Prospective 2010 Wrangler Unlmtd Owner with Questions
I just joined this site as I have a few question for “the JK experts” in the audience. I tried using this site’s search function (“preferred transmission”, etc.) in addition to reading a number of customer reviews on Edmunds.com, but I’d like to get some more insight if possible. To quickly set the stage, I am about a month away from having to turn in my leased 2007 Chevy Impala SS with the 5.3L V8 (I still have to pull all the high performance stuff off of it.) I have considered keeping it, but I really need something more SUV-ish as I have a restored 1940 teardrop camping trailer (yes, just like the ones on that Huell Howser show) I’d like to use more often.
While at Don-A-Vee Jeep in Placentia, CA (Orange County) this past weekend to pick up a part for my ’06 Hemi Charger, there were a number of Jeep Wranglers parked near the customer parking area so I wandered over to take a look. It didn’t take long for a salesperson named “J.R.” to come chat with me and offer a test drive in a charcoal gray 4-door Wrangler Sport that appeared to have a Tow Package (the receiver hitch and wiring was visible in the back) and what J.R. said was a unique feature; that being, black leather interior in a Sport model instead of cloth. The transmission was the 6-speed manual. Keep in mind the last 4x4 I’d been in was when my father and I bombed around Baja California in our 1970 Land Rover that had such luxuries as hinged manual windscreen vents (!), Lucas electrics, manual drum brakes, a hand throttle lever, and a plate riveted to the metal dash that said, “WARNING: Double clutch from 1st to 2nd gear required.” It was so primitive, even a Geico caveman wouldn’t drive it.
I came away from the Wrangler test drive very impressed, as I've been considering a Trailblazer and hadn’t thought of a Jeep even though I’ve wanted a RHD Jeep for years (I think RHD Jeeps are so cool.) After much Internet research and reading, here are my questions/concerns:
(1) Towing— how good are Wranglers for towing-- really? My teardrop trailer weighs about 800 lbs. loaded and is all wood (tongue & groove spruce; the trailer’s axle is from a 1917 Hupmobile Model N). Does the Tow Package on a Wrangler Sport (or Sahara) net you 3.73 gears in both F&R axles, or just the rear? I would probably want the posi rear.
(2) Crosswinds – are 4-door Wranglers tiring to drive in windy conditions (I have a family and dogs so I am focusing on a 4-door)
(3) Which is the better transmission to get, in the long run? I’ve read of overheating problems with the automatics on one website, while some manuals have a tendency to jump out of gear. I know how to drive a stick well, and I would eventually be take the vehicle off road and participating in Jamborees and such.
(4) I know it’s no V8, but how do these vehicle respond on the freeway (I did not have the opportunity to drive the Wrangler on one); i.e., can they maintain decent highway speeds, etc.?
(5) A few of the Edmund reviews commented on the three-piece hardtops leaking very badly—how common is this? Are there any other things I should look for?
Thank you all very much for your help!
(1) Towing— how good are Wranglers for towing-- really? Just this weekend I towed our Scout troop trailer which weighs in at about 3500. It did ok and did maintain 70 on a flat interstate. I wouldnt want to try it on mountain roads though and my mileage was about 10mpg. You should be fine with the tear drop
(2) Crosswinds – are 4-door Wranglers tiring to drive in windy conditions (I have a family and dogs so I am focusing on a 4-door) I live in an ara where you have to cross several bridges to go anywhere and haven't had any problem with cross winds, not to say you want to notoce and you will have to pay attention more than "normal"
(3) Which is the better transmission to get, in the long run? I’ve read of overheating problems with the automatics on one website, while some manuals have a tendency to jump out of gear. I know how to drive a stick well, and I would eventually be take the vehicle off road and participating in Jamborees and such. This will be a can of worms here.... The hard core purists will say manual, but the auto is quite capable and will give you one less thing to worry about on the trail. I have about 30k on mine not and have had no problems with the auto
(4) I know it’s no V8, but how do these vehicle respond on the freeway (I did not have the opportunity to drive the Wrangler on one); i.e., can they maintain decent highway speeds, etc.? Anything over 80 becomes scary as it will start to jump around on road joints, or atleast thats my experience
(5) A few of the Edmund reviews commented on the three-piece hardtops leaking very badly—how common is this? Are there any other things I should look for? There have been a few Freedom top complaints here, but I only have the soft top, which will leak from time to time, but that is usually due to me not getting the top back on "just right" or high winds driving rain to the side, but it's a Jeep and she's got drain holes so what's the problem right?
Good luck from another who went from mounds of power to a Wrangler... Previously had a Dodge Ram 3500 CTD..... and have been very happy with my Wrangler.
Even passing other vehicles and merging on to a highway isnt as bad as I thought it would be.
I have a 2010 Sahara and have had no leaking issues at all.
In the month that I've owned it it's seen a lot of rain, tonight included, and the interior has stayed nice and dry.
Welcome to the forum! :D As a Hemi Charger owner, and a Wrangler owner I can tell you they are completely different beasts. Wranglers strong point is not power, but the ability to take you anywhere you want to go with impeccable style! :D Like any high profile vehicle, wind is a variable you learn to live with. Going fast is not... I can pretty much guarantee you that the first time you drop the top on the Wrangler and go off into the unexplored territory, you will forget all about the fact that you could have gotten there in 1/3 of the time in your Charger or SS....
Towing packages generally mean that it has factory installed tow points, not the hitch, etc. Many Wrangler owners tow all sorts of stuff over all sorts of terrain, so I don't forsee andy problems with your teardrop trailer.
Like mentioned above, transmission is personal preference.
As far as the top leaking, well, it is a convertible. I've owned 3 different convertibles and none of them have been 100% leak free, it is what it is. The Jeep is dryer than the Mustang or Camaro were...
The fun factor in owning a Wrangler is something that is just sort of indescribable. :D Most of us will own one for as long as we own vehicles. That should tell you something! And some of us (ok, I'm the only one) don't even go offroad very often;)
(dang, I need to buy stock in Fiat now... if only all my money didn't go into the Jeep) :D
Oh, are you on the Chargerforum, by any chance?
Unlimiteds are more stable in crosswinds than 2-doors; if you lift it, it becomes more susceptible to crosswinds though.
It's slow; accept that and achieve total enlightenment and worldly bliss.
They tow just fine as long as you remember the previous statement. I have a South African military trailer that I tow all over; it's 1500 to 2000 pounds loaded. It's an anchor.
The manual trans is much more peppy and easier to live with in regards to power. The automatic is overall easier but not so power friendly. Dealer's choice here. I had to get an automatic because my wife can't drive a stick.
My Freedom Top doesn't leak. YMMV
It's a Jeep. It's not an SUV.
If you buy a Jeep and expect an SUV, you'll hate life.
A Jeep is a Jeep; if you were meant to own one you will never know peace until you own one.
Here, watch this, our Christmas ride. If you wish you were there, go buy the Jeep. You'll have to wrench on it, deal with quirks, and modify it.
But it will be family and you will love it.
If you watch the video and wonder what the dip those hillbillies were doing, go get yourself a nice Escalade.
YouTube - New Year's ride with Jimmy
I've got a '10 unlmtd rubi w/ auto and haven't had any issues. The trans has been fine and the freedom top has been on/off several times with zero leaks. I will be pulling a small trailer also and don't anticipate any issues. As long as u keep in mind it doesn't have a hemi in it you will be fine. I am coming from a
G8GT w/ some mods that was pushing 400hp at the crank but yet I am pefectly happy with my jeep:D
:D My last CUDA was a HEMI (426) and I had two cuda's and a bunch of corvettes
My '08 Jeep Rubi is lifted and with Rubi springs and HD shocks, doesn't notice winds AT ALL
My gearing is 4:11 front/back and thats just about the highest gearing you want for towing, mine tows very well, just like there's no trailer there, it weighs less than 1000 lbs
Like HD says--this is a jeep, not a formula one, you drive it like a jeep and it treats you like a jeep owner
My top has never leaked, you have to remove/install with common sense and a little preperation and it won't leak
Buying a jeep takes a mind set, just like having a firearm for home defense-----you know what you're getting, you know what it'll do and you treat it with respect--you end up with a level playing field
A standard tranny is mostly maintenance free, a four door is rated to haul larger trailers. Crosswinds are always going to be noticeable when you drive a vehicle shaped like a box. The Jeep is the perfect vehicle for myself, I love everything about it except for the rear window in my soft-top. The window is a chore to unzip open and shut. The standard has no problem passing others on the highway either.
Welcome to the forum. :wavey:
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