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Old 10-11-2013, 11:22 AM   #1
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Newbie with questions

I'm searching for a new/slightly used Jeep Wrangler. I had my heart set on a manual transmission, but I've noticed that limits the field for low mileage used Jeeps, the other issue I've noticed is I live in MN but I have seen several nice used jeeps that are soft-top only. I don't think a soft top would be do able in below zero weather, am I correct?? I am leaning toward a Rubicon, or a Call of Duty model, one problem I have is dealers selling lower mile jeeps with aftermarket add ones, it's tough to figure a good MSRP price and not sure how low of an offer they will take below what they are listing for. I'm thinking about 10% below the dealers listing price as my starting point to negotiate. We have three kids and my wife is pushing for the four door unlimited, but I notice they average about $2000 over a regular wrangler. Sorry this is a long winded post but any feedback or recommendations you guys have would be much appreciated.
Jeff

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Old 10-11-2013, 11:31 AM   #2
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What to buy - IMHO

With being married and having 3 kids, IMO you should buy an unlimited 4 door model. You can put all 3 kids in the back seat and still have room for groceries in the back. If you can, get a 2012 or 2013 because the motor is better. If you don't plan on some major off-roading, skip the Rubicon since it is more expensive. If you want decent mileage and plan to raise it and put larger tires on, go with one with 3.73 gears, not the 3.21's. Now about a manual vs auto. Many love their manual's. I have an auto and just love it. My wife can drive it plus when I'm off road, I love not having to use the clutch. I love my hardtop. It is not as noisy as a soft top and being in the cold, the heat will stay in a little longer inside.

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Old 10-11-2013, 12:01 PM   #3
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I had a TJ unlimited that was all tricked out and had to sell it because we had our third kid. I thought I was out of the jeeping world until we were graced with the 4dr JK. The previous poster is correct about the 12 or 13 models. That new engine is sweet and I can make it up the cajon pass in SoCal in 5th gear at 70mph. The previous motor was not as powerful and that makes a difference with 5 of you in there. My TJ was not a Rubicon and after I put lockers and lift kits.....I wished I had a Rubicon. This time, I learned from my mistake and went for the Rubi. There is a lot of rock crawling to be done in SoCal, so I really needed the lockers. As far as manual, I looked high and low to find a Rubi in gecko green with a manual trans and am happy I did so. Mine also came with the dual top option and the most noticeable difference between them is noise. If you have a hard top, you have to have storage and a way to hoist it off if you ever want to go top-down.....but they are nice!
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:54 PM   #4
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On the soft top side, I grew up in MN with Jeeps and we had a '99 with a hard top and a '02 with a soft.......once you're getting towards and below zero doesn't matter what you have for a roof it's gonna be really cold.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:15 PM   #5
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Thanks guys lots of good info, I'm thinking I'll go for a rubicon unlimited, I saw one call of duty two door soft top in WI I may try to fish for a good deal on it, I do appreciate the feedback!!
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:08 PM   #6
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Also keep in mind that a dealer will try to sell you on aftermarket add-ons increasing the value of the Jeep. Maybe, but only if they are add-ons that you want and good quality parts. Otherwise they may not add anything or even reduce the resale value. Bottom line, don't give up much in $$ to cover any aftermarket equipment that you don't really want.

With 3 kids, I would not even look at the 2 door. You will regret it in the long run.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:55 PM   #7
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The 2 door Wrangler back seats only hold 2 passengers, you could squeeze 3 in, but there are only 2 seat belts. (at least on my 2013)
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:20 AM   #8
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Found a 2010 unlimited sport with some nice add ons, checked the car fax has a two year history as a rental car, one owner after and now at a dealer. Have a gut feeling to avoid it, but not sure if that's just me? Any thoughts? I know how I've driven rentals in the past :-)
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahsumtoy View Post
With being married and having 3 kids, IMO you should buy an unlimited 4 door model. You can put all 3 kids in the back seat and still have room for groceries in the back. If you can, get a 2012 or 2013 because the motor is better. If you don't plan on some major off-roading, skip the Rubicon since it is more expensive. If you want decent mileage and plan to raise it and put larger tires on, go with one with 3.73 gears, not the 3.21's. Now about a manual vs auto. Many love their manual's. I have an auto and just love it. My wife can drive it plus when I'm off road, I love not having to use the clutch. I love my hardtop. It is not as noisy as a soft top and being in the cold, the heat will stay in a little longer inside.
I live in MN too and totally agree. I have a 2013 JKU with dual tops. The heater cranks out more heat than I thought was possible. See quite a few wranglers with soft tops - I think the biggest thing might be how the soft tops hold up to the salt.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffcmn View Post
Found a 2010 unlimited sport with some nice add ons, checked the car fax has a two year history as a rental car, one owner after and now at a dealer. Have a gut feeling to avoid it, but not sure if that's just me? Any thoughts? I know how I've driven rentals in the past :-)
How many miles, what options, and what are they asking for it?

The interior got upgraded in 2011 and the engine/tranny in 2012. You really ought to drive a '12 or newer (on the freeway, not just in city).

I have a '10 and it's nice and very reliable, but the new driveline is really worth looking into.

I'd look for a hard top - you can always find soft tops on CL for around $450-500 - I very rarely see a used hardtop.

Another note, these things hold their value well, so a new one isn't going to be a whole lot more. ~25k-26K for a 2014 stripper JKU.

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