I bought this vehicle used, from a friend. It needed all of its basic service done for the mileage as it had been neglected in a salt water environment for four years. After new tires, brakes, tune up and fluid change, I used it for a daily driver. First the bad: It is a soft top and is very noisy at anything above 50mph. It has a harsh ride and has very little storage room inside of the interior. It also gets terrible fuel mileage. Next, the good: The vehicle has had rock solid reliability with very few unscheduled repairs, all of which were minor. The vehicle is also pretty much unstoppable in harsh weather and I have had the opportunity to use it in deep snow, flooding, and hurricane conditions during the time I have owned it. It is also very good in a crash as I was hit hard on the side at highway speeds and walked away with only a bruised shoulder. The vehicle was still operable after the crash and I drove it to the body shop for repairs. It is a niche vehicle and you will either love them or hate them. If you buy one for comfort or mileage, you will be sorely disappointed, If you buy them for tough as nails off roading or for the ultimate in bad weather mobility, you will love it. Update... I installed a factory hard top which has improved the comfort of the vehicle substantially as the highway noise level has been significantly reduced and the climate control now has no issue keeping up in extreme weather. I also installed the stock sized tires and rims which improved drivability and slightly increased fuel mileage. Repairs are starting to. Evonne more frequent, but the old girl now has 120,000 hard miles on the clock.
If you plan on driving on the road all the time and you are very young, maybe this vehicl will do, but it has average gas mileage to be expected from an american SUV and its a rough ride in town. That said if you have time to actually use your jeep for offroading and trail running the jeep wrangler is excellent. I cant imagine trying to take a scion up some of the places I have gone in this jeep, and the soft top and removeable doors are always off. Great to drive at night in the summer here and the improved coilspring suspension is a step up from the older leafspring. Still stiff though, so like I say, its not for the faint of heart.
If you are looking for a used Wrangler to use as both a daily driver and a weekend trail runner, the 2003 year is a very good choice. This year saw the intro of the new 4 speed automatic transmission, making freeway driving easier. It had already seen a engine upgrade in 2001, and also now has the option for rear disk brakes (faster stopping, better feel and much easier to repair). Aside from the later Unlimited body extension option and the Rubicon off road package that became available in 2004 (and together in 2005), there is no better Wrangler to consider than a 2003 (Unless you want a fat/wide 2007+, which can't get though some desert canyons I wheel in!)
I have had several Jeeps, and this is by far the best one ever. Traded my Avalanche that I loved in on this, and don't regreat it for a minute. I have both hard and soft tops, but bought it for no tops. Absolutely fun to drive anytime anywhere, and it can go anywhere. Live at the beach, and I couldn't have a more appropriate vehicle. Thanks Jeep...
I had a '83 CJ7 that was bulletproof, and was great to drive. My '03 Jeep, is just as reliable and great to drive, with more comforts of my '83. The fuel economy isn't great, but if I wanted that, I would've bought a Toyota.