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Old 08-13-2013, 06:35 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
Looking to Buy, Need Help

Hello all,

I currently driving a 2003 Subaru Impreza WRX. I come from a Jeep family and I have my sights set on a Wrangler. The Impreza currently has 69000 on the odometer.
Here is what I am looking for, and the problems I am coming across.

I am looking for something newer than my current vehicle with equal or less miles.

The major problem/great thing I keep running into is pricing for used Wranglers in the 2008-2011 year range seem to only be slightly cheaper than a new Wrangler S. These vehicles seem to hold their value really well.

What I am curious to know is if this is accurate, or the used car pricing is very inflated. My source is Autotrader.com

I am also interested to know about any "problematic" model years as these tend to be present in most model lines.

I would love a Rubicon as they have the best setup from the factory, but I worry that the features contained will not be used to their potential as I am looking for a daily driver and occasional weekend utility vehicle. I have run into this problem with the Subaru, as I do not use the turbo and handling capabilities to their potential. I have also been driving a manual for the last 15 years, and wonder how well the automatics perform.

This leads into issues regarding service of the vehicles and pricing differentials for a Rubicon versus a Sport S. Parts are usually different and more expensive for the top models vs the Base models.

So any advice on anything above would be extremely helpful in making a good decision. Thank you!

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Old 08-14-2013, 05:06 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
Nobody? 92 views and not a single shred of insight?

Rubicon Maintenance Cost vs Base Model cost?
Holds value well?
Problematic Models or Model years?

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Old 08-14-2013, 05:57 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 108
I think you are correct in your assessment of the used Wrangler market. Although there may be some good deals out there, I have seen late model used ones for as much as new ones.

In regards to the maintenance issue, I do not know of increased costs associated with the Rubicon. I guess if a locker quits working on you or the sway bar disconnects breaks you could have an issue, but those items are not available on a sport. Beyond that maintenance would be the same.

I am not aware of any years to avoid. I know the early 12s had some head issues that have been covered under warranty. If you want the new interior you will want an 11+ and if you want the new power train you will need 12+.

Good luck shopping!
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:37 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Ashland, Va
Posts: 115
Definitely agree with MT76.

A 2003 WRX with 70,000 miles has a lot of life left in it and is a pretty sweet ride, imho. Maybe use that as a trade or trade-in. Wranglers hold one of the highest resale values on the market aside from the mini cooper and the FJ cruiser so be patient and search for a good deal. Knowing what package/options you want will be your largest determining factor. Dealerships know that when they get a wrangler they have a payday so you will usually get your best deal from a private sale. You didn't mention if you were looking for an Unlimited 4 door or a 2 door, but that could be a limiting factor on what years are available in the trim you want.

Rubicon is a soul search. You don't need one to run big tires. You don't need one to build a solid rig. Most who truly buy one for the parts know the value in a factory installed system and will utilize it in that capacity. Many unfortunately end up overpaying for parts they may not fully understand. Maintenance should be the same regardless. Don't know of any "problem" years, but there are a few marked changed between model years which may or may not make any difference to you.

The choice between a YJ, TJ, JK, JKU or 4.0L, 3.8L or 3.6L should be your starting point I guess. For me those are always the main factors. Price will dictate this and if all you want is a wrangler to bop around in then pick up a dirt cheap older one like a 97 TJ. If you want the Nav, 32 spline axles, 4 doors, 285hp then scrape up the price of a JKUR.
No matter what you pick you will love it till the next one.

Best of Luck!
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:48 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 74
Hello I'm in Canada and found the same issue jeeps hold there value . I also was looking for a used 2010 , 2011 Wrangler unlimited 2 door but the price was very close to a new wrangler sport 2013 . So I gave up power windows , door locks and matching painted fenders for a new 2013 with the new engine and automatic transmission and am glad I did big improvement to my 2008 as for power and miles per gallon
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:56 PM   #6
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Location: Ashland, Va
Posts: 115
The new drivetrain is a big factor if a new JK is in the budget. Almost a no brainer... 200 0r 285hp for damn near the same price.

also, portd, painted fenders scratch up more on the trails
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:08 PM   #7
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Posts: 74
Ya there's something about our 2008 at around 50 mph you can push down on gas pedal seems like takes for ever to take off and go . It's been like that from day 1
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:20 PM   #8
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
Thanks for the tips so far guys.

To answer some questions you guys have asked.
I am looking for a 2 door. No kids, rarely ever any passengers aside from my lady. 6 cylinder would be preferred, as for a specific engine size, no huge preference. I am used to a 2.0L Turbocharged Flat 4.
My older brother advised me that if I would not be doing any serious offroading, then the Rubicon would be overkill. Also, I don't want to be "that guy" that drives a Rubicon around and it never sees a muddy road.

I have been expanding my search to craigslist, kbb.com has a search function now for new cars that seems to almost mirror Autotrader seems to have less ads though. 2013 Sport S with options packages I don't care about seem to be what I am running into with the dealerships out here, and at 7k above MSRP base price, I am leery of spending money on options I don't want/need.

I work a block away from Offroad Warehouse in Escondido CA and see some amazing Wranglers up and down the street, makes me drool a little.
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:43 PM   #9
4 Little Squirrels

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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Lewisville, TX
Posts: 718
I drove a 2002 rsx and straight traded private party back into a 99 4.0L. I would recommend exploring that route. Put an ad up to trade your car straight for a Jeeo and see what kind of offers you get
'99 TJ Sport: 4.0L 12X,XXX Miles, 32RH Auto, 3.5" Suspension, 1.25"BL, SYE, D35 4.10 D30 Aussie Locked.

2013 CB500X: The toy
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:37 PM   #10
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
Found a promising 2005 Rubicon with 36k and close by. Planning on checking it out this weekend.

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