I have wanted a Jeep Wrangler since 1998. In fact, I ordered a black Sahara from a friend of mine that worked at a Jeep dealership that year. He was not thrilled that I backed out of the deal. It was clearly my fault because I did not realize how bad of a commuter vehicle it was until my first test drive.
So, now I am old and have kids, and have been enjoying driving my A4 but I got the bug again. Finally, my wife told me to test drive the JK unlimited. If I liked it better than the 2-door, then I could worry about what to do next. So, I tested a JKU Sport for an afternoon with my wife. She loved it, and so did I. The ride was much more civilized but it still had all of the benefits of being a Wrangler.
I decided that I would dump the Audi and take the plunge. Now, I just had to figure out what
to buy. I love the look of a lifted Jeep (ex. http://www.wranglerforum.com/images/...9663/55905.jpg
) and started looking into what it would take to do this. My budget was fairly flexible, so the real key was getting the right Jeep to start with. I looked into getting a Sport S JKU, then adding a 2.5-3.5" lift with 35: tires, etc. I also knew that I would need to get the max tow package to start with or I would pay later. Then, I started reading about all of the mistakes that others have made - wrong gears, not lifted properly (I have lowered vehicles and always required at least two trips to a good mechanic to get right), gas mileage. There are about one million things to consider.
In the end, I realized how much smarter and ambitious some of the folks on these threads are. I am but a lowly video engineer, and am not that inclined mechanically. I may have an impressive bench press, but my skills to modify a vehicle are near nil. So, what did I do?
I looked at who I really am, as a person, and why I wanted the Jeep:
- I loved the thought of the "convertible" with the characteristics of an off road vehicle - not a low riding car.
- I have kids (one that is 5) and want them to be able to get into the Jeep
- I know enough to know that I don't know what I don't know
- I need to keep the Jeep realistic to allow for daily driving
So, in the end, I bought a Sahara with the 3.21 gears and an automatic transmission. The Sahara has a few features that I wanted, and (importantly) some features that my wife wanted. It stands a little higher than the Sport at stock height, but if my 5 year old falls, she will not break an ankle. My wife wants to be able to drive it, so I went with an automatic. And, I know that I am not going off road in any real way, so the 3.21's are fine.
All-in-all, I am just happy to have the Jeep. I realized instantly that it is about just getting one, and then figuring out where to go next. So, I am in it now. Let the fun part of my life begin... NOW!