Swap my XJ jeep for something modern! Which car should I buy?

Image for article with the title I want to replace my XJ jeep with something more modern!  Which car should I buy?

Photo: David Tracy

Owen has a 1999 Jeep XJ and he wants to upgrade to something a little safer and more modern. But he would still like to keep his Jeeps capable. With a budget of up to $ 40,000, which car should he buy?

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Here is the scenario:

I have a 1999 Jeep Xj that is roughly finished in life with 225K miles. I also have a 6-year-old boy who grows like a bean bar. Given rising petrol prices, I’m looking for something modern, but just as reliable and capable, and after recently driving a 4runner, that’s not the answer. I would really like a sunroof because my favorite driving pleasures are with all the windows down and a good breeze. I like 4runner but too much too little, xj just loves a little cramped and old. Basically all the cars I love are 90s buses on wheels but I need something new

I live in AZ so I do not want leather seats and I can spend up to $ 40,000

Quick facts:

Budget: up to $ 40,000

Daily driver: Yes

Place: Tucson, AZ

Want: Modern, capable, decent MPG

Do not want: Something too old

Expert 1: Tom McParland – Modern and boxy

Image for article with the title I want to replace my XJ jeep with something more modern!  Which car should I buy?

Photo: Jason Torchinsky / Jalopnik

Owen, it’s probably good that you filed your case after our rusty Jeep collector moved elsewhere. But he’s dead to us now, so we’re free to think of suitable replacements for your XJ. Your two biggest problems with the old Jeep are that it lacks modern features that make it safe for child transport and that it is a bit thirsty. Although you like its “ability”, you did not mention the need for intense off-road driving.

Since 4Runner did not impress you, the natural option is a Bronco, but they are essentially unobtanium at reasonable prices for a while. So maybe the smaller Bronco Sport would do a trick. It is more like your XJ in size but still has plenty of room for the kid and everything else you move. It retains the boxy look and can get up to 28 MPG on the highway. Well, fitted examples with a sunroof will stick under the $ 40,000 mark so if you can find one without the typical dealer label, this might be a good value.

Expert 2: Bob Sorokanich – Large and overcharged

2022 kia telluride nightfall edition

Photo: Kia

As a former XJ owner and incurable jeep soul, I understand the challenge of replacing a beloved but broken Cherokee. Nothing in the modern market has the combination of charm, simplicity, oil leakage and propensity for catastrophic rust that the Jeep Cherokee embodies. So we have to broaden our horizons. We have to take a trip to Telluride.

Compared to your XJ, Kia Telluride is, frankly, huge. Again, almost all modern vehicles are huge compared to an XJ, a vehicle designed in the late 1970s when Detroit’s understanding of ergonomics was “if I fit, I sit.” But just like your XJ, Telluride is nicely square without being a real cube. It is remarkably safe, extremely comfortable and extremely comfortable to drive. The fuel distance is not astonishing, but for a medium-sized SUV with a somewhat useful third seat row, it’s actually pretty good.

But good luck finding one. Telluride is insanely popular, and wherever there is a hot-selling vehicle, there are dealers who are willing to put ridiculous markup over MSRP. Your budget of about $ 40,000 should easily get you an LS, X or EX model, but I should be able to fit in the jeans with a 30-inch waist that I wore in college. Reality may not correspond to what we think “should” be possible.

Does that make this a useless recommendation? Probably. But when our staff discussed possible vehicles to recommend to you, fair XJ owners, the conversation was dominated by 20-year-old Isuzus and doubtfully imported Nissan Patrols. We all think we want a VehiCross, just like the rest of us think we can make a complete connection change at home on a weekend. Compared to that advice, I think you will think that my proposal is entirely reasonable.

Expert 3: Lawrence Hodge – Reliable and capable

Image for article with the title I want to replace my XJ jeep with something more modern!  Which car should I buy?

Picture: Toyota

This is one that is a bit difficult because you want the MPG and the capacity, and it is not easy to get a vehicle that has both of these. So to compensate for that, how about something that is both capable and reliable? Try the 2018-2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road.

Although it may not be as capable as you are used to, the 4Runner can still handle its own. With TRD Off-Road trim, you get goodies such as mud / snow tires, a two-speed gearbox with lockable rear diff and sliding plates. And it’s old school in the best sense, because it’s one of the last frame SUVs you can buy. The disadvantages? The engine is old as hell too. That 4.0-liter V6 has been around forever, and it’s not agile. Gas mileage may be better as well as this thing gets 18 mpg combined. The good news, though, is that they can be purchased within your price range, with examples Under 50,000 miles comes in just at or just under $ 40,000.

Expert 4: José Rodríguez Jr. – The Original Sport Utility

Image for article with the title I want to replace my XJ jeep with something more modern!  Which car should I buy?

Photo: Nissan

I’m going against the flow here, but not really. Many of today’s boxy SUVs are just closed versions of beloved trucks that slowly lost touch with theirs roots; I would like to suggest a return to these. What better way to combine modern security with substantial reliability and good terrain performance than with the often overlooked Nissan Frontier? With four doors and a motorhome shell, it becomes as practical as an SUV – if not more. It’s nothing boxy Hard bodybut it is “modern. ”

The 2022 Nissan Frontier starts at $ 33,000 for a four-door 4X4 model, and even if you do not get the sleek off-road version, you can always modify a lower trim with (better) aftermarket components at your own pace. This is technically a “new” Frontierbut there is plenty of the old under the redesign.

Which for the most part is good in this case, since the old truck is an underrated off-road vehicle. To this day, Nissan is routinely upstaged by Toyota Tacoma or the Ford Ranger. Again, this is a good thing because it means less markup when shopping for a new Frontier, or no silly asking price for a used one.

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