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Which year Jeep Wrangler would you buy?


TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Apr 7, 2018
Burnsville, MN, USA
If I were to buy a TJ, the year of the model would play almost no role in my decision. Sure, there's a few considerations you'll have between some years of TJs, but they're pretty minimal. The biggest concerns would be finding one in good condition with reasonable mileage, no rust, and no stupid mods like 4" rough country lifts, car alarms, etc.

It's not like buying a JK where the 2012 and later models have a different engine. Most TJs are very similar outside of what submodel you choose (i.e. 2.4L vs 4.0 or TJ vs LJ, rubicon vs SE, etc.).

If you really get to a situation with all else being equal, the '05s and '06s have some specific issues to them, but at worst it'll cost a couple hundred dollars and minor work to fix if you are unlucky enough to encounter them.

Willys LJ

TJ Enthusiast
Oct 26, 2018
Dyer TN
If I was looking at buying another Wrangler, I'd probably be looking at the same ones I was looking at when I bought my '05 LJ. A LJ as near stock as I could find in the best condition I could get at a price I can afford. So that makes it an '04 to '06. Now the two things I was looking for that I didn't get in mine were red and auto (Mrs Willy's wants). But overall, I'm happy with the one that followed me home.

I forgot on thing on the search list. Driving distance from here. I found mine at a used dealer in Benton, KY.

I still want an old early CJ though.

C.J. Roberts

TJ Enthusiast
Jan 26, 2017
Tucson, AZ, United States
Honestly, I’d strongly consider a current model JL 2 door Rubicon . 2 door only. 33s from the factory and more ground clearance stock with beefier axles and parts. I will consider it when they come out with the new model and the price drops. More skinny pedal doesn’t hurt either
Fine idea! Should only cost four times as much. Let me get my wallet. o_O


Knows enough to be dangerous
Supporting Member
Nov 29, 2018
Kansas City
I wouldn't be too picky since if I'd be buying another Jeep I'd probably do some major overhauling on it like I'm currently doing with my '97. LJ's really call my name though, and having the low gearing, stronger axles, and lockers the a Rubi would be desired too. But I still have plans to eventually do a diesel swap into a TJ/LJ so even if I ended up with another cheap SE it wouldn't be the end of the world. And as blasphemous as this might be, like @Chapman4266 said a JL would be hard to pass up (especially if I had a family, and better income). I think they're much better looking than JK's.


Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Mar 23, 2018
Martinez, CA, USA
If mine burned to the ground I would opt for a 2003-2006 rubicon with a manual transmission. The JLs look nice but they are still wider then the TJ and I would guess a fair bit more complicated to work on.

One of the major reasons why I love the TJ is because I can drive through over grown brush, large rocks, and tight trails and not worry about scratching the paint. I don't think I would feel the same way with a JL unless I made a ton more money or I could pick one up fairly inexpensively.


TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
I think they're much better looking than JK's.
I think those ridiculous fender mounted turn signals are as far away from a good looking Jeep as anything could ever be. I will say the JKs turn signals could have been done better too.

Yes this is coming from the guy that is so tempted to drill some holes in his TJ's grill.
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