving at all, note that the Element has very limited ground clearance. Your first mucky creek or rock ledge will likely end your off-roading in the Element.

On normal roads, the Element is a far more useful, if ugly, vehicle.
Element in a nutshellFez
Nov 13, 2003 11:03 AM
A roomy boxy vehicle with a CRV chassis and engine. A much cheaper alternative to an Odyssey minivan, which is probably the best minivan out there. Some folks can't get over the stigma of driving a minivan.

Although the Element is roomy and you can sleep in it in a pinch, the rear seating configuration is odd. And the rear seats are very far back and only for 2, so the rear cargo area is small with the seats up. Be prepared to move them often.

And although the Element has AWD, it was not designed to do much, if anything off road. Think of the Awd as a traction bonus, but by now means an offroader.

Jeeps rock offroad, but none of the models get good gas mileage.
re: Jeep Wrangler or Honda Elementlaffeaux
Nov 13, 2003 11:28 AM
I think the Element is one of the ugliest cars made so I'd skip it.

Years ago I owned a CJ-7 (similar to the current Wranglers). They are fun, but a pain in the ass. Once the soft top is off, it's off for a while - i.e. no carrying it with you. If you live somewhere where it rains every day it's hard to justify a Jeep. If you live where it rains little, they are more fun. I live in CA, and my Jeep spent 6-7 months a year with out a top.

If you can live with not having security (i.e. leave nothing in your car), not talking to your passengers at highway speeds (when the top is off), and not worried about always having your hair messed up, buy one. I think they make great 2nd cars, but if you can only afford one car.... why not? You only live once. Just be prepared for a bi8t of impracticaility (which might make your life simpiler).
re: Jeep Wrangler or Honda ElementFranchise
Nov 13, 2003 11:36 AM
Thanks. I appreciate you sharing your experiences with your Jeep. This would be a second car, so I wanted to try something a little different. I've had sports cars, and I currently own another SUV, but it is a lot more practical. I may look into the Subarus though.
2nd car?gtx
Nov 13, 2003 1:58 PM
That changes the whole equation. If it's a second car that doesn't need to be reliable and is supposed to be fun of the two you mentioned I'd definitely get the Jeep. But for fun second cars I usually look into cars that don't depreciate quite so much--ie pre-emission classics.
2nd car?gtx
Nov 13, 2003 2:06 PM
For classic (pre-74) 4x4s I like old Power Wagons, Toyota Land Cruisers, Broncos and Jeep CJs. For a modern classic the Land Rover Defender seem pretty cool.
Disadvantages of oldlaffeaux
Nov 13, 2003 3:06 PM
I have a 240z as my second car so I'm not one to talk anyone out of older cars, however....

The older CJs are great - the best part is that the doors come off very easily (pre '86 or so). However Jeeps during the AMC era were not the pinnacle of American car durability. A CJ w/ 100K miles is a very used car. Also the AMC engines were gas hogs - I had the 6-cylinder and it still sucked gas like crazy (i.e. about 200 miles to a tank, although it was a smallish tank).
Disadvantages of oldgtx
Nov 13, 2003 3:38 PM
Yeah, my 66 Plymouth Satellite gets about 8mpg. For me the biggest issue with older cars is the stopping power relative to modern traffic, since it now seems to be acceptable behavior to cut in front of someone and then throw on the brakes. I upgraded to front disc brakes for this reason. When I drive the Plymouth, though, I notice that I don't get tailgated as much, and I always seem to get the right of way at four way stops. ;)
Subaru Forester!!!robdob
Nov 13, 2003 12:54 PM
Great vehicle. Better in just about every category than the Jeep line and the Honda line (Pilot, Element, CRV). New turbo model in 2004 if that interests you.

Bike racks: I think you have to convert to Yak/Thule load bars.
Subaru Forester!!!snapdragen
Nov 13, 2003 8:00 PM
Buying my Forester was the best decision I made. I have a Bauer hitch rack on it, works great.
four wheel drive vehicle?innergel
Nov 13, 2003 1:05 PM
Only the Jeep is a true "four wheel drive vehicle". As stated prior, the Element is built on a CRV chassis, which is essentially a car chassis. Very similar to your Lexus platform (assuming you have an RX300).

If you want true four wheel drive, then your best option is a full-size pickup truck of some sort. Any of the big three US makers four wheel drive models trucks will do you fine.

You might check out the Nissan Pathfinder. I think they have a mid-size model between the Pathfinder and the full size Armada.
re: Jeep Wrangler or Honda ElementRich M
Nov 13, 2003 2:24 PM
I have both. 97 Jeep Wrangler and 03 Honda Element. I like both. The Element has more room and is more comfortable on long trips. The Jeep is more fun to drive. As far as gas mileage, I get 22 in town and 28 on the road with the Element with AWD and automatic transmission. With the Jeep I get 20 in town and 22 on the road with a 4.0 six cylinder. My jeep is a hard top. Both the Jeep and the Honda hold four people but there is more room in the Honda and I drive the Honda more. The Element is a great vehicle as is the Jeep. Tough choice!!
re: Jeep Wrangler or Honda Elementpedalruns
Nov 13, 2003 5:15 PM
I have a 92 Wrangler YJ softtop.. (and also a Cherokee)

The wranglers are great... If you plan to do any off roading there is no comparision between a Honda and if you get the Wrangler you should go off-road!

The bad thing with the softtops is theft.. and leaving your bike in the car.. I have taken out my rear seat and fit my bike in the back of the jeep with only the front tire removed. I have a BIG cable lock that wraps around the rollbar and around the bike.

With the back seat taken out there then is quite a bit of room... But the bottom line on a Wrangler is.. you really have to love them.. The saying is.. "It's a Jeep thing you wouldn't understand"..

By the way my Wrangler has about 120k+ and is still very strong...and has been very reliable.. The 4.0L engine is really good.
A few pointswooglin
Nov 13, 2003 5:30 PM
1--Ground clearance on the Outback is within an inch of a Cherokee, and better than most car-based cute utes.

2--Although the Element was targeted at the 20 somethings, the people that are buying it are older. Like retirees. My 70 year old dad just bought one for example.

3--Wranglers have a surprisingly good resale value, probably because they appeal to that same 20 something set.

Personally, if I didn't need a truck I'd look first at a Forester, and if I was buying a second car I'd get a Cooper. Just for fun.
Remember the guy from Gilligans Island?northcoast
Nov 13, 2003 6:19 PM
You know the Japanese guy that thought WWII was still going on. Had his own-one man submarine. Typical stereotype (strong accent, super thick coke bottle glasses). That's what you'll look like driving an Element.

How anyone could think those cars are cool is beyond me. Look at some photos of 1980's Japan and you'll see regular Joe, far from cool guys like the Gilligan's actor delivering mail, parts, etc. in "cars" just like these. Visually the Element is just a slightly restyled Asian delivery vehicle. How cool... ????

Those marketing people never give up. Hell while they're at it, Jeep should just re-release their US Mail trucks..... Hmmmm.. Boxy design, unique right-hand drive, large cargo area....It will be a hit!

Now don't even get me started with the Scion.....

Yes I am in design......and no I'm not being racist. I work all the time with Japanese people and have them as friends. I'm just pointing out that this "cool" car had a very uncool origin.
Remember the guy from Gilligans Island?Franchise
Nov 14, 2003 4:51 AM
Thanks for your perspective. I appreciate the honesty.
re: It's a Jeep thing!pedalruns
Nov 13, 2003 7:31 PM
Another point...

Check out how many forum's & clubs there are about Jeeps, just do a search.. That's one of the cool thing with Jeeps is the huge following and loyality.. Huge aftermarket parts!

Don't see to many Honda, Subaru, Nissan boards..

92 YJ 120k+ miles, 97 Cherokee 90k miles.. Both very reliable.. and I'm 40 and have owned a Isuzu Rodeo(this was very good as well, but not good off-road), Honda civic, Nissan pickup, Ford Mustang, Suzuki Sami (very fun when your young)...

The 4.0L engine is bomb proof! But it's a Jeep thing, and only some of you understand!
Yep, no Subaru clubs at all...NatC
Nov 13, 2003 8:54 PM

Fingers got tired of copy/paste at this point.
Or if you prefer Hondas...NatC
Nov 13, 2003 8:59 PM has these 148 links:

-American Honda
-Greenthumb's Honda Site
-Honda Acura Zone Performance Site
-Honda Australia*
-Honda Malaysia
-Honda New Zealand
-Honda Odyssey Email List
-Honda Sportscar Pages*
-Honda Style
-Honda-Acura Gallery
-Ricky's Honda Addict
-Street Tuners
-Super Honda Online
-Temple of VTEC
-The European Honda Homepage
-Toyota and Honda

-A Honda Accord History*
-Cord Club
-Dazz's Evolution*
-Eric's Accord Performance Page
-Honda Accord Heaven
-Honda N Nissan*
-Jason's Honda Performance
-Maurice's Honda Accord Page*
-My Accord Page*
-Yellowmann's Homepage

-1989 Honda Civic Si
-1994 Honda Civic Hatchback
-4th Generation Honda Civic
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-A Honda Civic History*
-Civic SiR
-Cliff Mobile
-Custom Honda Civic Page
-Del Sol Home Page
-East Coast Honda Club
-Elisa's Honda Civic
-Farcyde's Civic Page
-Honda Civic
-Honda Civic B16A
-Honda Hybrid On-line Resource
Civic (part 2)
-Honda Sport's Civic Page
-My 93' Honda Civic
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-Pool-Dog's World
-Rob's Racin' Homepage
-Steve's Civic Page
-Turbo D16 Forum
-Turbo Honda Civics
-'95 Civic Page

-3rd Generation Civic Club
-Canadian S2Ki
-Club Civic Quebec
-Club Sol Austria
-East Coast del Sol
-Honda Car Club of NSW
-Honda Car Owners Association
-Honda Club Egypt
-Honda HR-V Club
-Honda S800 Sportscar Club
-Hungarian CRX Club
-S2000 Club of America
-Singapore Honda Club
-Team del Sol Wisconsin
-The Honda and Acura Club Inc.
-Toronto Civic Club
-UK Honda R Club

-Honda CR-V
-My Honda CR-V

-1989 Dohc Vtec Crx Si
-CRX Owners Group
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-CRX Zero's Site: Honda CRX
-CRX91ryan's Car Page
-Custom CRX Page
-Hendrik97 CRX pages
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-Honda CRX-The 2nd Generation
-Honda Fetish
-King CRX
-My CR-X First Generation
-Phil's Crx Pages
CRX (part 2)
-QuickHonda's World
-Ryan's CRX Discussion Forum Links
-The Canadian CRX Forum
-The CRX Domain
-The CRX Domain Forum
-The CRX Page
-The CRX Resource*
-WB's Honda CRX Gallery

-Ars Technica review
-Auto Revista review
-Honda Automobiles: Insight*
-Insight Central
-MIXD PWR review
-Yahoo Groups: honda-insight

-3rd Gen Low Ludes
-Canadian Imports
-CJ's Place
-First Generation Prelude Kingdom
-Honda Prelude 5th Generation*
-Honda Prelude Fifth Generation Honda Prelude E-mail List
-Honda Prelude Performance Page
-Prelude Possibilities
-Scott's Car Library - Honda Prelude
-The Honda Prelude Web Site
-The UK Honda Prelude Workshop
-World Of VTEC

-All Honda S2000
-Canadian S2Ki
-Central Valley Honda S2000's*
-European Honda S2000
-Honda, S2000 model lineup
-Hot New Honda S2000
-Markus' Page
-Michael's Unofficial Honda S2000 Website*
-North Texas S2000 Owners Club
-S2000 Honda
-Temple of VTEC - Honda S2000
-The Honda / Acura Club
-The Honda S2000
-The Honda S2000 Page
Darn, I can't find any Nissan sites either...NatC
Nov 13, 2003 9:03 PM

139 links including:

-2000 Sentra B15 Club
-510 Again - The National Datsun 510 Club
-Arizona Z Car Club
-Eastern North Carolina Xterra Club
-Indy Z-Car Club
-Middle Tennessee Z Club
-Nismo Racing*
-Nissan 240SX Club
-Nissan Infiniti Car Owners Club
-Nissan Patrol Club Albuqerque
-Nissan Performance Club
-Nissan Xterra clubhouse*
-R31 Skyline Club*
-SE-R Club of America, PA Region
-Southeast Xterra Club
-Southern California Club Xterra (SCCX)
-Southern California Datsun Roadster Owners Club
-Southwestern Xterra Club Homepage
-Team Nismo: The Nissan Car Club
-Texas Datsun Roadster Owners Club*
-The 510 Realm
-The New Zealand Primera Car Club*
-The Sentra Network
-UK Nissan Primera Owners Club*
-Xterra Owners Club
-Z Club Of Texas
Darn, I can't find any Nissan sites either...pedalruns
Nov 14, 2003 3:47 PM
Yes of course there are sites.. and a few clubs..

And If I would try and list all the jeep clubs in the WORLD, it would be a MILE LONG... And I'm sure in the Subaru, Nissan, Toyota, etc (especially the Xterra, 4x4 Toyota's- good clubs with these models) have some nice clubs.. BUT..

My point is Jeep has a HUGE following and a long history, which can't be compared to "most" other vehicles.. I think the "hot rods" and a few other 4x4's would come close..

I've just never found another vehicle that you can go to many, many "forums" just like this one... ask a question and get lots of info, helpful feedback, so easily and quickly.. Just my experience..

And how many other vehicles have a wave.. Have you heard of the "Jeep wave"?? It's a jeep thing you don't understand!!!
my vehicle will beat up your vehicleNatC
Nov 14, 2003 4:29 PM
Actually I've owned two CJ7's and am very familiar with The Wave. I won't be buying another Jeep any time soon though; too much time and money in the auto shop.
my vehicle will beat up your vehiclepedalruns
Nov 14, 2003 4:59 PM
I have two jeeps a 92YJ and 97XJ.. Both have been great and very reliable for me.. The CJ's are classic.. I have a friend who had an 80 CJ7... and certainly Jeeps aren't for everyone.. I think that is what makes them special.. having the top down when the rain comes.. bumping around..all the noise on the highway.. planning your trips, so you don't leave anything to get stolen.. But the Jeeps are really special on the trial and with the top down you can't beat it.

Of course now I have the cherokee, which solves all the softtop and short wheelbase problems.. and lots of room for bikes..

And you forgot.. JEEP.. Just Empty Every Pocket
Kind of like cycling, when you get the Jeep bug, you spend money on all kinds of stuff, making it taller or whatever one want to make of one.. Luckily, I'm older and the Jeep bug has passed me..Of course I'd really like to get a Jeep Rubicon! But really I just spend all kinds of money on bike stuff!
Just Empty Every Pocket !NatC
Nov 14, 2003 7:46 PM
I like that! I've never heard it before. It held true for me, that's for sure. I had an '82 Renegade and an '85 Laredo, and there was nothing I liked more than driving around in the summer with only the bikini top for cover. It was in Colorado though, where afternoon thundershowers were mandatory. I got doused more than my fair share. In the winter that heater felt as if it were no more than a blow dryer set on low, and my Laredo also had a nice trickling drip-drip-drip that would soak my left knee with icy melt water from behind the dash. I blame it for my left knee arthritis to this day. My wife still wonders whether some day I'll come home with a new Jeep after a fit of midlife crisis, but I'm pretty sure I've left the whole Jeep bug in my early 20's.

That Subaru STi is a whole different matter though...
Thanks for all of the informationFranchise
Nov 14, 2003 4:53 AM

Well, thank you all for your input. I appreciate all of the comments. My search is far from over, and I think I may have to look into Subaru's as well. The Impreza WRX wagon has got me very interested in that line. I'm going on test drives today, and I will post my comments later. Thanks again!
Whatever you do, don't test their STi if they have one...NatC
Nov 14, 2003 6:02 AM
because you'll be blown away. It's their WRX on the juice. A guy I work with just bought one a few months ago and says it's faster than any of his 5 Porsches.
2 years of WRX wagon under my beltshawndoggy
Nov 14, 2003 10:13 AM
This is a fun darn car, but too small for long drives with my four and seven year olds in the back. They fit fine but their screaming mouthes are too close to daddy's ears.

Other than that, the only complaints with the car are that the paint has chipped pretty badly on the front (I do live in snow country, but c'mon, that's where they've gotta anticipate these things are going to sell), my mileage almost never creeps above 20 (blame the extra large right foot), and that's really it. It's a reliable blast to drive. I've got a "hitchhiker" style hitch bike rack mounted on it, and I can open the rear hatch with bikes on.

Did I mention it's awfully fun to drive?

Buying tip: they redesigned the front facia this year to get rid of the original "bug eyed" look. You could probably score a low miles used wrx wagon for well under $20K given that pre-04 models are now "obsolete."
Ditto the WRX wagon....mugg
Nov 14, 2003 12:40 PM
What you don't see on the pics below are two Moots road bike inside the hatch. Storage capacity is very impressive. Fully loaded with four bikes and gear box, the car still pulls on mountainous road.

This wagon rocks on road trips!

Test Drive ResultsFranchise
Nov 14, 2003 1:28 PM

I have just returned from a day of test driving cars. Here are my views.

Jeep Wrangler - loved the rugged look of the Jeep. It has so much potential with warmer weather. Also, the fact that I will likely get stuck in snow, or anything is a plus. I like having the option of going off road. However, the mileage was reasonable, but not exemplary. The ride was a little rough because of the short wheelbase? Also, it was very loud. I could hear everything going on outside with the hard top on.

Honda Element - fun to drive. I'm still not in love with the looks, but I kind of like it. There is a ton of cargo room inside it. However, the engine is a little underpowered. Also, having people stare at you while driving down the road was wierd, and I didn't get used to it on my 20 min test drive.

Subaru WRX Wagon - WOW! I loved the spaciousness of the wagon. It had a lot more space than it first appeared. I drove the sedan on the test drive, though. I had no idea a four cylinder with a turbo could be so much fun to drive. It was very fast with a lot of power. I do worry about the ground clearance, though. I know the Impreza WRX wagon has more ground clearance than the average car, but I would still like a little more clearance for large speedbumps and rough roads. I did drive the STI. If the STI came in a wagon, I would be sold. That thing is mean. It thows you back in the seat and handles very well.
I'm leaning towards the WRX wagon with a 5 speed short throw shift kit, but I still haven't made up my mind.

Thank you all for the information. I am still waiting to make a decision. I'll keep you updated on my choice. Thanks again!
never bottomed mine on a speedbump, andshawndoggy
Nov 14, 2003 4:06 PM
you can always get the skid plates installed if you are really worried. ($55). These ARE the starting point for rally cars, remember.

Like I said above, the downside of the WRX, if any, is the questionable paint quality on an otherwise pretty fun ride.
never bottomed mine on a speedbump, andFranchise
Nov 15, 2003 11:03 AM
Thanks for that information. For $55, it is a small price to pay for peace of mind. I definitely am leaning towards the WRX wagon now.
Guess what...NatC
Nov 14, 2003 4:21 PM
350hp Legacy STi wagon will be available in the U.S. in about a year. 280hp turbo will be available next spring. It's already on the roads in Japan and Germany.

You're welcome (for throwing another monkey wrench into your plans)!
Guess what...pedalruns
Nov 14, 2003 5:03 PM
Now, that's ugly!! In my opinion only.. The beauty is in the eyes of the driver..

And the driver is the only thing that matters.
Jeeps suck....lyleseven
Nov 14, 2003 6:15 PM
Nothing but problems with the Jeep line of vehicles. Just check out Consumer Reports on these dogs...Plus, I owned one and it barked!!!
Guess what...Franchise
Nov 15, 2003 11:05 AM
That would be great, but I am looking to buy a car in the next few months. Too bad, though. That looks like it is really mean!
Might want to try this.KG 361
Nov 15, 2003 5:33 PM
Wait a bit. I am pretty sure that the Forrester will be available with a version of that engine. More clearance and a kick-arse engine to boot. We have 2 Subs and love them.
Might want to try this.Franchise
Nov 16, 2003 8:35 AM
Thanks. I may look into that. I still like the Impreza wrx, and I am even thinking about getting the sedan and just getting a roofrack.
It's called a Forrester turbo. nmKG 361
Nov 16, 2003 12:55 PM