Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar Associate Editor
11/1/12 9:21 a.m.

Would you buy a super-capable Jeep, or is it just too crude for you to deal with on a daily basis?

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/new-cars/2012-jeep-wrangler-rubicon/

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH PowerDork
11/1/12 9:27 a.m.

For on-road driving I sure wouldn't, but if I was shopping for an "off-the-shelf" offroader with that kind of money I'd definitely give it a look.

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
11/1/12 9:29 a.m.

Have any of you that drove that thing also driven an older 4.0 powered Wrangler?

Wondering how it compares.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltraDork
11/1/12 9:36 a.m.
92CelicaHalfTrac wrote: Have any of you that drove that thing also driven an older 4.0 powered Wrangler? Wondering how it compares.

I know I have a few years back. The V6 lacks torque. The V6 is smoother and more refined, especially since it is the motor from the Caravan.

logdog
logdog Reader
11/1/12 10:07 a.m.
Ranger50 wrote:
92CelicaHalfTrac wrote: Have any of you that drove that thing also driven an older 4.0 powered Wrangler? Wondering how it compares.

I know I have a few years back. The V6 lacks torque. The V6 is smoother and more refined, especially since it is the motor from the Caravan.

Since 2011 its also the motor from the 300, Charger, Ram 1/2 ton, Grand Cherokee, Durango, Journey, 200, Avenger and anything else with a 3.6.

I leased a 2011 for about a year and the 3.6 will run circles around any 4.0 I had. No complaints in power or torque at all from me.

psteav
psteav HalfDork
11/1/12 11:49 a.m.

Apparently the 3.6 is pretty hot stuff. The 3.7 in the older ones left a lot to be desired. Someone told me recently that the key to avoiding bad ChryCo engines is to skip anything with an engine that ends in ".7". The 4.7 V8, 2.7 V6, and 3.7 V6 have all been underwhelming in terms of longevity, reliability, and power.

The obvious exception to this rule being the 225 slant six (technically 3.7 liters).

petegossett
petegossett UltraDork
11/1/12 11:54 a.m.

In reply to psteav:

I'll argue the 4.7 wasn't a disappointment in power. Had a Dakota with one, and the power wasn't that far off the 360 in the RT, and some people were quicker than the RT with bolt-ons.

As for longevity, my ex still has the truck, which is 12-years old and well over 100kmi on it with no mechanical problems.

psteav
psteav HalfDork
11/1/12 11:59 a.m.
petegossett wrote: In reply to psteav: I'll argue the 4.7 wasn't a disappointment in power. Had a Dakota with one, and the power wasn't that far off the 360 in the RT, and some people were quicker than the RT with bolt-ons. As for longevity, my ex still has the truck, which is 12-years old and well over 100kmi on it with no mechanical problems.

You are the exception to the rule. My dad had an '03 Dakota briefly with the 4.7 non-HO. It was acceptable powerwise. I have a friend with an '02 (IIRC) Ram quad cab with the 4.7, it's pretty gutless compared to the other trucks of that vintage that I've driven. Much heavier truck, though.

HOWEVER, try to find a good 4.7 in the junkyard. They are out there, but they're so few and far between that the yards want big money for them.

From what I've seen personally and what I've heard anecdotally, there are enough problems with the 4.7 that I'd have to walk into a screaming deal to own one.

Also, it just crossed my mind that the new Hemi is a 5.7 in most applications. I guess there are enough exceptions to the rule that it's not really a rule.

Cotton
Cotton Dork
11/1/12 12:14 p.m.
Ranger50 wrote:
92CelicaHalfTrac wrote: Have any of you that drove that thing also driven an older 4.0 powered Wrangler? Wondering how it compares.

I know I have a few years back. The V6 lacks torque. The V6 is smoother and more refined, especially since it is the motor from the Caravan.

you are thinking about the wrong v6. We have a 2012 Wrangler Arctic with the new V6 and a 99 Cherokee with the 4.0. The Wrangler runs circles around it.

Also the Wrangler is my wife's DD and is very livable as a DD.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku SuperDork
11/1/12 12:14 p.m.

I like how the top and flares are body color now, looks much better. Extra points for them sending you the 2-door. Minus points for missing a 3rd pedal.

While they are capable and cool, how long is all that fancy equipment going to last in the mud and dirt? Will these hi-tech engines (and supporting electronics) survive repeated blasts through icy rivers and mudholes? Dedicated off road machines need to be simple-simple-simple. Then again, who takes a new $35K truck out in the wild anyhow?

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
11/1/12 12:19 p.m.

Meh. I have driven a new four door Rubicon. I'd rather have it if I was using it on road and off road then an old XJ.

Cotton
Cotton Dork
11/1/12 12:21 p.m.
Gearheadotaku wrote: I like how the top and flares are body color now, looks much better. Extra points for them sending you the 2-door. Minus points for missing a 3rd pedal. While they are capable and cool, how long is all that fancy equipment going to last in the mud and dirt? Will these hi-tech engines (and supporting electronics) survive repeated blasts through icy rivers and mudholes? Dedicated off road machines need to be simple-simple-simple. Then again, who takes a new $35K truck out in the wild anyhow?

I've already taken ours out, but TBH it was just to test it out. We have several other 4x4s, atvs, and dirt bikes, so they get offroad excercise the most, but the new wrangler will be taken on camping trips and see some trails.

Although I'm not going to lie....my wife wanted a wrangler the most because they "look cool". I picked the Artic package for the rubicon suspension, MTs, and blacked out trim. I had an 87 Wrangler and it is amazing how far these things have come while retaining their offroad capability. Plus, I'm a sucker for a solid front axle.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH PowerDork
11/1/12 12:40 p.m.
Gearheadotaku wrote: I like how the top and flares are body color now, looks much better. Extra points for them sending you the 2-door. Minus points for missing a 3rd pedal. While they are capable and cool, how long is all that fancy equipment going to last in the mud and dirt? Will these hi-tech engines (and supporting electronics) survive repeated blasts through icy rivers and mudholes? Dedicated off road machines need to be simple-simple-simple. Then again, who takes a new $35K truck out in the wild anyhow?

I think the hard drive will be the first thing to go. Newer ones have high-G head parking but will it work every time when it's being tested multiple times per second? And then there are the gyro effects...

In terms of the engine the only new thing you need to watch is the ECU. I've heard CAS sensors work even through deep mud but I think I'll need to see it first-hand.

I actually preferred the black fenders & top.

Racer1ab
Racer1ab HalfDork
11/1/12 1:32 p.m.

Would I buy one? Sure. If I had the means and required such a vehicle. Then again, for a bit more, I can own the mega-badass Raptor pickup...

But I digress, since my P71 can handle my occasional off road adventures onto gravel lanes, dirt roads, and to the odd campsite, it'd be kind of a waste for me to own either one.

I really like Jeeps, though. I don't think you can really call this one crude until you've driven some of the older examples.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt SuperDork
11/1/12 1:43 p.m.
GameboyRMH wrote: In terms of the engine the only new thing you need to watch is the ECU. I've heard CAS sensors work even through deep mud but I think I'll need to see it first-hand.

We've had a couple Land Rover customers confirm that Ford's EDIS system can work underwater. The crank pickup still works fine even in mud or liquids. The reason there are Land Rover guys running a Ford EDIS ignition in the first place is that it survives immersion better than any Lucas distributor.

And, having tried to cut open a couple late model Chrysler ECUs, I think those are likely to work just fine underwater too.

McTinkerson
McTinkerson New Reader
11/1/12 2:30 p.m.
Alan Cesar wrote: Would you buy a super-capable Jeep, or is it just too crude for you to deal with on a daily basis?

I can answer this. I would and did. I have a 2012 Wrangler Unlimited with the 6 speed manual and I love the thing as long as the roof and/or doors are off, or I'm off road. Road manners aren't terrible, however the transmission is downright agricultural and the drive by wire throttle delays are annoying at the best of times. (I'm hoping a SprintBooster module will fix this.) The engine is incredible though, as the dyno graphs floating around on the net confirm. I can light up 1st and chirp 2nd and 3rd.

Honestly, my only real valid complaint is that until I dump a bunch of money into the suspension in order to lower the centre of gravity, I'm never going to be able to rally cross it. I have started browsing the Jeepspeed forums...

Raze
Raze SuperDork
11/1/12 2:46 p.m.

My wife wanted one so we got a 2010 Sport so really not much to compare when talking in terms of off-road compared to a newer Rubi. They have electronically detachable sway bar links (push button) and lockers front and rear, neither of which my wife's has. That being said, we've already taken it places no other vehicle either of us has ever owned would dare go. Having the top down in the spring and fall in GA is amazing, and this thing seriously has the best Heat/AC I've EVER experienced. It blows so much air and it gets so damn hot or cold you usually end up rolling the window down. As far as on-road driving ours is nearly identical to the newer engine, but as people have pointed out it's not as torquey down low as the 4.0, or the new 3.6. Road mannerisms are much better than the 4.0 Jeeps since it's so much wider, it's far less 'twitchy'. It's turning radius hasn't changed so its like driving a clown car. They are stupid simple, but the 2011+ have much nicer interiors than the 2010- That being said both are stupid simple, and every modification you could ever want is just a few $, a few minutes, and a few bolts away.

When we get tired of it I'll probably take it from my wife, and start the mods. She either wants a new one, or a LR, go figure.

irish44j
irish44j UltraDork
11/1/12 5:36 p.m.

No, probably not. Our 4Runner can go anyplace I would ever need to go off-road (I don't enjoy rock-crawling anyhow), and it is immeasurably superior on-road than any of the many different wranglers and XJ's I've ever driven (including last year's unlimited, which feels like driving a large military vehicle or something).

The only time I'd take a Jeep over a 4Runner (note: the last-generation 4Runner, not the current one) is if I lived on a mountain that didn't have a road up it. Even for general desert-running, trail-running, etc a lightly-modded 4Runner is far preferable in my book. On paved roads, there's no comparison at all.

Don't get me wrong, I like wranglers (particularly very old ones) and XJs (and Comanches, and ZJs....), and have owned a CJ and XJ, but it's a vehicle that is very good at one thing compared to most other 4x4s, and that's the one thing I don't much care to do....and I don't much care to drive with the top off anyhow. Irish skin burns fast, lol.

That and I far prefer an XJ to a Wrangler. 98% the off-road capability, but much more utility. If only they still made the XJ with the modern engine and interior that the Wrangler has.....then I might reconsider.

and 4Runners can do rocks just fine with a tire upgrade and a mild lift.

4eyes
4eyes Dork
11/1/12 6:53 p.m.

I have in the past, and I will again.

I have owned CJs, TJs, and Xjs, plus a first generation Bronco. After our new F-150 4x4 w/ecoboost is paid for, and I buy a few motorcycles, I will buy another.

Unless they water-down the off-road capability, or make the top permanently attached.

Cotton
Cotton Dork
11/1/12 10:47 p.m.
irish44j wrote: No, probably not. Our 4Runner can go anyplace I would ever need to go off-road (I don't enjoy rock-crawling anyhow), and it is immeasurably superior on-road than any of the many different wranglers and XJ's I've ever driven (including last year's unlimited, which feels like driving a large military vehicle or something).

A buddy has a new 4 runner and we have our new Wrangler....I think "immeasurably superior" is a drastic overstatement. I actually prefer our wrangler to his 4-runner on the road. Different strokes...

irish44j
irish44j UltraDork
11/1/12 11:21 p.m.
Cotton wrote:
irish44j wrote: No, probably not. Our 4Runner can go anyplace I would ever need to go off-road (I don't enjoy rock-crawling anyhow), and it is immeasurably superior on-road than any of the many different wranglers and XJ's I've ever driven (including last year's unlimited, which feels like driving a large military vehicle or something).

A buddy has a new 4 runner and we have our new Wrangler....I think "immeasurably superior" is a drastic overstatement. I actually prefer our wrangler to his 4-runner on the road. Different strokes...

Toyota must have screwed the pooch with the new ones then.....haven't driven one of them (they're so ugly, I don't even want to). But of course if none of us had opinions, this would be a pretty dead forum ;)

Strizzo
Strizzo UberDork
11/2/12 11:14 a.m.

I've been on the trail in my xterra with my grandfather in his locked TJ, and there wasn't really anything that his jeep could do that my X couldn't. i even had a bit more ground clearance (although the wrangler has better underbody protection) such that he was dragging on rocks where i wasn't scraping at all. the rear e-locker I have is just about all most buyers will need anyways, and a front locker in a ifs truck is just asking for issues like snapped halfshafts.

as far as ride: my grandfather always comments on how much nicer the ride is, on and off road, in my xterra over his TJ.

Vigo
Vigo SuperDork
11/4/12 5:58 p.m.

I dont think the Wrangler is too crude to deal with on a daily basis, it's just too crude to spend tens of thousands of dollars on, as Tom alluded to.

The 3.6 is a major, major upgrade that really helps the Wrangler, but to those of us who think the main problem with the current wrangler is its huge size, it's still not enough to make me want one.

The great thing about a Wrangler is that, like a good sports car, it can do things the driver is scared to try (even on-road..), so there's almost always a lot of headroom for you to grow into it, so to speak.

I fully intend to own a YJ at some point, but to me the haphazard application of modern interior convenience on top of throwback suspension and driving dynamics in the current wrangler just makes for an oddly contradictory, if not hypocritical, proposition.

Carro Atrezzi
Carro Atrezzi HalfDork
11/4/12 8:27 p.m.

4129 lbs?! for a SWB Wrangler?

uh...great engine but it's waaay on the porky side.

Also, not sure why so many are dissing it for having an auto. Most folks I talk to who actually wheel a lot prefer an auto. It's like an infinite low 1st gear. It makes it much easier to rock it back and forth out of being stuck too. DAMHIK...I've often wished my XJ were an auto. The only disadvantage I can think with the auto trans is with steep and long hill descents

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