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My wife and I are recently retired. We are longtime hikers ( california ) and have driven pickups for 35 years . We now drive a Chevy s10 that has 200k miles, and are looking to replace it. We want to go to remote trailheads in the US West, and rec travel in remote desert/mnt areas. We are not hardcore off roaders, we use the vehicle to go places to start hiking. We are looking at a 2018 Wrangler JL 6 cyl. Is this an appropriate vehicle given our needs? Also , we have always had manual transmission for better control and milage. Is manual transmission in a JL a plus ? Does it hurt millage compared to an automatic transmision? I would like a vehicle to get at least low 20's. Any suggestions would be great for a couple primarily hiker/backpacker/car camper as opposed to a 'car' person. I am looking primarily at the unlimited sport version. Any comments or suggestions ? Thank you very much .
 

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Good choice! If you are not crawling and have no need for locking diff's then the Sport is a good way to go. Make sure you get the D44 and whatever other options you feel you need. Might consider getting a JK while they still new: prob be a lot better deal. I have gotten 20mpg in mine at times and it handles nicely on the road and trail. JL might be overkill for your needs, but it's up to you. Some will say it's better but...opinions vary on what "better" means. I hear the manual is very nice, but haven't driven one since I lost my leg. I like the auto either way. The JL will get better mileage, I am sure. Either one will get you "there", I am sure!
 

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Wrangler is a perfect vehicle for you guys! I do a lot of hiking and camping, and I really enjoy my Wrangler. I've slept in it many times. I wouldn't rule out the new 8-speed automatic either!
 

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The JL would make a nice trail ready vehicle for your purposes. There have been a number of improvements made over the previous model that might be appreciated. The biggest improvement is the automatic transmission making the JL more peppy and economical to drive. The manual transmission has also been upgraded but in general MT no longer has a clear advantage in mpg over modern AT besides connecting the driver to the vehicle. And that connection is what you will need to decide upon besides the $2k upcharge for the AT. Good luck and post what you decide.
 

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You're only going to get over 20mpg if you're going downhill with the wind to your back. In neutral. With the engine off.
Well...I drive 35 miles each way to work a day and I get 20mpg regularly. There are times where I have a heavy foot, but overall I keep my RPM's in the green Eco part of the tach and it does pretty well...big difference over my 12mpg TJ! LoL
 

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The JK or JL are great vehicles for getting to remote trailheads that others would find it hard or impossible to get to.

But BEWARE. We got our 2015 Willys JK for just this purpose and now we look forward to hitting the trails in our Jeep as much as hitting the trails on foot!

Ours is a manual - just more fun to drive and we don't have a lot of heavy traffic to drive in around here.

And check you can put up with the other Wrangler "features". More road noise, leaks in heavy rain, etc. They are not for everyone.
 

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Yard10541z - you have asked several questions in your post. As to gas mileage I would answer - maybe and it depends. It depends on which model and how you drive it. If you choose the Rubicon, I would say probably not except on a good day because of the gearing. The Rubicon comes with taller tires which would tend to help improve gas mileage, but it also comes with lower gearing which tends to hurt gas mileage. For gas mileage, the way the Sahara is equipped would tend to lend itself more to mileage.

In fact there is a YouTube video of Roman Mica and his son Tommy driving a pre production Sahara from Phoenix to Denver (via a little side trip on the trails at Moab) and getting and indicated and calculated 23 MPG. One thing is the new 8 speed automatic has two overdrive gears vs only one overdrive gear in the 5 speed in the JKU. I am not sure of the ratios in the 6 speed manual, but most likely it only has one OD ratio which means the automatic will get slightly better gas mileage.

In the 4 door you have a lot of room. You would have to look at it and determine for yourself it it has enough space.

Here is the link to the YouTube video which is interesting to watch. Now the Sahara they had came with the one touch retractable roof which is not actually available yet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQVVXwplmJI
 

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... I am not sure of the ratios in the 6 speed manual, but most likely it only has one OD ratio which means the automatic will get slightly better gas mileage.
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These are the ratios on the 6 speed manual in my 2015 JK Willys edition

Transmission ratios: 4.4 in first, 2.6 in second, 1.7 in third, 1.2 in fourth, 1.0 in fifth and 0.8 in sixth.

I'm guessing that is one overdrive - and that is how it drives. First and second are pretty low, third, fourth and fifth are "normal" gears and sixth is overdrive.
 

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An overdrive gear is anything that is less than 1.0. In the JK six speed, 5th is the direct drive gear (1.0 : 1) and sixth is an overdrive (.8 : 1).

I don't know the actual ratios, but the information indicates that 7th in the new automatic is about what the final gear (5th) was in the old one which is about .82 to 1. Then the final gear of the new transmission (8th) is about .64 or .67 to 1. Either is very, very good. Most of the new Wrangers are also getting a differential ratio of 3.45:1 which is midway between the 3.21 which was stock and 3.73 for the max towing package on the JK/JKU. (Note for OP - the Rubicon gearing is different for both the JK/JKU and JL/JLU)

All of this translates that the JLU gets better mileage, rated at 23 on the highway vs the 20 on the highway for the JKU.
 
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In Ouray Colorado we encountered many a hiker. Lots on top of Black Bear, a few on Imogene. saw some camping hikers on several places around the Alpine Loop. I was really amazed at the hikers I saw going uphill at a fairly brisk pace even though we were above 12,000 Ft. in elevation. Better lungs than mine. It is a must do place for hikers and Jeepers, the two go hand in hand.

A Willies Wheeler would be perfect for your needs, but a new JL would help on the fuel mileage a little. If you can wait till later half of 2019 (I think) you can pick up a diesel version which I'm sure will be better on mileage and low end torque out the wazoo.
 

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If you plan to park at remote trailheads, be sure to get a hardtop unless you never leave a cooler, etc., in the vehicle. If not, you may find your soft top damaged and your ice cold beverages gone....And yes, a 4 door Wrangler is a perfect hiking, camping vehicle. I have a manual in my '15 Rubi HR, but will be moving to the new 8 speed auto when the diesel is released.
 
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