Bye Honda CR-V, hello Jeep Wrangler

I promised myself I’d trade in my 2016 Honda CR-V Touring before the 60,000 mile mark. This way I get maximum trade in, since Honda can certify it for the next person. It wasn’t my first Honda CR-V but it was my last. I won’t go into detail on why, but a pain point was our beta testing a CarPlay firmware update that never materialized. #vaporware #scam

For what its worth, my 2016 Honda CR-V Touring was an All Wheel Drive (AWD) function is not all its cracked to be. Its great for driving in the rain, but that’s about it. Drive it up a snowy incline, and it doesn’t do so well. Its a reactive system, not very good to be honest, though it isn’t a total design failure.

The third generation CR-V line has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds which isn’t quite enough for a small camping trailer, and the rating is only any good on smooth road. Forget about pulling a trailer through any rough roads, or over mountains. What’s the sense in pulling a trailer if you can’t go anywhere fun?

So I finally decided to get my dream car. A two door 2020 Jeep Wrangler JL with manual shift and a 3.6L V6 engine. Jeeps with 2L I4 engines are just silly if you ask me. I didn’t want to go with a four door, since I rarely have more than one passenger, and the difference in gas mileage is substantial between 2 and 4 door models.

The ugly.

Manual seats (yes, a huge PITA but used to it already). Manual widows (yes you have to reach over to roll the passenger window up and down). Manual locks (yes no keyfob with buttons). Manual mirrors (yes you have to get out of the car to adjust the passenger rear view mirror). Manual headlights (yes if you forget to turn them off you’ll get a reminder but if you ignore it you’ll be calling AAA). No remote start (because its a standard).

The awesome.

8 speaker sound system (even though it really can use a more powerful amp and better speakers and a subwoofer). Powerful engine (if you’re too aggressive, you’ll spin your wheels when accelerating). Decent gas mileage (20 mpg so far in first 750 miles). Soft roof that’s simple and easy to roll back, remove, collapse, what have you. Easily removable rear seats (much more space). Removeable windshield, doors, etc.

The mediocre.

Towing capacity is 2,000 and that’s even if you go over rough terrain. The 3.6L V6 engine is the same one that’s used in the 4 door model, which is rated 3,500 towing capacity. Jeep explained its due to the longer wheel base and higher weight on the four door. Guess it makes sense, I just know I love the engine. It has serious kick on the highway, although its a Jeep so sticking to the speed limit. Really.

This is a basic, vanilla Jeep. The only feature I paid for is AC. Having lived in Texas and SoCal, and now Florida, homie needs his AC. Didn’t get a navigation head unit, since its $3K more, figured there are several third party options that support CarPlay and are plug-n-play. Including fully supporting the stock steering wheel controls, and backup camera. This baby has just the right mix of feaatures for the road as well as for some minor off roading (though the JL ain’t no JK).


I just realized the last time I drove a manual was in the US Army, when I was usually the guy who drive the Battalion Commander around in a M151 MUTT. I enlisted at 17 and having never owned a car before. In the 40 years since, I’ve only owned automatics. Not by choice. They just don’t make manual transmission cars anymore. Well, honestly Jeep has always offered a manual shifting model, just thought it wasn’t the right time to get one.

I drove a M151 MUTT in 120 degree weather (Fort Campbell) as well as in -40 degree weather (Fort Drum). What a piece of shit it was. But it always worked. Uncomfortable as all hell, but it always worked. Ugly as heck, but it always worked. I guess that’s the point, it always worked. At this stage in my life, having branched out into motorcycle touring, I want my car to just work.

So a few weeks ago I went into the Jeep dealer with guns blazing. I want manual. Yep, we have that. I want black. Yep we have that. I want a 3.6L V6 engine. Yep, we have that. I want AC but I don’t want your overpriced navigation unit. Yes, we have that. They kind of fibbed, they had to swap one of their stock Jeep Wrangler JLs with another dealer who had exactly what I wanted.

I want to trade in my 2016 Honda CR-V Touring. Yep, we’ll take it off your hands…especially when they found it to be 95% condition which is rare for a 4 year old car with 57,000+ miles on it. 🙂 We went through a few hours of negotiation, to get the best deal possible. And yes I threw the expected “Jeep gas mileage sucks” at them to troll them. LOL

How tough was the negotiation? It came down to a slight disagreement over what my car’s trade in is worth. I wanted to get at least the minimum amount for the 95% condition of the car. I was serious enough to walk out over a $300 deficit. The next day I get a call that they’ll add it, and the next day I went in and signed the paperwork. And yes gimme GAP, and yes gimme extended maintenance.

A week later and I’m happier than a pig in shit. Or so my Texas buddies would say. I’m trying to resist the urge to mod the Jeep. Why? Because the three biggest mod markets are (1) Harley-Davidson, (2) Ford F-150, and (3) Jeep Wrangler. So I have to exercise restraint. But not so much. I mean I do need running boards. And a hitch. And wheel lock nuts. A short rubberized antenna. And an iPhone mount. I’m trying, not sure how long I can hold out before I order more mods. 😀

EDIT: Forgot to mention I declined the CarPlay 7” head unit since I could buy the exact OEM item, install it myself and save $2,000. Its ordered and I expect to install it by Dec 28th. here is a stock photo: