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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So as the title says I'm currently looking to make the move and purchase a new jeep. I'm stuck between:

1. Buying a sport and slowly upgrading over time.

2. Buying a rubicon and not having to worry about much more than a small lift and bigger tires for at least the forseable future.

I really plan on doing mainly light to moderate off-roading and a lot of camping off the beaten bath.
Now what I'm wondering is would I be wasting a lot of features the rubicon offers or would I regret it if I bought a sport only to wish I had the options a rubicon has right off the bat.

Thanks for any input as I'm really torn between which one I should purchase.
 

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It depends on what you consider "moderate" off-roading. A small lift and bigger tires/wheels is a lot cheaper than adding in locking axles. Bigger wheels and tires would be a wash since you're going to add that to which ever Jeep you get, right? In your case, I think I'd go ahead with the Rubi, but a Sport is also quite off-road capable as well in stock form.
 
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A Sport S with the 3.73 gearing and limited slip differential will probably be more than enough for you. That being said, if money wasn't an object, I'd definitely buy a Rubicon.
 

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Or buy the sports s w/373's and rear locker and take the extra $5k that you would spend on the rubicon and throw on a full suspension kit and wheels and tires and go places the stock rubicon cant
 

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... a Sport is also quite off-road capable as well in stock form.
A Sport S with the 3.73 gearing and limited slip differential will probably be more than enough for you. That being said, if money wasn't an object, I'd definitely buy a Rubicon.
I agree with both of these comments. Based on what you described, you don't likely need the extra capabilities of the Rubicon so it's probably not worth spending the extra money. I was in the same boat and went with a Willy's package instead of a Rubicon - it has some of the cosmetic items you get with the Rubicon (rock rails, wheels, tires, performance shocks), but without the added expense of the electric sway bar disconnect and drive train upgrades. But as Glowyrm said, if money is no object I'd get a Rubicon HR.
 

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I was in your shoes...

I was in your shoes just a couple months ago and, after careful consideration, because dealerships could not find the Jeep I wanted, I went with submitting a factory order of a 2017 JK Rubicon 2 door manual transmission hardtop in Gobi tan with exactly the options I wanted. I've been driving my new Rubicon for about a month now and I couldn't be happier with my decision, though it took the extreme patience of a 7 week wait from the factory in Toledo to my dealer in Georgia.

I'm not a first time Jeep owner though. I bought a new TJ base model in 2002 from a dealer, and ended up installing many more rugged upgrades including suspension, armor, wheels, winch, and roof rack. I sold it last winter (and I regretted doing so immediately).

I plan to keep my Rubicon fairly close to stock. The 32" BFG mud terrain tires and lockers on there now are good for practically any dirt road driving I can encounter here in Georgia and the southeast.
 

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A Sport S with the 3.73 gearing and limited slip differential will probably be more than enough for you. That being said, if money wasn't an object, I'd definitely buy a Rubicon.
I agree with Glowyrm, the two things I would get for sure are the 3.73 gearing and the Posi-Loc rear. I myself won't be doing any extreme off-roading so the Rubicon is out for me, in fact I will deep mine pretty much stock and it will do more then I plan to do. I went with the Willys Edition which these two options are standard in the package, plus a few other suspension upgrades. You even get the Rubicon wheels and tires in the Willys Edition. Just check-out the Willys Edition before you make a decision, I think the Willys will work for you, it did for me. Be sure to order the LED light option.

trainman
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you everyone for the input. I think I'm gonna go with a Sport S, unless I can get a killer deal on a Rubicon. Also I'll be sure to check out the whillys. Only problem I'm having now is the fact that every wrangler most dealerships have around me are all automatic transmission. I mean it's not a deal breaker but I would prefer a manual. Is that a thing now where a majority of jeeps are automatic?
 

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I had the same decision to make last February, I just want to go drive down dirt roads going to camp sites, Decided I didn't need a Rubicon. Went with a Sport Unlimited.
I put a spring leveling kit and fox shocks, re-geared to 4.10 and Truetracs front and rear and bigger tires.
More than happy with it, and still under what I would have paid for a Rubicon as most people put on bumpers a winch, lift, shocks etc, after they buy it and that really jacks the overall price way up.
I just did a KBB on my JKU and it is worth $33,000 I paid $30,000 for it out the door, minus all the upgrades I have done to it.

p.s. The Rubicons here in Southern Calif were starting at around $41,000 and they did not have any incentives from the factory, It was take the price we give you or don't buy it.
 

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My Sahara (just a fancy Sport) with a simple AEV 2.5" lift and 34" tires does more than I would EVER be comfortable doing with a daily driver. I know because I've taken it to the off road park and was pretty shocked at what it could do. No problem following this stock suspension Rubicon and I didn't scrape like he did.

And for less $, I still get all the creature comforts I want in a daily driver.
If you can still get what you want inside with the Sport or Sport S, than do that and save cash other goodies.

 
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I went with the Willys Edition which these two options are standard in the package, plus a few other suspension upgrades. You even get the Rubicon wheels and tires in the Willys Edition. Just check-out the Willys Edition before you make a decision, I think the Willys will work for you, it did for me. Be sure to order the LED light option.
I would agree that for what the OP is seeking, the Willys would be the best choice.
 
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A Sport S with the 3.73 gearing and limited slip differential will probably be more than enough for you. That being said, if money wasn't an object, I'd definitely buy a Rubicon.
I agree with Glowyrm, the two things I would get for sure are the 3.73 gearing and the Posi-Loc rear. I myself won't be doing any extreme off-roading so the Rubicon is out for me, in fact I will deep mine pretty much stock and it will do more then I plan to do. I went with the Willys Edition which these two options are standard in the package, plus a few other suspension upgrades. You even get the Rubicon wheels and tires in the Willys Edition. Just check-out the Willys Edition before you make a decision, I think the Willys will work for you, it did for me. Be sure to order the LED light option.

trainman
I agree. Willys is a great middle ground...3.73s, Trac lock, rubi rails, and MT tires for not much more than a sport with 3.73s and trac lock added (plus all the other Willy's specific stuff). The MT tires are a plus for me because the trails around here tend to be the muddy through-the-woods kind and getting factory MTs means I can wait a bit and have a little more confidence than wheeling the SRAs out of the box. I think I am in the same situation as you except I wouldn't call anything I want to do "moderate," but I agree that it depends a lot on how you define that.
 

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I took #2 as a new Jeep owner... and I'm very happy. I wish you get the lift, winch, and tires from the factory. Now I know a lot about Jeeps but at first, it was good to let Jeep do it.
 
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