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Old 05-08-2011, 07:04 AM
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hardtop vs soft top

Hi, I am in the market for a 2010 or 2011 Jeep Wrangler Sahara or Sport 4 door 6 speed 4 x4 and need help deciding on hardtop or soft top. The dealers still have 2010's on the lots for close to the same prices as the 2011's. I'm thinking that the soft top is great for SW Georgia weather and probably easiest for me to remove but I'm wondering if there are any issues with it. Also, should I splurge the extra few bucks and get the 2011? Any comments would help. I've never owned a jeep and would like to enjoy is for trails and as my fun car. Thanks.


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Old 05-08-2011, 07:21 AM   #2
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I'm a strong proponent of BOTH for a two door.
In the very cold part of winter, the hard top. The rest of the year the soft top.

Also SERIOUSLY consider the sunrider top for a soft top. It's extremely versatile.

For removing the hard top, you may need an extra pair of hands. A lot of the JK folks that I know have the Freedom Top and have sold their soft tops. It's a crap shoot and will largely depend on what your personal preferences are.

Try driving one of each and see which you like the best. Look at ALL of the different top options and features and figure out what you think will suit you best. Find a sales person who knows all of the different features and have him/her demonstrate them for you.

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Old 05-08-2011, 08:02 AM   #3
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First things first. Welcome to the Forum.

I bought my Jeep with the hard top and then purchased the soft top 3 months later. I have never used the hard top since. With the hard top it requires 2 people or a hoist to remove and replace. The soft top is pretty much easy up and easy down. Another great thing about the soft top is that you always have a top with you in case of one of those pop-up showers we frequently experience here. It's entirely up to you and I'm sure that you will enjoy your Jeep no matter which you choose.
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:24 AM   #4
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:10 PM   #5
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Welcome! They said it all, hardtop is better for cold, soft top is better for when the sun is out
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:27 PM   #6
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i just bought an 11 sahara with matching top and i love it,,but as mentioned,its a pain to remove even with my wife..but i wouldnt get rid of it for anything,,

now on the other hand i live in virginia beach and it can be quite warm around here,so having a soft top would be ideal..but at the moment i dont have a garage and some of my neighbors have sticky fingers so i prefer not to make it any easier for them, as of now..im moving shortly and will be in a garage and one of my first purchases will be some sort of soft top,,i like the one kate mentioned..but im not the "mudding" guy im the "mountain man",,,we do lots of snowboarding and drive through some crazy frigin mountains,,and it can be quite cold,(we are up north new york very often),,so for those times in the winter,,i think i would also like to have my hardtop..

i guess what it comes down to is
A. neighbors,neighborhood,garage.
B. prefrence
C. what you will be doing
D. paymens of course (lol) wait not a joke

P.S. my step dad has owned jeeps pretty much my whole life but until i bought one,i never realized how much gas costs and how bad of millage they get,,,,this would never turn me away from owning the vehicle,but its something you might want to keep in mind,,77 bux to fill it yesterday and because i have such low millage,im only getting 14.7 mpg..lol im sure it will go up but i have another vehicle im trying to sell that i drive around until its sold...well just my 2cents....good luck with ur buy and welcome to the forum,,the people here are the best people ive met on the net..
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:54 PM   #7
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:04 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forum!

There are no significant differences between a 2010 and a 2011. Lots of smaller changes, most noticeably in the interior. But functionally, the same. I personally don't think the changes are enough to have a big impact on resale value down the road.

I personally think it would be a huge shame to have a Wrangler, and to always run the hardtop. But I love convertibles in general. Plus I get paid to sell tops and Bikinis and stuff like that!

It's easy to get an aftermarket soft top for your Jeep, so it's not a big deal to delay that purchase. You can absolutely get a hardtop later on too, but it's a bit more complicated.

There are other options besides a full soft top too: you can get sunshades and Bikinis and other options.

The big thing with a Jeep is the aftermarket support. There aren't a lot of other vehicles where you can buy a bunch of different doors and tops and whatnot at any point after your purchase.
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:11 AM
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Thanks for all the advice. I will venture to Atlanta where there are more dealers and better deals and drive the different options and get the dealer to show me how things work. I'm leaning more toward the soft top since it's warm here mostly and because it will not be my day to day car anyway. I have a 71 Ranchero I drive to work everyday. This new purchase is for nothing but fun! Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:18 AM   #10
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^^keep us updated,id like to see what u end up with.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:29 PM   #11
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:19 PM   #12
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Welcome to the Forum!

I went through this dilemma with my first Wrangler (2007) and settled on a soft top thinking I would get a hard top later and I never did. In short, it's much easier to find a soft top and install it on a hard top Wrangler than the other way around. Adding a hard top means putting in the wiring for wiper/defroster. Plus, the hard tops are outrageously expensive.

This time around I bought the hard top on the Jeep and now I'm waiting (some might say patiently) for the Bestop Supertop NX. IMO it's the best soft top out there and it's almost half the cost of the Mopar top (actually, Bestop makes the tops for Mopar anyway). I'm in North Carolina but I still prefer the hard top for winter.

Whatever you get, you'll enjoy it! Welcome again!

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