How much better is the JL over the JK?

Biscuit

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Why is this so hard to understand? Do I need to borrow my son's Crayola box and draw a picture?
Oh, are you an accomplished artist, too, or do you just color by the numbers like us peasants? Bless your heart! :jk:
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Majestic

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I've had a YJ, ZJ, WJ, and two JKUs in terms of solid axle Jeeps. In my opinion, the JLU is only marginally better.

The handling/steering is HORRIBLE in the JLU. I'm starting to believe that it may be due to the front suspension and caster changes. I always read that the JKU was set to roughly 4.5° of caster from the factory. I poked around under my JLU last night with an angle tool and couldn't find anywhere near that amount of caster on my new Jeep. There are countless complaints online about terrible JLU steering. It's obviously a real issue, not a make believe one. At my first oil change, I will ask the dealership to check my alignment so I can get concrete caster numbers and see where I'm at.

The ride quality is firmer on JLU compared to my JKUs, and it's uneasy going into curves. I've owned dozens of vehicles of all types and I'm big into Mustangs so I'm very accustomed to driving curvy roads. The JLU is the first vehicle I've ever owned that doesn't feel planted in curves. It's a little un-nerving to be honest. I definitely wouldn't push this vehicle in the rain.

The interior comfort is worse on JLU. The seat/hip width is noticeably less. The leg room is worse. I have plenty of headroom at the Freedom Panels but I worry about hitting my head and killing myself on the sport bars in a crash. (6'3" and 225 lbs). The seats are not as cushioned. The back of the seat is as flat as a sheet of plywood. Overall, the JKU was very good for me on long trips. The JLU is a 30 minute or less vehicle only. This is the one area that I'm most disappointed.

Now, for the good stuff, they have clearly fixed the little issues that people griped about on JK. They've tried to improve all the little things that people notice in daily life. Better headlights, less chance for death wobble, no more "hammock" in the 2nd row center seating position, more angle to the 2nd row seatback, nicer looking fender flares, better designs on the tops to make them easier to use, door stops to hold the doors open while you're entering the vehicle, better audio systems, more information in the dash display, FAR better transmissions, better standard axle ratio, LED lighting for license plate, interior, etc. standard, better fuel economy (this is a big surprise for me...the JK was already great and the JL is about 2 MPG better for me so far), tire sizes that are common for a change and easy to find, cabin HVAC filter standard on more models, etc. etc. Just a lot of little changes that make the JL a better daily vehicle.

When I got mine in mid April, there was a JKU sitting right next to it. It was a tough choice. After a month with my JLU, if I had it to do all over again, it would still be a very tough choice. While I do appreciate the little things FCA has done to make the JL better, the fact is that the JK is cheaper, more comfortable, drives better, and already has a million aftermarket parts available.
Thanks for the honesty!
For those of us on the fence it's tough to find an honest opinion as forums by nature tend to bring out enthusiast who aren't quick to admit faults with their newest purchases. This has been true with every automotive forum for every car I've ever owned. Every car is the best car ever.

I didn't notice any steering issues with the JLUR I test drove, but I didn't drive it very far. I'll be sure to look out for that next time. I had not problem with seating comfort or position on my short test drive.
Being uneasy in turns would make sense since the JLUR apparently rides higher and is still a solid axle. I'll look out for that next time I test drive one as well and see if it's something I can deal with.
The test drive I did, I was more distracted by the fancy gadgets and interior which I was a big fan of. Now that's out of the way, I'll focus on the ride quality and handling on my next test drive.

I have no issues with my JKUR now except the little things that you mentioned were fixed on the JL. Seats are comfortable for me, ride quality, handling and steering are fine for me as well. I don't want to order a JL for the little things just to find everything else got worse.

I have noticed what appears to be an excessive amount of people complaining about steering and handling. I don't know if they're just not used to a Jeep or if there is some actual quality issues going on but I'm hoping that gets addressed or at least formally acknowledged prior to me pulling the trigger.
 

Geronimo

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Do I need to borrow my son's Crayola box and draw a picture?
So the attendants took away all sharp objects again. Well then that may be your only recourse for communication outside the ward. Do they at least give you a plastic spork to eat your gruel?

Take all your meds like your supposed to, Listen to your Doctor, and do your best in group. Staying busy s a good thing. Well gotta run, I'lll certainly miss the fermented discourse you bring to the table. Please write when they allow it ....Ohh crap silly me, Color us some pretty pictures between hallucinations and give my best to nurse Ratchet.

Winch is installed, camper packed, we're outta here.
 

albatross

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...For those of you that spent a bunch of time in a JK, how much better is the JL and why? And specifically the unlimited Rubicon which is the JK I’ve had for years...
I previously owned 2 JKs and 2 JKUs. All of them were Sports. I now own a JLUR and I'm loving it so far. I didnt really have any complaints about the JKs I owned but so far, to me, the JLUR feels more comfortable and I think the JL interior is an overall upgrade from the JK (not that the JK was that bad). The sound system in the JLUR is pretty sweet for stock but I cant say for sure if its better than the JKU sound system because I never had an upgraded system in my JKs.

Anyway, my opinion probably may not help much. I'd just say if you like Jeeps (and it sounds like you do given your track record) I dont believe you'll be disappointed with the JL.
 

keviper

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Did they all have horrible problems and needed to be replaced? I see one was a lemon.
No not at all. The 07' was my wife's and she traded it in for an Expedition. The others were either secondary vehicles or I just traded them in for the next. A couple I did some work to and sold. The Willys was one of my favorites, but yes it was a lemon which was a pretty terrible experience, but I had a great dealer and FCA stepped up to the plate quickly and resolved everything within a month or two.
 

keviper

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Since we're all weenie-wagging now, Here's my contribution: :turkey:
  • '67 Bel Air
  • '66 Impala
  • Ford Courier (Mazda)
  • '78 Chevy half ton
  • Various F150s
  • F250 Powerstroke
  • Toyota Taco (2)
  • Subaru Forester (3)
  • Bronco II (junk)
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Nissan Z
  • Mustang GT
  • Subaru BRZ
  • Wrangler (5)
  • Cherokee
So there!:asshat:
How did you like the 66 Impala?
 

Dice23

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You can feel the love in here. :) Hahaha.

No, it's not the tires and it's not tire pressures. My tires are at 37 but it's hot outside so I would expect that. And, I've got almost 1,500 miles on the JL so I've done more than a "test drive" in them.

You can call me "full of shit" if you want, but I've owned more Jeeps than probably everybody in this thread combined and I have worked on all my own stuff so I know what I'm talking about.

It's an issue, and yes, we'll probably be hearing about it soon. There are only 2 recalls on JLs so far which is pretty good for a FCA vehicle launch, but there'll be more coming this summer I'm sure considering that EVERY Jeep forum on the Web has complaints about the terrible steering/handling on these models.
You got the really good drugs
 

Dice23

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You got the really good drugs
All I have owned since I got my license in 1990, is an 85 4 speed CJ7, a 1994 YJ, an 2004 5 speed TJ with the straight 6 4.0L, a six speed 2016 jk on 35’s and 4.56 gears, and the new 2018 JLU Rubicon on the 33 KO2’s. This JLUR is something special. Let it go and accept it.
 

Dice23

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I need to get you on record confirming that a 2018 JLU is less comfortable to drive than a 92 YJ. Just for the sake of seeing it written.
He’s on the magic mushrooms
 

FranklinFlyer

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May I ask a little side question: How did you all manage to own so many cars over the years ?
From a European perspective it has to be leasing. Is it?
 

Skye

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May I ask a little side question: How did you all manage to own so many cars over the years ?
From a European perspective it has to be leasing. Is it?
No. I just like buying cars. Never leased one. I'm not sure how painful taxes are or how cars depreciate over there but for me, I always put down very large down payments so there is always positive equity on my car if I choose to trade it in because of something that catches my eye. Plus I like to trade in before mileage gets so high that the car is worthless. Usually around 30k miles. Sounds like a lease situation but I always have fun modifying my cars and leases don't like that. Plus in the moment I love my new car so much I plan on keeping it forever. 2-3 years later I am back in love with something new (like the JL I saw getting unloaded at the jeep dealer while taking my wife's jeep in for service.)

Another justification is with my job I drive all around the country to different locations. I will not risk a high mileage vehicle breaking down somewhere thousands of miles from home so I always have a newish travel vehicle.

Lifetime:
1973 chevy pickup...
1999 dodge ram 1500..
2003 dodge ram 1500..
2005 dodge ram 2500..
1994 chevy 2 door tahoe
2007 SRT8 grand cherokee...wrecked :(
2010 kia forte...hit while parked :)
2011 Kia Sorento + 2011 Jeep JKR
2012 Jeep JKR + Polaris Slingshot
2016 Range Rover Sport Supercharged
2017 Chevy Silverado Tuscany
Currently:
2018 JKUR(daily) + 1988 K5 Blazer(toy) + 1999 Ford Ranger (bought for kid) + 2017 Ram 1500 (bought for other kid) + 2018 Grand Cherokee Summit (wife's).

Not even going to list the many cars my wife has had in the past few years.
 

Biscuit

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How did you like the 66 Impala?
I got a lot of good miles out of that car for $300 and it was long in the tooth when I bought it at of the end of my senior year in college, fall/winter 1974. 283 CI engine and two-speed Powerglide transmission. Besides routine maintenance, all I ever did to that boat was brakes, tires and replacement of a rusted-out exhaust system. My dad jokingly called her "Old Ivory" because she was white and rusty. Every couple of months, I'd hit the surface rust on the quarter panels with a can of Rustoleum.
 

Geronimo

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May I ask a little side question: How did you all manage to own so many cars over the years ?
From a European perspective it has to be leasing. Is it?
No not leasing! It's a "Bloody" American pastime, old boy.
 

rubydoo

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I've had a YJ, ZJ, WJ, and two JKUs in terms of solid axle Jeeps. In my opinion, the JLU is only marginally better.

The handling/steering is HORRIBLE in the JLU. I'm starting to believe that it may be due to the front suspension and caster changes. I always read that the JKU was set to roughly 4.5° of caster from the factory. I poked around under my JLU last night with an angle tool and couldn't find anywhere near that amount of caster on my new Jeep. There are countless complaints online about terrible JLU steering. It's obviously a real issue, not a make believe one. At my first oil change, I will ask the dealership to check my alignment so I can get concrete caster numbers and see where I'm at.

The ride quality is firmer on JLU compared to my JKUs, and it's uneasy going into curves. I've owned dozens of vehicles of all types and I'm big into Mustangs so I'm very accustomed to driving curvy roads. The JLU is the first vehicle I've ever owned that doesn't feel planted in curves. It's a little un-nerving to be honest. I definitely wouldn't push this vehicle in the rain.

The interior comfort is worse on JLU. The seat/hip width is noticeably less. The leg room is worse. I have plenty of headroom at the Freedom Panels but I worry about hitting my head and killing myself on the sport bars in a crash. (6'3" and 225 lbs). The seats are not as cushioned. The back of the seat is as flat as a sheet of plywood. Overall, the JKU was very good for me on long trips. The JLU is a 30 minute or less vehicle only. This is the one area that I'm most disappointed.

Now, for the good stuff, they have clearly fixed the little issues that people griped about on JK. They've tried to improve all the little things that people notice in daily life. Better headlights, less chance for death wobble, no more "hammock" in the 2nd row center seating position, more angle to the 2nd row seatback, nicer looking fender flares, better designs on the tops to make them easier to use, door stops to hold the doors open while you're entering the vehicle, better audio systems, more information in the dash display, FAR better transmissions, better standard axle ratio, LED lighting for license plate, interior, etc. standard, better fuel economy (this is a big surprise for me...the JK was already great and the JL is about 2 MPG better for me so far), tire sizes that are common for a change and easy to find, cabin HVAC filter standard on more models, etc. etc. Just a lot of little changes that make the JL a better daily vehicle.

When I got mine in mid April, there was a JKU sitting right next to it. It was a tough choice. After a month with my JLU, if I had it to do all over again, it would still be a very tough choice. While I do appreciate the little things FCA has done to make the JL better, the fact is that the JK is cheaper, more comfortable, drives better, and already has a million aftermarket parts available.
My buddy has done 40k+ miles in his JK and he drove mine and said it's night and day a better drive in nearly every measurable metric. Might want to take yours in? I came from a rock solid BMW M2 as my daily for 20k miles and despite coming from a car that drives like it's on rails, the JLUR doesn't feel terrible. It's about what I expect from a vehicle that comes with 33's from the factory on solid axles. It's slightly floaty but other than that it feels fine. I test drove a JK recon before I bought my JL and it felt similar, so this could be different depending on who you ask
 
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