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earthairfire  earthairfire is offline
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Default Which medium size 4x4 for 30K?

Hi All,

We're looking at buying our first 4x4. Keen to learn new skills and go places I've normally only hiked in and out of. Looking for something that's capable for beaches, off road tracks etc in and around SE QLD.

A few other notes:
- We'd prefer a 'mid size' 4x4 rather than a massive beast
- There's 2 adults and 1 x 4 month old who will be in the car most the time
- Ideally would like something less than 5 years old
- This will be our only car, so needs to be useable for everything from bush adventures to shopping trips
- Would prefer to stay around $30K as much more than that and I'll probably be too precious about scratching it!

Both the Cherokee Trailhawk and the Wrangler Unlimited seem to tick our boxes, so hoping for some help deciding between the two (or any other suggestions!)

In particular, keen to understand 1) how capable the cherokee trailhawk is, and 2) how easy it is to live with a wrangler as our daily driver and only car as a young family.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts and advice,

Tim
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Freetripper  Freetripper is online now
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My humble suggestion is to go to a few 2nd hand car yards, try both and let SWMBO decide. They are 2 completely different things to drive, with a JKU being more "truck like". My other half drives my JK only when she has to. She likes the better view riding higher gives her, but couldn't live with it everyday, even getting in with our 3yr old is a PITA for her with only a small lift & 33's. She's only 5 ft 4. She's got her VW for a daily.
Just my opinion, cars can change, wives not so easily 😂
Good luck, whichever way you decide to go. I can't comment on capabilities of Trail hawk, but other members on here will probably be able to offer some owner insight. I personally like them and have read good things but no real world experience.
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Many thanks for the thoughts. Might keep an eye out for a local jeep meet too and head along to quiz some owners

Cheers,

Tim
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If I could only have one car, it would probably be a WK2 Grand Cherokee Limited with the 3.6 Penstar... You should be able to find a quite tidy one for under $30k.
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I wouldn't recommend the Wrangler with a young child especially if its a daily driver.

The roll cage limits how much gear you can fit so the boot space is quite small. You need to take a lot of gear with a young child and on top of that there is also your own gear especially if you are going away for a couple of days.

If you are on the beach or in the scrub, you need to take recovery gear away with you as well so you aren't relying on using other people's.

If you do like the Wrangler go for the 4 door as it gives you a little more space than the 2 door even though the 2 door is a lot more fun to drive.

The JK Wrangler drives a lot better than previous models but you need to weigh up if you are happy to put up with it's truck like handling every day. Other than that, they are a lot of fun to own.

As suggested, go and look at both the Cherokee Trailhawk and the Wrangler together on the same day and make up your mind from there.
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The JKU has the boxy usable space. The split fold seat will give you even more cargo room. If you eventually need a rack, you have several options. Lots of aftermarket products, parts and support. The 3.6L engine is quiet and powerful. Maybe also look at a WK2? if you want more road manners.
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Thanks all! Really appreciate all the input.
Plenty to think about. Hoping to get a couple of test drives in this weekend.

If anyone reading this has the Cherokee trailhawk, I'd love to hear thoughts about it's capability and suitability for Aussie off-road conditions
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