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Looking to repLace ’93 WrangLer for reLiabiLity
a crate motor in or buy a new-ish car?

But if you love the barbaric nature,
unreliability and occasional roof leaks
Ray, what are your thoughts? What are of your old Jeep, you can always get
the vehicles that fit the bill most closely? one of the newer, four-door Wranglers.
I am not super worried about reliability But those are big money and not great
since I enjoy working on my vehicle
for toting kids. So at least see how the
(provided it’s not catastrophic failure).
other half drives before you buy another
What vehicles are the easiest to work
on nowadays? It seems like everything
under the sun is jammed into the
There are a ton of rugged-looking
engine bay, and you’re practically
crossovers these days that have all of the
removing the motor to access the oil
practical qualities you love about your
Dear Car Talk: I am a proud owner of a filter. Thanks. — Casidy
Jeep — the all-wheel-drive, the ground
1993 Jeep Wrangler that I grew up with.
clearance, the compact size. But what
It has 250,000 miles on it, and I love
Oh, Casidy. You probably thought this
they also have is comfort, safety, good
it to death. It fits in the tiny parking
was a car question, didn’t you? I actually mileage, reliability, a quiet interior,
postage stamps in the city near me, it
think it’s more than that. I think it’s
good handling, and room for strollers
has enough clearance and four-wheel
about adulthood. The ’93 Wrangler
and child seats. Oh, and they’re all able
drive for the snowy winters and steep
represents your youth. You grew up
to stay in their lane for more than a
roads here, and best of all, it is so easy
with it. You had lots of adventures with few seconds. I’ll list a few. You’ll have
to work on (I do all my own mechanics). it. It didn’t matter if it broke down.
to go on some test drives and see what
However, it’s not really a friendly size
So what? Another adventure! You had
appeals to you: Toyota RAV4, Subaru
for the family that I would like to start
no responsibilities. And now you are
Forester, Ford Bronco Sport, Nissan
in a few years. And when I’m driving
thinking about starting a family, and
Rogue, Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V,
the interstate, I’m either holding up the you fear that it’s time to — yikes! — get
VW Tiguan, Jeep Cherokee, Mazda CXpractical. And I think you’re right.
truckers in the right lane or barreling
Unfortunately, nothing is going to be
along at 3,000 rpm while I panic
as easy to work on as a Jeep from 1993
Given the rugged self-image you’ve
internally that my engine will kick the
(which was pretty similar to a Jeep from gotten used to driving your Jeep,
bucket from the effort. All of this is to
I’d start with the RAV4 and Bronco
say: I’m wracked with indecision. Drop ’83, a Jeep from ’73 or a Jeep from ’63).

Sport and go from there. And if
you want either of those to ride just
like your Wrangler, put an extra 10
pounds of air in the tires. And here’s
my final suggestion: Don’t sell your
’93 Wrangler. It’s not worth a lot
anyway. Instead, store it. It’ll make this
transition a little easier. Then, once
your kids are screaming and driving you
crazy, hand them over to your spouse
for a few hours and go out and get your
hands dirty working on the Wrangler.
It’ll be an escape from the chaos of
your future life. It’ll remind you of the
freedom and adventures you’ve had.
You can revel in that while turning
your wrenches. And it’ll become more
important to your self-image once you
graduate to that minivan, Casidy.
Got a question about cars? Write to Ray
in care of King Features, 628 Virginia
Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or email by
visiting the Car Talk website at www.
© 2021 by Ray Magliozzi and Doug
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