Is it best to look for a 5 year old Jeep?
I currently drive a 2001 Toyota Celica. It's getting old. I think I need something higher sitting. I can't afford anything new model (2013/2014). Is it best to look for a 5 year old Jeep? A 2008/2009 Jeep? I think the Wrangler is a good choice since I like its military type of look. Are these 4 cylinders? Good on gas? Good on harsh climates (in case I move to North Dakota)? Stick or automatic? I'd prefer a hard top since those plastic looking cover look like it's easy to slice up through it and steal everything in your car (I live in the city for the moment). Isn't the Jeep Wrangler "Sport" the cheapest of all Jeep Wranglers? I'd love to have a Rubicon though. How many do you think it will cost to buy from a dealer vs. a private owner of a Jeep Wrangler that's about 5 years old? I bought my Celica from a dealer. I don't trust private sellers. I don't know why.
Is owning a Jeep easy to change my own oil since it sits higher compared to my low sitting, sporty, Toyota Celica? My Celica is easy to maintain so I hope Jeeps are easy as well, meaning it won't give me problems the way I think Fords give owners problems after 100,000 miles or so. My Toyota is getting close to 270,000 miles. It has given me problems right when it was getting close to 200,000 miles. It beat Ford. LOL.
Not really, a 5-year old JK (07+ Wrangler) won't cost much less than a new one and doesn't have as good of an engine and transmission (auto), they hold their value really well. Your best bet is either to buy new or go for a TJ (97-06 Wrangler) or YJ (87-95 Wrangler) if your budget is really tight.
Are these 4 cylinders?
Only older models (TJ/YJ), 07+ (JK) Wranglers are V6 only pre-07 (TJ/YJ) Wranglers were available with either a 2.5L I4 or 4.0L I6, there is no reason to get the 4-cyl except for price, gas mileage is about the same and the 4-cyl has allot less power.
Good on gas?
In a word NO. You don't buy a Wrangler for the gas mileage.
Good on harsh climates (in case I move to North Dakota)?
Absolutely, this (and off-roading) is what Jeeps are made for.
Stick or automatic?
All Wranglers are available with both. prior to 2012 the stick was the better option for performance and reliability. 2012+ models have a better automatic (Daimler W5A580) so it is mainly just about what you like more in 2012+ models.
Isn't the Jeep Wrangler "Sport" the cheapest of all Jeep Wranglers?
The designation for the base model varies year to year, among newer models it is "Sport", in older models "Sport", "SE", "X", and simply base (no name/designation) were used.
Is owning a Jeep easy to change my own oil since it sits higher compared to my low sitting, sporty, Toyota Celica?
Oh yes, no jack required on a Jeep. Older models (TJ/YJ) will have the easiest maintenance. The 4.0L I6 is about as simple to work on as an engine gets.
My Celica is easy to maintain so I hope Jeeps are easy as well, meaning it won't give me problems the way I think Fords give owners problems after 100,000 miles or so.
Wranglers, especially TJs and YJs with the 4.0L I6 are relatively reliable (these engines are bulletproof). The biggest weak spot reliability wise is the 42RLE automatic transmission offered in 03-11 Wranglers. The 3.8L V6 in 07-11 Wranglers is underpowered but reliable (though not as good as the 4.0L I6), the 3.6L "Pentastar" V6 in 2012+ Wranglers should be reliable though it hasn't been out long enough to know for sure, but it is a modern DOHC (Dual Overhead Cam) V6 is it is very complex and you can pretty much forget about doing your own major repairs or complex maintenance on it (unless you have allot of expensive specialty tools), but almost all newer vehicles are like this.
Also of Note:
Jeep Model designations:
YJ: 87-95 Wrangler (1st gen)
TJ: 97-06 Wrangler (2nd gen)
JK: 07+ Wrangler (3rd gen)
XJ: 84-01 "Regular" (not Grand) Cherokees.
SJ/FSJ: "Full Sized Jeeps" Wagnoeer (pre-84), Grand Wagoneer, Cherokee (pre-84), J-Series trucks
ZJ: 93-98 Grand Cherokee (1st gen)
WJ: 99-04 Grand Cherokee (2nd gen)
WK: 05-10 Grand Cherokee (3rd gen)
WK2: 11+ Grand Cherokee (4th gen)
KJ: 02-07 Liberty (1st gen)
KK: 08-13 Liberty (2nd gen)
MJ: Comanche (an XJ Cherokee based pickup)
CJ: "Civilian Jeep" pre-wrangler "Jeep Jeeps".
KL: The "new" 2014 Cherokee (what an ugly thing that is, think Pontiac Aztec).