How much better is the JL over the JK?

COBoarder

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I took delivery 5 days ago of a new fully loaded JLU Sahara which replace my 2014 fully loaded JKU Rubicon and I have to say every item from my Rubicon has been upgraded. People on this thread have listed most of these updates but it appears every little annoyance has been addressed in the new JL. A few stand out to me:
- Much better freedom top design to easily take them on and off
- Love the auto 4WD. Used it Monday in pouring down rain and the confidence that the Jeep will engage the 4 wheels if necessary gives me a lot of confidence.
- Soft arm rests, sure helps on long drives
- Quiet, quiet, quiet. Feels like I'm driving a new SUV crossed with a Jeep. Instead of my 2014 which felt like driving a Jeep who designers adapted a hard top.
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That One Guy

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Are the road manners, off-road capability, gas mileage, and seat comfort night and day different? Maybe not. The steering is definitely different and I guess not for everybody. And some appear to have a wandering Jeep which would be a step back.

But the tech, styling, auto/manual transmission, exterior appeal, interior quality, and soft top operation are in another league. I have buddies with Willys, Sahara, and Rubicon JKs and they all agree that the JL is a home run.
Aye. Some things are bigger improvements than others. The new 2018 pentastar is a trivial improvement. ESS is a negative for many. But the ease of the new soft top motivated me to go that route, where in a JK I would've went for the hard top. The manual trans is indeed much, much nicer to manual buyers like me. The styling, IMO, is vastly improved. The stock infotainment in a base JL is much better than the joke of a stereo in a base JK.

They did actually go backwards in a couple, minor ways. Some like me would prefer simple key ignitions, at least on lower models. No optional 3.73 is a letdown. Lastly, unlike a JK, the new mess of electricals are not proven--yet. My game plan on that one is to just ditch a two year old JL if it becomes a gremlin nightmare (thanks to high resale value!).

It's, for the most part, a much better all-around vehicle. But $3,700 better than last year? Not entirely sure about that.
 

Buddyboy

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I just purchased and took possession of a JK sport two door soft top with 17” wheels. I do notice that there is an awful lot of play in the steering and I contributed that to the fact that it’s an off road vehicle. I expected the jeep to be a lot rougher than it was as this is my first one. I love the thing to death it’s cute as a button and built to last and doesn’t have a stupid plastic grill. I even like the Dash it’s one of the last old school dashes with a real swappable radio head unit bin. I took the rag top down in less than 10 minutes from a video I found that actually made sense but had a very difficult time putting it back on and tried various ways after an hour I got it on properly. Overall I am very happy with this vehicle and I know I’m going to love it and so is my dog.
 

citzen z

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I have been driving my JL for the past two days and I like the way it handles. I used 6 gallons to go 225 miles and the display shows 24.4 mpg . I was on cruise control most of the time running 60 mph and the AC going full . I can live with that considering I think it is a great vehicle. My wife was comfortable and that is what I liked .I just wish it had a bigger gas tank. I drove a little more than 3 hrs and had about a quarter tank left .
 
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Gymguy

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These are amazing replies. Sounds like overall is a huge improvement.
 

Bkenyon53

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I just purchased and took possession of a JK sport two door soft top with 17” wheels. I do notice that there is an awful lot of play in the steering and I contributed that to the fact that it’s an off road vehicle. I expected the jeep to be a lot rougher than it was as this is my first one. I love the thing to death it’s cute as a button and built to last and doesn’t have a stupid plastic grill. I even like the Dash it’s one of the last old school dashes with a real swappable radio head unit bin. I took the rag top down in less than 10 minutes from a video I found that actually made sense but had a very difficult time putting it back on and tried various ways after an hour I got it on properly. Overall I am very happy with this vehicle and I know I’m going to love it and so is my dog.
(I'm sure one of the difficult things you found was being able to clamp the windshield clamp down because it's so tight...try hooking it first (not clamping it) and then hooking the back plastic pieces (at the base of the rear window) and then clamping at the windshield. That was always the toughest part for me until I got into a method.
 

Majestic

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I just purchased and took possession of a JK sport two door soft top with 17” wheels. I do notice that there is an awful lot of play in the steering and I contributed that to the fact that it’s an off road vehicle. I expected the jeep to be a lot rougher than it was as this is my first one. I love the thing to death it’s cute as a button and built to last and doesn’t have a stupid plastic grill. I even like the Dash it’s one of the last old school dashes with a real swappable radio head unit bin. I took the rag top down in less than 10 minutes from a video I found that actually made sense but had a very difficult time putting it back on and tried various ways after an hour I got it on properly. Overall I am very happy with this vehicle and I know I’m going to love it and so is my dog.
I can get my JK's top down in less than 5 minutes. However putting the windows away properly in a storage roll takes a bit more time. More than they show you in the YouTube videos where some cat just chucks them into the back like its not big deal to scratch the hell out of them or doesn't care if they blow out on the interstate.
The JL's look like they'd take another minute out of the process (one handle vs two latches) yet no window storage option seems to be available at all, and that's really the chokepoint.
 
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