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Old 02-12-2012, 06:34 PM   #1
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First time Jeep buyer questions

Hi all,
Just joined the site and an researching information to buy my first Jeep. I'm interested in getting into some serious off roading so I'm looking to buy a 2012 Rubi unlimited. I'm a complete off road noob (except on my mtn bike), but something I've always been interested in.

One question is manual vrs auto? I haven't driven a stick in a long time so I'd prefer auto, but I'm worried that will limit my off road ability. I can relearn if needed, but Is that important or just get what you are comfortable with?

Is the in dash gps worth it or better just using a seperat device?

Any other tips for a first time buyer? I'll be heading to the dealership this week to speak to them and place an order and I'm trying my best to be prepared.

Thanks everyone. I'll post in the new member thread once I buy and am officially an owner.

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Old 02-12-2012, 06:46 PM   #2
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I just went through the same exercise as you are starting and had similar questions

One of the most important aspects is finding a good dealer - I was directed to pat@fields here in the Chicago area- he was so helpful and so knowledgeable, it made the process so much easier.

Re auto vs manual, I had the same concerns, in the end after taking to a number of experienced people both here on the forum and off, I decided on auto. Both will do the job, my sense was that auto is easier for the new off roader. You will hear both sides of auto vs manual here, but probably a lot of the arguments are over situations or levels of experiences that most people won't encounter frequently.

Additional, I test drive both auto and manual twice and while I am an experienced driver with stick, I found the jeep stick not nearly as smooth as my current car's. It might have been apples vs oranges, but in the end I went with auto

Anyhow - that's my 2 cents

Good luck

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Old 02-12-2012, 06:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bsears155 View Post
Hi all,
Just joined the site and an researching information to buy my first Jeep. I'm interested in getting into some serious off roading so I'm looking to buy a 2012 Rubi unlimited. I'm a complete off road noob (except on my mtn bike), but something I've always been interested in.

One question is manual vrs auto? I haven't driven a stick in a long time so I'd prefer auto, but I'm worried that will limit my off road ability. I can relearn if needed, but Is that important or just get what you are comfortable with?

Is the in dash gps worth it or better just using a seperat device?

Any other tips for a first time buyer? I'll be heading to the dealership this week to speak to them and place an order and I'm trying my best to be prepared.

Thanks everyone. I'll post in the new member thread once I buy and am officially an owner.
First, welcome to the forum

Auto vs Manual, I bought a 6spd but would have gotten the auto if it was a dd or I was going to do a lot of rock crawling. I love the 6spd for the fun to drive factor

I love my 430n ...but if I were you I would drive two Jeeps one with each radio 430N & 730 then compare them to what you are used to and go with what fits your lifestyle. For me I love the fact that I can't leave it on my desk having said that the hand held units have a few more features.

Look at the new JK sticky at the top of the forum great pricing option info there!!

Other than that use the search feature to your hearts content if you need info its here
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:13 PM   #4
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Go auto!!! Great ride!!
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:19 PM   #5
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This is a personal choice. Owning an s2000 (rated the best manual tranmission in the world...of all time) I cannot drive other manual sports cars, let alone one in a Wrangler. This is not to say that it is a bad transmission, but for me, it is nothing but a chore, and NOT enjoyable. The POINT of a manual car is to have full control of the motor. Unfortunately, today, with DSGs, SMGs, etc, the manual is nothing short of a novelty. Sports cars are no longer faster with the manual, they don't need as much maintenance (no clutches to deal with, which are an expensive wear item) and are much easier to live with day to day. If you drive your rig 75%+ on the road, the 2012 auto is fantastic. It can hold a gear if you want it to (basically kills the ONLY benefit of a manual) and is very smooth. Your warranty covers the transmission fully, unlike a manual, which you can kill and be denied warranty. You can get a pretty heated debate going if you ask which is better for wheeling, but from everything I have read, the current autos are actually superior, just like they are in sports cars now-a-days. Pick your poison I guess.

As for the navigation, I have the 730N, and am happy with it. A friend of mine has an Arctic with the 430, and likes it as well. If you don't want to spring for a 730, I would say the 430 is a great choice, since if you do NOT get either, you will most likely wind up with a standalone Garmin, which is what the 430 uses, but without the clutter.

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:22 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the great info! Can't wait to get out and buy one already.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:26 PM   #7
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As you're probably already aware, this will quickly turn into a Manual vs Auto thread. Drive both. Buy what you're most comfortable with.

And please, try to ignore those sissies touting the auto.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:50 PM   #8
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As you're probably already aware, this will quickly turn into a Manual vs Auto thread. Drive both. Buy what you're most comfortable with.

And please, try to ignore those sissies touting the auto.
I know you were just kidding, but I figured I'll throw this out there anyway. I'm a practical guy. To me, everything needs to have a functional use, and perform better or serve a purpose something else doesn't. I lived with a manual transmission in NYC for 7 years, so I'm not a sissy when it comes to manuals, not to mention, with a race clutch. Driving both is fruitless. One cannot tell on a test drive how something is to live with on a daily basis. It's like test driving a mattress. Sure you can lay down on it for 4 minutes, but it will hardly tell you how it is to sleep on it night after night.

The fact of the matter is this (we just had this debate on my s2000 forum about the new Porsches, manual vs pdk).....manual transmissions are a thing of the past. They no longer offer ANY benefits over modern autos with computers behind them. They are nothing but a novelty. This is NOT debatable, but fact. Now, if you accept that, and still want it for the novelty (as I would in certain cars) then by all means, get the manual. However, dont for one second believe than the manual in a wrangler (a very crude transmission) is superior in ANY way to the auto OTHER than the "fun" of rowing your own gears. This is NOT an attack of the manual. Hell, I was pissed as hell when BMW dropped manuals from most of their m cars, but this is a post meant to guide someone into the right decision based on FACTUAL information (not saying your info is NOT factual, just wanted to OP to hear some unbiased truth from someone that owns both transmissions.)
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:55 PM   #9
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hi welcome, get the auto u will spend 80% of ur time on the road and 20% off road,
some thing 4 u to ponder! ps; i have a 2012 auto w/trac lock. :-))
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:59 PM   #10
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Awesome info. Like I said I'm a complete newbie to off road, so as long as there's a debate about which is better I'm happy just going auto. If I had gotten 15 posts saying you can't off road with auto or something like that I would have gone manual. Feel free to still debate. Could be fun, but I have my answer to that question.

New question, can someone explain what "half doors" mean and what the advantage/disadvantage of them are? I'm building my "ideal" jeep on the website and that's one thing I'm not getting.

Also I'd like a winch. Is that something I can order from Jeep or should I just wait and install myself later?

Thanks again. This is a great community!
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:07 PM   #11
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Ignore my question on half doors. Just saw the other thread on that topic.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bsears155 View Post
Awesome info. Like I said I'm a complete newbie to off road, so as long as there's a debate about which is better I'm happy just going auto. If I had gotten 15 posts saying you can't off road with auto or something like that I would have gone manual. Feel free to still debate. Could be fun, but I have my answer to that question.

New question, can someone explain what "half doors" mean and what the advantage/disadvantage of them are? I'm building my "ideal" jeep on the website and that's one thing I'm not getting.

Also I'd like a winch. Is that something I can order from Jeep or should I just wait and install myself later?

Thanks again. This is a great community!
Sorry about the whole "sissy" thing.

Still, you got time to man up. Or am I pretty much peeing on the wrong fire hydrant here?

Half doors have a removable canvas top with sliding windows. From what I understand, the sliding window part is the "con," seeing as how it's both tiny, and annoying. Others will weigh in on this. I'm not really conversant in it.

As for the winch, don't order it from the dealer. They don't know what a Jeep will do, for the most part. Buy it online, but not till you've driven your stock Jeep offroad, and know what it'll do.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:30 PM   #13
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Sorry about the whole "sissy" thing.

Still, you got time to man up. Or am I pretty much peeing on the wrong fire hydrant here?

Half doors have a removable canvas top with sliding windows. From what I understand, the sliding window part is the "con," seeing as how it's both tiny, and annoying. Others will weigh in on this. I'm not really conversant in it.

As for the winch, don't order it from the dealer. They don't know what a Jeep will do, for the most part. Buy it online, but not till you've driven your stock Jeep offroad, and know what it'll do.
I have full doors, but I think I will get the safari tube doors, that way, I'll have the best of both worlds. Also depends on where you live. 4 seasons, IMHO, full doors are a must.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:33 PM   #14
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For me buying the Jeep was all about fun, hence 12 Rubicon Unlimited, Soft Top, 6 Speed and loving it.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:36 PM   #15
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I live in SW Pa, so yeah sounds like full doors for me. Maybe a set of half later on down the road.

And thanks for the info on the winch. I'll wait a while and might make that my first addition once I figure out what I'm doing.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:09 PM   #16
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I placed my order for a new Rubi tonight! Thanks to everyone who replied, it was very helpful. 4-6 weeks can't get here quick enough.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bsears155
I placed my order for a new Rubi tonight! Thanks to everyone who replied, it was very helpful. 4-6 weeks can't get here quick enough.
Sooo.... Auto or manual?
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:29 PM   #18
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Went the sissy route. Lol. Am I still allowed to call myself a Jeep owner?

By the way, Jeep wave or all Jeeps or just Wranglers?
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsears155
Went the sissy route. Lol. Am I still allowed to call myself a Jeep owner?

By the way, Jeep wave or all Jeeps or just Wranglers?
It's usually just wranglers but any highly modified off road vehicles you can wave to. Be social. You might see them on the trail one day
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:31 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bsears155
Went the sissy route. Lol. Am I still allowed to call myself a Jeep owner?

By the way, Jeep wave or all Jeeps or just Wranglers?
You really know how to stir the pot

But seriously (wuss) no.... Jk
You are fine .... Congrats and only wranglers
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:29 AM   #21
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Dont worry. You can just laugh at all the manual guys on the trail when they are stuck in a cloud of clutch smoke, while you cruise past them sipping your latte and listening to Barry Manilow.

I keed I keed.

Auto-fo-life.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:07 AM   #22
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Dont worry. You can just laugh at all the manual guys on the trail when they are stuck in a cloud of clutch smoke, while you cruise past them sipping your latte and listening to Barry Manilow.

I keed I keed.

Auto-fo-life.
Sissy.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:11 AM   #23
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Sissy.
Sissy with a latte hater.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:31 AM   #24
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:25 AM   #25
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Nice video, boy i gotta get one!
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:13 AM   #26
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welcome to JeepWorld....a vast improvement on the annoying, tapioca pudding-style or simply boring alternates!

re: "I'm worried that will limit my off road ability. "

I learned to drive in the mid-1950s, and lived in the high desert/mountainous off-road of SW Idaho, with all the varieties of mechanical choices over the years.

This may not apply to YOU, but for ME today's auto transmissions enhance the off road experience. Drive 'em all, get yerself satisfied, and understand today's satisfaction is merely basis for tomorrow's mod, in the Jeep world.

Cheers on your journey!
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:18 AM   #27
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To OP: did you get the 4:10 or 3.73? 4.10 only comes std with manual! Congrats on your order. I went auto as well...all my other cars have been manual. Now I need to learn how to drive again. With the 2012 5sp and hold-in-gear auto, thats the way to go. With earlier JKs, with 3.8, definitely 6 sp manual would have been my choice.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:58 AM   #28
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Well first the transmission question. I had a 71 Land Cruiser with a Chevy 350 and a three speed manual. I could make that beast do all sorts of things but it took me a clutch to learn it. Back then it was not a big deal and it was easy to replace. Not sure what would be involved on a 2012 Jeep. There are things you can do with a manual that you just can’t do with an auto. However it takes time to learn it and you could burn a clutch or two before you get it perfected.

I now have a 2007 JKU with the auto. I don’t do the crazy stuff like I did when I was in my 20s and I find the auto does what I want it to do and it leaves me free to enjoy the ride a bit more. In fact out of my last five 4X4 vehicles all have been autos except for first 82 S-10 Blazer and my big Ram Diesel. Thinking back I sometimes feel the auto may have been better for me when pulling the 5th wheel around. If I get a new big truck it will be an auto as well.

Now for the GPS. I have never had an in dash unit. I use a portable Tom Tom 720 and I like it. I would like to upgrade to a unit that has the ability to download Topographical maps showing forest roads and other trails. I have not started that research yet but I hear Garmin has one that does it. The down side to the in dash unit is when it does become obsolete your stuck with it. A portable unit can be sold and replaced with the latest and greatest with much less cost then that of the original in dash unit.

Look at what the dealer has added to the Jeep. I noticed when I was shopping that the mark up is ridiculous in most cases. One dealer here in Albq had a nicely done Sport but when I checked the cost of the add ons (They had a local 4X4 shop do the install) I could have done them all myself and used the money I would have saved to buy a ton of gas. This is one reason I went with a used Jeep and started the build on it piece by piece. This way I did not get hit with the initial devaluation (Jeeps do hold their value but still devaluate over time) and I get to add the parts I want and not what some dealer thinks I want.

jmo, take it for what it is worth. In any event you’re going to love being a Jeeper. Welcome to the fold
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:26 PM   #29
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I placed my order for a new Rubi tonight! Thanks to everyone who replied, it was very helpful. 4-6 weeks can't get here quick enough.
Congrats. You're going to love it.
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:11 PM   #30
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Yeah man. If you do a lot of cell talking, the auto is the way to go. Congrats and enjoy.

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