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-   -   On-Road Ride Quality? (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/on-road-ride-quality-233633.html)

luvkyphil 04-08-2013 08:01 AM

On-Road Ride Quality?
 
Hi There,

I have been able to take a 4 door stock 2012 JK Unlimited Sport for a 2 day extended test drive. Overall it's a wonderful vehicle and I'm tempted to buy one.

I've never really been in a Jeep and as 90% of my driving is on road there was one major drawback (well two if you count the economy) and that was the ride quality. Haven driven many Patrols, Landcruisers, Pajeros, Prados etc I was used to a smooth ride on-road but I experienced quite the opposite. Every single bump in the road was felt. Overall it was just...rough.

Is this overcome by upgrading the suspension/shocks, adjustments/tuning or is this one of those compromises you make when buying a Jeep?

I'm not trying to stir up trouble as I am genuinely keen on buying one but I do a lot of driving during the week (I'm on road about 5+ hours per day and often for 2+ hours at a time) and want to at least enjoy the drive.

live_slow 04-08-2013 08:11 AM

Anything with two live/solid axels is going to ride a bit harsh. (And as far as I know the JK is the last live axel full production 4x4). I can't offer any advice except to remember you're comparing the ride in independant front suspension vehicles with a live/solid front axel vehicle.

Most here will say it's a feature, not a bug :-)

Senior Chief 04-08-2013 08:15 AM

Agree with the post above.

BigMike47172 04-08-2013 08:20 AM

Ditto. It's not made to ride like a Suburban Assault Vehicle.

MTH 04-08-2013 08:25 AM

You can upgrade the suspension aftermarket to progressive rate coils, high end shocks, and even long arms. That would indeed improve the ride.

But as noted above, the wrangler has solid front and rear axles--the other vehicles you mentioned do not. Solid axles front and rear will improve offroad capability, but will compromise onroad handling.

In order to make solid axles feel like an independent suspension, you need cash--more cash than would be put into a stock vehicle by the manufacturer. After all, it'd be cheaper just to put in an independent suspension.

So that brings us back to progressive coils, high end shocks, and a long arm kit. It'd ride nice AND be great offroad . . . but that's a few grand of suspension work. You could make it more affordable by foregoing the long arms and it would still be a big improvement, but it might not get it all the way to the plush comfort level you're used to.

Overall, it's best to consider the almost tractor-like ride as part of the wrangler experience. If that's something you really don't care for, then a wrangler probably isn't for you.

PecosRiver 04-08-2013 08:34 AM

I love the ride on my Rubicon, but then before the Wranglers I was driving F-250's and garbage trucks, neither of which are known for their cushy rides.

m998dna 04-08-2013 08:54 AM

Run Forrest run ....

If you drive 5 hours per day I would look at a different vehicle.

Not that a Land Cruiser is any different, I hated my LC on the freeway because the seats were the crappiest seats on the planet. My 1991 Cherokee has better seats than my POS 2005 Land Cruiser had. It felt like I was sitting on a park bench.

I would rent for a month and test drive more... be sure what you're getting into.

.02

.

bsimon187 04-08-2013 09:05 AM

I take a lot of 1200 mile round trip drives, almost all highway. I have no problems with the ride of the Sahara. When i was looking at the Jeeps, i test drove them all and felt the Sahara rode better than the sports. I have a 2013 JKU. To me the ride is good..

Jeeperz Creeperz 04-08-2013 09:34 AM

Are you looking at the Wrangler because it is convertible, 4x4 and the best off road vehicle stock?

The ride is not bad at all when you consider what it is capable of off road.

If taking the doors and top off and extreme off road capability are not your thing, then I would go with something awd/4x4 with a better on road ride and fuel economy with the amount of driving you do. Even a Subaru can meet the average person's 4x4 needs.

Edit: If I were in the market for something I had to drive as much as you do and wanted 4x4 or awd for bad weather conditions but not for going off road and wanted to have fun with, I would purchase an awd 300 or Charger with a hemi. A 370hp car that has all wheel drive? That would be fun. You could get better fuel economy and get the 300hp 6 cyliner instead.

NFRs2000NYC 04-08-2013 09:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luvkyphil (Post 3608610)
Hi There,

I have been able to take a 4 door stock 2012 JK Unlimited Sport for a 2 day extended test drive. Overall it's a wonderful vehicle and I'm tempted to buy one.

I've never really been in a Jeep and as 90% of my driving is on road there was one major drawback (well two if you count the economy) and that was the ride quality. Haven driven many Patrols, Landcruisers, Pajeros, Prados etc I was used to a smooth ride on-road but I experienced quite the opposite. Every single bump in the road was felt. Overall it was just...rough.

Is this overcome by upgrading the suspension/shocks, adjustments/tuning or is this one of those compromises you make when buying a Jeep?

I'm not trying to stir up trouble as I am genuinely keen on buying one but I do a lot of driving during the week (I'm on road about 5+ hours per day and often for 2+ hours at a time) and want to at least enjoy the drive.

Honest question, so here is an honest answer...no, you cannot improve the ride quality to the level you are looking for (like a Landcruiser.) It just isn't the nature of the vehicle. Be honest with yourself, otherwise you will regret your decision. Maybe take a look at the Grand Cherokee? Still a capable vehicle but with far more comfort in mind. :thumb:

NFRs2000NYC 04-08-2013 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by m998dna (Post 3608773)
Run Forrest run ....

If you drive 5 hours per day I would look at a different vehicle.

Not that a Land Cruiser is any different, I hated my LC on the freeway because the seats were the crappiest seats on the planet. My 1991 Cherokee has better seats than my POS 2005 Land Cruiser had. It felt like I was sitting on a park bench.

I would rent for a month and test drive more... be sure what you're getting into.

.02

.

Just to go off topic for a second...while I agree with you that the older landcruisers were a bit harsh as well, have you seen the new ones? They are more comfortable than my living room. Seriously thinking of getting one for the wife. :D

http://img2.netcarshow.com/Toyota-La...llpaper_23.jpg

socal-jk 04-08-2013 11:09 AM

I had a K5 on one tons and two old leaf spring landcruisers. All of which ride like you would expect. That being said, my 12 2dr rides like a caddy compared to my 2011 and 2009 BMW's with and without sport package. I was told I would be sick of the jeep in 6 months by several people. As of now I love it. Had a 50 mile a day commute no problem. Trip to norcal 6 hours in the seat no problem. Sure it handles and stops like a Bayliner, but its a Jeep.

Hokieneer 04-08-2013 11:24 AM

I really think the ride is quite comfortable in my jeep and I have almost put 2000 miles in the last couple of weeks but that's just my opinion its actually much better than my other vehicles: 99 Grand Cherokee, 06 Evo 9, 74 Triumph TR-6. but from what you describe I would seriously look at the new Grand Cherokee with the diesel- 420 ft lbs and 30 mpg :drool:

guppy 04-08-2013 11:34 AM

"Is this overcome by upgrading the suspension/shocks, adjustments/tuning or is this one of those compromises you make when buying a Jeep?"

When you are using words like "compromise" and asking "can I overcome?" you are only fooling yourself into trying to make this Jeep work for you.

I love my Jeeps, but they are not for everyone. Maybe would not be for me if I had different driving conditions. You have to buy what "works" for you. You have already indicated this is not the vehicle you want.

DallasJKU 04-08-2013 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NFRs2000NYC (Post 3608895)
Honest question, so here is an honest answer...no, you cannot improve the ride quality to the level you are looking for (like a Landcruiser.) It just isn't the nature of the vehicle. Be honest with yourself, otherwise you will regret your decision. Maybe take a look at the Grand Cherokee? Still a capable vehicle but with far more comfort in mind. :thumb:

I have driven many IFS vehicles and the Jeep will never ride like that. I love the Jeep more than I care what the on road ride quality is. If you want to lift the vehicle you have to remember it might improve some on road qualities, but for the most part it makes the Jeep ride worse especially with 35" or above tires. Throw in some wind and you have a horrible riding vehicle. Still a very fun vehicle to drive and beat on.

luvkyphil 04-08-2013 06:20 PM

Thanks for the replies. What is the ride like on corrugations? Australia some same very rough ones in the outback.

DJL2 04-08-2013 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by socal-jk (Post 3609172)
I had a K5 on one tons and two old leaf spring landcruisers. All of which ride like you would expect. That being said, my 12 2dr rides like a caddy compared to my 2011 and 2009 BMW's with and without sport package. I was told I would be sick of the jeep in 6 months by several people. As of now I love it. Had a 50 mile a day commute no problem. Trip to norcal 6 hours in the seat no problem. Sure it handles and stops like a Bayliner, but its a Jeep.

I wish my JK rode anywhere near as nicely as my 335i with Sport package. Or, for that matter, was anywhere near as quiet. Or as fast. Or as efficient. Or as refined. Or had a cruise control that worked passably well. Ultimately, those aren't deal breakers because I have the BMW to provide a pleasant on road driving experience.

NFRs2000NYC 04-08-2013 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJL2 (Post 3611123)
I wish my JK rode anywhere near as nicely as my 335i with Sport package. Or, for that matter, was anywhere near as quiet. Or as fast. Or as efficient. Or as refined. Or had a cruise control that worked passably well. Ultimately, those aren't deal breakers because I have the BMW to provide a pleasant on road driving experience.

Agree with the rest but my cruise control works just fine. :confused:

Terex 04-08-2013 08:46 PM

Regarding any Wrangler, remember that "backseat comfort" is like the phrase "Army intelligence" - it's a contradiction of terms.

socal-jk 04-08-2013 09:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJL2 (Post 3611123)
I wish my JK rode anywhere near as nicely as my 335i with Sport package. Or, for that matter, was anywhere near as quiet. Or as fast. Or as efficient. Or as refined. Or had a cruise control that worked passably well. Ultimately, those aren't deal breakers because I have the BMW to provide a pleasant on road driving experience.

Smoothness of ride is what we are talking about. You can not say that down a bumpy road your 335 is as comfortable as your JK. The JK may squeak, steer and stop like a boat, but they float down a highway pretty well. That being said, I will take the JK's idiosyncrasies over the 335's injection issues, turbo issues, carbon issues, fuel pump issues any day of the week. Do enjoy your car, and buy another! It pays for my JK, my new Benz, and my house. :D

But seriously, if you need some tips, tricks, or repair advice feel free to PM me.

DallasJKU 04-08-2013 09:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by socal-jk (Post 3611865)

Smoothness of ride is what we are talking about. You can not say that down a bumpy road your 335 is as comfortable as your JK. The JK may squeak, steer and stop like a boat, but they float down a highway pretty well. That being said, I will take the JK's idiosyncrasies over the 335's injection issues, turbo issues, carbon issues, fuel pump issues any day of the week. Do enjoy your car, and buy another! It pays for my JK, my new Benz, and my house. :D

But seriously, if you need some tips, tricks, or repair advice feel free to PM me.

I've been pretty happy with the lack of squeaks and creaks so far with my JKU. The steering is pretty decent and the shock/spring combo from AEV handles bumps pretty well. I really hate this thing during windy conditions, but that's only a problem during spring time in Dallas and not as bad as many places. I lifted it and put 35's on it so I have no one to blame for the way it handles except myself. I can't wait to take off my hardtop and put on my ORH top and really enjoy the Jeep.

socal-jk 04-08-2013 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DallasJKU (Post 3611918)

I've been pretty happy with the lack of squeaks and creaks so far with my JKU. The steering is pretty decent and the shock/spring combo from AEV handles bumps pretty well. I really hate this thing during windy conditions, but that's only a problem during spring time in Dallas and not as bad as many places. I lifted it and put 35's on it so I have no one to blame for the way it handles except myself. I can't wait to take off my hardtop and put on my ORH top and really enjoy the Jeep.

That's what its all about. Enjoy it for what it is. Mine has only one annoying rattle from under the dash in the steering column area. I just haven't tried to fix it. I think the JK is a perfect balance. Anyone who thinks these things are horrible, a short stint behind the wheels of any of my previously owned GM products or landcruisers will give some perspective.

DallasJKU 04-09-2013 01:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by socal-jk (Post 3612193)

That's what its all about. Enjoy it for what it is. Mine has only one annoying rattle from under the dash in the steering column area. I just haven't tried to fix it. I think the JK is a perfect balance. Anyone who thinks these things are horrible, a short stint behind the wheels of any of my previously owned GM products or landcruisers will give some perspective.

I take that back I do have one flapping noise behind the dash that can only be heard at highway speeds. I can't for the life of me figure it out so I turn the radio up or roll down the windows. In summer I will just take top off. People love my Jeep and love talking about it and so do I.

BigMike47172 04-09-2013 08:54 AM

I think anyone who worries about the whole "I can feel every pebble" ride issues will be put off from a Jeep on any reasonable test drive.

Crushed 04-09-2013 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DallasJKU (Post 3612621)
I take that back I do have one flapping noise behind the dash that can only be heard at highway speeds. I can't for the life of me figure it out so I turn the radio up or roll down the windows. In summer I will just take top off. People love my Jeep and love talking about it and so do I.

I know this is off topic but i have a wind noise on the drivers side that sounds like its coming from the dash/firewall/foot area. :banghead:

live_slow 04-09-2013 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luvkyphil (Post 3610807)
Thanks for the replies. What is the ride like on corrugations? Australia some same very rough ones in the outback.


I'm not familiar with the roads there. If you mean corrugations (grooves) to aid in trackion during heavy downpours, in my experience, tires, vehicle weight and length of wheelbase are the major factors.

Examples of each (subjective, in my experience):
On grooves, wide mud tires feel as if they are "floating" sometimes where as skinny "overland" or "pizza cutter" all terrain tires (with siping) don't.

A light vehicle, like a motorcycle or lightweight sports car tends to feel the same on grooves, especially a motorcycle, and the same goes for "short" wheelbases, under 100 inches or so. There are exceptions of course.

Generally speaking, in a solid front axle vehicle, you will "feel" the corrogations more and you may even notice a slight "drift" while going over long sections of steel grids or grooved road. It's nothing bad really, unless one is inclined to panic and over correct.

There's probably a reason that lots of "expedition" or "overland" vehicles are built the way they are for places like the U.S. west, Mexico, your Outback, Africa, etc. Tall skinny tires probably run cooler and don't float as much on rural roads or during the sudden downpours you may encounter. I know for a fact that wide mud tires with no siping can be like driving on ice when a flash storm pops up.

Lotrat 04-09-2013 11:20 AM

If you want a Jeep, the ride quality is good enough. If you want ride quality, then you won't like a Jeep. I put about 1500 miles a month on mine. No complaints. My 2013 is my 4th Jeep since 1994. Best ride quality of the bunch, but that's not why I bought it. If ride quality is on your list of must haves, then look for something else. It's a brick on wheels made to drive over rocks.

kjeeper10 04-09-2013 11:39 AM

Ride quality is subjective.
Tires/shocks/coils/control arm angles/alignment/etc all contribute to ride.

jkjeeper06 04-09-2013 11:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by m998dna (Post 3608773)
Run Forrest run ....

If you drive 5 hours per day I would look at a different vehicle.


.

I'm going to have to agree with this statement. You said you would spend 90% of the time on the road but with 5+ hours a day I can't see any amount of wheeling that will be 10% of that, at least mileage wise

I do a 6 hour(each way) road trip about every 3-4 weeks. I absolutely love my jeep but those get tiresome.

VW group(Audi is a part of this) are consistently rated as the most comfortable seats. And I can attest to this. Plus they are pretty quick and also fuel efficient. When taken care of they are very reliable too(175k on my old Audi now. Only repairs were clutch and timing belt). I'd look into one of those, or another German car If you drive so much

Jeeps are amazing vehicles. I absolutely love mine and wouldn't trade it for anything. But then again I don't spend 5 hours a day in it. I needed to sell the Audi cuz I wanted something fun that could tow--> jeep.

One nice thing is that they hold their resale value impeccably well. So you could buy it, try it for a year, and if you don't like it, trade it in. You'd only lose a few thousand which is hugely less than other vehicles


As far as ride quality on corrugated roads, I'm assuming you mean washboard roads? It'll do it, you'll feel the bumps tho. The nice thing about the solid axles tho for that is that it'll put a lot less wear and tear on the suspension than an IFS vehicle, simply because it is simpler with fewer moving parts

iNizo 04-09-2013 01:51 PM

I have 2012 GTI for long trips/ when I need a comfort ride and when I have some guests or when I need performance, I use my 2dr (topless and no rear seats ) when I want to enjoy my time on weekends and when I commute around the town with my wife, and I have an ATV when I want to be alone/ do crazy things..

Button line: think about the wrangler as a hoppy/toy not as a car because its not a car, if you start comparing then I advice you to look at SUV's, by the way they are not JEEP's.


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