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Old 08-09-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
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Why did you choose a Sahara?

According various interweb studies on various off-road type forums, if you drive a Sahara, you are most likely drinking a chai latte with a sprig of basil while watching the Oxygen channel as you color coordinate you blazers with your collection of ascots.

I'm sure the realty is (for those of you who did your research and purchased new) you determined you needs and how you would actually use the vehicle, and picked the model that best fit your criteria.

For me, it came down to a Sport S or a Sahara (which seems to be a common decision).
Since I went with Billet, I wanted saddle leather interior and a painted top, along with the 115V outlet, upgraded shocks and AT tires....that meant Sahara.
After having a Liberty for 4 years, and actually only using 4LO twice (outside of testing it to see if it worked), I knew that it made little sense for me to pay more for features that I would never use like lockers, MT tires, edisco, a 4:1 tranfer case, and a 4.10 axle ratio....especially if I was going to have to give up limited slip and AT tires in the process. So the Rubi was off the list pretty early.

Driving the red-headed stepchild of the Wrangler world (a +2011, automatic, 4 door Sahara with a painted top) has been great. It has gotten me every where I want to go (the mall), had never left me stranded in bad weather (at the mall), and has allowed me to travel (to and from the mall) in comfort, be it naked or all buttoned up. It is still a Jeep Wrangler, so it has more natural capability than I will ever need.

That is my story...what's yours?

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Old 08-09-2013, 02:05 PM   #2
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Because it was available (4 door hard top) and in my price range (bought it used).

I was looking at 2 door sport (test drove it, liked it). Then I found a 4 door sport on a dealer lot (test drove it, liked it better than 2 door) but had higher miles than 2 door so I started looking around at other dealers for 4 door with lower miles and in my price range.

Found a few, some with hard tops, some with soft. Decided that if I was going to finance it, I'd go with hard top because it was cheaper to buy soft top than hard top out of pocket and there are PLENTY of used soft tops and many great aftermarket soft tops (still haven't bought a softop).

I didn't really have a need for a rubicon, besides it was much harder to find 4 door rubicon that was used. That pretty much means sport or sahara.
There were more sahara hardtops than sports so I went with sahara.

Mine is '08 (bought in '10), so not as many nice options available then as one new ones.

There are 2 things I don't have that I really wish I did
1) auto dimming rear view mirror
2) heated mirrors

I don't do any serious off-roading but I do frequent gravel forest service roads up in the north GA mountains enjoying fly fishing and camping. one of my favorite spots requires a creek crossing that is fairly deep (even during the great drought we had here, the creek level was 14"), normally it's around 17".

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Old 08-09-2013, 02:07 PM   #3
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I am brand spanking new to the Jeep world. I have always wanted one. I bought a Sahara b/c it was going to be my DD and possibly the vehicle that my husband would use now and again when he needed a 4 door for driving clients around (he has a BMW 135).

I was also aware that even though I DO want to start to do some trail riding, I would start slow and learn as I went rather than get all the bells and whistles of a Ruby without knowing what they were for. Jeeps are a blank canvas and I know that I can make changes as I learn more.

We also do some long distance driving for vacations and such. I wanted something that would comfortable to get me there that also would be fun when I got there.

I am LOVING my new Jeep! Could not be happier and I look forward having it for a VERY, VERY long time.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:15 PM   #4
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I was literally ready to sign for a then new JKUS. I had researched heavily and driven over a dozen versions both new & used. Most of the ones I really liked otherwise, had giant tires and a horrid twitch, wander, lack of centering, or other handling glitch of some sort.

On the very last day before going to the Jeep dealer, I located an 08JK on Craigs List that was the green/khaki I wanted. It came with a ton of stuff I wouldn't have otherwise ordered (24G package).

It was a screaming deal with 15000 miles on it.

Now approaching 59000 miles, it was the perfect choice.

Recently I actually upgraded it by taking of the running boards, which I never liked, & fitted new take-off rubi rock rails. I swear it drives & handles differently.

The factory soft top sits brand new, never used. I doubt I'll ever use it. Then again.....I do have it.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:27 PM   #5
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I like comfort, a bit of luxury and the utility that can be found in the Sahara package. It is the same Jeep under the paint as some stripper X is and it will go to all the same places, but the other goodies make getting there much more enjoyable. As I have gotten older I have outgrown "mods" and such and don't enjoy the hard core off road stuff as much as I did long ago. I use mine to haul my boat to the lake and my Polaris Ranger to the dirt and down the path a bit. I do quite a bit of driving on the forest roads as well. When I am looking for more challenge or if I know the going is rough then I leave the Jeep behind and take the Ranger. I find The Ranger is more fun off road than the Jeep and goes more places too.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:37 PM   #6
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I looked at all the available options of each, test drove a rubi once and a Sahara twice before ordering. I Liked the ride and street maners of Sahara better. Since it is a DD, and my hunting fishing vehicle, also pull my quad in a utility trailer, it has to do it all. As a DD, the LSD and AT tires are way better in what I intend to do with the jeep. Even in my dirt/muddy hunting roads, 90+% of my driving is in 2WD. At least it was in my F150 lariat (also had LSD), so I'm assuming it will be at least as good in the jeep.

Here were my must have options:
LDS Diff, 3.73 gears, Automatic, Dark Saddle leather int. Dual Top (Black). Uconnect/Bluetooth/Connectivity, Tow option (I ended up installing the hitch/wiring myself), A/C

Here are my really wanted options:
Auto Headlights, Tinted rear windows, Premium soft top. Optional side air bags

Options I like:
Remote Start, Auto-chromatic Rear-view mirror, Heated mirrors, heated seats. Auto Temp Control, 120V outlet.

Options that were forced on me that I could care less:
Nav. Sat Radio.

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Old 08-09-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
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I had a Sahara JKU before my divorce and it would go everywhere I took it. I'm not into rock crawling so a Rubicon would be cool to have but would be over kill for my off road needs. The Sahara went through anything I threw at it.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:41 PM   #8
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Well ya see, it's got these fancy color matched flares that cover wider tires and the seats are comfy... but really. I just saw it and bought it, no second thoughts. Do I count since it's a TJ (nothing interesting ever gets posted in the TJ section).
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:41 PM   #9
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Price.

I was in the market for a wrangler and couldn't afford a Rubi, or even a Sahara for that matter off the lot. Found a couple that had 3 cars and both started working from home, so their wrangler was up for grabs. 2010, less than 7000 miles (which is basically brand new), top had never even been put down according to them. Slight dent in the front bumper which would have costed very little to fix but they knocked off a grand for it.

Drove out of their driveway having driven manual a couple time prior at school (my friend's wrx) and it only cost $25,000. Was too good of a steal to pass up. Didn't really want black, but like I said, too good.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:44 PM   #10
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Really nice leather seats and the color matching fenders.

Took off the silver bumpers, changed the wheels, tore out the stereo, sold the sub enclosure, took off the sticker.

Looking back, that was a lot extra to pay for those two things. Haha
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:48 PM   #11
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Got a Sahara because I didn't want a stripped down vehicle. I absolutely had to have automatic headlights, and I wanted a Nav system and the 115V. Sorry, but when I was 16 I drove around in a stripped down vehicles to save cash, now I like to little luxuries.

I'd have gotten a Rubicon, but we don't really have rock trails where I live at, I did not want the M/T tires, and I am not a hard core offroader, so it seemed sort of pointless. I ended up finding a Sahara with all options I wanted, so thats what I got. If I had found a Rubicon with all those options first, I might have gotten one though.

I know some people buy Jeeps for the sole purpose of tryign to climb a boulder with it. More power to those people, but for me, I bought it because the top comes off. I also enjoy that I do not need a second vehicle to go hunting in, as the Jeep is at home in the woods and the fields too, but thats about all the offroading I will ever do with it.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:54 PM   #12
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I wanted the leather seats and some of the other upgrades.

I find myself now wanted to take it offroad more, and will probably drop the dough on a lift kit and some new wheels / tires. But the inside will still be the luxury I have come to know and love
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:55 PM   #13
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Wanted as many creature comforts and bells & whistles as possible (was trading in a loaded Nissan Pathfinder). I test drove both a Sahara and Rubicon; liked the drive of the Sahara better. Knew I'd never need full Rubicon capabilities. Am planning on attending next year's Easter Jeep Safari in Moab. Will be sticking to the beginner stuff.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:56 PM   #14
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We owned a 90's something Cherokee for 6 years, a Liberty for 11 years. We like 4 doors and when the 4 door Wranglers came out we knew that was our next vehicle. When we went to purchase we had a few wants, we wanted Nav and touchscreen, wanted matching top and fenders. So right there that put us in a Sahara. Also with these options we where in a higher end unit which ended up with leather, Max tow, 3:73 axle, Side Airbags, Climate control, Basically a loaded vehicle. Must say we are happy with our choice. We keep our vehicles for 10 plys years, this will become a towed rig behind our motorhome traveling the US in about 5 years. Bought a soft top, and will do a 2.5" lift at some point.
Only down side is it is alot nicer vehicle then we are used to is scary beating on it. And the fear of getting caught with out a top up in a freak rain storm is scary as well. But as it ages it will become less and less pretty and new.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:57 PM   #15
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First Jeep was 95 wrangler, nothing but mud toy, sold it after 5 years, in 2007 heard about the new JKU but was deployed to Iraq and in 2009 bought a brand new JKU sport when I got home. Loved this Jeep but wanted leather, did not like the Sport fenders (faded quickly) and hated the 17" SRA's, the interior was cheap looking and that dreaded Automatic gear changer that looked straight out of a Honda. The mini van engine and the 4 speed transmission was slow.
Thanks to this forum I have educated myself and when I heard the 2012 would have a new interior and the Pentastar, I traded in my 2009 JKU sport for a 2012 JKU sport that had just rolled off the transport truck.
Kept the 2012 JKU for about a year and the whole time I kept thinking "I wish I had of gotten the Sahara", in July 2013, drove by Jeep dealer for lunch and saw still on the transport truck a 2013 JKU Sahara, Black, Saddle Leather, 430 NAV, fully loaded with dual top group and was hooked on the spot.
Went in to see if my salesman still worked there and found him and made the deal.
I wheel it through some nasty mud, drive home and pressure wash it clean, then drive it daily to work in comfort and enjoy all the "Sahara" extras to the fullest.
To me the Sahara is exactly what I wanted and should have got it in 2009.
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:18 PM   #16
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Thanks Panthermark for starting this... I feel much better already.

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Old 08-09-2013, 03:22 PM   #17
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Hey Panther, your last paragraph made laugh my ass off.

Here is my story. I bought a new 2011 sport s new with the 3:73 lsd and just about every option you could get on a sport. Lifted it, added 33's, plus few other things. It was my every day vehicle as well as my weekend warrior. Loved it until I drove a buddy's 2012, Decided then I was going to trade mine in. I never had any trouble with the off-roading I do, so I was open to getting another sport. Found this Sahara/Moab edition just by coincidence, the dealer made me a great deal, so I bought it. Now I don't know how I got by with the sport. Everything is so much nicer, really easy to get used to the creature comforts. The only downside is that my wife loves to drive this one, not so much the old one. I've lifted this as well and I'm sure that I will be able to go anywhere I want, even to the mall.
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:25 PM   #18
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Long story. It was time to get rid of my wife's RAV4, which meant she was going to get my 2012 Audi Q5 ( she refuses to drive the newest vehicle). If I was giving up the Audi it was going to be a vehicle I would love...an SRT Charger!!!!..."NO" said the wife.. "We need another SUV. I don't feel comfortable with a sedan." So when married for almost twenty years you learn to pick and choose your fights.. this was not the time. So, I thought to myself how am I going to make myself happy and still meet the imposed requirements... Ah, I got it a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, 4 doors, four wheel drive and still fun ( I always wanted one ended up with a Liberty a few years back because there was no 4 door at the time)! But a Wrangler stripped won't do! I have to sell this idea to the wife.. OK leather, navigation, power windows.. color matching roof. You get the idea, fully loaded and silver, her favorite color. If I was doing it just for me it would have been the 10th Anniversary Rubicon Unlimited sitting just to the left of my Sahara Unlimited on the lot. So Marriage is all about negotiation and so is my Sahara.
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:27 PM   #19
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It's my dd, I wanted leather/auto air, I like the painted flares, and I like the Sahara rims. Mine will see trail duty, some beach time, and a little mud so the Rubi is overkill.

Decided on Billet because I liked the color.

Found 2 identical dual top billet Saharas coming in on a truck, one with black leather, one with saddle.

I chose black leather because I didn't want to look like panthermark!
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:42 PM   #20
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excellent thread !!! i love seeing others ideas on the other trim levels rather then just seeing daily about "get a rubicon or a kitten will die" or the usual " get a rubicon because its a rubicon"...

whether sport,sahara, or rubicon they're all wranglers aimed at different buyers.

since we already have a why did you buy a rubicon and now a sahara thread. i think a sport owner should make one for them next. this all good info for us new buyers to see what everyone feels about their model they chose.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:03 PM   #21
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I came from an '07 Liberty that I bought with 11K miles on it after trading in a Hyundai . Good riddance to the rice burner. 3 CV axles & 2 transmissions Glad I could do the work.

The KJ was an Enterprise rental that was well maintained. It got A LOT better mileage than my F250 extra cab long bed 400M & I needed a 4WD since I live at 7600 feet & can get 2' of snow occasionally over night.

I had lifted the Liberty & put on the old style Duellers that were actually AT's unlike the modern Duellers. Loved it. My granddaughter fit since it was 4 door. 4 door wranglers were not really an option at the time. Got to 135K & it was time to retire The Libby for several reasons - I had a $1500 maintenance cycle coming up.

I've always loved the Wrangler but w/ only 2 doors it was not practical. CJ's were kidney beaters, YJ's had square lights, TJ's were nice but still 2 doors. Then the JKU came out but I had the Liberty. When the Liberty went away, the Wrangler became practical. This was the first time I ever bought something brand new off the lot so, with 2.7% APR available, I decided to get what I wanted.

With occasional 100+ degree heat & sub zero winters, AC was mandatory. The snow eliminated the option of a soft top year round. The heated mirrors were a nice touch. I liked the Uconnect idea. EVIC & the ability to turn off traction control is great. It's wrong for a vehicle to try & drive for you.

Since it is a DD & the round trip to work is 56 miles, 20 mpg or better was mandatory - the 3.6 gets it. IFS is great for a car (Mustang) but not a 4x4 so solid axle YEAH! IFS is just wrong for a 4x4.

There is very little that I cannot work on with the Wrangler & I do not like the plastic look (did not like the Liberty fenders either). Body colored fenders & hard top requirements meant Sahara or Rubi. The Wrangler is more than capable for the mild rock crawling & mountain mud so the Rubi was not necessary. As a DD, the Sahara made more sense. Wish I had heated seats but I'll get to that (and Duratracs in about 10K ) eventually. Should have held out for a stick too but oh well. Maybe a 75th anniversary...if they still make a stick
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:13 PM   #22
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because of what came as "standard" features. Matching fenders, and 2 tone saddle interior, AND I didn't want to pay for a Rubicon....lol
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:26 PM   #23
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Well, because in reality I'll rarely go to trails where a Rubicon is needed... I really bought it for the options... Not to mention I think it looks nice as a DD. I figure if I ever get to the point of exceeding the Sahara's capabilites, I better build a dedicated trail ride. Bottom line for me was, I got a better deal on a new 13 Sahara then I could of got of a new sport.. And by that I mean discount off of sticker, which was most important to me. Eventually I plan on putting on a lift along with new wheels and tires, and I'm sure I'll be called a poser or whatever...all I can say is I still have a Jeep, can the the tops off, and it makes me happy.. Who cares what anyone else thinks. When they pay for it, their opinion will matter
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:09 PM   #24
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My 08 was mine and my wife's first new car so we wanted some of the Sahara's nicer features. I knew I couldn't do any meaningful mods for a while so we went for it because the 18" tires, trim upgrades, running boards, duel tops and 3:73 gears. As stripped as I could for a 'fancy' Jeep. Just when I was ready to lift it I traded it in for exactly the same thing (cept green for black). So I now have a 13 JKU Sahara and I'm making changes already. After 1 month I couldn't stand the 'swiss cheese wheels' so I bought a set of new Rubi take-offs with the mud tires. Peeled the Sahara stickers off and probably will remove the running boards for Rubi rock rails. Also gonna change the bumpers soon. I hate the new interior. I prefer my 08's interior. Not sure why I bought a Sahara the second time but sooo glad I bought another Jeep.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:24 PM   #25
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My wife and I are both in our 60's and wanted something comfortable and that we could tow behind a motorhome when I retire. She drives a loaded 2012 Infiniti QX56, which is like a barcalounger on wheels so we do like our creature comforts.

There were specific things we wanted.

Billet Silver
Automatic
Remote Start
Climate Control
Leather and Heated Seats
Painted Fenders and Top
730N Navigation System

All of these features are also available on the Rubicon, but they found a Sahara, so we went with that. If it had been a Rubicon, that would have been fine also.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:32 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panthermark View Post
According various interweb studies on various off-road type forums, if you drive a Sahara, you are most likely drinking a chai latte with a sprig of basil while watching the Oxygen channel as you color coordinate you blazers with your collection of ascots.

I'm sure the realty is (for those of you who did your research and purchased new) you determined you needs and how you would actually use the vehicle, and picked the model that best fit your criteria.

For me, it came down to a Sport S or a Sahara (which seems to be a common decision).
Since I went with Billet, I wanted saddle leather interior and a painted top, along with the 115V outlet, upgraded shocks and AT tires....that meant Sahara.
After having a Liberty for 4 years, and actually only using 4LO twice (outside of testing it to see if it worked), I knew that it made little sense for me to pay more for features that I would never use like lockers, MT tires, edisco, a 4:1 tranfer case, and a 4.10 axle ratio....especially if I was going to have to give up limited slip and AT tires in the process. So the Rubi was off the list pretty early.

Driving the red-headed stepchild of the Wrangler world (a +2011, automatic, 4 door Sahara with a painted top) has been great. It has gotten me every where I want to go (the mall), had never left me stranded in bad weather (at the mall), and has allowed me to travel (to and from the mall) in comfort, be it naked or all buttoned up. It is still a Jeep Wrangler, so it has more natural capability than I will ever need.

That is my story...what's yours?
Couldn't have said it better !! I almost exclusively drive on pavement outside of various hunting seasons, and I like some bells&whistles so I pretty much knew it was going to be a Sahara. Wife was angry I was trading my truck & looking at Jeeps, but when I arrived home with the Jeep she changed her tune within 30 seconds.......might let her ride in it soon.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:08 PM   #27
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I wanted the best of both worlds. Used to have a 03 X and got sick of rolling up the windows, plus I really liked the painted fenders and hardtop!
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:14 PM   #28
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That is my story...what's yours?
First, our 2013 Sahara is my wife's DD. She did a lot of research on the Jeep website and that was the model she wanted. She said she liked many of the standard features it came with and options that she couldn't get with others.

Since she will never drive it off-road it was a perfect choice for her. And I like her choice of Deep Cherry Red.

Many people don't know this but the Sahara has the highest stock ground clearance of the various Wrangler models.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:43 PM   #29
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Hey Panther Mark...your funny dude

Hey Panther Mark...your funny dude

It's my first wrangler (had a liberty w/ 2" Rusty's lift and Dueler AT)...I got a true blue with a black top.......because it color coordinates with my blazers and my collection of ascots...LMAO PANTHERMARK
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:08 PM   #30
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So here is the reasoning. I am used to driving BMWs and Mercedes...oh yeah..and nice trucks too. I have had 50 cars (2013 Jeep #50) and have gone between Bimmers and trucks and Mercedes and trucks...but always kept going back to a truck. So the Sahara fits the mid life crisis thing. I wanted a convertible that sits up like a truck. Is there anything on the market that fits the bill for this...I think not. Now...I could have bought a Rubicon for more money equipped with the luxury items of the Sahara. I have certainly thought about the rock crawler feature of the Rubicon but electronic disconnects seems kind of lame and not too terribly reliable. So, I kind of have this thing with my hobbies. If I am going to do them I am going to do them right. If I ever get to the rock crawling phase of owning a jeep, I will make it a Rubicon killer. The stock Rubicon is awesome..Dont get me wrong, but if I am going to do it, I will spend the money to do it right. The Rubicon would just be a teaser at the the starting gate..With the Sahara I can enjoy the luxury and open airiness that I bought it for now...and later on when I buy my next luxury car, I can turn this into a 37" wheel wearing, 4" lift sporting, long arm rock crawling bad a$$ Rubi crusher.

Ok..I am really not that much of a jerk. I love all these Jeeps. Rubicons are pretty cool, but the Sahara fit the bill for what I needed it for. I doubt I will ever turn it into a major rock crawler, but if I do, I have learned enough from the people on WF how to do it right.

As with most purpose built vehicles the vehicles capability far outweighs the drivers ability.

__________________
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
AEV Pintlers, front and rear bumpers
GY Duratracs 33s
JW Speaker 8700s and 6145s
Trek Armor Seat Covers and Trek Armor V2 Sun Shade
10A Rubicon Lift
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