Buying my first wrangler soon - need some educated input

M1kefries

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I’ve had a number of jeeps over the years, all sport and sahara’s. As other have said they are very capable and go just about anywhere you care to go. One benefit to owning those models was it made me develop my driving skills off road as they weren’t as capable, take that with a grain of salt, as a rubicon or other built rigs. As those skills developed led to the usual mods, tires, lift, gear swaps, etc to make the rig more capable. It was great fun learning and wrenching on the Jeep.

Fast forward to present and we currently own a ‘18 Rubicon and couldn’t be happier. Only significant mod we’ve done is to put 35” tires on and don’t expect to do much more re: drivetrain. The major benefits of the Rubicon are axles, lockers, gears, sway bar disco, and transfer case. All these things were on my mod list for the sport and Sahara’s owned in the past and are great additions for off roading. The lower gearing in the Rubicon makes a significant difference in the day to day running around town, especially with the 35’s.

So having been there and done that we opted for the Rubicon and love it. That being said starting with sport and Sahara models was a lot of fun. We got to meet great folks that helped in our modification process, read wrenching parties. This is all part of the Jeep lifestyle and we’ve made life long friendships along this journey.
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JaybearWL

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Jeep virgin here ‍♀

welp, I’ve got the blessing from my husband to finally do it. I’m gonna buy my first Jeep. Couple questions:

1) Not much experience off roading outside of 4 wheeling, and even that’s been a while. But I miss the off-road community and want to join the club. I’m ignorant to the capabilities of a Jeep other than my YouTube education, though. So, with that being said, I will go light in difficulty on trails for a while as I learn, but I plan to do just that: learn and improve. Biggest dilemma - can someone explain to me in dummy terms what the capability differences are in a rubicon vs. some other model? I understand the sway bar disconnect, I’m gonna call it the no tip sticks. But the other specs are Greek to me. Yes I know, why am I even considering a rubi if I don’t understand basic terminology, but again, I’m here to learn and listen. Once I start getting comfortable and decide to try more challenging trails, will I regret not having the rubicon? Will I be limited in the other models? Is it worth it to spend extra money now even if I may not need the extra beef right away?

2) less complicated question: live in GA, better to buy new or slightly used? Planning on buying JL

Btw, I’m not really wanting to get super crazy with mods. Probably. Idk. Famous last words? I plan on sticking to upgrade tires, rims, and lift at first. I hope that helps with the first question(s).
Hey, I'm a Georgia jeep virgin getting ready to buy too!
 

S2k Chris

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Hahahaha how Mr. Chris?? no really.. please elaborate? I want to know these things
Honestly, I bought the Jeep because of the doors off/top off thing, as a fun vehicle to drive around my two kids in the open air (my other car is a 2-seat sports car that can only take my older daughter, my younger daughter (2) is limited to just short rides in the immediate neighborhood, which she loves). I didn't think I'd be doing much, if any, offroading, maybe just a little bit of putzing around on the hunting property, which is basically just a network of grassy paths, not real "offroading".

However, I had the chance to visit an offroad park nearby (Badlands in Attica, IN) that I didn't know existed, found out there were others not too far away, and that I didn't need to drive out west to do some real offroading. So now that that bug has bitten, I wish I had the more rugged tires, lockers, etc, that came with the Rubicon. I leased my Jeep since I was wary of a new FCA model, and because it was a radical departure of vehicle type for me, so it doesn't make sense to dump a bunch of mods into it. When the lease is up, I'm pretty much guaranteed to jump to a Rubicon, and I will take advantage of more opportunities to take it off road, plus I'd like to do some road trips out west and explore.
 

Pandy316

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Once you go Rubicon, you don't go back. :jk: #blackJeepsmatter

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kubsr1976

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First time Jeeper...never done much off-roading. Went Rubicon because it does 99% of what ANYONE would want to do in a Jeep....EVER. The features of the Rubicon make off-roading easier to handle, both mentally and physically. No upgrades or mods needed.

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kwilliford93

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Welp guys...

I didn’t buy the rubicon. Tempting.. but I decided to go with a new sport s. I like the idea of learning first and upgrading later. I can’t imagine damaging a $60k car by doing something stupid on accident. Even still by the time I was done buying the car and doing some start up mods on the sport s, I was already at nearly $50k invested (with about 5k negative equity from my trade, but whatevs good thing these hold their value lol)

I’m sure I’m going to give in sooner or later. Until then, I’m gonna have some fun playing with and building this bad boy to my own. I really am in love with it and I can’t wait to see what it looks like after it’s lifted with the new wheels and such. Everyone’s input was very helpful and honest. Thanks for giving me a warm welcome to the club, I’ve already got some of my first waves :)

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twisty

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The truth is the stock Rubicon is like a highly modified Jeep of just a few years ago. 33 in tires used to be the gold standard for off roading just a few years ago. The stock Rubicon can do hard trails stock. People like me mod them for the looks and to make the hard trails easier.
very true and then some. I bought a 97 TJ new for just under 20 and modded the crap out of it. I KNOW I spent as much as I did on my 2018 ruby between vehicle costs and upgrades on it and that was 20 years ago.

The rubicon is more money but well worth the cost IF the OP has the slightest inkling of adventuring. It's money well spent.
 

DennyCrane

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I bought a 2018 JLU Sport in May. I'm seriously considering trading it in for a 2019 Rubicon. Get the Rubicon!
 

TJ2018

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Welp guys...

I didn’t buy the rubicon. Tempting.. but I decided to go with a new sport s. I like the idea of learning first and upgrading later. I can’t imagine damaging a $60k car by doing something stupid on accident. Even still by the time I was done buying the car and doing some start up mods on the sport s, I was already at nearly $50k invested (with about 5k negative equity from my trade, but whatevs good thing these hold their value lol)

I’m sure I’m going to give in sooner or later. Until then, I’m gonna have some fun playing with and building this bad boy to my own. I really am in love with it and I can’t wait to see what it looks like after it’s lifted with the new wheels and such. Everyone’s input was very helpful and honest. Thanks for giving me a warm welcome to the club, I’ve already got some of my first waves :)

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Congrats on your new Jeep! Very nice looking! Many folks here have plastidipped the wheels black with great looking results. It’s cheap to do, if you’d prefer black wheels. But probably not worth it if new wheels come sooner than later.

Enjoy the many adventures you and your Jeep will have!
 

Covet

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Welp guys...

I didn’t buy the rubicon. Tempting.. but I decided to go with a new sport s. I like the idea of learning first and upgrading later. I can’t imagine damaging a $60k car by doing something stupid on accident. Even still by the time I was done buying the car and doing some start up mods on the sport s, I was already at nearly $50k invested (with about 5k negative equity from my trade, but whatevs good thing these hold their value lol)

I’m sure I’m going to give in sooner or later. Until then, I’m gonna have some fun playing with and building this bad boy to my own. I really am in love with it and I can’t wait to see what it looks like after it’s lifted with the new wheels and such. Everyone’s input was very helpful and honest. Thanks for giving me a warm welcome to the club, I’ve already got some of my first waves :)

99FF98CC-240A-4705-A329-CF2285DBD075.jpeg


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You did good! Only advice, if you are planning on wheeling that new beast - the only only only upgrade i suggest it get you some decent A/T tires. Get them in stock rim size, etc. I don’t know if you are any where near a 4wheel parts (chain) store, but they bought my OEM tires from my FJ, discount tire sometimes will give you a credit if they are still pretty new as well. I have done both of these paths, the gist, go trade your highway tires in while they are still very new for a middle of the road A/T set - duratracs, Open Country a/t 2s, etc. anything like that will make a huge difference in your wheeling experience and with a trade in/credit shouldn’t be that expensive of a mod. Then then then enjoy your Jeep!
 

bturleysc

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Welp guys...

I didn’t buy the rubicon. Tempting.. but I decided to go with a new sport s. I like the idea of learning first and upgrading later. I can’t imagine damaging a $60k car by doing something stupid on accident. Even still by the time I was done buying the car and doing some start up mods on the sport s, I was already at nearly $50k invested (with about 5k negative equity from my trade, but whatevs good thing these hold their value lol)

I’m sure I’m going to give in sooner or later. Until then, I’m gonna have some fun playing with and building this bad boy to my own. I really am in love with it and I can’t wait to see what it looks like after it’s lifted with the new wheels and such. Everyone’s input was very helpful and honest. Thanks for giving me a warm welcome to the club, I’ve already got some of my first waves :)

99FF98CC-240A-4705-A329-CF2285DBD075.jpeg


AAACEACB-DB9F-4036-8D25-C67038F34E5D.jpeg
Congrats on your new Jeep! I'm sure you'll enjoy it. FYI, I put 33's on my Sport with no lift and I really like the look.

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iznthesky

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When you buy....which ever you buy, you will enjoy it. The sport is no slouch and mine has handled everything that I have thrown at it. My first three Jeeps were sports and all were great. Now that I am a little older with a little more expendable income I have the Rubicon. It is capable of overcoming the same obstacles that I did in my sport....but the Rubicon does it safely....where in my sport sometimes I had to get some momentum going.....and the Rubi just crawls over obstacles....no bumping or charging through it.
If you “order” one from your dealership....don’t waste the extra $ 1200 on the “steel bumper group”. The no extra cost “standard bumper” are good enough and you can use that $1200 towards some good aftermarket bumpers later. The OEM steel bumper group are totally not strong nor are they worth the cost.

My 2 cents worth.
 
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kwilliford93

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Congrats on your new Jeep! Very nice looking! Many folks here have plastidipped the wheels black with great looking results. It’s cheap to do, if you’d prefer black wheels. But probably not worth it if new wheels come sooner than later.

Enjoy the many adventures you and your Jeep will have!
Thank you!! I ordered these wheels, she’s in the shop right now getting lifted etc. Should get her back Tuesday!
 
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