4 dr Willys vs. Sahara : Comparison assistance

MidwestJeeper

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Hello JL community,

I'm about to place an order for a '21 JL. Can you all please help me compare the two trims?

The build& price only helps so much and I have tried to go through the order guide the best I can, but have the following questions.

TRIMS: '21 WILLYS 4DR vs. SAHARA UNLIMITED

  1. Engine: Set on the 2.0L Turbo
  2. T-case: Selec-Trac available on both or just the Sahara?
    If yes, does it make the Willys slightly more offroad worthy than the Sahara? With its Rubicon shocks, rock rails.......

  3. Anti-spin rear diff: Available on both trims?

  4. Cold weather package and tires: I will definitely get this package on either trim. I believe the Sahara gets the Dueler AT tires with this trim. Does the Willys get a different tire or is the Firestone Destination MT standard for this trim?
    I have read mixed reviews of the Firestone, being an MT tire.

    Going past the life of the stock tires, can i fit a 275 BFG KO2 on either trim?

  5. Shocks and suspension: Willys shares this with the Rubicon . How do they compare to the Sahara's?

  6. Hard top headliner: Worth the money? Does it really help dampen the road noise that much?

  7. Hinge gate reinforcement: Mopar option or are there better options aftermarket?

  8. Value retention over 3-5 years: Willys > Sahara, since it is a limited availability trim?

Looking forward to your responses. Can't wait to place an order!!!!!





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The Last Cowboy

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Order the Anti Spin rear differential and you get a Dana M220.

The Firestones come on all Willys. They are agressive and a little noisy, but ride well. Both the Willys and Sahara have 32" tires. Going up to 33s won't be an issue as long as you don't go too wide.

Willys has Rubicon shocks, but the same springs as a Sport or Sahara.

The headliner is not that great, I have one in mine. It isn't worth the price.

No need for a hinge reinforcement with tires under 35". Most don't truly reinforce the hinge, just the tailgate itself.

Resale won't matter that much, all Wranglers bring stupid money used.
 

aldo98229

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Welcome to the forum!

See my responses below.

Hello JL community,

I'm about to place an order for a '21 JL. Can you all please help me compare the two trims?

The build& price only helps so much and I have tried to go through the order guide the best I can, but have the following questions.

TRIMS: '21 WILLYS 4DR vs. SAHARA UNLIMITED

  1. Engine: Set on the 2.0L Turbo
  2. T-case: Selec-Trac available on both or just the Sahara? —I believe Selec-Trac was extended to the entire Wrangler lineup in 2021
    If yes, does it make the Willys slightly more offroad worthy than the Sahara? With its Rubicon shocks, rock rails....... —No. Selec-Trac’s auto feature is for on-road use. So it makes no difference off-road. It will make a difference if you drive in snow, though.

  3. Anti-spin rear diff: Available on both trims? —comes standard when you order Selec-Trac.

  4. Cold weather package and tires: I will definitely get this package on either trim. I believe the Sahara gets the Dueler AT tires with this trim. Does the Willys get a different tire or is the Firestone Destination MT standard for this trim?
    I have read mixed reviews of the Firestone, being an MT tire. —yes, Firestone is an MT. The Bridgestone Dueler is an excellent all-around, capable, comfortable AT tire, however. It tends to get underrated because it doesn’t look all that aggressive. If it is consolation, the Duelers you get with the Cold Weather Group have a much more aggressive tread than the Duelers you used to get on JK Sahara.

    Going past the life of the stock tires, can i fit a 275 BFG KO2 on either trim? —yes, that’s what I have. See below.

  5. Shocks and suspension: Willys shares this with the Rubicon . How do they compare to the Sahara's? —Sahara’s shock and tire combo maximizes daily-driving comfort

  6. Hard top headliner: Worth the money? Does it really help dampen the road noise that much? —they reduce unwanted din from bouncing off the hard fiberglass surface more than anything else. It also adds a layer of weather insulation. I think they are worth it, but it is easy to add afterwards. I believe Sahara also adds sound deadening material throughout the vehicle, under the hood, etc.

  7. Hinge gate reinforcement: Mopar option or are there better options aftermarket? —you won’t need it for 33” tires

  8. Value retention over 3-5 years: Willys > Sahara, since it is a limited availability trim? —all Wranglers hold their value well. Some believe Rubicons hold their value better but I haven’t seen any evidence of it once you account for the fact that you had to pay more upfront. I have owned several Rubicons and Saharas over the years and they both held their value equally well and were easy to resell. In fact, I took the biggest hit on a JKUR Rubicon Recon; it was the most expensive Wrangler I ever bought, too. Jeep’s so-called “special editions” are really just “value packages” with fancy names. There’s no limited availability; you can get the same stuff on pretty much any special edition on a Sport, Sahara or Rubicon as a stand alone option.

Looking forward to your responses. Can't wait to place an order!!!!!
 
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aldo98229

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entropy

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Keep in mind the willys comes with 17in wheels vs. 18in wheels (Sahara). The 17 in wheels are "better" because you will have more rubber on the trail. Willys comes standard with the LSD and rock rails I believe? The Sahara comes with ugly and worthless plastic steps. You can get the willys with Good Year Wrangler kevlar A/T tires, however, the M/T tires are superior. You could sell them and get Rubicon takeoff tires, selling the Wrangler A/T would be tough.

I personally think the willys is a much better deal and looks way better than the Sahara. But that's up to you of course.
 

R3TRO

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I'm quite happy with my Willys and it's standard package:
-Dana M220 LSD
-Rubicon rock rails
-Rubicon shocks
-Firestone MT (great tire!)
-all weather mats
-LED headlamps/fog
-bigger brakes

Mine came with the following additional options:
-hard top w/headliner
-7" infotainment
-Safety Group (LED tail lamps, blind spot)

I'd say the headliner helps a little, but on the freeway you can still hear wind noise. The tires are actually much quieter than I expected and very comfortable on the pavement. I think they also look great on the Willys trim. The rock rails are not a step, so it does take a little effort to 'hop' into the seat. The LED headlights are nice and bright. I really like the all weather mats and the removable plugs to drain excess water. The 7" (or larger) screen I'd say is a must. The interface is much better and the backup camera looks really good on it, nice and sharp.

I wanted blind spot monitoring which also came with LED tail lights which look really nice. I think this is a great package. I personally think the advanced safety package is pointless as it looks to be intrusive and annoying and would probably turn all that crap off.

The only thing I wish mine had was heated seats. For some reason it's almost impossible to find the Cold Weather Group on any Jeep in SoCal. I saw them on fully loaded Rubicons and a few Saharas, but not a single Willys.

I will only be taking my Jeep light offroading, overlanding, and camping. The Rubicon was too extreme (and expensive!) for my needs and the Sahara was too pavement focused. I think the Willys fills the gap well.

Good luck with your decision. And what ever you get, don't forget to wave! :)
 
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MidwestJeeper

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Keep in mind the willys comes with 17in wheels vs. 18in wheels (Sahara). The 17 in wheels are "better" because you will have more rubber on the trail. Willys comes standard with the LSD and rock rails I believe? The Sahara comes with ugly and worthless plastic steps. You can get the willys with Good Year Wrangler kevlar A/T tires, however, the M/T tires are superior. You could sell them and get Rubicon takeoff tires, selling the Wrangler A/T would be tough.

I personally think the willys is a much better deal and looks way better than the Sahara. But that's up to you of course.
Yes, the 17" wheels on the Willys would definitely be better on the trail. Rock rails are standard on the Willys, not sure about the LSD.

I didn't know the Willys could be ordered with the Good Year Wrangler A/Ts. If it is possible, that would be a very interesting option. I have them on my Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and they are a really good all round tire
 

aldo98229

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Thank you for your input. The Sahara with the 275 BFGs looks so different - in a much better way!
Thanks.

Goes to show how little it takes to improve the looks.

8DD67160-B1D8-4398-898A-88C3438BF9A8.jpeg


BTW, those “useless” side steps, as someone called them, do an excellent job protecting the sides of the Jeep from flying rocks and debris, from getting dinged in parking lots, and I even had them protect the sides of my Jeep on the trail against “wandering” trees. They are surprisingly tough little b*tches. Within 12 months, the door hinges on my Rubicons had the paint chipped off without those side steps.
 
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MidwestJeeper

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I'm quite happy with my Willys and it's standard package:
-Dana M220 LSD
-Rubicon rock rails
-Rubicon shocks
-Firestone MT (great tire!)
-all weather mats
-LED headlamps/fog
-bigger brakes

Mine came with the following additional options:
-hard top w/headliner
-7" infotainment
-Safety Group (LED tail lamps, blind spot)

I'd say the headliner helps a little, but on the freeway you can still hear wind noise. The tires are actually much quieter than I expected and very comfortable on the pavement. I think they also look great on the Willys trim. The rock rails are not a step, so it does take a little effort to 'hop' into the seat. The LED headlights are nice and bright. I really like the all weather mats and the removable plugs to drain excess water. The 7" (or larger) screen I'd say is a must. The interface is much better and the backup camera looks really good on it, nice and sharp.

I wanted blind spot monitoring which also came with LED tail lights which look really nice. I think this is a great package. I personally think the advanced safety package is pointless as it looks to be intrusive and annoying and would probably turn all that crap off.

The only thing I wish mine had was heated seats. For some reason it's almost impossible to find the Cold Weather Group on any Jeep in SoCal. I saw them on fully loaded Rubicons and a few Saharas, but not a single Willys.

I will only be taking my Jeep light offroading, overlanding, and camping. The Rubicon was too extreme (and expensive!) for my needs and the Sahara was too pavement focused. I think the Willys fills the gap well.

Good luck with your decision. And what ever you get, don't forget to wave! :)
Thank you for your input. Nice to get them from a Willys owner himself.

I might pass on the headliner option. doesn't seem to be worth the money.

Would love to get the rock rails instead of the plastic steps, which would help short folk like my wife and mom get in easier but would probably be a hindrance on a trail.

Cold Weather Group is mandatory for me. Where you are at is WAY warmer than where I'm at LOL.

I'm with you on the last point - Rubicon is too expensive and extreme for me too. I don't need that for what I will be using the Jeep for.
 
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MidwestJeeper

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Thanks.

Goes to show how little it takes to improve the looks.

8DD67160-B1D8-4398-898A-88C3438BF9A8.jpeg


BTW, those “useless” side steps, as someone called them, do an excellent job protecting the sides of the Jeep from flying debris, from getting dinged in parking lots, and I even had them protect the sides of my Jeep on the trail against “wandering” trees. They are surprisingly tough little things.
AHH! Thanks again, Aldo. I was already starting to get nervous about the side steps, but you bailed me out there.

Very happy to read about the trail part also. I started to think they were just there to help people jump in and out and pretty much a PITA off the beaten path.
How mild/moderate/severe is your trail use on a scale of 1-10, 10 being stuff like Rubicon or Hell's Revenge trails and 1 being farm roads?

With the 275s, it looks like your Sahara now sits almost as high as the Rubicon, give or take an inch?
 
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aldo98229

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AHH! Thanks again, Aldo. I was already starting to get nervous about the side steps, but you bailed me out there.

Very happy to read the trail part also. I started to think they were just there to help people jump in and out and pretty much a PITA off the beaten path.

With the 275s, it looks like your Sahara now sits almost as high as the Rubicon, give or take an inch?
The stock tire on Sahara is 255/70R18, which is 32.1 x 10 inches. These 275/70R18 are 33.2 x 10.8 inches; exactly one 1.1 inch taller. But because the tires lift the Jeep at the axle, the net gain is 1/2-inch.

The 275 do fill up the space around the wheel well with more rubber. But perhaps the single greatest visual impact on Sahara is actually from the increased tire tread of the KO2s.

I should say that I did notice a slight rub at extreme articulation; 99% of the time there isn’t any rub though. So that’s not enough to concern me.

Another Sahara owner went with 285/65R18 KO2s, which is 32.7 x 11.2 inches; it looked pretty good too. Personally, I prefer the more classic taller & narrower tire look on a Jeep, though.
 

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