HAVE DONE MY RESEARCH, BUT NEED SOME ADVICE ON WHICH JL IS RIGHT FOR ME

alksion

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You're exactly the guy I was hoping I would find on here......lol.
Fun factor: there is no doubt I will love the V8 and probable feel that I'm driving a muscle car on stilts.
Here are main questions I'm hoping you can elaborate on:

1. Driving dynamics on road if I'm doing long road trips. For example, outside of taking trips on weekends 3 hours to phoenix a fair amount, I may want to drive it across AZ into so-cal to visit family when I don't feel like flying. How would you compare them comfort wise? Do the fox shocks on the 392 actually make it as or more comfortable than your Sahara altitude?

2. The 392 comes with full time 4wd, but the Sahara can be equipped with the Selec Trac option as well. How would you say each would do in snow/bad roads? This will be an issue for me during the winter time.

3. My daily commute is super short (just under a mile each way). Therefore, the eco diesel isn't an option. The turbo 4 is what I would get if I got the Sahara altitude. I'm guessing you have this engine.......how do you like for DD?

4. Finally, off road wise........I don't feel I even need to ask this. the 392 is going to give me way more confidence wherever I take it c/w with the Sahara altitude (sans mods). How has your 392 done off road so far?
1. They definitely feel different. I wouldn’t even compare the two in terms of road manners. The Sahara with its Bridgestone Dueler ATs feels much more like a car than the 392 does. With that said, the 392 is going to be the primary vehicle for camping and towing our Turtleback trailer all across the country. If you’re considering a Jeep, you’re already sacrificing on road manners versus something like the new grand Cherokee with air suspension. The new two row grand Cherokee Trailhawk is actually quite an interesting SUV. If I was deciding between anything other than a Rubicon, I would probably go with a new grand Cherokee Trailhawk. To answer your question about the suspension, it’s quite comfortable on the 392, but as I mentioned the Sahara feels much more like a car than my 392 does.

2. That’s a good question. When we actually purchased the Sahara I was kicking myself for not going with the Selec-trac option as the wife and I snowboard. I took the Sahara up to big bear multiple times this season. The snow was deep enough and hardly any visible pavement that keeping it in 4H was no issue whatsoever. Once you get used to using the transfer case shifter, it’s really not that big of a deal. With that said, if you’re going to order one and you decide to choose a Sahara, just go with selec-trac as it will favor driving in mixed conditions.

3. We have the 3.6 with eTorque on the Sahara. No issues with the engine whatsoever after almost one year of ownership. I quite like it but I’ve never test driven the 2.0 turbo. My daily commute round-trip from my house to the office is about 3 miles. That ruled out the diesel for me as well. I thought about the 4xe, but it just didn’t excite me.

4. I was shocked. The differences between my wife’s Sahara and my 392 off-road were night and day. I’m sure if I had owned a Rubicon before I would not have been as surprised, but it was that noticeable of a difference. It really makes me want to get out there and test the limits of my vehicle. Really, a 392 on paper doesn’t make any sense but there’s not a moment that passes where I regret the purchase. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.

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alksion

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The 392 is not going to do squat for you in the snow. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Well, besides get you into the ditch faster...
I don’t think people buy the 392 with a goal of conquering deep snow and treacherous wintry conditions. The number one reason for purchasing a 392 is for the fun factor and the smile you get when pushing on that pedal.

With that said, it’s still a Rubicon at it’s core. It’s one of the most capable off road vehicles from the factory line. Sure lockers can get someone stuck deeper than they wanted to be, but that can happen in any rubicon. It’s not 392 specific.

As always, education and practice for the best off road experience. I’ve barely been a Jeep owner for 11 months and I’ve already learned so much in this short period of time. That’s because of people on this forum and then going out and practicing :)
 
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bruin1md

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1. They definitely feel different. I wouldn’t even compare the two in terms of road manners. The Sahara with its Bridgestone Dueler ATs feels much more like a car than the 392 does. With that said, the 392 is going to be the primary vehicle for camping and towing our Turtleback trailer all across the country. If you’re considering a Jeep, you’re already sacrificing on road manners versus something like the new grand Cherokee with air suspension. The new two row grand Cherokee Trailhawk is actually quite an interesting SUV. If I was deciding between anything other than a Rubicon, I would probably go with a new grand Cherokee Trailhawk. To answer your question about the suspension, it’s quite comfortable on the 392, but as I mentioned the Sahara feels much more like a car than my 392 does.

2. That’s a good question. When we actually purchased the Sahara I was kicking myself for not going with the Selec-trac option as the wife and I snowboard. I took the Sahara up to big bear multiple times this season. The snow was deep enough and hardly any visible pavement that keeping it in 4H was no issue whatsoever. Once you get used to using the transfer case shifter, it’s really not that big of a deal. With that said, if you’re going to order one and you decide to choose a Sahara, just go with selec-trac as it will favor driving in mixed conditions.

3. We have the 3.6 with eTorque on the Sahara. No issues with the engine whatsoever after almost one year of ownership. I quite like it but I’ve never test driven the 2.0 turbo. My daily commute round-trip from my house to the office is about 3 miles. That ruled out the diesel for me as well. I thought about the 4xe, but it just didn’t excite me.

4. I was shocked. The differences between my wife’s Sahara and my 392 off-road were night and day. I’m sure if I had owned a Rubicon before I would not have been as surprised, but it was that noticeable of a difference. It really makes me want to get out there and test the limits of my vehicle. Really, a 392 on paper doesn’t make any sense but there’s not a moment that passes where I regret the purchase. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.

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Wow. You've given me something to think about.......

I actually anticipated that with the upgraded Fox shocks, you were going to say that the 392 would actually ride better on pavement than the Sahara. In fact, I have a friend in Florida who swears his Rubicon (with the 2.0) rides better than his prior Sahara........ and that's with the standard Rubicon shocks. And they were both JL models.

For me, the 392 is going to be DD. Short trips to work and around town here at altitude -- I think it's going to be a blast. Second, I think it will a ton of fun on the trails I decide to do (as would the Sahara I'm sure). I just have so many off road courses and places to explore, that a Rubicon makes a lot of sense. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to feel 'punished' during the long commutes to Phoenix. But that doesn't seem like it will be the case.

Regarding the GC Trailhawk: I test drove both the V6 and 5.7 V8 versions of it. It drives well, but doesn't excite me at all. More importantly, given that it will be upgraded in 2022, I would wait a few years before getting one and let them work out the kinks-- not to mention this is not the time to buy any vehicle that depreciates as badly as a GC does-- given the lack of discounts available at this time. This is the time to buy a vehicle that holds value (i.e. any Rubicon).
Interestingly, I drove a Sahara with the 3.0 ED right after driving the V8 GC Trailhawk and was shocked at how well the Sahara drove on road, and also amazed at how much better it felt off road than the GC.

Final question: I watched a video where the 392 looked to handle incredibly well (for a Wrangler). Do you find it handles better than the Sahara..... specifically on turns and windy roads?
And do you think it would be just as fun if it was your DD?
 

alksion

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Wow. You've given me something to think about.......

I actually anticipated that with the upgraded Fox shocks, you were going to say that the 392 would actually ride better on pavement than the Sahara. In fact, I have a friend in Florida who swears his Rubicon (with the 2.0) rides better than his prior Sahara........ and that's with the standard Rubicon shocks. And they were both JL models.

For me, the 392 is going to be DD. Short trips to work and around town here at altitude -- I think it's going to be a blast. Second, I think it will a ton of fun on the trails I decide to do (as would the Sahara I'm sure). I just have so many off road courses and places to explore, that a Rubicon makes a lot of sense. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to feel 'punished' during the long commutes to Phoenix. But that doesn't seem like it will be the case.

Regarding the GC Trailhawk: I test drove both the V6 and 5.7 V8 versions of it. It drives well, but doesn't excite me at all. More importantly, given that it will be upgraded in 2022, I would wait a few years before getting one and let them work out the kinks-- not to mention this is not the time to buy any vehicle that depreciates as badly as a GC does-- given the lack of discounts available at this time. This is the time to buy a vehicle that holds value (i.e. any Rubicon).
Interestingly, I drove a Sahara with the 3.0 ED right after driving the V8 GC Trailhawk and was shocked at how well the Sahara drove on road, and also amazed at how much better it felt off road than the GC.

Final question: I watched a video where the 392 looked to handle incredibly well (for a Wrangler). Do you find it handles better than the Sahara..... specifically on turns and windy roads?
And do you think it would be just as fun if it was your DD?
The 392 is my daily DD. I think it handles better, but definitely feels more like a truck than the Sahara. If you have the means, I would place an order as soon as the 2022 orders open up. It might not be till January or February for delivery.
 

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I will say this. My wife now has a 21 willys with the 2.0 turbo and before that she had a 2018 V6. In my opinion the 2.0 is way way way better. It's quicker. Seems a little better on gas and just overall much more fun to drive then the v6 was.
 

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I don’t think people buy the 392 with a goal of conquering deep snow and treacherous wintry conditions. The number one reason for purchasing a 392 is for the fun factor and the smile you get when pushing on that pedal.

With that said, it’s still a Rubicon at it’s core. It’s one of the most capable off road vehicles from the factory line. Sure lockers can get someone stuck deeper than they wanted to be, but that can happen in any rubicon. It’s not 392 specific.

As always, education and practice for the best off road experience. I’ve barely been a Jeep owner for 11 months and I’ve already learned so much in this short period of time. That’s because of people on this forum and then going out and practicing :)
Point taken. My post was directed at the OP asking specifically about the 392 in snow.

I’ve owned enough 392s to know that they are many good things; a traction aid in winter conditions ain’t one of them.
 

alksion

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Point taken. My post was directed at the OP asking specifically about the 392 in snow.

I’ve owned enough 392s to know that they are many good things; a traction aid in winter conditions ain’t one of them.
All good my friend. I wonder what the winters in northern AZ look like?
 

aldo98229

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All good my friend. I wonder what the winters in northern AZ look like?
I think I recall him saying that he was at 7,000 ft in elevation. If so, he is going to be driving in snow for a couple months a year.
 

alksion

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I think I recall him saying that he was at 7,000 ft in elevation. If so, he is going to be driving in snow for a couple months a year.
Oh yeah he’ll have some nice winters.
 
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All good my friend. I wonder what the winters in northern AZ look like?

Snow in the winters--usually not too heavy from what I understand (this will be my first), but they're expecting heavier than usual snowfall this year.

BTW, it looks like you opted for the larger 35" tires with the Xtreme Recon package, which I'm guessing also exaggerates the differences in ride quality with your wife's Sahara-- especially if she has the stock 31" tires.
 
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bruin1md

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I think I recall him saying that he was at 7,000 ft in elevation. If so, he is going to be driving in snow for a couple months a year.

I just noticed your second car...........how do you like your Spider? I bet it's a ton of fun during the summers there.
 

alksion

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Snow in the winters--usually not too heavy from what I understand (this will be my first), but they're expecting heavier than usual snowfall this year.

BTW, it looks like you opted for the larger 35" tires with the Xtreme Recon package, which I'm guessing also exaggerates the differences in ride quality with your wife's Sahara-- especially if she has the stock 31" tires.
No, I didn’t get the XR which comes with the BFG 35s. I went with the BFG 37s.
 

aldo98229

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I just noticed your second car...........how do you like your Spider? I bet it's a ton of fun during the summers there.
Love the little car! It is fun as hell to drive, sounds awesome and looks like a million bucks.

Took it down to Mount Rainier and Mount St Helens 10 days ago. It was 70 degrees, perfect blue skies and no crowds.

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bruin1md

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Love the little car! It is fun as hell to drive, sounds awesome and looks like a million bucks.

Took it down to Mount Rainier and Mount St Helens 10 days ago. It was 70 degrees, perfect blue skies and no crowds.

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Looks amazing. My eventual plan is to get back into a mid engine car (I've owned a 2008 Porsche Cayman S that I often miss) in a couple of years. I figure a used 718 in a 6mt will be the way to go since every Porscheophile I know hates that turbo 4 engine. Ergo, there should be some good deals out there.

Regarding my Jeep build, you seem to be more inclined towards recommending going the Sahara altitude route with a turbo 4 over spending all that extra $$$ on a 392.
Keep in mind, I won't be able to have a second 'fun' car for the forseeable future (garage space issues )..........that's why I thought the 392 might be a jack of all trades vehicle that also puts a lot of smiles on my face.
Granted, if I'm getting 9mpg while climbing mountains, that may get a bit annoying after a while........lol.
But since getting a SRT challenger with the 392 engine isn't an option as a second vehicle, I've been perhaps overly infatuated with the 392.
 

aldo98229

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Looks amazing. My eventual plan is to get back into a mid engine car (I've owned a 2008 Porsche Cayman S that I often miss) in a couple of years. I figure a used 718 in a 6mt will be the way to go since every Porscheophile I know hates that turbo 4 engine. Ergo, there should be some good deals out there.

Regarding my Jeep build, you seem to be more inclined towards recommending going the Sahara altitude route with a turbo 4 over spending all that extra $$$ on a 392.
Keep in mind, I won't be able to have a second 'fun' car for the forseeable future (garage space issues )..........that's why I thought the 392 might be a jack of all trades vehicle that also puts a lot of smiles on my face.
Granted, if I'm getting 9mpg while climbing mountains, that may get a bit annoying after a while........lol.
But since getting a SRT challenger with the 392 engine isn't an option as a second vehicle, I've been perhaps overly infatuated with the 392.
Sounds like your mind’s made up.

If you can afford the 392, then get it. It will be loads of fun. But don’t try to rationalize your purchase thinking that “392 will be better in snow” or any of that, cuz it won’t be.

Just be honest with yourself and get it; it’s okay to have fun.

Good luck!
 
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