So, we did our part for retailers, for the American auto industry, and for the state and local budgets. I’m not sure if it counts toward the Black Friday numbers, but along with stocking stuffers we got something to stuff the stockings in at our local Jeep dealer. First, ours is not a Rubicon. Second, there is not (yet) snow on the ground in southern Maine. But, yes, today we bid farewell to the Suburban. After five and a half years, nearly 80,000 miles (and, therefore, over 5,700 gallons of gasoline), we have sent our gashog to the shelter in hopes of finding a good home for its final years. In its place we have a 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X much like the vehicle pictured, one of Consumer Reports’ eleven Worst Cars of 2008.
It’s still not “great” on gas, but if we drive it as much over the next five and a half years as we did the Suburban we will have used over 25 percent less gasoline than the last five and a half. The Suburban met our needs then; now I hope the Wrangler will meet our (my) needs as they are. Five or ten years from now we could be in position where one car is all we need and can consider something even smaller (though the Wrangler Unlimited is surprisingly not really any bigger than the Escape we bought at the end of July). Hopefully automotive technology and fuel efficiency will have taken another quantum leap by then.
As for its “worst car” status, there’s no question the Wrangler isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is what it claims to be. And for now, it’s what meets our needs, even if it more than exceeds them in some areas, and doesn’t quite meet them in others.