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Old 08-14-2011, 05:09 AM   #1
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2011 or 2012

Hi I'm new and need some advice so I figured this would be the best place to get it. I'm looking to buy a new Jeep Wrangler and not sure if I should get a 2011 or a 2012. This will be the first Jeep I've ever owned. So is there a big difference between this years model and next years??? All advice will be much appreciated. Thanks

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Old 08-14-2011, 07:06 AM   #2
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This would be best posted in the JK section (under the "Wrangler Model Tech" heading). JK Wranglers are those from 2007 onward.

New engine and new auto transmission for 2012. So if you're getting a manual transmission, the 2012 offers something like 80 more horsepower. If you're getting an auto, you get the 80 hp or whatever along with a much improved transmission.

If the price is sufficiently similar, get a 2012.

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Old 08-14-2011, 03:22 PM   #3
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Engine and Tranny change as MTH noted is the change worth noting - but do you really need more horsepower? I didn't, and the price diff for a new 2011 vs. a 2012 made the final decision. Big rebates and kickbacks are available on 2011's, and that'll only get better as the 2012's start to flood the lots. But best be thinking seriously now, as the 2011's left will be the ones no one wanted... I only found two in the whole state of CA (and NV) that had the options and colors I'd want, but got a good deal off MSRP when I pulled the trigger.
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:14 PM   #4
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After taking a 2011 out, I was going to wait for the 2012 and the new engine and trans combo. I mean 80 extra horses are hard to pass up! For me the rebates and the dealer needing it off his lot made my decision easier. After I sat down and did some figuring, I could get a nicely equipped 2011 Unlimited Sahara vs a 2012 Unlimited Sport with half the goodies for the same price. So I went with the 2011 Sahara. More bang for the buck equipment wise, less bang for the buck powertrain wise. I do not think you would lose either way imho.

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Old 08-14-2011, 08:47 PM   #5
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I agonized over this- and then I found what I wanted: a 2011 Sport with 3.73, 6 speed, and air. That's it.

They cut the price to the bone, then cut some more. At 0% interest, I figure the least I was saving is about $3k versus the 2012. Least. That was assuming I could get a dealer to give me a comparable deal on a 2012, and I would get a 3.9% rate instead of the 0% I got on the 2011.

I also figure that I like the way the 3.8 drives, and in three years, if the Pentastar is still all that, I might trade.

This was a tough cal for me, and if I couldn't have found the combo I wanted on a lot, I would have ordered a 2012. Finding a Sport with air and 3.73 only is like a four leaf clover, it seems.

BTW, I signed the papers tonight. LOL
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:52 PM   #6
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No doubt a 2012. The engine and new tranny are worth the extra money and the better gas mileage will pay you back. You cant go wrong but a 2012 is so right. Go test drive them and you will have your answer.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:39 PM   #7
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Just bought a 2011 Unlimited Sarhara last month. Got a great deal with a rebate on top and still got a low interest rate. Not sure I'd want to get the first year with the new set-up. Isn't a jeep supposed to feel somewhat underpowered and I like that it feels like it has to work a bit to hit highway speed...

I like when I open the hood I can see the ground (reminds me of the car my parents had when I was a kid).
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:49 PM   #8
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Just bought a 2011 Unlimited Sarhara last month. Got a great deal with a rebate on top and still got a low interest rate. Not sure I'd want to get the first year with the new set-up. Isn't a jeep supposed to feel somewhat underpowered and I like that it feels like it has to work a bit to hit highway speed...

I like when I open the hood I can see the ground (reminds me of the car my parents had when I was a kid).
Agreed! Same here. Simple tune up, simple everything for a few HP/tq sacrifice (actually quite a bit, but oh well)
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:05 PM   #9
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Before you make a decision drive both.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:24 PM   #10
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I chose 2012 bc i plan on taking trips out west into the Rockies and I venture into the White Mtns of NH and green Mtns on Vt often year round and didn't want it struggling to make it up- Also, I got an 4 door unlimited so that made it even more important IMO to get auto upgrade and extra HP. I also plan on keeping it ten years so the extra cash spread over ten years is minimal!

good luck deciding.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:12 PM   #11
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Maybe if I were considering the JKU, it would have been better to get the 2012. But then again maybe not. But after two months of various driving experiences with my 2011 JK and a couple of long road trips, I am totally pleased with my decision. I saved about $4k on my auto Sahara vs. the 2012. I learned not to buy 1st year major change vehicles as it is hit or miss long term. Better to buy the final year of a production as most issues have been tweeked out. I am also not convinced that a more complex auto tranny is best for a Jeep type vehicle in offroad recreational conditions. Fine in my Lexus, but the laws of physics say the more complex, the more problem prone long term, especially under harsh conditions. Most folks are going to speak up in defense of whatever decision they made (me included). But for me I see every year the Jeep engineers are bowing down to the mass demand for street friendly over ruggedness and simplicity. That is fine... to a point, then it becomes what Hummer has become. I like my Jeep and my Harley KISS as I plan to keep them a long time. I like my Lexus slick and fancy, because the wife gets restless every 5 years and thats what Lex does. I am having a lot of fun with the saved 4K. More fun than I would have with the extra unneeded HPs and extra unneeded shifting. If I had to do again, I would do the same.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:08 AM   #12
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^^^^Good post. I have a 2010 2 door and I am very pleased with the performance. It amazes me when I read all these posts stating how people think the 3.8 is crap. As long as it serves me well and stays reliable, I'll be happy and keep this Jeep for a very long time.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:32 AM   #13
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I'd recommend saving your money until you can buy one outright, by that time there could be a diesel or hemi version with a 8 speed trans. Seriously, find a way to take them both for a ride and see if the price savings is worth giving up the hp and extra shift if you get an auto. I needed a vehicle in June so I couldn't wait. My only regret is I could have saved some money since the 2011's are now getting pushed out to make room for the 2012's. This vehicle is the first one I've had that I can enjoy without the desire to go fast. Also the first time I'm actually looking forward to winter.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:29 AM   #14
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Thanks for all your advice and opinions!! I guess I'll test drive both and decide from there. Thanks again
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:19 PM   #15
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Good luck. I decided to go ahead and get the 2011 myself for the simplicity to be honest. I don;t need blazing fast acceleration (as some would exaggerate), my 3.8 really does just fine. Doesn;t drink gas like some say as well. gets ~ 18.5 all around, 22-23 on the highway @ 70 (I live in the coastal plains area though, no big pulls here except bridges). Mine was ~ 27 OTD with the 23 whatever package that is, 6-speed manual, 3.73 LS and tow package. I even tow trailers with it, leave it in 5th, tows 3500 lbs no problem! ok, maybe a bit when going over tall bridges..
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:54 PM   #16
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Better to buy the final year of a production as most issues have been tweeked out.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:28 PM   #17
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i went with a 2011 a few weeks back, i am really happy with the deal... under invoice and 0% financing made it an easy decision... i also just drove it on a 500 mile road trip to Utah and it did okay on the freeway, not a speed demon but it got me there just fine. i had a first year (after a redesign) Subaru Forester before the Rubicon JKU and i swore i would never get a first generation again... either one you choose, you'll get a Jeep, which is good news!
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:42 PM   #18
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My vote is go with the 2011. If you are good at negotiating, you'll get a much better price upfront, along with 0% financing, if you need to finance. This will save you an extra couple thousand or so down the road. Another view, as someone else noted, there will be more issues with the 2012 vs the 2011 because of the changes. I never purchase the first year of a new vehicle or one with significant changes to the prior year. The resell value is so strong on wranglers, get a 2011 with 0 financing. You can keep it a couple of years and sell or trade in with quite a bit of equity in it. If you really like wranglers, you can get a 2013 or 2014, once the bugs are worked out of the new engine set up.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:51 PM   #19
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Do you want to work on your own jeep? Any work? Like change the oil.... Open the hood and be able to *look around* and actually *see* stuff recognizable? Look under both hoods
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:41 PM   #20
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I agree with others that there will likely be some issues with the 2012 because major changes in engine and transmission (auto) and I HAVE been burned twice with buying Jeeps in the first year of a major transition year, but that being said, I need a car ASAP (before my current car dies or needs even MORE major repair), I only want a Wrangler, I don't want to buy one now and trade up in two years, and I plan on taking it in the mountains often- so I opted for the 2012 as a result. If the dealer gives me a fantastic deal on the 7 yr. warranty I might go for that just for piece of mind- but it will have to be a great deal.

So I am gonna drive my Flame Red JKU with my kids in the back pullin' a Yakima trailer full of Kayaks into the mountains and enjoy it (in about 30 days that is!!)
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:39 PM   #21
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I have an '08x, a '10 sport, and a '12 Rubicon- all 4 dr. Unlimiteds. The '12 is a Rubicon I picked up about 3 hours ago. Lots more power, no gear hunting, better mpg, better resale. The 3.6/5 speed auto is in '11 Challengers, Chargers, Grand Caravans, an Grand Cherokees. They are dealing on '12s (not as much as an '11, but the drivetrain IMHO, is so much better. You'll probably like both, but the '12 accellerates quickly and effortlessly.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:58 PM   #22
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better resale.


Really? What are used 2012's going for these days compared to used 2011's?
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:58 PM   #23
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Really? What are used 2012's going for these days compared to used 2011's?
Probably pretty good, mostly due to the fact that numerically, 2012 is a larger number than 2011. That usually impacts resale.

Your point about speculation is noted, but newer model year, even if the vehicles were built 2 days apart, means a bump for the later year. It is a valid reason to choose one model over the other, beyond just price/features/etc.

The addition of a more powerful engine will most definitely result in more demand for this next-generation drivetrain, unless the 3.6 turns out to be a complete turd. No evidence of that being the case, at least yet.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:08 AM   #24
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Probably pretty good, mostly due to the fact that numerically, 2012 is a larger number than 2011. That usually impacts resale.

Are you freaking serious? Used 2012's?
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:11 AM   #25
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Are you freaking serious? Used 2012's?
Uh... he just bought the Jeep. Did you read his post to imply he was going to sell it right away? I missed that part.

His resale value for equal condition/mileage/trim 2011 will be better. Today, tomorrow, next year. His statement was accurate and his motives were sound.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:18 AM   #26
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It's worthless to try to explain what resale value is to you.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:19 AM   #27
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His resale value for equal condition/mileage/trim 2011 will be better. Today, tomorrow, next year. His statement was accurate and his motives were sound.
There's no way of knowing this until they are actually on the used market.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:46 AM   #28
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It's worthless to try to explain what resale value is to you.
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There's no way of knowing this until they are actually on the used market.


Apparently I know much more about 2012 Jeeps than you know of my background.

I'll type slowly so you can understand: All other things being equal, the newer the model year will be worth more at any given slice of time compared to a vehicle of a previous model year. Every time. It doesn't matter if they were built 2 days apart - the model year means newer when it comes time to sell. Add 80 extra horsepower and an improved AT with an extra gear, and the peeps will pay even more.

This is not to dis other JKs; I have a TJ that lost value the first day the JK showed up on dealer lots. It happens. Life's rough, buy a helmet. I still got over 50% of my value on trade-in with 7 years and 70k miles, the things pull well and will continue to pending any gasoline apocalypse or the US credit rating getting butchered further.

How about you put your money where your mouth is and prepare to Paypal a crisp $20 to me exactly one year from now when both KBB and Dealer black book show that equally-equipped/similar mile/same region Wranglers of 2012 are pulling more coin than 2011, 2010, or your 2009? I'll keep $20 just to be honest, but it ain't going nowhere.

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Old 08-18-2011, 05:38 AM   #29
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Are you freaking serious? Used 2012's?
Pass please
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:18 AM   #30
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Let's say for instance the trumpet loop on the exhaust causes some unforeseen consequence in the coming months for some reason, just as an example. Which year will have the better resale value now? Not resale price, but value as relative to the original price? There's just no way of knowing at this stage of the game. Is that likely? Of course not! My point, which you can't seem to grasp, is that this thread is about buying a 2011 or a 2012. Of all the reasons why it would be better to buy a 2012 (which I have stated many times I would) the least of the reasons would be resale value, as the one reply posted. It is a completely unknown factor in the equation.

It's the same as the Sport vs. Rubicon question. There are numerous threads with people trying to decide which to get and in every single one, someone will post to get the Rubicon because of higher resale value. Both vehicles hold their resale value extremely well, naturally the Rubicon will cost more on the used market because it costs more to start with. That means nothing in terms of holding residual value.

Sometimes a feature or benefit that costs more, can actually lower resale value. Try selling a modded Jeep and add in the cost of what you put into it. See how well that works out for you. The market decides the price.

A 2006 could have better resale value than a 2010 despite the fact that the 2010 will cost more.

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