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Old 08-26-2013, 08:35 AM   #1
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Future JKU owner needs some help

So heres the story - I got a TJ for my wife to use as a DD and weekend cruiser. She and the kids love driving it. The current downside is getting 2 small kids in the back and not having any storage space. So this naturally leads me to a JKU right? I spent some time looking last night and I'm thinking that I can pick up a 2013 sahara for around 35k - after looking on craigslist I've seen lots of 2009-2010 JKU's priced at 24-26k. Is there something I'm missing? It looks like it would be in my best interest to buy new (which is something I never do). Second point - This will never be seriously offroaded but should I consider a Rubicon for future resale value? Third question - I recently added a trektop nx to my tj and love the sunrider feature. Does the JKU's factory soft top have something similar? Would the 3 piece hard top function the same way?
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:38 AM   #2
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I'm taking delivery of a 2014 JKU Rubicon for 35k + tax title dealer doc fee and registration. Wranglers hold their value quite well which could help you justify breaking your "buy new" rule...
Also, 2012s and up come with the new V6

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Old 08-26-2013, 08:55 AM   #3
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I had a similar situation as you. I had a sports car and a YJ, and a 2-year old. Neither fits a child car seat (the year YJ I had was before the 'family' roll bar). I bought a 2013 JKU Sahara.

I had no intention on buying new, and started looking at a TJ. After realizing the resell value of Jeeps are so high, I started looking at the JK's. And then the JKU's. And then settled on buying new.

My son loves my Jeep. Loves riding in it. Loves pointing out other Jeeps. Wife even loves it, even though it's bumpy for her.

This is my DD and it never leaves the highway. I didn't go for a Rubicon because all of the offroading features that it offers would be wasted on me. The most 'offroading' that I would be doing is driving the three miles of unpaved road when I visit my in-laws house in upstate New York (after the 3.5 hours of Interstate driving).

To answer your question, the hard top (on JK's and JKU's) have the "Freedom Top" feature, which allows you to remove the front part of the hard top, which is over the front seats. It comes off in two pieces, one for each side. The rear hard top remains on. It's very easy to remove.

I got the Dual Top option, which gives you the hard top and the Premium soft top. The soft top has a similar Sunrider (I think that's what it's called) feature where you can throw back the front part of the soft top, exposing the front and rear seats (at least on the JKU, don't know about the JK's). I use that more than anything.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:13 AM   #4
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Hi-

I was in a similar situation, but never considered buying used because I wanted the 3.6 Pentastar engine, which has only been in the Wrangler since 2012. You're not going to get a huge discount buying 2012 versus 2013 in my case. And 2012's had the head issue. The soft top has the Sunrider function which I think is the best thing since sliced bread and the hardtop has the Freedom panels which are nice. I have a Rubicon and love it even though I will never use it to a fraction of its capabilities. I just like the look of it and know that I no longer have the time or the space to wrench on it myself. Getting it the way I want from the factory was valuable to me. Honestly I wouldn't think about resale value on a Rubi versus Sahara, buy the one you love. The one aspect of my purchase I might reconsider is the 4.10 gear ratio. While I like the acceleration, it may be a little high for my purposes. No big deal though. Check that your carseats fit in the JK as there are some that won't fit properly. You will likely find that the rear headrests are in the way of your carseats. You can fold the rear seat down and then tie the headrests back so they don't flip back up and put the carseat in afterwards. Good luck!
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:19 AM   #5
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To the OP, I think I'd look at getting a JKU Sport S, less $ and if it isn't going to be off-roaded much it should serve very well, hold resale value well, and generally just be an awesome, comfortable DD.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:33 AM   #6
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Good point about the car seat - search the threads, there are a few that discuss them. For me, I ended up putting mine in the middle. The rear headrests caused my son's carseat to lean forward and created a gap between the top of the carseat and the back of the seat. Moving it to the middle solved this. Plus, I can now have two people sit in the backseat, on either side, without too much discomfort.

One thing that disappointed me is the rear seats cannot be reclined. That was a feature that I liked about the Liberty. I ended up putting a small phone book under the front part of the carseat, to create a little bit of a recline. Without it, my son's head would flop forward when he falls asleep and from the looks of it, is the most uncomfortable position for him to be in. When trying to extract him from the Jeep, while asleep, he would always wake up. After adding the phonebook, I can now pull him out and get him into the house without him waking up.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:57 AM   #7
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I can not imagine sleeping in that position but I know exactly what you mean and I deal with that daily. I need to bite the bullet and go to my local dealer and have a look. I hate dealing with car lots but it will be a necessary sacrifice. Does jeep historically offer model year end rebates? I know that 2014's are out and lots of local (within 2 hrs) dealers have 2013's. This isn't necessarily going to be a dedicated DD but she's made it her DD as the other option for her is a yukon xl. She works at a hospital and likes the ease of parking and the topless after work ride home. I have personally never had any interest in Jeeps until I took on this project. As a side note im 6'5 so the second row gets eaten up pretty fast on my side. Any taller JKU's owners with kids have issues getting the seat back comfortably while still having room for a passenger behind? Oh how priorities change....
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:34 AM   #8
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Nothing on paper as far as rebates. But, do the research and go in with an amount in mind. We took a couple of hours going back and forth on our latest purchase.


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Old 08-26-2013, 11:07 AM   #9
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Because of the high resale value, it is often easier/cheaper to buy new unless you find a screaming deal. You may already be a member of Tread Lightly, so getting a new one for several points below invoice isn't hard.

A 4 door Sport S sounds like the best move for you. Resale value is pretty close to the same on all of them, especially if you trading in.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:41 PM   #10
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I always buy wranglers new because the depreciation is so low. No reason to but used. It is less fiscally responsible to buy used IMO. Resale in early summer is even higher than now.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:13 PM   #11
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I'm 6'4" and my daughter is 5. She can sit behind me if necessary but it is tight. I usually have her ride in the center, for the headrest issue, because she likes seeing out the front window and I think it's safer. With two little ones I know this isn't a solution. Jeep engineers must have designed the rear seat on a drinking Friday.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:09 PM   #12
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Took the TJ out to the local park tonight and stopped at walmart after to pick up some stuff for dinner tomorrow. Needless to say it was snug. Now it's just deciding if I want to go more sparse or get leather and nav. I kinda want a manual transmission and a soft top. I found a rock lobster red sport that I thought looked nice.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:25 PM   #13
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IMO it is time do to the homework......make a list of must haves....NAV? Connectivity? Blue tooth? dual zone climate controls? Tire wheels combos hard top softtop both tops? what about sat radio?

Depending what you want/ what you have to have/ and what is available...it may be easier for you to get something on the lot already "dressed".

We have a '04 TJ a '12 JK a '13 300 and a '14 Sahara JKU...went in looking for another sport (last Thur) like both the 2drs, and stumbled on the Sahara JKU and the price was to close between a '13 and the '14 to choose the '13
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:16 PM   #14
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Took the TJ out to the local park tonight and stopped at walmart after to pick up some stuff for dinner tomorrow. Needless to say it was snug. Now it's just deciding if I want to go more sparse or get leather and nav. I kinda want a manual transmission and a soft top. I found a rock lobster red sport that I thought looked nice.
I just bought a 2014 JKU Sport S (23S package) with a manual and soft top. Manuals were few and far between in my area so I had to make some concessions on my list of things I wanted. I have two children now 12 and 14 and as a mother who has taken long road trips with my girls, alone, I can't count the number of times they've gotten sick, spilled stuff, and dumped Gog-knows-what on the seats. If your kids are messy, and you have the money, I would go with the leather because it's easier to clean. Cloth seats + vomit = your screwed. Sounds harsh, but as you probably know you can clean up leather with a container of Clorox wipes, that won't work on cloth.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:12 AM   #15
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I agree about the leather thing - I'm not sure how much we would use it for road trips but when I got the TJ i wasnt sure how much it would get driven and now it gets driven everyday. I'm going to go to my local dealer and take a look - probably where I should have started but I just hate having to deal with that.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:28 AM   #16
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Make sure you join tread lightly and get the discount.Or ask to see the invoice and dont ever pay sticker price.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:39 AM   #17
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Make sure you join tread lightly and get the discount.Or ask to see the invoice and dont ever pay sticker price.
Yes, your OTD (Out The Door) price should be below MSRP. That will include tax, title, fees, etc...
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:39 AM   #18
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I just bought a 2014 JKU Sport S (23S package) with a manual and soft top. Manuals were few and far between in my area so I had to make some concessions on my list of things I wanted. I have two children now 12 and 14 and as a mother who has taken long road trips with my girls, alone, I can't count the number of times they've gotten sick, spilled stuff, and dumped Gog-knows-what on the seats. If your kids are messy, and you have the money, I would go with the leather because it's easier to clean. Cloth seats + vomit = your screwed. Sounds harsh, but as you probably know you can clean up leather with a container of Clorox wipes, that won't work on cloth.
Excellent choice at multiple levels. I was a single dad to two kids from the late '70s until 2007....the reason it lasted so long was that they were 9 years apart in age, so I got to do the active parent thing from '78 when my oldest was born until '07 when my youngest moved out at age 20. I confess that I miss those years, but some of the things I don't miss are what you describe. I wish that Unlimiteds were around during my parenting years, it would have been an ideal rig for the kind of tripping we liked to do, road trips to far-away scenic/wild destinations, camping, hiking, beach-combing.

Whenever I would buy a new vehicle, everything from old-school station-wagons to 4-Runners to mini-vans to, ultimately, when it was just me and my youngest, a TJ, I never liked vinyl seats, nor leather.....not that I could afford it, nor was it available a lot of times.....so it was usually cloth seats for me. I found I went through a couple of cases of Scotch-Guard over those decades, and it worked quite well. If I Scotch-Guarded the hell out of the seats right off the bat, and again every year or so, I never found a stain that I couldn't get out with a little elbow-grease.

Enjoy the new Sport S, great choice!
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:13 AM   #19
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Thanks for all the input - I'm slightly torn between the hard top and soft top now - I've never taken the complete top off the TJ - we just fold the front back and pull the soft door uppers off. The back seat little ones get some breeze but don't get blasted. I'm thinking that will be the case with the JKU and that the hard top would be better for cold Virginia winter mornings.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:59 AM   #20
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I am loving my new ride. It had a sticker price of 42K with dealer markup. Got it for 35K. I love how the new auto works and the interior is way nicer than the TJ was. I got a rubi just for the resale value.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:54 AM   #21
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Granted we are in Atlanta, but we haven't gotten around to putting the hard top on for the past two winters. In Virginia you could probably do the same. But if you think you'll want both, get the dual top option. You can always sell the one you don't want later.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:40 AM   #22
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hey guys, this is my first post on the forum..... i'm getting ready to trade in my 12 ram 1500 for a 14 wrangler..... how do I get the tread lightly discount you are talking about?
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:20 AM   #23
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hey guys, this is my first post on the forum..... i'm getting ready to trade in my 12 ram 1500 for a 14 wrangler..... how do I get the tread lightly discount you are talking about?
Go to the Tl site and sign up. Take the info to the dealership.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:59 AM   #24
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Keeper is right - it is that easy at the dealership!


There is, or at least was when I bought mine, a little lag btw signing up and getting the docs to take to the dealer.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:21 PM   #25
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Go to the Tl site and sign up. Take the info to the dealership.
ok, thanks. is treadlightly.org the correct address? and do you have to pay the $100 fee?
how long of a lag for printing documents?
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:38 AM   #26
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ok, thanks. is treadlightly.org the correct address? and do you have to pay the $100 fee?
how long of a lag for printing documents?
Yes, that's the right website and fee.

They state that as of (1 to 2 years ago), Chrysler requires you to be a member for 30 days before you can get a 'code' to take advantage of the affiliate program.

They send out mail once a week and I think I got mine in about a week (no more than 10 days). And I want to think that I got a code (they give you your login credentials) in less than 30 days - though it may not be "active" until after 30 days, I don't know how it all works.

I would suggest you do some searches on this site for "tread lightly" and you'll find some informative posts. In short, you go to the dealer, tell them what you're looking for and when it comes time to run numbers, tell them you're a Tread Lightly member - most sales reps will what this is and will show you the invoice price and deduct 1% and show you the result. Many people on here have negotiated more than 1% below invoice, but that can vary between the person negotiating, the sales rep and the dealership.

When I was looking for mine, I simply mentioned that I was a TL member and they automatically gave me the 1% BI price. They only asked for confirmation (the code you'll generate after logging into TL) when we were doing the paperwork.

One piece of advice... if you're not in a hurry to buy one, I would suggest you do a lot of searches on Jeep.com and sign up for a brochure. Some people have gotten a $500 coupon towards the purchase of a new Jeep (doesn't matter the model). I honestly don't recall signing up for a brochure when I was doing my hunting, but did get one. And got the coupon. As luck would have it, when I arrived at home with my new Sahara, the brochure & coupon was in my mailbox. Oh well, it happens. But my point about waiting... it took about two months before I got that brochure, from the time I started my research. From what I've read, Chrysler is slow to send them out and not everyone gets it, so it's a gamble.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:46 PM   #27
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appreciate all the info and advice!

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