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Old 01-24-2014, 09:00 PM   #1
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Test riding wrangler sahara tomorrow- some questions

Hi All,
I'm sort of jonesing for a jeep. My lease is up on my little convertible soon and I'm sick of sliding around in the bad weather so I've been seriously thinking about getting into a two door Sahara, Test riding one tomorrow.
My questions are this:

Gas mileage- the claims are 18-24 but is that for all wheel drive? It's only a 4k lb vehicle. Can I get a little better driving in front wheel drive when the weather's good (or when not offroad)?

Top removal- I've been seeing the various configurations on you tube, but I'm wondering, If you have the soft top on the back portion can you pop the hard top front pieces on and off while keeping the soft-rider on the back? Or is it easier to flap the soft top back and tie it up? I concerned about removing the entire top on days it may rain and having to take significant time getting the top back on so I'm thinking t-top style on those days. What's the best option if your driving alone?

Tires- the tires will cost more than my little car so I'm wondering how many miles you can get out of them assuming you're doing mostly highway miles.

Overall reliability- what type of typical headaches can I expect with a 3yr. 16k per year lease? I hear reliabilty is pretty good lately but I'm wondering what out of warranty surprises to expect.

Manual/auto- I heard with the wrangler it's better to go auto with a six banger. What is the common consensus on this? I don't want the four so
I'm wondering if stick gives any significant advantage over automatic.

Lastly, if you're not planning on doing any offroading is it worth getting the Rubicon over the Sahara?

Ant feedback would be much appreciated.

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Old 01-24-2014, 09:20 PM   #2
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We bought our first Jeep a little over a year ago, a 2013 2-dr Sahara with hard top. It's my wife's DD and she says her midlife crisis vehicle.

Let's see...

1. She gets around 17-18 mpg in city driving and mainly drives it 10 miles to work on local roads - no highway. Some owners report 13-14 mpg in similar driving conditions.

2. Although we have a Harken hoist in our garage she prefers to leave the top on for most of the summer. The reason being is that it isn't worth the effort (in our opinion) to keep removing/installing the top whenever the forecast calls for rain. Since it's her DD she doesn't like the idea of getting soaked while driving back and forth to work. That, plus the sweltering heat and humidity here in the Midwest is much more tolerable with the top on and the AC blasting cold air out the vents.

3. Can't say how many miles we'll get out of the stock tires. I rotate them every 5,000 miles. We have the 18" premium 7-spoke wheels and they look pretty good for a stock setup. I've seen some 16" stock tires on other Jeeps that look like they belong on a VW Beetle.

4. Ours has been pretty much trouble-free for the first year. I did buy a Maximum Care lifetime warranty since we plan on keeping it for at least 10 years.

5. The new 5-speed auto, introduced with the '12 Wrangler, is pretty good. Many owners who would never drive an auto prefer it to the manual. You can still manual shift it with the autostick option if you prefer.

6. No.

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Old 01-24-2014, 09:27 PM   #3
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Jeep is not all wheel drive, its 4 wheel drive. When you’re not using 4wd its a rear wheel drive vehicle. If you are buying the Jeep for good MPG you’re looking the wrong vheicle. That said a 2 door does pretty good on MPG, highway speeds kept around 65 probably the sweet spot.

Can’t really run the soft top and hard top together, if you fold the soft top down yes you can use the Freedom panels up front, but if you’re hoping to partially close the soft top I don’t think they will line up, and you’d still get water in. Just use one top or the other, or go topless. If you’re not sure about rain leave hard top on and pull out the freedom panels would be an option, or run the soft top once you get experience putting it on you should be quick about it.

Tires, totally depends on your driving habits and roads.

If your not going off roading you don’t need the Rubi.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:29 PM   #4
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Thanks so much Jeff.

Really surprised at the poor mileage but then I only get 24.5 per gallon of Premium with my 3500 lb Eos. That equates to about 20-21 of regular so maybe not much more fuel costs.

I too think heaving the hard to on and off isn't worth it. I'm wondering if I can go half soft top half hard top and treat it like t-tops on normal days and pull back the cloth top on the long rides in good weather.

The warranty would cover me for about two and a half years out of three so I don't think I'd get the extended warranty.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:38 PM   #5
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Jeep is not all wheel drive, its 4 wheel drive. When you’re not using 4wd its a rear wheel drive vehicle. If you are buying the Jeep for good MPG you’re looking the wrong vheicle. That said a 2 door does pretty good on MPG, highway speeds kept around 65 probably the sweet spot.

Can’t really run the soft top and hard top together, if you fold the soft top down yes you can use the Freedom panels up front, but if you’re hoping to partially close the soft top I don’t think they will line up, and you’d still get water in. Just use one top or the other, or go topless. If you’re not sure about rain leave hard top on and pull out the freedom panels would be an option, or run the soft top once you get experience putting it on you should be quick about it.

Tires, totally depends on your driving habits and roads.

If your not going off roading you don’t need the Rubi.
I can't go topless because I'm not as firm as I used to be

I gotcha. So when the summer comes it pays to store the hard top and go soft and just flap it back on quick runs and questionable days. That would work right? Then take it all off for long trips with a good forecast. I'm spoiled with the push button retractable hard top, but even that is very slow to close.

I'm not looking for great gas mileage, just don't want to get killed. Id I can average 22 on the highway with rear wheel I'd be happy.

I'm tough on tires but I still manage to get 29k on them. Assuming I do 48k over the life of the lease I know I'm going to have to replace once, but I'm hoping I'll only need to once. They only have to last around 28k for me to replace them and run them out to the end of the lease without getting penalized.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:57 PM   #6
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If your looking for good gas millage look into another truck. You will be lucky to get 22 on the highways what most people are staying they average anywhere from 16 to 19 on the highway. If your not doing any off roading save yourself some money and don't buy the ruby. I wouldn't buy one of these jeeps in a auto but that's just my preference on it. If you get two tops when buying it will say in the manual or on the soft top to remove out of jeep when hard top is installed. Says something like soft top is only here for shipping purpose.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:15 PM   #7
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Really surprised at the poor mileage but then I only get 24.5 per gallon of Premium with my 3500 lb Eos. That equates to about 20-21 of regular so maybe not much more fuel costs.
With the flat and nearly vertical windshield the Wrangler is about as aerodynamic as a brick. Thus, fuel economy is not one of its best features. We get around 21 mpg on the highway at 65 mph.

Also, the Wrangler uses regular fuel, so that will slightly offset the cost of the premium you're paying for now at 24.5 mpg.
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:44 AM   #8
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Ohh and if your burning thru tires in 29k miles you need to remember the jeep is not. NOT. A little sports car.... And if driven as such. You'll probly not have it long. Slow and steady is how a jeep goes... My last set of tired lasted me almost 80k and had them for over 5 years. Just replaced them last week
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:22 AM   #9
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Gas mileage seems to be a real concern for you!
If this is true, then don't buy a Wrangler!!!!!!!
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:54 AM   #10
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You'll find a lot owners on this forum that love their Jeeps but you'll be hard pressed to find one for the things you are concerned about.

If you want a Sahara only because it is convertible and can handle bad weather on the road but you have all those concerns you are bound to be disappointed. It's great that you are driving one but pay close attention to all the details about the things you don't like such as: bad gas mileage, noisy and rough ride compared to a car, tires are more expensive, etc, etc, etc There are too many Jeep "things" too tolerate to add all those things on top.
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:32 AM   #11
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Thanks all. will definitely consider all these things. Not expecting good gas mileage just don't want 16mph. I can deal with the noise too, just not to the music it interferes with tunes.

One of you said if it's driven like a sports car it won't last long. Just what about it would fail? I'm not looking for life long tires just to get at least 29k out of them. Is using the gas pedal generously damaging to the engine? I see people blasting by me with their wranglers everyday on the highway.
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:55 AM   #12
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you need not to worry about buying a jeep if your asking these types of questions get a front wheel drive car ... with a rag top ....or may I suggest a truck with a sun roof .... you need not ask any more questions .... sry you are not buying a vehicle ... its a life style ....
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarless
Thanks all. will definitely consider all these things. Not expecting good gas mileage just don't want 16mph. I can deal with the noise too, just not to the music it interferes with tunes.

One of you said if it's driven like a sports car it won't last long. Just what about it would fail? I'm not looking for life long tires just to get at least 29k out of them. Is using the gas pedal generously damaging to the engine? I see people blasting by me with their wranglers everyday on the highway.
It's not gonna take a corner Like a sports car... If you try to you may end up upside down... Granted the JK's do have a much wider stance but still they are not intended for high speed maneuvers.. Ohh and those folks blasting by you on the highway.. Are most likely the ones getting 14 to 16 mpg
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:36 AM   #14
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I'm not by any means trying to scare you away.... I love my jeep... And I think others should have one too... But I have also owned my fair share of fast little cars... And if I drove my jeep like I drove them... I'm sure It would not have stayed right side up long
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:00 AM   #15
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For what it's worth, I came from a small sport sedan that was absolutely trouble free, got decent gas mileage, handled like a dream and was whisper quiet at 90mph. The Jeep was a big step outside my comfort zone.

But during my first test drive any concerns I had disappeared. The "it" factor of a Wrangler, or whatever you choose to call it - fun, cool, capable, etc. - trumped everything else. I knew instantly that I could live with the Jeeps shortcomings. 4 months later I have absolutely no regrets and would do it again in a heartbeat.

I guess my advice is take the test drive. Having read all these posts you have a good idea of what a Jeep is and isn't. My guess is that you'll either be calculating the mpg's and thinking about the shortcomings or you'll simply be smiling and forgetting about all that. Either way, you'll know.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:17 AM   #16
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I'm not by any means trying to scare you away.... I love my jeep... And I think others should have one too... But I have also owned my fair share of fast little cars... And if I drove my jeep like I drove them... I'm sure It would not have stayed right side up long
Yeah, the topsy turvy is definitely some I consider. I can feel it and would not fly around a corner. I only do that now because I can. I savethe 90mph sweepers for my motorcycles


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For what it's worth, I came from a small sport sedan that was absolutely trouble free, got decent gas mileage, handled like a dream and was whisper quiet at 90mph. The Jeep was a big step outside my comfort zone.

But during my first test drive any concerns I had disappeared. The "it" factor of a Wrangler, or whatever you choose to call it - fun, cool, capable, etc. - trumped everything else. I knew instantly that I could live with the Jeeps shortcomings. 4 months later I have absolutely no regrets and would do it again in a heartbeat.

I guess my advice is take the test drive. Having read all these posts you have a good idea of what a Jeep is and isn't. My guess is that you'll either be calculating the mpg's and thinking about the shortcomings or you'll simply be smiling and forgetting about all that. Either way, you'll know.
Honestly, It has tons of appeal. I'm trying to get a realistic sense of what the realities are becuase I'm like a little kid and would jump on it because it is cool without thinking. I like it that much. I'm an accountant, so to me it's foolish not trying to determine the all-in costs of any vehicle as. let's face it, vehicle budgets are not infinite wells of plenty for most of us. So those that feel rational thought process means the cars not for you is rather perplexing to me. Or perhaps they are wealthy in which case they should be driving range rovers

When I jumped in the four door a little while ago I thought it was pretty cool. Every vehicle has a certain something that makes it fun. Though these aren't sport cars they do offer something else in return and to me it's a ton of little kid factor mixed in with the reality of off road ability and all weather enjoyment.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:23 AM   #17
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Be sure and report back after your test drive today with your review.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:48 AM   #18
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Yeah, the topsy turvy is definitely some I consider. I can feel it and would not fly around a corner. I only do that now because I can. I savethe 90mph sweepers for my motorcycles




Honestly, It has tons of appeal. I'm trying to get a realistic sense of what the realities are becuase I'm like a little kid and would jump on it because it is cool without thinking. I like it that much. I'm an accountant, so to me it's foolish not trying to determine the all-in costs of any vehicle as. let's face it, vehicle budgets are not infinite wells of plenty for most of us. So those that feel rational thought process means the cars not for you is rather perplexing to me. Or perhaps they are wealthy in which case they should be driving range rovers

When I jumped in the four door a little while ago I thought it was pretty cool. Every vehicle has a certain something that makes it fun. Though these aren't sport cars they do offer something else in return and to me it's a ton of little kid factor mixed in with the reality of off road ability and all weather enjoyment.
You just killed a kitten....lol...

Some things from reading this thread in its entirety, and some is reiteration...

1. There is no AWD system in a Wrangler, it is a rear wheel drive vehicle that comes with a kick butt 4WD system that can be implemented as needed. That being said, please research when and why to put the vehicle into 4WD.

2. Gas mileage is bad. I get 16-17 MPH but have 3.21 gears and heavy tires. If gas mileage is a concern at all, this is likely not the vehicle for you.

3. Please consider finding a friend with a Jeep and borrowing it for a few days or make certain you test drive a few in different areas to make sure this is for you. Every bump or pothole is a potential bone-jarring event. The thing steers at times like it has a mind of its own. Your "tunes" will get drowned out by the noise if running the soft top without speaker modification.

4. We all (well most of us) LOVE our Jeeps and wouldn't trade them for the world, but I think that some of the basic comments and concerns you have brought forth are cause for concern. You don't know how many people either bought or leased a Jeep Wrangler only to HATE it and regret their decision.

5. The Jeep will make noises you are not used to. It will click, clack and squeak. You may or may not get one with roof leaks. The quality seems to be "good" overall, but inconsistent. It is just something you need to deal with.

6. If you do not plan on going off-road, no need for a Rubicon and the Sahara would be your best choice due to the creature comforts it provides. However, the Jeep is one of the worst daily drivers you can have if used strictly for that purpose due to many of the reasons I've illustrated here. I would not get one unless I planned on wheeling it at least occasionally. You would be surprised what a stock Sahara can pull off.

Bottom line is (and I'm glad you came here) to perform your due diligence even more than you would typically when purchasing a vehicle. Jeep Wranglers are a niche vehicle with a fanatical following. I've had several friends who have owned them and some want another while others HATE the vehicle, one friend hated his so much that when he'd get the "Jeep Wave" he'd flip off the other driver. Not nice at all, but he was very frustrated with his Jeep and couldn't get out of the lease. Other friends who were Jeep owners in the '90's see mine and drool, want to drive it and claim they are going to get another some day... The way you are talking, it just sends off warning bells and want you to be careful.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:51 AM   #19
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^ thanks for the comprehensive and unbiased post. It certainly is allot to consider.

I do see many on the road but then there are many women who may want it for soccer mom purposes or have short commutes. Or have their husband car to switch off with. I'm sure there's many reasons, but as you say they may hate them. I would be using it as a DD in fact my only car, which would be mostly in the winter as I'm on bike 60-65% of the time in the non-winter weather, but still be used in the summer for commutes in the rain and trips and such. I do commute 40 minutes on 75mph highway each way (it's a 65 speed limit but everyone does 80) so that may or may not be challenging.
It could be a jeep is a great second car and not great as your only car if you have a significant highway commute.

I will test ride it on highway and local streets.

Thanks again
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:38 PM   #20
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Call around, try to find a place that will rent you one for a week. Then you'll have a better idea. It may not be cheap to rent one but could save you from making a mistake.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:12 PM   #21
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Call around, try to find a place that will rent you one for a week. Then you'll have a better idea. It may not be cheap to rent one but could save you from making a mistake.

Yes, I agree. Thanks. I took it out while snowing and still couldn't conclude if I'd want to be in it everyday in every condition. Still undecided. As a second car I wouldn't hesitate but as a sole auto I can't be sure. I will look around for a rental.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:35 PM   #22
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I'm glad you're taking the time to ask questions. I love mine as a daily driver, & I don't do a lot of off roading, but I also knew all of the quirks going into the vehicle. Make sure you have a budget to fix a lot of things that you would think would be standard on other vehicles. Good luck!
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:40 PM   #23
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I'm glad you're taking the time to ask questions. I love mine as a daily driver, & I don't do a lot of off roading, but I also knew all of the quirks going into the vehicle. Make sure you have a budget to fix a lot of things that you would think would be standard on other vehicles. Good luck!
Is that a T100 you got there Panther?

Thanks. As you know with bikers we ask allot of questions when we're shopping.

So what are these little repairs you are referring to??
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:47 PM   #24
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I'm glad you're taking the time to ask questions. I love mine as a daily driver, & I don't do a lot of off roading, but I also knew all of the quirks going into the vehicle. Make sure you have a budget to fix a lot of things that you would think would be standard on other vehicles. Good luck!
+1 Buying one on a whim could end up being a costly mistake for some people. Smart move OP for asking questions!
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:43 PM   #25
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I would be using it as a DD in fact my only car, which would be mostly in the winter as I'm on bike 60-65% of the time in the non-winter weather,
When I first read this I thought you meant bicycle - I do a lot of road bicycling.

Anyway, how did the test drive go today?
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:56 PM   #26
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Is that a T100 you got there Panther?

Thanks. As you know with bikers we ask allot of questions when we're shopping.

So what are these little repairs you are referring to??

Yup...it is indeed a T-100!

I spent a year on this forum alone before I purchased my Wrangler. I love the vehicle...but they are not for everyone.

When I say budget for stuff....it isn't so much for repairs...but for things you may not be used to when coming from a car.

For instance...some of my first purchases where hood locks, an underseat lockbox, and a rear locking trunk enclosure. I also made sure I added a rear view camera and a few other things.

The hinges on a Jeep are on the "outside" of the vehicle...and if you have not noticed, the hood is kept down by two rubber bands...there is no lock. Or you may not like how the doors are free when you open them.

There are just a lot of little things you have to get used to and be willing to accept. (Oh..and get ready to change the headlights....the factory ones suck).

Also...it really, really, really, really helps to have a garage (someplace you can either hang your top or park naked at night).
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:38 PM   #27
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When I first read this I thought you meant bicycle - I do a lot of road bicycling.

Anyway, how did the test drive go today?
I should get my butt on a push bike.
well, I didn't like the two door so much. Very small storage ane it was a tad claustrophobic. I found the four door I drove a little while ago to be a little more planted and pothole absorbing. So i have to go junp in the four door now. The two door is out. The issue with the four door s the roof. What the heck do I do with it?

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Yup...it is indeed a T-100!

I spent a year on this forum alone before I purchased my Wrangler. I love the vehicle...but they are not for everyone.

When I say budget for stuff....it isn't so much for repairs...but for things you may not be used to when coming from a car.

For instance...some of my first purchases where hood locks, an underseat lockbox, and a rear locking trunk enclosure. I also made sure I added a rear view camera and a few other things.

The hinges on a Jeep are on the "outside" of the vehicle...and if you have not noticed, the hood is kept down by two rubber bands...there is no lock. Or you may not like how the doors are free when you open them.

There are just a lot of little things you have to get used to and be willing to accept. (Oh..and get ready to change the headlights....the factory ones suck).

Also...it really, really, really, really helps to have a garage (someplace you can either hang your top or park naked at night).
Gotcha on the ancillary purchases. I was thinking about security today. I do not have a garage and am wondering if that's a prerequisite for the four door. I can handle the hard top of the two door and get it in my storage room, but the hard top, maybe not. That could be a challenge.

btw, nice Trump. I'm on my third.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:20 AM   #28
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^Trumpets rule! I tried to get my wife one....but she'd only be able to ride an older (smaller) Trumpy...which of course would mean points and the ghost of Lucas electrics. No thanks...

Yeah...I park outside...mostly because both bays in our garage is filled up with stuff from my wife's house that is being rented out. But for awhile during the summer, the garage was cleaned out, and we were able to fit both vehicles in it. I was able to pull the top and doors off and go naked.

That is the absolute best...and is part of what makes you overlook all of the other little things that would normally bug you about a Wrangler as a pure DD (daily driver). If you can't off-road it, or enjoy it topless.....the Wrangler becomes and overpriced, gas hogging SUV.

Fuel economy sucks
Even in the 4 door, the backseat is uncomfortable (it sits really upright).
It is a "Chrysler" product.
Everything for the JK is expensive.

But if you can fully enjoy the features...it is easy to fall in love with the vehicle. It just takes money and work to get into that position.

A lot of us have hoists that we use to hang our hardtops in the garage. That makes everything so much easier. Come spring, I remove my hard top, hang it up, and install my soft top and Spiderwebshade.

Again....good luck!
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2013 Sahara Unlimited
Billet - Auto - 3.73 - Connectivity - Painted Hardtop - LSD - Remote Start - Saddle Leather - Side Airbags

I may mall crawl...but I look good doing it.....
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:03 PM   #29
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Trumps indeed rule... you do have to stay with recent though

My intent with the vehicle would to be to go topless as much as possible. That probably means the two door is the more feasible as the garage situation poses a challenge. I guess I need another ride on the 2D.

can you remove the back seats btw? The 2door is so small I'd have to fee up some room. If not I'd keep them down constantly.

So when you say it takes money to get it to how you like it, just how much is that? Is it worth putting money into a leased vehicle?
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:51 PM   #30
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test rode the 2 door again today and have concluded that I will go with the 2 door sahara automatic if I get one at all. Also determined I'd have to go soft top full time. Therein lies the problem. Going the entire winter with the soft top un-garaged is an unerving proposition. I'm not going to go hard top full time and wind up just using it like a t-top in nice weather, That to me is a waste. So at least now I know what direction I'd have to take.

I liked the way the 2 felt today much more. I drove manual and auto 2 and 4 door (yes I took 4 vehicles) and concluded the auto 2 door felt the best. I really liked it. I also drove soft and hard tops and got to take the soft 2 door out on the highway. Noisy but bearable. Stereo in the new Sahara is great. Cabin took a while to get warm so heated seated would be in order. I also didn't see that the back seat flipped totally up and out of the way yesterday. That changed my opinion allot. These salesmen have to learn their shyte. All in all I liked it very much today.

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