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I'm currently in the market for a 2 door JK model. I'm a college/military student with a limited budget. I plan on using it as a daily driver w/some offroading Being that the 2012 - current model has the V6 Pentastar. Are the 2012 + models that much better? Would I enjoy them better? Or would I be ok with a pre 2012 model?
 

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I'm currently in the market for a 2 door JK model. I'm a college/military student with a limited budget. I plan on using it as a daily driver w/some offroading Being that the 2012 - current model has the V6 Pentastar. Are the 2012 + models that much better? Would I enjoy them better? Or would I be ok with a pre 2012 model?
I had the same question when I bought my 2011 a month or two ago. Pentastar or not?

Ultimately, for me, it wasn't that much better to where it made me pass up a beautiful fully built Jeep, just because it had the 3.8.

There's a difference, and the 5speed Auto is much nicer, but it shouldn't be a deal breaker for you, IMHO.
 

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If you get a manual trans, I'd say the pre-2012 is OK.

But the pre-2012 auto trans is the 42RLE which is a front wheel drive minivan transmission modified to fit the 4x4 drive of a Jeep Wrangler.

It works as good as it sounds.

While many get lots of miles out of them, they have a poor reputation for reliability and a deserved reputation for poor gearing.

42RLE Issues and Resolutions
 

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I've got a 2011 two door and my wife has a 2014 4 door.

Both are 6 speed manual, and both have 3.73 gears.

Hers has noticeably more power. When mine was stock, it wasn't a night and day difference, but it was noticeable. Now that I've lifted mine and put bigger tires on it, there's a huge difference in power (and I only went up about 1 1/2" in tire size).

I'll be regearing sooner than later.

If you can find a 2012+ in your budget, I'd definitely go for that. However, 2011 and older shouldn't necessarily be a deal breaker.
 

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85 more HP, 2 more MPG, and a heavy duty 5 speed auto. So yeah. Now if it comes down to a pre-2012 or no jeep, I'd get the 3.8. But my advice is to save up a little longer and get a 2012+.
 

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We have our 2010 JKUR that we bought new and haven't had any serious issues. It burns a bit of oil but I run 10W-30 oil now and changed the PCV. It slowed the burn down quite a bit but it still burns some oil. About a quart every 3K miles. The rig is REAL slow, we have an auto but we're in no rush to get anywhere in the Jeep. We're waiting for the bugs to be worked out of the soon to come JL's and look forward to buying a new rig in 2020. I wouldn't steer away from the 3.8's if it's clean and in good shape, but the 3.6 is a real nice engine.
 

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My 09 with 4:10 gears is great, I can see 3:21s being a pooper to drive. I was in the same boat as Fatty, the cost of the newer model years wasn't justified by the guy paying the bill,,,,,me. Be prepared for many to spend your money. Only you can decide if the 3.6 and transmission is worth the additional cost.
 
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85 more HP, 2 more MPG, and a heavy duty 5 speed auto. So yeah. Now if it comes down to a pre-2012 or no jeep, I'd get the 3.8. But my advice is to save up a little longer and get a 2012+.

Don't get me wrong...I love my 2011. The engine is much stronger than the 2000 Ford Ranger 3.0 I came from.

My 3.8 doesn't burn or leak a drop of oil, even at almost 108,000 miles.

BUT, if there's one thing I wish it had, it's a bit more power.

That said, if I hadn't driven my wife's 2014, I'd probably be perfectly happy with the power my 2011 puts out.
 

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Jeep used that engine and transmission combo from 2007-2011. If there had been major issues with the design something would have been changed sooner.

I have a 2008 auto with 3:73 that is stock and 97k miles. It was clean, unmolested and never off road (best I can tell) when I bought it.

It runs great at 55 and runs just as nice at 75. I've pull boats, mowers and golf carts with it with no problems at all. It's not going to win a drag race with a vette, but it does fine for me and I am very happy with it.

I do not get off road like some of the folks here, but I do get out in the woods and in our pastures. I don't feel like I am missing out on anything with my 3.8.
 

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My 09 with 4:10 gears is great, I can see 3:21s being a pooper to drive. I was in the same boat as Fatty, the cost of the newer model years wasn't justified by the guy paying the bill,,,,,me. Be prepared for many to spend your money. Only you can decide if the 3.6 and transmission is worth the additional cost.
The 3.8 with 4 speed auto and 4.10's have virtually the same final drive ratios as the 3.6 5 speed auto with 3.21 gears, but the 3.6 has the extra transmission gear and way more power.

If either is the 'pooper' to drive, it'd be the 3.8 with 4.10's.
 

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The other big difference is if you care about the interior. 2011+ (yes 2011 with the old 3.8 still) have the newer interior if it matters to you. I just mention it because you didn't specify that you were asking only about the engines.
 

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The other big difference is if you care about the interior. 2011+ (yes 2011 with the old 3.8 still) have the newer interior if it matters to you. I just mention it because you didn't specify that you were asking only about the engines.
True. My 2011 2 door interior is pretty much identical to my wife's 2014 4 door (except hers has lighted cup holders and some lighting in the footwells).

Sent from my SM-T550 using Tapatalk
 

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True. My 2011 2 door interior is pretty much identical to my wife's 2014 4 door (except hers has lighted cup holders and some lighting in the footwells).

Sent from my SM-T550 using Tapatalk
Yeah I think that stuff is all 2013 or 2014+ tweaks they did. The 2010 and earlier interior is VERY different though. More than just a few lights or seat design changes.
 

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The 3.8 with 4 speed auto and 4.10's have virtually the same final drive ratios as the 3.6 5 speed auto with 3.21 gears, but the 3.6 has the extra transmission gear and way more power.

If either is the 'pooper' to drive, it'd be the 3.8 with 4.10's.
I was comparing an 09 4:10 to a 3:21, not vastly differing model years (apple to an orange).I'm not debating the 12s an up have more HP and a different trans. Again, only the buyer can decide if the additional cost is worth it.
 
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