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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All! I am brand new to the forum and appreciate any advise you might offer on buying my first Jeep Wrangler. My Jeep will be used as family "fun" vehicle-short trips and defenintely intend to do some trail riding in AZ. I reside in the Phoenix, AZ area. I expcet my trail riding will be fairly light-medium trails. Not expecting any hard core rock climbing. Looking to take couple passengers out for enjoyable scenic cruise's through AZ desert and mountains. Here is what I feel I want out of my Jeep when I pull the trigger:

4 door-A must
Soft top-I understand the value in both hard and soft top but want the ease and feel of the wind in my air!

So-Would it be a mistake if I don't buy a Rubicon if I intend to do some desert riding on light-medium trails or would a Rubicon be overkill for me? I appreciate any suggestions you feel I should consider. Thanks for checking this out and your guidance!
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:welcome: to the Forum from CAVE CREEK AZ..:wavey:

Just remember, all good things come in time..:happyyes:

As for the Rubicon, non-Rubicons will take you places that you never dreamed of. There are times when a Rubicon is needed, but most..IMO..are purchased just because the buyer wants the name Rubicon. And that is O.K., you will pay more upfront, but also receive more money when you sell it. So I would really think about this Issue. Do you really want a Rubicon..only you can make that decision.

I have a Rubicon, and I have never looked back..:)
 

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A non-Rubicon Jeep with the proper tires will go to some pretty incredible places.

And you can always upgrade it to match or exceed a Rubicon if needed.

I love my Rubi but it took me a long time to actually use its more advanced features.
 

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I plan on getting a Rubicon and am almost 100% sure Id never use it to its full capacity. But, youll never know when you need it.

Unlike most decals, the rubicon actually looks good. So thats always a perk. IMO of course
 

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Welcome to the Forum Wanna Be desert Rat,

A lot depends on your budget. For your described intended use you probably don't need a Rubicon. You can go the new Jeep website and the site will describe the differences between the various JKU models. The 2019 models might have slightly different options than older JKUs (assuming you're looking for a used JKU), but you can get a good idea of what you need and what you may want.

If I was planning on doing what you're planning on doing I'd rather spend my money for a lower mileage JKU Sport than on a same year JKU Rubicon with higher miles.
If you have the time, you can search for a low mileage Rubicon at a bargain price (again, assuming used). I doubt that you'll find one at a dealer, so that leaves a private sale or a rental return if they have any rental Rubicons.

Good Luck, L.M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Choices, choices, choices--LOL. Thank all for your insight and suggestions. I definitely intend to buy used with a budget of around 20-25K. I like the idea of overdoing the suspension etc in the event the need arises. I am thinking the Rubicon is the direction I will go...great point on better resale and considering its not going to be back and forth to work … its primary purpose will be off-road excursions. Ideally I'd like to find something used that already has some nice accessories installed but I'm willing to trick it out to meet my needs. Its funny-a person could spend like crazy to customize these Wranglers. Cool! I don't want something so new that I freak with every scratch that it gets-my intention is to get it dirty and put it through its paces in the desert and mountains. Perfect paint is at the bottom of the list for me. Thanks all for taking time to respond-Maybe I'll catch you on the trails in a few months:)
We moved to AZ from MN about a year ago-born and raised in MN!-NO I'm not a Vikings fan so don't hold that against me. I get a bit claustrophobic in the big city of Phoenix. I'm anxious to get out and see the incredible beauty that AZ offers.
 

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A decently low mileaged (relative) rubicon in my area Ive seen in mid to high 20s. Around 50-60k. Was 2017 I believe?

There there are others with a mere 4-6k 2019s for 40-41k

I bet with a little shopping around, youll find what you want at a good price. But dont wait if you find something. These things get snatched quickly.
 

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Choices, choices, choices--LOL. Thank all for your insight and suggestions. I definitely intend to buy used with a budget of around 20-25K. I like the idea of overdoing the suspension etc in the event the need arises. I am thinking the Rubicon is the direction I will go...great point on better resale and considering its not going to be back and forth to work … its primary purpose will be off-road excursions. Ideally I'd like to find something used that already has some nice accessories installed but I'm willing to trick it out to meet my needs. Its funny-a person could spend like crazy to customize these Wranglers. Cool! I don't want something so new that I freak with every scratch that it gets-my intention is to get it dirty and put it through its paces in the desert and mountains. Perfect paint is at the bottom of the list for me. Thanks all for taking time to respond-Maybe I'll catch you on the trails in a few months:)
We moved to AZ from MN about a year ago-born and raised in MN!-NO I'm not a Vikings fan so don't hold that against me. I get a bit claustrophobic in the big city of Phoenix. I'm anxious to get out and see the incredible beauty that AZ offers.
If you are buying used the higher resale value of a Rubicon can work against you as well. You will typically get a better condition newer Jeep for a given priced used if it is not a Rubicon. The higher resale value only helps if / when you intend to sell it.
If you want to pay the extra for a Rubicon, do it. But read up and see what that extra cost buys you. Only you can determine if it is right for you. The Rubicon has shorter gears, either 3.73 or 4.10 gears (you need to make sure which it has, some assume a Rubicon has the 4.10 gears but many automatics have the 3.73 gears). That can be nice, but you can get the 3.73 gears easily on a Sport or Sahara. The Rubicon has a push button sway bar disconnect. That is nice, but a manual disconnect is really cheap and easy. Sure, not as easy as pushing a button. But the push button system has restrictions on when it will allow you to disconnect, and many Rubicons end up fitting a manual system to physically disconnect. Some add a programmer that allows them to over-ride the system and disconnect when they want.
The Rubicon has a 4.1 gear for 4L in the Transfer case. I am not gonna lie, that is nice. And adding that to a non-Rubicon isn't cheap. But it can be done if you want it, and not everyone really wants that low a 4L gear. The Rubicon has a slightly better front axle, and if you want big tires, bigger than 35" tires, that can be an advantage. But that is also something that can always be done to a non-Rubicon down the road.
In the end, if you want the best off road Jeep you can buy stock, the Rubicon is it. But you pay extra for that. The reality though, is it would probably cost you more to upgrade a non-Rubicon to the level of a Rubicon. So if you want what a Rubicon can do it is cheaper to buy a Rubicon. But if you want more than what a Rubicon can do (like me) it is cheaper to start with a non-Rubicon.
There are so many different versions of Jeep. While a Rubicon is cool, unless that is really what you have your heart set on (and your prepared to pay for it) I would keep your options open and instead focus on finding one that floats your boat AND is a good value for the price. For me that means one as clean and near stock as possible. I am wary of Jeeps that have mods, often they are not well though out or done. Beware the Rough Country lift.
 

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From my perspective, I always am concerned with resale value, because it's very unlikely we're going to be burried with our current vehicles, regardless how long you intend to hold on to it.

I say, shop around for the highest model tier you can get with the lowest mileage. I wouldn't settle for a Sport unless it's the deal of the century. I got my Rubicon for a good price with only 64k miles, despite her being a 09. Was treated well, did some minor upgrades to it, gave it a much needed alignment and tightened the bolt on the track bar, and I'm set.

I know it sounds mean, but you can find it fairly easy to exploit those selling their vehicles, as generally they want out of it for one reason or another asap. So long as you verify it's not a pos, you can get a good deal if you can haggle. This also applies to dealerships. Leave at least 2-5 times, by saying no. They will chase/call/text you. I promise. They'll work your trade, lower the price of the Jeep, give you warranties for free, gap, whatever. End of month is the best time for a dealership as they have quotas to fill. Go on the last day of the month later in the evening. They'll break their back for you.
 

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If you're new to Phoenix, you might want to pick up books by Scott Deuty. He's a friend and has written a few books about offroading around Phoenix. He's lived there forever.
 
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