Bumped: PUP My Ride

In honor of turning 40 in a few days and my ongoing mid-life crisis, I’m going to buy or lease a new car, and I’ve narrowed the choices down to these three:

4 door Jeep Wrangler

4 Door freakin’ Wrangler.  Chicks dig it.

Toyota FJ Cruiser

Toyota FJ Cruiser is a quality vehicle, but its not a “real” 4 door, the back seat takes some maneuvering to get into.

Mazda CX-7

Mazda CX-7, the most sophisticated option.

Assuming all meet my needs and and they all cost about the same, which one should I get and why?


37 Responses to Bumped: PUP My Ride

  1. mesablue says:

    The Wrangler looks too much like the two door version for me. I do like the removable top. I just wish they could have ‘toughed’ it up a bit.

    I really like the FJ. It’s just an all around cool vehicle. It’s still new enough that you don’t see a lot of them on the road.

    The CX-7 looks like something a soccer mom would drive.

  2. Enas Yorl says:

    Have you considered Toyota’s lastest RAV4’s?
    I have a 2001 4-cyl version and I love it – the best car I’ve ever owned. For the latest models they offer the beefier 6-cyl engine and it’s a bit longer now too.

    Of the three you’ve got up there though, I like the looks of the Mazda.

  3. TattooedIntellectual says:

    Am I too late? The Wrangler is awesome. The FJ is cool, but I can understand the issue w/ the back seats. The Mazda is a total suburban housewife vehicle. That one’s definitely got cooties.

  4. Pupster says:

    Enas, I’ll look at the RAV 4’s, I’m a bit prejudiced because an acquaintance of mine bought one in 99 and I didn’t care for it. It seemed like a tall Corolla, functional but cheap. Looks like there are some pretty sweet upgrades available.

    TI, nope, not too late, thanks for stopping by.

    The Mazda rides very smooth with about 1/2 of the road noise of the Jeep and Toyota, it’s just more comfortable, but not as kick-ass.

  5. S. Weasel says:

    The Mazda is a hatchback, for chrissakes. Cooties, for real. And I say that as a Mazda owner. Now, if you could pony up a few extra for the RX-8, that’s worth having. My boss has one. I think he bought it because he likes to say “wankle”.

    I know Jeep used to have reliability issues. Are they better now?

  6. Pupster says:


    Jeep’s bad reliability record is why I haven’t pulled the trigger on the Wrangler X, if I can get a good deal on a 2 year lease I’ll probably do it. I don’t really want to “own” it any longer than that.

    I guess I’m just having a faux mid-life crisis, the RX-8 type sports cars are just too impractical for me as a daily driver. I need a 4 door, which is why the Toyota FJ cruiser is kinda borderline.

    Wankle. Waaankle. It is kinda fun…hard to work into your average conversation. “I cried for the fist time in years when I fell and sprained my Waaankle.”

  7. skinbad says:

    With the 2 year lease caveat, do the dew. Charlie Wrangler could be your new nickname.

  8. Enas Yorl says:

    Thanks for the wankle link – I had no idea what Mr. Weasel was talking about. Brings up a funny story – in the early ’90s I was looking to buy a car and found a used RX-7 I could just afford and I told the salesman that I wanted it. He was so happy that if he had a tail he’d a wagged it off. Then I checked the insurance rates I was going to have to pay. NRRK!! Insane. I told the sales guy that there was no way I could afford the car after all. I also wasn’t interested in anything else he had on the lot. He looked like he wanted to cry. I wound up getting a Ford Probe elsewhere.

  9. Pupster says:

    My father-in-law has a Probe, and he really likes to drive his Probe. It has always been referred to as “my Probe” instead of “my car”.

    “Can I give you a ride with my Probe?”

    It just never gets old.

  10. Enas Yorl says:

    Probe jokes – oh yah, ever funny. Endless variations of riffing on “Rear-ending somebody with my Probe” & “Getting rear-ended by a Probe” are available.

  11. Pupster says:

    Man, my Probe is filthy!

    How much would you charge to wash my Probe?

  12. BrewFan says:

    According to Consumer Reports the Predicted Reliability for the Toyota is 1 on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being the best. The Jeep is 3. The CX7 doesn’t have a Predicted REliability rating because it is a fairly new model. Owner Satisfaction (same scale as above) is 1 for the Toyota, 4 for the Jeep, 1 for the CX7. Because of the little Pups, I noticed the Toyota which has side air bags has a Crash Protection of 1 (there is no rating for the Jeep of CX7). The bad news is the Jeep and the FJ ranked 25 and 26 (Overall Road-Test Score) out of 28 Small SUVs tested (The top score was 83 for the RAV4 V6 Limited, the Jeep score was 42 and the FJ score was 36). The CX7 is ranked 21 out of 31 Midsized SUVs tested (the top score was 86 for the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the CX7 was 62).

    Hope this helps.

  13. Mrs. Peel says:

    I’m a chick, so my opinion is therefore worthless, but personally, I say you should get this.

  14. geoff says:

    What, no minivan?

  15. Pupster says:

    Brewfan puts me to some knowledge! Thanks.

    Mrs. Peel, I may have some difficulty selling the Corvette idea to Mrs. Pupster. Thanks for playing.

    Geoff, Mrs. Pupster drives a full size conversion van and love love loves it. Soccer mom’s needs are well covered; I’m looking for the new Pupster-mobile.

  16. Mrs. Peel, that right there is my dream car except I’d like mine in Fire Engine Red. You’re welcome, Pupster. Because we’re talking mid-life crisis I personally think you should get what turns you on, Consumer Reports be damned! Just get the extended warranty 🙂

  17. skinbad says:

    Minivan’s to be phased out for “crossover” SUVs.


  18. Mrs. Peel says:

    the boy and I are agreed on ‘Vettes. He plans to get one in 2012, so I have to keep him around for a while.

    I guess you should get whichever one turns you on the most, as Brew said.

    Alternatively, you could get whichever one turns Mrs. Pupster on the most.

  19. BrewFan says:

    Alternatively, you could get whichever one turns Mrs. Pupster on the most.

    You are wise beyond your years!

  20. geoff says:

    That was an interesting point, but I think it’s really about the guys with no market share getting out of the game. Dodge, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, dominate the market with a combined 74% market share. Nobody’s going to notice Mazda, GM, and Ford getting out.

  21. geoff says:

    Oops, should have said “That was an interesting point, Skinbad, …”

  22. skinbad says:

    I’m sure you’re right. The ones selling them aren’t looking to get out of the market. My wife has autolust for a Sienna. One of these years.

  23. kevlarchick says:

    I drove a Sienna for a while. Not nearly as sexy as those buggies Pupster is thinking about, but it was very nice when the chitlins were in car seats.

  24. jayne says:

    I say go with the Toyota. The dealerships-at least around this area-are so much nicer than the other brand dealerships, the quality is better, and the resale is better. I’m debating between a Chevy Blazer and a Toyota. I really like Chevys, but Toyota has a lot more going for it. It really is a big decision.

  25. Pupster says:

    I still haven’t decided to “lease” or “buy”…if I buy it will be the FJ Cruiser or a RAV-4(H/T Enas Yorl).

    The 4-Runner is a little out of my price range, but that would be my first choice Toyota if money did not matter.

  26. Pupster says:

    That’s a deep subject, Elzbth.

  27. Mrs. Pupster says:

    Just a thought, remember that our young pupster jr. often gets car sick. Maybe a vehicle with a smooth ride would be a good idea. Lets go shopping!!! Yeee-haw! Happy Birthday!

  28. Pupster says:

    A smooth ride and stain resistant carpet.


  29. Enas Yorl says:

    Ah! So you’ve come around on the Rav-4. Excellent. The newest ones look pretty nice. The ride is pretty smooth too, at least mine is. It’s funny – right after I got it I started noticing how many people were driving one too. I had an urge to wave to them. You know – the Rav-4 Club wave. I’ve surpressed it but others can’t though – I got Club wave just the other week. Yessir I waved right back.

  30. Tushar D says:

    Pupster, I have always said that there are two and a half good car-makers. Toyota and Honda make good cars. And Nissan makes cars that are half-good. Everyone else sells you junk. RAV-4, Honda CRV, FJ Cruiser and Nissan XTerra. All good choices. I would have purchased a FJ Cruiser if practicality was not a consideration.

  31. TattooedIntellectual says:

    Toyotas are awesome vehs. They hold up for pretty much ever. The Nissan XTerra handles a lot like a car, and (if memory holds) has a pretty smooth ride.

    BTW, Happy B-day, but you’re not old yet gotta hit five-oh for that. The big half century mark 🙂

  32. TattooedIntellectual says:

    When I said car, I meant sedan, just in case there was any confusion.

  33. mesablue says:

    Hey, how was the Pupstermobile in all of the Global Warming we got this weekend?

  34. Pupster says:

    It’s doing good Mesa. I feel really, really confident driving Charlie Wrangler on snow and ice.

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