I am planning to purchase my first Jeep Wrangler here in Tampa in the next 1-2 weeks and am very excited. I have been planning this for 2 years, and thought I had all my bases covered. But as I get down to final selections, I find myself waffling big decisions:
I am purchasing an Unlimited Sahara, and I prefer the soft-top. I haven't make up my mind about transmission yet though. I drove a friend's manual for a few days in Virginia and had a blast. But I worry that I may get tired of shifting in rush-hour traffic. When building the Jeep online it appears I have choice of soft-top & manual, or hard-top & automatic. Any advice on preferences of stick/soft versus auto/hard?
Last, I am pretty sure I am going to lift it, even if only a few inches for the trails around our place in the North Carolina mountains. I know it is more expensive to have the dealership do it, is there any advantage to having them do versus a local custom shop?
I myself prefer manual. After a while you don't even realize you're doing it. As far as soft verses hard, I have both for my TJ. I love both. In the summer I go soft top all the way. Very easy to take down and let the wind blow. Up here in Wisconsin, I love having the hard top for the winter. Keeps the inside a little more toasty. The only down fall I have with the soft top is it gets a little noisy on the highway. Any phone use is out of the questoin and you have to almost yell so the person next to you can hear you.
I guess either one you go for, you have the option to buy the other. they really aren't that expensive. Sometimes you can find used ones places or good deals with quadratec or other manufactureres.
Either route you go, you'll have a blast.
2000 TJ, so far pretty stock. 31x10.5x15 rubber and 7" flares.