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fasted58
fasted58 MegaDork
7/14/19 1:47 p.m.

Not that I need one but I've been drawn in. Currently own a mid-size 4X4 PU and AWD Regal so got the NE winters mostly covered. May be toy time? DD and weekend trail warrior. 

Late model '14 and up (maybe lower mileage/ clean '12 up since 3.6L), 2-door, hard top, a few options. Sport, Sport S are kinda plain for me. Sahara trim, dunno. How does the brake activated limited slip rear perform on these models for off road? Rumored leaks? Road manners?

Rubicon pushes all the right buttons w/ Dana 44s, lockers, sway bar disconnect, more options etc. Brain says Rubicon is the way to go but dang they expensive. 

Anything FCA reliability to be aware of?

Done quite a bit of online research but what does GRM think?

TIA

 

 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
7/14/19 2:16 p.m.

The question is are you really going to use it the way you would need that capacity or do you just want a convertible off roader. 

 

I just ask because I use my Xterra all over from Moab to Big Bend and all over Colorado and usually only need 10-20% of It's capabilities. It's way overkill for what I do. 

 

Look at the off-roading you are actually going to do and get the capacity to match it. Personally, I still see fca reliability as a big question mark. I think the XTerra and 4Runner are 90-95% of the car minus the convertible part of the picture with better on road manners.

 

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
7/14/19 2:21 p.m.

I think if you are buying a late model there's not much to be too concerned about beyond the price tag. If you can afford those prices for a toy vehicle, and a Jeep sounds fun, then go get one.  They make zero sense as daily drivers, but so do Miatas. Actually, scratch that, Wranglers make less sense. At least Miatas get good mileage. OTOH, if you want the full ragtop experience, have access to rocky, tight off-road trails, or go to the mall a lot, a Wrangler is the perfect toy vehicle. You'll pay a premium for it, and parts are expensive, but nothing else is a Wrangler.

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
7/14/19 2:30 p.m.

We bought our 2012 new and it’s been extremely reliable and is sitting at 154k miles.

former520
former520 HalfDork
7/14/19 2:41 p.m.

Around here the answer ends up being side by side, IE Polaris RZR or Can Am X3.  You can tow it behind your truck easy, quick load and unload.  You can travel much more ground, but trips have to start and end in same location due to trailer.  

 

Used ones are around 15k here, new up to 30.  Resale is strong and the suspension is rediculous.  Try rent one for a weekend and see if it doesn't fit the bill.

stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
7/14/19 3:30 p.m.

I had a 2012 Sport that I bought new and had until December 2018. It had only a few options (A/C and the connectivity group [uConnect, cruise control]). It was a 6 speed with crank windows and a soft top. The only issue I had was the Pentastar cylinder head recall at about 41k miles. It was at the dealer 1 day and had zero issues after that.

I liked it because it was a basic Jeep. Not a whole lot to go wrong. The brake lock differential worked pretty well. Of course a mechanical limited slip or locker is better. I only ever had the soft top leak a few times. It was right over the driver's side door where the top met the windshield header. And it was a small trickle down the door panel. The new 2019+ tops are redesigned and supposed to be far superior.

If I were to do it again, I'd pony up for a 4 door Rubicon. More room and utility with all of the offroad goodies installed from the factory. You actually end up ahead by starting with a Rubicon.

Mine was a great Jeep but that doesn't mean it was a good vehicle, if that makes sense.

If you are curious, go drive as many Wranglers (2 door, 4 door, soft top, hard top, manual, auto, etc.) as you can to see if you can live with it on a daily basis.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
7/14/19 5:02 p.m.

The ZJ I had was either the best worst vehicle or the worst best vehicle I've ever had. I think that's "the Jeep thing." I'll own another Jeep, but if I'm going to suffer through the experience it will at least be a 2 dr convertible. 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
7/14/19 6:18 p.m.

What you want is whatever you want.

For anything other than really hardcore rock-crawling stuff, I'd go get a 4Runner over anything Jeep makes. But that's just my opinion. I always hated driving my Jeep on the street, and recently having a late-model Wrangler as a loaner car didn't change that opinion. YMMV.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
7/14/19 7:56 p.m.

Buy one old enough to have a carb, and never drive it anywhere that doesn't mean off roading.  They are horrible in every way possible as a daily driver.

Raze
Raze UltraDork
7/14/19 8:12 p.m.

Wife has a plain 2010 Sport new off the lot and only option was auto trans, it was a mall crawler but hilariously fun.  I ended up adding cruise control, a hitch, running boards and Rubicon takeoffs.  We sold it 5 years and 60k miles later for more than we bought new.  Fast forward to two weeks ago, wife been wanting to go back to a Jeep so we got a 2019 Sport S with a few options we wanted like power windows, doorlocks, mirrors, and upgraded infotainment.  I was ordering the running boards before we left the dealer and got Rubicon takeoffs straight away.  The new JL is waaaay peppier than the JKs even the later ones with the bigger engine.  My biggest complaint on the JL is the stop start.

 

No matter what you decide and I think you're chasing the best years of the JK, a Wrangler's economy is measured in smiles per gallon.

Foxworx
Foxworx Reader
7/15/19 5:41 a.m.

2016. Unlimited.

 

No mechanical issues.

 

The integrated stereo Bluetooth phone interface may want you to commit murder but otherwise its been good.

Opti
Opti Dork
7/15/19 8:06 a.m.

I hate the way the drive. They are great if you are actually going to use it as an offroad toy.

 

3 family members/friends bought them for dd/offroad use which morphed into mostly DD use and they were all sold within about a year. They all realized they wouldn't be running trails in them and the drivability sacrifice was too much when they could get another vehicle 90% as capable that still drove like a modern vehicle.

 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
7/15/19 8:58 a.m.
former520 said:

Around here the answer ends up being side by side, IE Polaris RZR or Can Am X3.  You can tow it behind your truck easy, quick load and unload.  You can travel much more ground, but trips have to start and end in same location due to trailer.  

 

Used ones are around 15k here, new up to 30.  Resale is strong and the suspension is rediculous.  Try rent one for a weekend and see if it doesn't fit the bill.

I was thinking the same thing, they're relatively cheap and have the best offroad ability you can get this side of a 6-digit Ultra4 rig. Obstacle-clearing ability is top-notch and offroad speed is in a different league to any mere mortal's modded truck.

That said, a 2dr Wrangler's body shape gives it a big advantage over the other offroad-oriented 4x4s still on the market. Now that the Defender 90's gone, nothing else has a short wheelbase and short overhangs.

parker
parker Reader
7/15/19 9:21 a.m.
Raze said:

Wife has a plain 2010 Sport new off the lot and only option was auto trans, it was a mall crawler but hilariously fun.  I ended up adding cruise control, a hitch, running boards and Rubicon takeoffs.  We sold it 5 years and 60k miles later for more than we bought new.  Fast forward to two weeks ago, wife been wanting to go back to a Jeep so we got a 2019 Sport S with a few options we wanted like power windows, doorlocks, mirrors, and upgraded infotainment.  I was ordering the running boards before we left the dealer and got Rubicon takeoffs straight away.  The new JL is waaaay peppier than the JKs even the later ones with the bigger engine.  My biggest complaint on the JL is the stop start.

 

No matter what you decide and I think you're chasing the best years of the JK, a Wrangler's economy is measured in smiles per gallon.

What was hilariously fun about it?  

 

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
7/15/19 10:16 a.m.

I'm a Jeep fan, I've driven a lot of jeeps, I've got friends that have had mild to wild, everything from CJ2a to JKs.  I've owned a TJ for almost 20 years, and an XJ for 5-ish.

Wranglers are a fun weekender or extra vehicle, but are terrible daily drivers.  I know JKs are more refined than TJs, and the JLs even more so than the JKs, but there are numerous 4x4s that do a much better job at being an everyday driver, that occasionally off roads.

There is no better mass produced offroader you can buy new from a dealer's lot and still drive on the road though.

Depends on what your goal is.  If you want an occasional toy, buy a Wrangler.  If you want a daily 4x4, maybe look at a 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, or the like.

If you're dead set on a Wrangler, do yourself a favor, and get full doors, and a hard top.

 

 

ShinnyGroove
ShinnyGroove Reader
7/15/19 2:11 p.m.

I have two types of friends. Those who have owned Jeeps for 20+ years, and those who bought them and sold them 6 months later. I’m probably the latter. 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
7/15/19 2:15 p.m.
bigdaddylee82 said:

I'm a Jeep fan, I've driven a lot of jeeps, I've got friends that have had mild to wild, everything from CJ2a to JKs.  I've owned a TJ for almost 20 years, and an XJ for 5-ish.

Wranglers are a fun weekender or extra vehicle, but are terrible daily drivers.  I know JKs are more refined than TJs, and the JLs even more so than the JKs, but there are numerous 4x4s that do a much better job at being an everyday driver, that occasionally off roads.

There is no better mass produced offroader you can buy new from a dealer's lot and still drive on the road though.

Depends on what your goal is.  If you want an occasional toy, buy a Wrangler.  If you want a daily 4x4, maybe look at a 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, or the like.

If you're dead set on a Wrangler, do yourself a favor, and get full doors, and a hard top.

 

 

Well said

 

Me and my best friend shopped last 6 months for  a JL Wrangler, 4 Door, Unlimited. Rubicon for me, Sport S for him. For me the JL ticked all the boxes. But I went and bought a very pricey FJ Cruiser. Reason being is the on road. The Trail Team version of the FJ, road fantastic on the road, compared to the JL.  For me that was also important, as in between camping/4wd, there are a lot of concrete where I wanted to be comfortable.

 

My best friend traded his 3 year old M3, and got the Sport S Wrangler, took deliery this weekend. MSRP 41K. Paid $36. With the gladiator out, TONS of cash on the hood for Wranglers here.  He has immense capability, and I am jealous that he can go top off, but for me the freeway ride on the Wrangler was the weakpoint, which swayed me away.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ Dork
7/15/19 3:38 p.m.

Meh.  Great road car.  Hardtop on in case of rain but doors off.  Makes a nice echo chamber.  Mud tires singing AI-YAIH-YAIH-YAIH-YAIH...mile after mile so that not even the sound bar right above your head can be heard over 30 mph.  Good times.

icaneat50eggs
icaneat50eggs Dork
7/15/19 4:46 p.m.

There is nothing I understand less than jeeps that never get off the pavement.  If you are actually going to wheel with it, then I totally get it.  But I feel that less than 5% ever do wheeling that would require them vs 100's of other 4x4's that are better in every possible way.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ Dork
7/15/19 4:55 p.m.

I will say that even not being driven off-road, they are incredibly relaxing to drive on a country road sans top and doors.  

Other SUVs that are “better in every way” also have removable top and doors.  It’s just when you go to put them back on that you usually run into issues. 

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
7/15/19 5:21 p.m.

I don't know, do you enjoy Greek wrestling?

Dave M
Dave M Reader
7/15/19 5:39 p.m.

One thing that is not noted here is that they just don't depreciate very much. With cash on the hood new, why not try it out for a year and if the road noise and other bad stuff weigh out the good of the removable body parts and trail ability, sell it?

RossD
RossD MegaDork
7/15/19 7:15 p.m.

H3 even with the small 5 cylinder is a great offroader. My parents drove all over the country in theirs and it could still drive in the mud pits with their friends CJ5s. Sometimes right around said CJ5s because of locking diffs.

But having ownes many jeeps and one CJ3a, I totally understand the top off driving.

Short wheel base jeeps are like slightly bigger golf carts on the highway.

fasted58
fasted58 MegaDork
7/15/19 8:22 p.m.

OK guys

So, I'll have to go drive a few. 

Other options too

Be back later.

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
7/15/19 10:04 p.m.

My wife daily drove our two door wrangler arctic edition for 7 years,  which included a lot of interstate commuting.  It was loaded up and had the full doors and hardtop.  I’m surprised by the comments that they make a bad DD and road vehicle.  We have a wide variety of cars,  she can drive pretty much whatever she wants,  and she enjoyed commuting in the Jeep.   Now my 85 CJ7 would make a horrible commuter,  but the JK was nice enough we took it on trips etc.  Regardless,  I agree Fasted58,  Jeeps seem to be very polarizing for some,  so the best option is to drive a few and see what you think.

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