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Old 11-27-2012, 04:22 AM   #1
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Jeep newbie looking for a new Jeep Wrangler

Hello Jeep Enthusiats,

This will be my first SUV - coming from a Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart. It will be a DD - office/highway driving ~25 miles per day, with some camping/off-road use (not rock climbing, but I want to be able to take my car to "4x4 required" trails and ski lodges). I reckon, by my habits, it will be 90% DD, 10% camping/off-road).

I'm looking to buy a Jeep Wrangler and wanted some input:

1. How does the Wrangler hold up to daily driving needs, particularly on highways? I drive ~10k miles a year.
2. Should I look at the Rubicon for my driving needs? Would it be better/worse as a DD compared to the base sport model?
3. How does the hard-top/soft-top cope with rain/snow? (I live in seattle)
4. How does it cope with city life in general? Should I be worried about break-ins?
5. I plan to get an automatic. Any surprise/gotchas I should know of? Will automatics also maintain high resale value like manual counterparts?

Thanks for helping me!

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Old 11-27-2012, 09:10 AM   #2
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Looks like you've done some homework!

1) As a DD I think a JK does very well. There are adjustment to be made because they are not a RALLY Car. They handle very differently from what you are used too. I suggest a Sport with upgraded shocks. This will still give you a capable vehicle while not adding a lot in costs.

2) See some of the above. I went Sport S with Limited slip, 6 speed stick and as basic as I could find. I am happy with "MY" decision and for me that's all I need. I do pretty much like you do right now. Limited off-road. Un-improved dirt road, farm roads and some double track. With even the basic Goodyear SRA's I've had decent traction to get to where I need to go. There have been some tight spots and a few places I'd have to back up and get a better run at things, but that's okay with me.
Better tires in even the stock size will be added to this JK when I get the chance, but I'll burn a little more tread off of these first.

3) Mine is garage kept, and I have a winter vehicle so I don't worry about this. I'll let others comment.

4) If you have ANY worries about break ins, get the hard top or the dual top option. That will give you most options and variations to go with. I went Soft Top only and for a good part of this summer the side windows, back windows and such were out of my Jeep. I rarely use A/C even in 80-90 temps.

5) Automatics are fine. That is more personal preference in Jeep owners I think. I like a Stick so that is what I got. Makes me happy, and makes me feel like I'm back driving a Class A rig at times, only with a much smaller from windshield! LOL!

As a whole, the Wranglers have very good resale value. Yahoo just had an article of the top 10 best vehicles for resale and the Wrangler ranked 3 and was the highest placed MADE IN USA Vehicle.

Good Luck!

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Old 11-27-2012, 09:43 AM   #3
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Be prepared to spend more for gas.

The base model and the Rubi, both, would be fine daily drivers, except for the gas mileage. The difference comes in with the options, the rubi comes with axle locks and an electronic sway bar disconnect. So, it depends on whether or not you think you will need the axle locks and the sway bar disconnect. There are some that get the base model and then add the sway bar disconnect and axle locks later, if they decide they need them.

I have the hardtop and haven't had any problems with the snow and/or rain. Some people seem to have some problems with their hard tops leaking. If you check on here, you will find several threads about leaky tops.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ck1109 View Post
Hello Jeep Enthusiats,

This will be my first SUV - coming from a Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart. It will be a DD - office/highway driving ~25 miles per day, with some camping/off-road use (not rock climbing, but I want to be able to take my car to "4x4 required" trails and ski lodges). I reckon, by my habits, it will be 90% DD, 10% camping/off-road).

I'm looking to buy a Jeep Wrangler and wanted some input:

1. How does the Wrangler hold up to daily driving needs, particularly on highways? I drive ~10k miles a year.
2. Should I look at the Rubicon for my driving needs? Would it be better/worse as a DD compared to the base sport model?
3. How does the hard-top/soft-top cope with rain/snow? (I live in seattle)
4. How does it cope with city life in general? Should I be worried about break-ins?
5. I plan to get an automatic. Any surprise/gotchas I should know of? Will automatics also maintain high resale value like manual counterparts?

Thanks for helping me!
1. I own a Rubicon Unlimited (four door) with 4.10 gearing and a manual transmission. I get around 17.5-19.5 mpg on average.

2. The ride is a little strange to get used to but it's not harsh. Due to two solid axles, hitting some rough pavement can cause some unpleasant and nervous motion, which you wanna make sure to have both hands on the wheel.

If you don't plan on rock crawling or doing any serious off-roading, a Rubicon would be a waste of money unless you absolutely have to have one. In my case, it's the Jeep I've always envisioned in my garage, so I got it. The truth is that I could have saved a lot of money and gone with a Sport S and would probably be perfectly happy.

3. My top leaked once and it was because I didn't have all the bolts twisted down tightly. I've never had any issues with leaks, other than that one, which was of my own making.

4. Follow the owner's manual for break-in periods just like you would with any other vehicle.

The Jeep is fine for city life, though you'd obviously have more fun elsewhere. The ride isn't uncomfortable or rough, the interior is fairly roomy and comfortable, and I just find it to be a comfortable cabin to be in.

5. Can't help ya with your questions about the automatic, but Chrysler's past automatics have horrible reputations. I can't comment on the new ones but one of the main reasons I went with a manual was because I personally don't trust a Chrysler automatic.

I'd visited Seattle a few years ago (I really liked it...) and due to the abundance of steep hills, you'd probably be happier with the automatic, though the manual does have a "hill-holder" feature which stops the Jeep from rolling back for something like two seconds. I don't think I'd be real happy with a manual if I'd spent most of my time in the city of Seattle.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:08 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the responses!
I should clarify that when I mentioned "break-in", I meant it w.r.t. someone breaking into my car and stealing stuff.

I have driven my friend's Rubicon ('07) a few times, and I know about the unpleasant motion. I also didn't handle too well over 65mph, but I'm not sure if it was due to his suspension/tire setup or just how the car handles.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ck1109
Thanks for all the responses!
I should clarify that when I mentioned "break-in", I meant it w.r.t. someone breaking into my car and stealing stuff.

I have driven my friend's Rubicon ('07) a few times, and I know about the unpleasant motion. I also didn't handle too well over 65mph, but I'm not sure if it was due to his suspension/tire setup or just how the car handles.
Let me shorten up all these responses. Buy a wrangler and get what you want
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ck1109 View Post
Thanks for all the responses!
I should clarify that when I mentioned "break-in", I meant it w.r.t. someone breaking into my car and stealing stuff.

I have driven my friend's Rubicon ('07) a few times, and I know about the unpleasant motion. I also didn't handle too well over 65mph, but I'm not sure if it was due to his suspension/tire setup or just how the car handles.
Well handling hasn't changed much between the 2007-2013 models. They all feel like they're stumbling over themselves. "Handling" and "Wrangler" shouldn't be used in the same sentence. I think the Wrangler is called the "Wrangler" because you have to "wrangle" with it to keep it on the road. Just wait until you hit a few good gusts of wind!
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:30 AM   #8
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Just one thing to add. A Wrangler absolutely rocks as a DD or a city car. It is so manouverable, great visibility, higher off the ground than most other vehicles, parks anywhere, U turns are a breeze. It does suck up a bit more gas, but for me it is well worth it as it always puts a smile on my face.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:38 AM   #9
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For your needs..a Sport S or Sahara.
Since you are in the Pacific NW, get Limited Slip/Anti-Spin as well.
Also, get a hard-top.

As a daily driver, they are OK...but honestly...they are not the best vehicles for heavy highway miles simply because they are bricks on wheels with numb (solid front axle) steering.

Are you looking at a 2 door or 4 door? A longer wheelbase will help the ride on the highway.

With that said....everyone is always jealous of you....because every guy has wanted a Wrangler since they were 17.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:01 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice... I ended up purchasing a 2013 Rock Lobster Rubicon.

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Old 03-03-2013, 06:10 AM   #11
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Congrats and Well Done!
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:05 AM   #12
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Thanks for the advice... I ended up purchasing a 2013 Rock Lobster Rubicon.

And It FITS in the COMPACT parking spot!!! LOVE IT!!!!
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:07 AM   #13
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Nice!
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:53 AM   #14
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sun burnt like a mofo.

congrats!
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:01 AM   #15
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I love my JKU Sahara. Came from a 2010 F150 and haven't looked back. As others have stated a wrangler is a very good DD. I have no problems driving it in a city, and finding parking spots.... In the f150 I would always have to strategically park...
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:02 AM   #16
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Good choice! Compact spot with room to spare. The JK is shorter then most "small" cars these days. Parallel parking is a breeze, and you dont really have to worry about bumper rash.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:11 AM   #17
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you look marvelous!!!
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:20 PM   #18
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Thanks all! Went to a local dealer here in Kirkland and fell in love with the color. They were offering a good deal on it as well, so decided to drive out in a Rubi.

After all the comments about noise and handling, I was a bit scared, but so far it's been good.
Cabin noise is surprisingly not a big issue with the hardtop at all.
Handling is good too, will definitely need some time to get used to, coming from the Mitsubishi. I just can't drive really fast on freeway on/off ramps anymore, like I used to.

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