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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to buy my first JKU soon (owned a YJ several years ago) and I'm looking for some advice. This will be a daily driver. I'm not interested in any serious off roading, but it will see the occasional dirt roads, local trails and lots family rides with the top off. Below is what I'm currently thinking. Any advice or tips are greatly appreciated...

JKU Sport S, auto, hard top, Max tow with limited slip dif.

OR

JKU Willys Wheeler W, had top, auto

Pros and cons on each?
Would it still be a good daily driver with an eventual 2.5 lift and 35s, not upgrading the 3.73?
 

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I'd recommend to anyone who doesn't plan to regar anyhow to always, always buy the lowest gear ratio available. You don't take a hit in MPG and it'll be happier turning bigger tires.

Either option will work. I have a Rubicon which has the same tires as a Willys and while not terrible, MTs are kinda crappy for a DD.
 

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. You don't take a hit in MPG and it'll be happier turning bigger tires. ........... MTs are kinda crappy for a DD.
How is it that factory gear options don't affect MPG?

I agree stick MT's do kinda suck for a DD. I just lowered mine down to 27psi on a 4 door. Feels much better, we will see how they wear like that.
 

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The Willys W is built from a Sport S with the following differences/factory installed options:

Sticker package
3.73 and LSD stock vs ordering max tow on Sport S (you will need to spend ~$75-$100 for an aftermarket hitch on the Willys if you want a hitch as it makes no sense to order max tow on the Willys)
Black Rubicon Rims
BFG Mud Terrain tires
Rock Rails
Connectivity Package Standard
Black grille and bumper overlays
Warn off-road kit (tow strap, gloves, etc...)
Slush Mats
Performance Suspension (actually just Rubicon shocks as the springs seem to be universal)
Tinted windows (although I'm not sure this isn't part of the Sport S or not)
I think that's it.

When I ordered my '15 Willys W JKU, the price differential was minimal. If I remember correctly, it was less than $1000 difference between the two after choosing the available options for the Sport S that were standard on the Willys W. For that grand I got the rims I liked, the best off road style stock tires, the black accessories, sticker package, warn kit and rock rails. From what I understand and have seen on Craigslist, the rims alone are worth almost the whole difference between the two packages. I have no plans to sell my stock rims, but if one is already planning on new rims, tires and selling the stockers, it may well work out that the Willys package would pay for itself or real close to it.
 

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I just did a quick comparison on jeeps site. Adding Max tow, Trac-lok, Hard top and Connectivity Package to a Sport S brings the MSRP to within $1365 of a Willys W with the Hard Top added.

As far as either being a daily driver, you can't go wrong either way. The Willys BFG MT's are not the best street tires, but are perfectly acceptable to me in everything except rain or ice, and they're still fine in those roles too.
 

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We traded our '14 Cherokee Trailhawk for a '15 Wrangler Altitude Unlimited last September and got everything we could possibly want in one package, including leather, nav, tow, rock rails, traction control, polished black wheels and trim, and you name it. Great machine and we love it! Can't wait to head out to eastern BC this summer and hit the trails. Check around with the dealers and you might find an equally sweet '15 leftover at a very good price. - Ted
 

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I came to the same conclusion as Dugzilla. Started out looking for a sport s and after the "must have" options, ended up ordering a Willys W.
 

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How is it that factory gear options don't affect MPG?

I agree stick MT's do kinda suck for a DD. I just lowered mine down to 27psi on a 4 door. Feels much better, we will see how they wear like that.
The difference is so small that you'll never notice. The EPA based testing is bogus and is done under unrealistic conditions. That said, if there were a reduction in MPG, it's worth it. Especially if you plan to run bigger tires. My Rubicon automatic with 4.10s is probably a bit over geared for highway but it means 35s will be a good fit. Even my friends with 37s is still strong in the highway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info. What does the "connectivity package" do? I currently drive an old work truck, so I'm used to zero features.
 

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Thanks for the info. What does the "connectivity package" do? I currently drive an old work truck, so I'm used to zero features.
It gives you Bluetooth capability for your phone/tablet/whatever. Calls and texts can be handsfree, as well as music streaming from your phone. Also, I think it adds the Premium EVIC (elec. vehicle info center) with individual tire pressure readouts as well as the center console USB input. I use my Bluetooth almost daily for streaming ESPN radio.

Whether these are important to you is a whole 'nother story. In my comparison I did above, I added it to the Sport S to compare as close to the Willys spec as I could with factory options. I think the option was about $500, which if you didnt want it, would make the cost differential greater, obviously. For me, it was a must-have item when I ordered mine.
 

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We traded our '14 Cherokee Trailhawk for a '15 Wrangler Altitude Unlimited last September and got everything we could possibly want in one package, including leather, nav, tow, rock rails, traction control, polished black wheels and trim, and you name it. Great machine and we love it! Can't wait to head out to eastern BC this summer and hit the trails. Check around with the dealers and you might find an equally sweet '15 leftover at a very good price. - Ted
Yep, I wanted a Willies and scored a '15 leftover in December at a silly price 20% off MSRP, '16 Willer would have been more
 

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Our Altitude came with Bridgestone All Terrain tires which have a good rugged tread with lots of siping. They work well on the highway and have performed well on the forest service trails. - Ted
 
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