Picking a Wrangler...could use some help.

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TJHUB

TJHUB

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Well...you people are really of no help as a collective group. :) I guess I'm just going to have to buy the one I can afford, but the Willys has my attention the most. The reasons are mainly for what's in my original post. However, a Rubicon is not off the list depending on what type of deal I can get.

There is one thing that's really got me wondering. No one commented on my post on page 2 regarding the height of all these Wranglers. I've now been to 3 dealers, and EVERY wrangler sits at what seems the exact same height. I've seen every model right next to or in a long line of Wranglers, and eyeing accoss the hoods and or roofs shows absolutely no perceivable difference in height. WTF? It's clear the the Rubicon in fact has both longer springs and shocks, as well as taller 33" tires. So why do they all sit at the same height? Does this mean the Rubicon suspension is engineered different so the upper and lower spring mounts are actually farther apart than the other models? Maybe engineered to have more articulation, thus the reason for the the higher fender flares?

The only Wrangler I've seen on a dealer's lot that is clearly taller is a Freedom with the Mopar lift and 35" tires. That one sits about 6'5" or so to the top of the hard top.
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_olllllllo_

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My wife and I decided to purchase a Wrangler (first Jeep ever). The problem is that this is way too complicated! I've been reading this forum for about a month or so now, and I've picked up a lot of "knowledge," but that doesn't actually make this choice easier.

We want the Wrangler for it's very versatile capabilities. I've always wanted a convertible, so maybe this will be it. We need a capable vehicle for snow, and lighter towing (the 3,500lb towing limit should be just fine). It will be towed behind our motorhome occasionally (I also currently tow a 2010 Impreza). But here's the real want: my wife wants it to have a bright color, and look "bad ass." It will be her daily driver, and not much off-roading (for now).

I have been back and forth with a Rubicon, Sport S, and Willys (all unlimiteds). All have pluses and minuses, and I'm not looking to let this Jeep be a huge money pit. We really only put about 6,000 miles or so on per year. I've been done the money pit road, and don't want to ever again.

So here is what I want at a minimum: unlimited, 2.0L turbo (I think), dual tops, cloth seats, cold weather, towing, LED lights, and Selec-Trac. I want a lift and I'm thinking 34" (285/75-17) tires as I don't like the wide 35's or 315's (I think).

It's hard to not want the Rubicon, but I'd still want the lift and larger tires. I don't want the sway bar disconnect or lockers (will never need them). I really like all of the other details though: grill, hood, high fenders, wheels, interior red dash and stitching, the hood decal, larger brakes, 4.10 gears, and "better" bumpers. There's a lot of value there it seems.

The Sport S is fine, but lacks the nicer hood, grill, bumpers, wheels, dash, seats, brakes. I'd be tempted to add some of those things reducing it's overall value over the Rubicon. But none of this stuff is "needed" but the brakes and gears would be very nice for my want of larger tires.

Then there's the Willys. The grill is better, bumpers fine, LSD, has the bigger brakes, and Rubicon shocks. So it would seem if I can live with the simpler interior, add a red dash on my own (if needed), I'd have the bigger brakes included, and I could live with the Moab wheels. So I was thinking, if the Rubicon shocks are longer than Sport S shocks, maybe I could get away with a simple spacer lift to gain enough clearance for the 34" tires without replacing shocks? If so, this would seem to have all the features I'd want minus the 4.10 gears, thinking the 3.45 gears would be fine for our usage with the 8-speed auto.

Is there something I'm missing here, or thinking incorrectly about?
I went through the same process a little over a year and ago and this forum is a wealth of information. I went with the Unlimited Rubicon with almost all the same options you are looking at. The only difference on my ordered 2019 is that I went with a manual transmission so I had to get the 3.6L V6 (and I love the tranny and engine over the 33K I have driven so far in 15 months). I went to the Wrangler Deals website and got such a good deal on the Rubicon it was a no brainer to pick it (saved $8K compared to what my local dealer offered). I knew I wouldn't do crazy rock climbing, but I have used the lockers and 4 LO and I was very glad I had them when others struggled to climb the same hill or obstacle. The vehicle I so darn capable and I haven't thrown anything at it that it even seems to sweat at completing. It is confidence inspiring and you will find that any road becomes worth exploring and makes me smile every day.

I have the dual tops and soon will be only running a JTopsUSA shade top, but love that I can put either the soft top or hard top on and I don't have to remove the shade. When I will run the soft top I like the idea of the shade top protecting my bald head while providing the option to put the soft top up if the weather turns. I ran the soft top in Sequoia National Park in the snow and sub 20˚ temps and it was great and held in the heat.

Great luck on the decision and no matter what you pick you will love the Jeep!
 

MarioC

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Welcome Terry! I just went what you are going through and the only advise I have is SHOP ..SHOP ..SHOP... I found my 2020 Rubicon for less than what they want for a 2021 Sahara because of rebates. Take your time and score a great deal and don't settle... get what you WANT the first time. Best of luck!!!
 

jespey

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My wife and I each had our daily drivers and a 2 dr. JL Sport S as our weekend fun car. When her dd started hurting her hips, we traded her Mini Cooper and our 2 dr for her JLU Sport S. Needed the extra space in the cargo area and a hardtop for ease of access. About 6 weeks in to owning the JLU Sport, she said “our next Jeep needs to be a Rubicon”. I looked around for a little while, we found one equipped exactly as she wanted, and got it. 10 weeks with a JLU we both loved but we really really loved the Rubicon.

We will never ever use the rock climbing capabilities of the Rubi, but you can’t get the look any other way. We love the exact same little extras as you. YOLO. Get the Rubicon.
 

Spearmin

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Honestly I'd just go Sport S and save money and enjoy it. You'll have so much left over to customize it the way you want.
Agreed 100%. Sport allows you to cut out the stuff you will never use, and add eh stuff you will. Also there are no jazzy colors for 2021 accept for the Yellow which is mah...
 

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There is one thing that's really got me wondering. No one commented on my post on page 2 regarding the height of all these Wranglers. I've now been to 3 dealers, and EVERY wrangler sits at what seems the exact same height.
I did not have this experience at he dealer or even with our 2 Sports. My wife's Sport Freedom was a half inch taller than my Sport S. Now I have Rubi take off wheels/tires on and I'm taller even with steel bumpers and steel steps/sliders.
 

Johnczar4

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Here’s a pic of my Red Sport S with Rubi takeoff 33’s and Rubi Suspension next to a Stock Sport S. I gained 2” when I upgraded to Rubi suspension. Definitely higher now. Use a tape measure if you want to compare apples to apples. Don’t waste your time driving around to dealers to see what they have as you’ll end up settling or paying for things you don’t want. Order exactly what you want or search online to find it. Never stepped foot in the dealer I bought from until I picked the car up
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Is there something I'm missing here, or thinking incorrectly about?
Respectfully Terry, I think so. It's this:

... I've been down the money pit road, and don't want to ever again.
Maybe we define "money pit" differently (for example maybe you see a money pit as a vehicle in for service every month when something does wrong).

Wranglers--qnd this is nothing against them whatsoever, I love mine, and I hope if you get one that you love yours--can very easily become money pits in that there is a near endless availability of parts, and gear, and toys, and upgrades and....it enjoys the largest aftermarket of any vehicle I know.

And maybe you know this too. And maybe you are very disciplined (unlike me) and/or aren't really into much customization.

There are people on the forum who will sell you on something because they think it's awesome--and that's fine. I on the other hand want to see you doing what you think is awesome.
 

JJSix

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I haven't looked in a while at Sports/Saharas/Rubis all lined up but I thought the Rubis stood a little taller in the front, though most of them on the lots I've seen have the steel bumper up front which would weigh it down a bit more.

In any case, I did exactly what you did and decided on my JLUR and have zero regrets at all. I ended up going custom order from Criswell to get the best deal and walked out with way more than I needed but exactly what I wanted and for me that was the key. I only have the chance to hit trails rarely right now with 2 kiddos but when I do, I have know the Jeep is far more capable than I am and it will get me through situations that I shouldn't have got myself in the first place. I'm sure the Sport would do great as well, but piece of mind in knowing the Rubi was the most capable out of the box. The other big consideration for me was the SOT top, had to go either Sahara or Rubi to get it and for me, the money was much better spent on the Rubi with the lockers, sway bar disconnects, and D44s.

Whatever you end up going with I'm sure you'll be happy or at least can modify till you are!
 

jonahgetz

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You need to do what’s best for your lifestyle and budget. Do you work on things yourself? Are you mechanically inclined? Do you just want a out of the box off-roader? These are all questions you need to be asking yourself. This isn’t about which Jeep is most popular or which Jeep will make you feel better, this is about practicality. You say you don’t off-road but your wife wants something “badass”. If you don’t off-road then I don’t see why you’d get a rubicon with all the bells and whisles, that let’s face it, the Rubicon is a more capable off-roader than most people will ever need. Personally, I like spending my money where I want it to go, but I’m also mechanically inclined and can do all these mods myself. For example, I have a 2021 billet silver JLU on order. That’s right, sport. Complete base, manual locks and manual windows, 6 speed transmission. Only option I added is the no cost heritage tan seats, and the LSD for like $600. The LSD will help off-road. I’m about to beat the crap out of this thing in the US north-west, taking it through some of the hardest trails known to man. And guess what? I’m going to do it all with a 6 speed and no locking diffs. I have a winch on order, and a bumper upgrade. I will be going BFG KO2 33inch. Most people over complicate off-roading and having a Jeep. People have been off-roading for decades without all the bells and whistles, like I said earlier, most of what the Rubicon has is more than anyone will ever need. Besides, I came out with a 2021 JLU sport for about $32k and I’m putting in about $4k in mods which will give me all the same off-road capability, lift, wheels/tires, winch, new bumpers, rock guards, and Mopar floor mats. I used Extreme Terrain website to pick out what I liked, they have Mopar Jeep parts and lots of other options. I got to customize and pick out what I liked, and I still came out $10k+ under Rubicon price. There’s plenty of websites out there that offer off-road parts. You can make your Jeep look badass easily if that’s your main goal. 33inch all terrain tires, a teraflex 2 inch lift, and some wheels that give you -6 offset. Trust me it’ll come out looking more badass than a rubicon because you did it yourself. People forget how much Jeeps can be changed after the dealership experience. Heck, I can even add in new axles, change gear ratio, and add a diff after the fact.

Just buy what’s practical for you and your lifestyle. Whatever Jeep you choose, it’s going to be amazing and capable regardless of what others think. Happy jeepin’!
 
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tts42572

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I think that last poster said it perfectly. Just buy whatever makes you feel best based upon your needs, wants, skills, budget, etc. This Jeep line offers so many choices it's unreal. It is tough deciding as I spent a lot of time myself contemplating all kinds of things.

Personally, I'm not mechanically inclined so I know I'll probably do very few changes a long the way. So I was willing to spend more from the start to get the look I wanted knowing I won't mess around much with it at least for quite awhile.

I've never been into off-roading but I've also never had a vehicle to take off-road. It looks like a blast and would love to try it. So I didn't let the fact I may or may not use it off road override my decision. I don't know if I'll get there or not but hopefully I will.

For me, the Rubicon just spoke to me. I just liked the way it looked best knowing that I probably won't do much else to it. I dug that hood, the more rugged/sporty look, the red accents, the bigger tires, etc. And I'll admit, I liked that writing on the hood. Just gives it an overall cool vibe IMO and will be a blast to use in the summer and also ram through snow in the winter.

I was close to buying some other models but I was getting within about $5,000 give or take of the cost of the Rubicon anyways. And I wasn't liking things quite as much. So I just said...screw it. I'll get what I really want and forget it. Life is short....Get what you want and enjoy it however you want.

But on the flip side, there are plenty of Jeeps out there that look awesome in all different trims. I just didn't think I'd have the skills to ever get that look myself lol. I just wanted to enjoy it out of the box.

It's great that these Jeeps offer endless possibilities though. Just go for whatever speaks to you and you are comfortable with in your budget.
 

rsmit42

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Love my Sport S with Rubi Takeoff tires wheels and Suspension. Recommend safety package for lane change and cross path warning. Wife’s car has adaptive cruise and I hate it.
I have dual top which I’m very happy with. Highly recommend, but if I had to pick only 1 , I’d go with my soft top now (not what I would have chosen before buying). Nothing like flipping the top back in 2 seconds at a red light on nice days. Mid tires shouldn’t be much of an issue if you’re changing tires anyhow. I searched online across multiple states to find the build I wanted for the right price. From what I’ve read you can get a good deal too building exactly what you want. Enjoy

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Looks great!! I have a question,is the Rubi suspension,and the 2” Mopar suspension lift,are they the same thing?
Love my Sport S with Rubi Takeoff tires wheels and Suspension. Recommend safety package for lane change and cross path warning. Wife’s car has adaptive cruise and I hate it.
I have dual top which I’m very happy with. Highly recommend, but if I had to pick only 1 , I’d go with my soft top now (not what I would have chosen before buying). Nothing like flipping the top back in 2 seconds at a red light on nice days. Mid tires shouldn’t be much of an issue if you’re changing tires anyhow. I searched online across multiple states to find the build I wanted for the right price. From what I’ve read you can get a good deal too building exactly what you want. Enjoy

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CD3E648E-D40D-4E6E-8346-7F8D85A44C80.jpeg
Looks great!! Just curious,is the Rubicon suspension,and a 2” Mopar suspension lift the same thing?
 
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