2019 New Owner initial impressions

JoeFromPA

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Hi all,

In 2003 I bought a '97 TJ Sahara 5-speed and sold it a year later due to being a broke college student. Loved it but haven't had a Jeep since then.

Yesterday my wife and I picked up our Firecracker red on black cloth JLU Sahara 6mt. Packages include Infotainment, LED, cold weather group, remote keyless entry, premium softtop, and polished tech gray wheels.

Oh and we promptly threw a full size rear facing car seat, a full size front facing car seat, and a booster seat in the rear to fit our 3 boys :)

I've put 150 miles on it so far and wanted to share a bunch of initial impressions. By way of background: I daily drive a 2015 BMW m3 with a manual transmission (year round), my wife daily's a honda minivan, and we have a history of various fun cars we've tried at different times.

..... on to impressions:

Powertrain: The 3.6 is one of the smoothest and tractable engines I've ever enjoyed. It's just an easy going rev happy engine with a great match to the vehicle. I'm still learning it and breaking it in.

The gearing is taller than I'm used too. First is short (and difficult to start smoothly in), 2nd is perfect, 3rd drops a good bit but is a great all purpose gear from ~30-55mph or so, 4th-6th are pretty much highway/overdrive gears. In 6th gear at 65mph I went up a modest incline and couldn't maintain speed without potentially lugging the engine. At the same time, the Jeep will pull up to 80mph smoothly and cruise happily.

The clutch pedal travel is a tad too short, and the throttle a tad too sensitive during gear engagements, but the shifter is perfect and I'll learn the clutch and throttle sensitivities. Not a hard vehicle to drive smoothly at all - taking off from 1st is not smooth though (yet).

Overall the drivetrain as a whole is just smooth and very well delivered. If I'd do anything I would add rev-matching to the manual transmission - if you haven't experienced it, it's glorious for working the gearbox while minimizing clutch and transmission wear and drivetrain lash.

Suspension/Steering: Wow, the suspension on this thing is unreal for a solid axle off-road machine. It drives beautifully on road. Steering is also very direct, positive, and predictable. My tires are at ~41-42 PSI from the dealer- so far. I'm enjoying so much the road feel of this thing - a tad bouncy but very connected feeling.

Brakes: Superb stock braking, simply superb. Predictable and confidence inspiring - easy to modulate. No complaints, especially on AT tires.

Interior: I got the infotainment package, it's a Sahara, and black cloth. I find the interior to be just about the perfect balance of "nice" and rugged. It's very attractive throughout - nice touches, not too spartan or too loaded up. The backseat is JUST wide enough to fit my configuration of kids - 51" which becomes 19" for the baby seat, 17" for the full size front facing seat (Diono Radian RXT), and ~15" for the booster seat. Literally not 1" to spare - hell not .5".

A few minor quibbles on the interior: Jeep threw in their floor mats package - but no rubber mat for the trunk? Seems an oversight. When they re-designed the softop - which was fairly well done - they should have figured out a way to make the soft top rear window fold up during load. It's ridiculous to have to remove the rear soft top panel to have full size access to the trunk with the soft top on. I know this is a long-standing Jeep thing - but it's not good design.

Exterior: Man this thing is gorgeous and I love all the little touches on the exterior. The paint is beautiful and well done - no orange peel that I can see, even application, and all painted parts show great. Haven't seen any imperfections either.

I love the upgraded wheels more than I thought I would. The side steps. And the softtop looks perfect - very nice fit.

Quibbles on the exterior: The front grill and headlight surround feels like cheap plastic. I pushed on it gently last night to clean a bug off and it creake
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Dansjeep

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lol to long for me to read all of it but I hope you enjoy it as much as I am with 19 JLUR!

im sure it is 10000x different then your first jeep from college lol
 

HealthRebel

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2020 JLRU Ocean Blue
Hi all,

In 2003 I bought a '97 TJ Sahara 5-speed and sold it a year later due to being a broke college student. Loved it but haven't had a Jeep since then.

Yesterday my wife and I picked up our Firecracker red on black cloth JLU Sahara 6mt. Packages include Infotainment, LED, cold weather group, remote keyless entry, premium softtop, and polished tech gray wheels.

Oh and we promptly threw a full size rear facing car seat, a full size front facing car seat, and a booster seat in the rear to fit our 3 boys :)

I've put 150 miles on it so far and wanted to share a bunch of initial impressions. By way of background: I daily drive a 2015 BMW m3 with a manual transmission (year round), my wife daily's a honda minivan, and we have a history of various fun cars we've tried at different times.

..... on to impressions:

Powertrain: The 3.6 is one of the smoothest and tractable engines I've ever enjoyed. It's just an easy going rev happy engine with a great match to the vehicle. I'm still learning it and breaking it in.

The gearing is taller than I'm used too. First is short (and difficult to start smoothly in), 2nd is perfect, 3rd drops a good bit but is a great all purpose gear from ~30-55mph or so, 4th-6th are pretty much highway/overdrive gears. In 6th gear at 65mph I went up a modest incline and couldn't maintain speed without potentially lugging the engine. At the same time, the Jeep will pull up to 80mph smoothly and cruise happily.

The clutch pedal travel is a tad too short, and the throttle a tad too sensitive during gear engagements, but the shifter is perfect and I'll learn the clutch and throttle sensitivities. Not a hard vehicle to drive smoothly at all - taking off from 1st is not smooth though (yet).

Overall the drivetrain as a whole is just smooth and very well delivered. If I'd do anything I would add rev-matching to the manual transmission - if you haven't experienced it, it's glorious for working the gearbox while minimizing clutch and transmission wear and drivetrain lash.

Suspension/Steering: Wow, the suspension on this thing is unreal for a solid axle off-road machine. It drives beautifully on road. Steering is also very direct, positive, and predictable. My tires are at ~41-42 PSI from the dealer- so far. I'm enjoying so much the road feel of this thing - a tad bouncy but very connected feeling.

Brakes: Superb stock braking, simply superb. Predictable and confidence inspiring - easy to modulate. No complaints, especially on AT tires.

Interior: I got the infotainment package, it's a Sahara, and black cloth. I find the interior to be just about the perfect balance of "nice" and rugged. It's very attractive throughout - nice touches, not too spartan or too loaded up. The backseat is JUST wide enough to fit my configuration of kids - 51" which becomes 19" for the baby seat, 17" for the full size front facing seat (Diono Radian RXT), and ~15" for the booster seat. Literally not 1" to spare - hell not .5".

A few minor quibbles on the interior: Jeep threw in their floor mats package - but no rubber mat for the trunk? Seems an oversight. When they re-designed the softop - which was fairly well done - they should have figured out a way to make the soft top rear window fold up during load. It's ridiculous to have to remove the rear soft top panel to have full size access to the trunk with the soft top on. I know this is a long-standing Jeep thing - but it's not good design.

Exterior: Man this thing is gorgeous and I love all the little touches on the exterior. The paint is beautiful and well done - no orange peel that I can see, even application, and all painted parts show great. Haven't seen any imperfections either.

I love the upgraded wheels more than I thought I would. The side steps. And the softtop looks perfect - very nice fit.

Quibbles on the exterior: The front grill and headlight surround feels like cheap plastic. I pushed on it gently last night to clean a bug off and it creake
Great review. It sounds like overall, you are very happy with your purchase. This is good to know.

I will be pulling the trigger on either ordering a 2020 JLRU as soon as the ordering banks open up or making a great deal on an existing 2019. I have owned 2 Wranglers in the past, a 2002 and a 2012. I am coming out of a Mini Cooper S 6-spd. manual. This is about as opposite a Wrangler as you can get, right? Very quick and fun on the corners! So fun that I am about to put on my 4th set of tires at 41K miles. Yeah... 4th set!

I am hoping that some of the steering and "cracked-proned windshield" issues that have plagued some of the 2018-2019's are solved with the 2020 models. It seems that there is so much push from the government for auto manufacturers to improve gas mileage that they are forced to use thinner plastic parts that "creak" when you push them and thin, lighter weight windshields that crack way too easily.
 

RagTopDeluxe

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Congratulations!!

Suspension/Steering: Wow, the suspension on this thing is unreal for a solid axle off-road machine. It drives beautifully on road. Steering is also very direct, positive, and predictable. My tires are at ~41-42 PSI from the dealer- so far. I'm enjoying so much the road feel of this thing - a tad bouncy but very connected feeling.
You’re lucky here!
 

Robe81

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Congrats on the Jeep!!!

I would say I mostly agree with all your impressions as well. Third gear is really impressive and I'm shocked at how versatile it is.

Only thing I dont agree with is the steering. It does seem to be rather loose, especially at higher speeds. I had a 94 Bronco that had less play. Hopefully they release a fix for it. I can live with it, but I know it can be better.
 
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JoeFromPA

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A few notes on steering:

I daily drive a 2015 BMW m3 - a car built to go up against 911s on the track in 4-door form (that's not an exaggeration, though to be clear it is a compromise road/sports car). I'm used to extremely tight and responsive and well-tracked steering and I had this concern coming into the Jeep.

I have read many threads on steering and most commonly I see references to PSI but rarely to tire type/brand. Steering feel is simply a set of mechanical components, alignment, tire construction, and tire pressure. Let's assume no variance in mechanical components - haven't seen that anywhere anyway - and let's assume that people with problems have reported switching tires (i.e. changing sizes) and improving their symptoms. What does this tell you? It's not mechanical components or alignment. It's tire construction and pressure.

In the sports car world tires play a huge role in tramlining, tracking, and steering tightness. I would expect this to be exacerbated in Jeeps and I would expect A/T tires with no circumferential tread pattern (i.e. a single piece of vulcanized rubber running the circumference of the tire maintaining constant contact with the road) to create more issues as they wear.

My jeep at 250 miles tracks straight but definitely has some solid play/looseness in the steering wheel. BUT, it's not a PROBLEM because it's predictable looseness and predominantly on-center looseness. Many manufacturers build in a "dead spot" on center along with self-aligning torque in the wheels so that bumps don't result in significant steering wheel motions and the wheels re-align themselves - thus the driver doesn't feel as much steering input/disruption. I would expect this with Jeep and it's what I've seen.

I'm not claiming there aren't owners with issues, but I am claiming what I've read indicates those issues have been inadequately researched, understood, baselined against what's normal, root-cause-analyzed adequately, and amplified by internet forums.

That's my impression at least.
 

Stretcher

Guest
A few notes on steering:

I daily drive a 2015 BMW m3 - a car built to go up against 911s on the track in 4-door form (that's not an exaggeration, though to be clear it is a compromise road/sports car). I'm used to extremely tight and responsive and well-tracked steering and I had this concern coming into the Jeep.

I have read many threads on steering and most commonly I see references to PSI but rarely to tire type/brand. Steering feel is simply a set of mechanical components, alignment, tire construction, and tire pressure. Let's assume no variance in mechanical components - haven't seen that anywhere anyway - and let's assume that people with problems have reported switching tires (i.e. changing sizes) and improving their symptoms. What does this tell you? It's not mechanical components or alignment. It's tire construction and pressure.

In the sports car world tires play a huge role in tramlining, tracking, and steering tightness. I would expect this to be exacerbated in Jeeps and I would expect A/T tires with no circumferential tread pattern (i.e. a single piece of vulcanized rubber running the circumference of the tire maintaining constant contact with the road) to create more issues as they wear.

My jeep at 250 miles tracks straight but definitely has some solid play/looseness in the steering wheel. BUT, it's not a PROBLEM because it's predictable looseness and predominantly on-center looseness. Many manufacturers build in a "dead spot" on center along with self-aligning torque in the wheels so that bumps don't result in significant steering wheel motions and the wheels re-align themselves - thus the driver doesn't feel as much steering input/disruption. I would expect this with Jeep and it's what I've seen.

I'm not claiming there aren't owners with issues, but I am claiming what I've read indicates those issues have been inadequately researched, understood, baselined against what's normal, root-cause-analyzed adequately, and amplified by internet forums.

That's my impression at least.
Many members should read this and research this as it may explain a lot. It seems they prefer on-point tightness that darts around vs. Predictable and tolerable steering over small bumps etc.
 
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JoeFromPA

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Many members should read this and research this as it may explain a lot. It seems they prefer on-point tightness that darts around vs. Predictable and tolerable steering over small bumps etc.
Thanks - Day 2 of jeep ownership and I'm quotable already?

I'm going to experiment a tad with mine but I can re-post this in a new thread on the actual research and options behind addressing steering issues.
 

HealthRebel

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2020 JLRU Ocean Blue
Many members should read this and research this as it may explain a lot. It seems they prefer on-point tightness that darts around vs. Predictable and tolerable steering over small bumps etc.
I agree. I think for a vehicle that is designed to go off road and to be exposed to more "bumps" than your average vehicle, they would purposely design a looseness, especially around the center point of the steering, otherwise it would deliver too much feedback. My point here does NOT take away from those that are experiencing way too much looseness where they feel they need to fight the vehicle to keep it centered. There are obvious issues that need to be addressed for those with abnormal tracking and steering issues.
 

MartyParty

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I feel like I learned a thing! Thanks for such a good review.

After about 15,000 miles, this engine breaks in better but damn, I’ve had so many stalls I’m Churchill flippin’ Downs over here. My ‘14 Mazda 3 hatch stalled like five times lol. The Pentastar 3.6 is great above 2 grand but let’s not talk about lower than that.

5th and 6th are both overdrive...it’s funny, if this wasn’t a Wrangler I’d prob get nice mpgeeez doing 90 in 6th gear but, yeah...85 is basically light speed in a Jeep
 
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