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Old 10-13-2013, 01:32 PM   #1
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Question Please help me find the Wrangler that's "me"

Heya! New here to the WF. I've owned an '04 Grand Cherokee Laredo in the past, but it was always my dream to one day own a rugged 2 door Wrangler. If it's still possible to have a "roomy" 2 door model with enough foot and leg room for my 2 growing children (who's father is 6'1" and wears size 15 shoes), I'd rather have the 2 door. But if it just isn't possible to fit them into my ride, I guess I'll consider the 4 door models. I've just heard so much on how many more options there are as far as customization goes with the 2 door models instead and would make my Wrangler a keeper and have fun with all the customizing.

Anyways, I'm not looking for anything too fancy. As long as I have power windows, locks, steering, ac, an excellent sound system, good suspension, manual transmission, decent gas mileage, and chunky tires I'm good. I don't know if I need to find one that's stock and comes with good suspension and gas milage or if I just get whatever shell suits me and alter the suspension etc afterwards. I don't need a built in gps, blue tooth or other technology built in.

It'd basically be an everyday commute vehicle/errands. I don't know yet that I'd take it 4 wheeling, since I'm not familiar with how to handle a vehicle through rough terrain at the moment. I just don't like the huge 4 door models. I'm still trying to navigate terminology and find out how to research for the smallest? 4 door models measuring from front to rear bumper, not roof to tires, if I should get both a hard and soft top to change with hot and cold weather?, and one that I can customize for bass pumping sound and customize the exterior to look like it's MINE. I'd plan on the Wrangler I buy to be with me forever and ever.

I can do some mechanical work myself thanks to having a dad who worked on cars, and am willing to learn to work on Jeeps, but I still want something with a good reputation for reliability and ease of finding parts. Anyways, wish me luck navigating my way around and finding puzzle pieces that'll narrow things down to the Wrangler that's meant for me.

Thanks you from the bottom of my heart, to whomever made the wranglerforum and for all of the kind hearted people who take time out of their lives in order to help the less knowledgeable but hopeful ones like myself. If it weren't for you guys, I know I'd be making some expensive mistakes on my own. So.... thank you, thank you very much

-Michelle

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Old 10-13-2013, 01:35 PM   #2
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I've been trying to go through other people's posts but I'm not very familiar with some of the terminology used so I'm getting a little confused..... Sorry for being such a noob. I know I'll get the hang of things soon enough

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Old 10-13-2013, 01:39 PM   #3
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As far as size, why not take the whole family for a test drive? Plenty of folks customize the 4 door there are many posts. Factory stereo sorta sucks so you will most likely have to aftermarket that. As far as decent gas mileage, if 16-20ish isnt your idea of decent-then a Jeep isnt it lol.
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Toothfairy View Post
Heya! New here to the WF. I've owned an '04 Grand Cherokee Laredo in the past, but it was always my dream to one day own a rugged 2 door Wrangler. If it's still possible to have a "roomy" 2 door model with enough foot and leg room for my 2 growing children (who's father is 6'1" and wears size 15 shoes), I'd rather have the 2 door. But if it just isn't possible to fit them into my ride, I guess I'll consider the 4 door models. I've just heard so much on how many more options there are as far as customization goes with the 2 door models instead and would make my Wrangler a keeper and have fun with all the customizing.

Anyways, I'm not looking for anything too fancy. As long as I have power windows, locks, steering, ac, an excellent sound system, good suspension, manual transmission, decent gas mileage, and chunky tires I'm good. I don't know if I need to find one that's stock and comes with good suspension and gas milage or if I just get whatever shell suits me and alter the suspension etc afterwards. I don't need a built in gps, blue tooth or other technology built in.

It'd basically be an everyday commute vehicle/errands. I don't know yet that I'd take it 4 wheeling, since I'm not familiar with how to handle a vehicle through rough terrain at the moment. I just don't like the huge 4 door models. I'm still trying to navigate terminology and find out how to research for the smallest? 4 door models measuring from front to rear bumper, not roof to tires, if I should get both a hard and soft top to change with hot and cold weather?, and one that I can customize for bass pumping sound and customize the exterior to look like it's MINE. I'd plan on the Wrangler I buy to be with me forever and ever.

I can do some mechanical work myself thanks to having a dad who worked on cars, and am willing to learn to work on Jeeps, but I still want something with a good reputation for reliability and ease of finding parts. Anyways, wish me luck navigating my way around and finding puzzle pieces that'll narrow things down to the Wrangler that's meant for me.

Thanks you from the bottom of my heart, to whomever made the wranglerforum and for all of the kind hearted people who take time out of their lives in order to help the less knowledgeable but hopeful ones like myself. If it weren't for you guys, I know I'd be making some expensive mistakes on my own. So.... thank you, thank you very much

-Michelle
Hi, welcome to the forum.

First, once step at a time. Technically, everything that is made for a 2 door is available for the 4 door. The 4 doors outsell the 2 doors, and as a result, if anything, the 4 door has MORE aftermarket support (such as metalcloak 2.5" springs. )

Next, you have some contradictions in your post. You want great gas mileage but "big chunky tires." Gotta pick one. Depending on the tire setup, expect to take a 1-2mpg hit.

If you really are planning on buying and keeping it "forever and ever" get a rubicon (if you can afford it.) You get a lot of extras, including better gearing which will save you a boatload of money later down the line when you want larger tires. If not, a Sport S will suffice if you don't need anything fancy. I'd steer clear of a Sahara, and thats coming from a Sahara owner that made a mistake and is now trading it in for a Rubicon. Also on a personal note, if you have 2 growing kids, I wouldn't even look at a 2 door...unless you are fine with never being able to take a family jeep trip together.
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:11 PM   #5
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Thanks mommymallcrawler and NFRs2000NYC!!! I drive a 1995 Honda Prelude right now and know that any Wrangler isn't going to get the same gas mileage, but I'd like to at least have something somewhat decent. My 2004 Grand Cherokee Laredo was a V6. I don't know what the mph range is between any 2006-2012 vehicles are at the moment but I'd hope for one on the better end if it fits into everything else I'm looking for, like suspension, manual transmission, chunky tires. I'm willing to take a 1-2 mpg hit for the tires.

I love the Rubicons! Being an Angelina Jolie fan gives me a little push that way. Sorry, just the truth. Thanks for the hopeful info on customizing a 4 door! That settles some of my fears. I just like the look of a 2 door better. I love being a mother. I just don't want the vehicle I drive to say "I'm a mommy". It's to be my free rider made for fun and for me. Then what year Rubicon with 4 doors should I go hunting for?

And as far as the engine build goes, I don't know about the reliability and maintainability issues in a V6 versus a straight 6. If I need to understand anything else about the engine as far as what I need to be headed towards.

I don't want to say that money isn't an issue because I don't want to just dump needless amounts of money into anything but affordability isn't a problem. I've been saving for a while and know that I should be able to buy the Wrangler for me. I just want to make an informative decision.
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:13 PM   #6
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Let your kids sit in the back of a 2 door, and I think you will find a 4 door is the way to go for a growing family.
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:19 PM   #7
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I had the 2dr JK sport s for about 16 months. Very thankful that jeeps have good resale as I was able to have a fair trade in for a JKU. I went with sport S model again just for the shear value. Based on how you plan to use it, Id recommend a sport S.
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toothfairy View Post
Thanks mommymallcrawler and NFRs2000NYC!!! I drive a 1995 Honda Prelude right now and know that any Wrangler isn't going to get the same gas mileage, but I'd like to at least have something somewhat decent. My 2004 Grand Cherokee Laredo was a V6. I don't know what the mph range is between any 2006-2012 vehicles are at the moment but I'd hope for one on the better end if it fits into everything else I'm looking for, like suspension, manual transmission, chunky tires. I'm willing to take a 1-2 mpg hit for the tires.

I love the Rubicons! Being an Angelina Jolie fan gives me a little push that way. Sorry, just the truth. Thanks for the hopeful info on customizing a 4 door! That settles some of my fears. I just like the look of a 2 door better. I love being a mother. I just don't want the vehicle I drive to say "I'm a mommy". It's to be my free rider made for fun and for me. Then what year Rubicon with 4 doors should I go hunting for?

And as far as the engine build goes, I don't know about the reliability and maintainability issues in a V6 versus a straight 6. If I need to understand anything else about the engine as far as what I need to be headed towards.

I don't want to say that money isn't an issue because I don't want to just dump needless amounts of money into anything but affordability isn't a problem. I've been saving for a while and know that I should be able to buy the Wrangler for me. I just want to make an informative decision.
Many will argue that when a 4 door is built vs a 2 door, the 2 door looks more "bada$$" and definitely NOT like a mommy mobile. If you have the money, get a brand new one. Jeeps hold their value EXTREMELY well and while thats awesome for owners, it's horrible for buyers. Someone just posted a thread about buying an 09 for 21K...people are getting 2014s for 22K. Another bonus of a rubicon is that you get all the goodies, installed at the factory, and its fully under warranty. The 4 door rides a lot better thanks to the longer wheelbase. The 2 door has a much choppier ride. The 2 door is more fun to toss around on SOME trails, and can fit around tighter squeezes without having to back up. The 4 door makes it easier climbing tall ledges. The 4 door has a lot more room for adventure gear.

If I had to make an ad for the 2 door vs the 4 door, it would sound like this...

The jeep wrangler (2 door) is the best adventure vehicle in the world, and now with the 4 door, your family can come too.
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:00 PM   #10
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If you don't plan to take it off road, lots of the stuff that makes a Rubicon a Rubicon are a waste. It does come with tires that better fit the look you want, but there are tires that perform better on road that have that look. Rubicon stock tires are better off-road than on and there are better tires for both.

One thing you can't get with a Rubicon that is nice on road is the factory anti-spin differential. If you are not going to lift it and put bigger tires on (that will cost you more than 1 or 2 mpg), then a Sport S or a Sahara with Anti-spin diff is probably more your speed. Spend some of the difference on some knobby tires that are decent on road and save the rest for gas.

If you go with a non-Rubicon, you can choose not to upgrade the stock 3.21 gearing. That may help with gas mileage, though test drive 3.21 and 3.73 first to see if you can live with 3.21. If you think you might lift it later, skip the 3.21.

Whatever you get, if you want good sound, get the most basic radio (the 130). Then update on your own. For the cost of the top end update, you can totally replace everything with much better components - amp, speakers, head unit, PLUS add a backup camera (which the factory doesn't even have as an option). Installation will cost a bit more. My advice is to avoid Car Toys and Best Buy and find a decent car stereo shop to do the work. You probably will want a hard top, too. Mostly so you can put up some Hotheads.
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:05 PM   #11
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Man there are some long posts here, and my attention span is as short as my 2door JK....so I have nothing to add! Carry on....
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:15 PM   #12
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I had an 09 and a 11 2 door with 2growing boys they were never rough or abusive to either but my passanger seat broke twice on both of them from my kids getting in and out. I now have a 13 4 door jku. I was like you never even considered a 4 door till my loaner was a 4 door while my seat bracket was being fixed They ride better and look
just as good lifted there are just as many mods out there. The 2 door is more fun to drive there small and turn on a dime but for a family the 4 door is more fun because your family can ride comfortably and enjoy there self not being cramped plus our boxer can come now because he has plenty of room in the back.
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:37 PM   #13
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There was no inline 6 offered in the newest version (JK) Wrangler. You will want the 3.6 V6 and you will want to find a 2013 or newer. Many 2012 models had problems with the cylinder heads, not all, by why chance it?

I know you want a 2 door, but you have the family too. Kids don't mind climbing in the back now and then, but daily it will become a pain in the ass for them and for you. If for no other reason than you'll have to adjust the seat every time.

There are enough 4 doors out there being driven by all kinds of people that you don't need to worry that it will be considered a "mommy mobile" Especially once you modify it to your taste. Just avoid stick figure or sea turtle family stickers on the back.
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Toothfairy View Post
Heya! New here to the WF. I've owned an '04 Grand Cherokee Laredo in the past, but it was always my dream to one day own a rugged 2 door Wrangler. If it's still possible to have a "roomy" 2 door model with enough foot and leg room for my 2 growing children (who's father is 6'1" and wears size 15 shoes), I'd rather have the 2 door. But if it just isn't possible to fit them into my ride, I guess I'll consider the 4 door models.

Just get the 4 door,
and take 2 of the doors off.
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:44 PM   #15
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NFRs2000NYC hmmm..... good info about the wheel base giving a smoother ride than the 2 door. That helps me out tremendously. I rented a Wrangler in Hawaii and didn't like that I felt all the bumps in the road. LOL with your ad! You can even bring your luggage without having to tow!

GCMatt ehhh...... I'm a hobbit, kinda. I'm a short girl- 5'3". My bf is also 5'3". Right now my kids aren't taller than us, but with their dad being tall, and they're tall for their age, a lifted Wrangler wouldn't be ideal for us. I love the look of a lifted Wrangler with the step, but I'm not too set on that right now. It seems like it'd be much work just to get in and out of the vehicle? Idk what 3.21 or 3.73 gearing means. Also don't know what hotheads are, but will look those things up. Thanks!

JKBrad haha.... stick figures! I'm staying away from those unless it shows two adults in lewd poses.

To the rest of yas.... thankies a bunchies! I'm sure I'll have more questions as time goes on. I hope to have all my eggs in my basket so that I can make my purchase towards the end of the year. Still have a little ways to save, but hoping to pay for the damn thing outright cuz I hate vehicle payments and interest. Does this site offer info on people to seek for mods in my area? Thx again
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:49 PM   #16
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Many will argue that when a 4 door is built vs a 2 door, the 2 door looks more "bada$$" and definitely NOT like a mommy mobile. If you have the money, get a brand new one. Jeeps hold their value EXTREMELY well and while thats awesome for owners, it's horrible for buyers. Someone just posted a thread about buying an 09 for 21K...people are getting 2014s for 22K. Another bonus of a rubicon is that you get all the goodies, installed at the factory, and its fully under warranty. The 4 door rides a lot better thanks to the longer wheelbase. The 2 door has a much choppier ride. The 2 door is more fun to toss around on SOME trails, and can fit around tighter squeezes without having to back up. The 4 door makes it easier climbing tall ledges. The 4 door has a lot more room for adventure gear.

If I had to make an ad for the 2 door vs the 4 door, it would sound like this...

The jeep wrangler (2 door) is the best adventure vehicle in the world, and now with the 4 door, your family can come too.
Just to correct my post...I meant the 4 door looks more "badass" not the 2 door.
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:51 PM   #17
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Just to correct my post...I meant the 4 door looks more "badass" not the 2 door.
Incorrect. You had it right the first time lol
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:59 PM   #18
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I have a 2013 Sport Unlimited (unlimited means it has 4 doors) and last thing I would call it is a mommymobile (ignore my screen name - I will come up with something bolder lol). My son has a Sport Unlimited but tells me mine is more "manly" than his lol. I have the 3.73 with the Anti-Spin rear axle and the max tow package, power windows/doors etc, Freedom Top and 17 inch wheels. I don't plan to do "heavy" offroading so just could not justify the pricing of a Rubicon. A few light trails are in my future for sure, but not crawling over big rocks and through rivers and so on.

You can get some decent deals on 2013's now that 2014's are rolling out.

I am also a woman. A Wrangler is one of the vehicles I would not be comfortable buying used - ever - unless I took a personal mechanic with me and had them look it over. Folks buy them to do what they are intended to do and beat on them a bit in the process - and I just wasn't comfortable potentially inheriting someone else's problem. Now for folks who are handier around a garage and know more about the technical stuff - they may be able to score some good finds. But that isn't me.
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:04 PM   #19
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We are in Lawrenceville too. Our 4 door is not clunky or overly mom-like with no real mods from stock to speak of - other than the occasional mud treatment. Others have not reported the same but Robert at Mall of Ga Chrysler/Jeep treated us right. Good price without any haggling. Decent service department.
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:04 PM   #20
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PS At 5'3" you ARE going to wish you had a step or bar on ANY Wrangler lol. I am about 5'6" or 5'7" and while I "could" handle the gymnastics to get in (and mine is total stock, not lifted), a side step has helped immensely.

Also definitely test drive and make sure the seat/pedals can adjust to your height.
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:04 PM   #21
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4 door look like 4x4 mini van. Around here women with kids drive them to the mall.
I have put up with posts from NFRs2000NYC trashing 2 dr Jeeps and American made cars.. He is proof internet opinion come from french model like NFRs2000NYC. Number 1 rule buy the jeep you like.
You need to tone it down some your is only an opinion and everyone has one. And many of your suck.
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:08 PM   #22
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4 door look like 4x4 mini van. Around here women with kids drive them to the mall.
I have put up with posts from NFRs2000NYC trashing 2 dr Jeeps and American made cars.. He is proof internet opinion come from french model like NFRs2000NYC. Number 1 rule buy the jeep you like.
You need to tone it down some your is only an opinion and everyone has one. And many of your suck.
And maybe if people actually read posts carefully.....

Quote:
Many will argue that when a 4 door is built vs a 2 door, the 4 door looks more "bada$$" and definitely NOT like a mommy mobile.
And maybe if some people read posts carefully, they would see that the OP is SPECIFICALLY ASKING FOR OPINIONS TO HELP HER CHOOSE...

And maybe if some people read posts carefully they would see that I clearly outlined the benefits of BOTH the 2 door and the 4 door....

Quote:
The 4 door rides a lot better thanks to the longer wheelbase. The 2 door has a much choppier ride. The 2 door is more fun to toss around on SOME trails, and can fit around tighter squeezes without having to back up. The 4 door makes it easier climbing tall ledges. The 4 door has a lot more room for adventure gear.
I realize you may not like some of my opinions because in the land of the forumz, people hate to hear the truth. I realize that some subscribe to the stupid notion of "its a jeep thing" but I ain't one of those people. Not once in this thread did I discount anyone else's opinion. I just made sure I provided the OP with REAL and HONEST info. Very few two door owners will post "the ride is choppy," or that suspension issues in regards to lifts are magnified, its more difficult to get a 2 door to maintain a stock ride with a lift, etc. So, I guess I'll apologize for telling the OP, someone who is about to drop a possible $40,000, the truth.
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:27 PM   #23
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Actually, I find my 2dr rides pretty well, and darn sure looks more authentic than a 4dr 4WD stationwagon!
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:31 PM   #24
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I strongly advice you all to cut the infighting.
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:35 PM   #25
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Well, I hope the OP can comb through the information and decide which advice shed like to do with. Good luck with your choice OP, I'm sure you will be happy with whatever model you choose (just wait until you need to make a color decision.)
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:42 PM   #26
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:43 PM   #27
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I sat in the back of the 2dr Wrangler when I was at the dealership making my order. It was not hard to get into and out of, you just move the seat and climb in. I had enough leg room to be comfortable (I'm 5'10'') but not enough room for long road-trips.

Kids under 12 will probably have no issue sitting back there for whatever length trip, but the 2 door will not carry 4 people AND their luggage.

If you have another vehicle that will be used for long trips, the 2 door will serve you fine and get 1-2mpg better. It'll also perform much better in urban environments like parking lots, because the turning radius on the 2 door is bonkers small.

As for ride....the 2 door is a bit choppier but not that much. You wouldn't be able to notice it unless you drove them back to back. Your kids wont care either way - the bus they ride to school in is 10x as bumpy and they LIKE it. Take a page out of their book and have fun with the bumpy tossing back and forth ride. (I might be a bit biased here, I'm coming from a track-ready car that rides significantly worse than any jeep).

Unless you plan on doing some heavy off-roading, I would go with the Sahara. The sport models would work great too, but you sound like you want a pretty well equipped vehicle, and that's what the Sahara is. Just make sure you read up on, and understand, how the 4WD works in Jeep Wranglers. It is NOT like other 4x4s and if you treat it like one you will harm your drivetrain.

Lastly, given the things you've mentioned, I suggest you take a long hard look at one of the new Cherokee Trailhawk models. They're about as off-road capable as a Sport or Sahara Wrangler on any terrain other than large rocks or fording streams (Rubicon is better off-road without question), the 4WD system is much easier to use, they get better gas mileage, and they're much more family friendly. I happen to think they look pretty bad-ass in Trailhawk guise as well, but the looks are controversial. I know you said you wanted a Wrangler, but given your situation, you really might be better served by a Trailhawk Cherokee.

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Old 10-13-2013, 05:51 PM   #28
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If you decide to get a wrangler, for someone your height I'd recommend looking at both ACE rock sliders and Welcome Distributing GraBars.

The ACE rock sliders double as a step. The GraBars are a very steady, fixed grab handle for both getting in and out and for use during wheeling. I am 5'10" (woman) and I still enjoy both these mods because I have a bad knee. It makes getting in and out of my husband's jeep (2013 JKU with 2.5" lift and 33" tires) really easy.

I plan on doing the same thing to my new jeep when it gets here!
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:22 PM   #29
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One trip to sams club with my mother in law and 18 month old in her seat was enough for me to want out of my jk. I remember having all these groceries in the cart and realizing that I didnt have enough space for everything while waiting in line to check out.

After that, I decided to keep the baby seat in the car so I would not have to go through the pain of putting it back there again. Well that night my dog decides to get sick. I had to take the seat out again and roll the back forward. Well, the baby seat has been out since that day waiting for a fresh 4dr sport to come on in.

I didn't buy a 4dr at the beginning because "I wanted a traditional Jeep." I went on the trail and the 4 doors were handling obstacles better. Yes there was ONE turn I remember making where the 4drs had to back up once. Screw that, for me, ill take that one extra turn and have all the extra bonuses of a 4dr WRANGLER.
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:28 PM   #30
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