Sahara Unlimited or Rubicon Unlimited

KDX

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I'm looking at ordering a Wrangler and am new to the brand. I wouldn't have considered a 2020 Rubicon, but now see they have the different transfer case option that is like the Select Trac in the Sahara. I would order the Sahara with the LSD, but have now been reading that there seems to be some issues with that rear end. I really dislike the rims on the Sahara Unlimited Altitude, but would need to put running boards on the Rubicon. The Rubicon is 3-4k more expensive with similar options on the build site (can't remember exactly). I don't need all the Rubicon features at the moment, but likely would make use of them a couple of years from now when I move. I would be using the vehicle for a daily driver and drive mostly on the highway. I will be ordering the 3.6 eTorque motor. Talk about 1st world problems.
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BrntWS6

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If you think you may do at least moderate off roading at some point I would get the Rubicon. I personally had no plans for going off road so I knew the Sahara was for me. I know people have had problems with the LSD but I have not had any at all on my 2019. I enjoy the selec-trac in Chicago winters. One thing I would for sure do is change your rear diff fluid at 500 miles. Any decent chassis shop will tell you the same thing.
 

MauiSteve

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Get the Rubicon, it's way more expensive to make a Sahara roughly equal to what a Rubi is. Better resale too! It's the Holy Grail or a wooden cup!
 

Columbus104

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Where do you plan to move? In my experience, most buyers tend to "overpurchase" Jeeps. What I mean is they buy Jeeps for what they aspire to do versus what they will realistically do.

Let me be clear. If you are buying a Jeep that will sit in your garage all week and you're going to be banging through uncleared mountain trails in the Canadian Rockies, than by all means get the Rubicon. It's the cadillac of off roading vehicles.

However there are numerous trade offs. One to keep in mind if this will be your daily driver is road noise, comfort, and fuel economy. I have mud tires on my Jeep, and they're awesome for trails. But they are freaking loud on the highway. The all terrain tires on Rubi's are marginally better, but not really by much. The Sahara comes standard with more traditional road tires, which are both dramatically quieter and get 2-3 better mpg. I'm to the point where I drive my wife's car if I need to go anywhere more than an hour away and want to listen to a podcast.

It's also worth mentioning that while the Sahara is not the off-roader of a Rubicon, it's still amazingly capable. A Wrangler Sahara is probably still one of the 5 most capable vehicles for sale today (others being Tacoma TRD Pro, Ford Raptor, and hopefully the new Bronco). So you're not missing THAT much. And to be honest, an experienced driver in a Sahara would run laps around a newbie in a Rubicon - at some point the vehicle only makes so much of a difference and driver ability is the determinent factor.

I'm not telling you to buy a Sahara. I just have seen in the past that you're going to get responses 3-to-1 on here telling you to buy a Rubi. My perspective is that it isn't one-size-fits-all. Think about how you're going to use it. The Sahara is, quite simply, a better vehicle on the road. The Rubi is definitely more capable in extreme offroad conditions. They each have their use, so it's all about what you need.
 

mtbjeep

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So folks have had issues with the sport/Sahara LSDs but there are also issues with the electronic disconnects and lockers on the Rubicons. If you aren't going to use those components they are just 1 more point of failure to aggravate you and cost you money. That being said that potential aggravation might be perfectly acceptable to you if those components are important to how you use your jeep and the added enjoyment to your hobby/recreation time that they bring. For everyone else there is the sport and Sahara; still essentially go anywhere vehicles without the dedicated components to do aggressive off-roading.

I chose the Sahara for the numerically lower gearing (for fuel mileage) and the LSD. My jeep is a sand and snow vehicle so the LSD made sense while the disconnects and lockers did not. If I ever do "proper" off-roading I have 70+ years of history on my side that the Jeep will perform just fine. I on the other hand am pretty much guaranteed to do something stupid and get it stuck or damaged.
 
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aldo98229

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I chose the Sahara as well, and would do it all over again.

Sahara is perhaps the best all-around model on the Wrangler lineup: it is easy to drive around town, it is comfortable and quiet on the freeway; it is a refined daily driver, and it is still more competent on the trail than anything the competition has to offer.

Wheels are easy to swap. I happen to like mine, but would gladly consider the Gladiator Overland wheels.

Today is one year since I got my Sahara: haven’t had any issues with it. And the Selec-Trac + rear LSD combo absolutely shine in the snow.
F99AC1F5-90E4-482F-9308-6AE846C86118.jpeg


If you considering buying a Wrangler, that suggests you are willing to live with the possibility of having some issue at some point. Like @mtbjeep says, every Wrangler has its own potential list of items that can go wrong.

There’s no free lunch in this world, unfortunately.

Good luck.
 

lightsout

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Get the Rubicon, it's way more expensive to make a Sahara roughly equal to what a Rubi is. Better resale too! It's the Holy Grail or a wooden cup!

Considering the OP is in Saskatchewan Snow driving is likely very important whereas the Lockers on the Rubi are almost useless (even with the Tazer allowing 4H lockers). The LSD for snow is by far the best option.

To your claim comparing Sahara to Rubicon I have a Sahara with LSD rear and I added the Eaton front Locker, except for extreme rock crawling I have a little edge over Rubicon with lockers. That upgrade was $2800. The only thing a Rubicon has that I would like is the Front disconnects.
 

scottijohn63

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I chose the Sahara as well, and would do it all over again.

Sahara is perhaps the best all-around model on the Wrangler lineup: it is easy to drive around town, it is comfortable and quiet on the freeway; it is a refined daily driver, and it is still more competent on the trail than anything the competition has to offer.

Wheels are easy to swap. I happen to like mine, but would gladly consider the Gladiator Overland wheels.

Today is one year since I got my Sahara: haven’t had any issues with it. And the Selec-Trac + rear LSD combo absolutely shine in the snow.
F99AC1F5-90E4-482F-9308-6AE846C86118.jpeg


If you considering buying a Wrangler, that suggests you are willing to live with the possibility of having some issue at some point. Like @mtbjeep says, every Wrangler has its own potential list of items that can go wrong.

There’s no free lunch in this world, unfortunately.

Good luck.
I have the LSD and Selec-Trac, and I love how it gets the power to the ground. I drive in 4 Auto all the time! I have had no problems with either!
 

Dan M.

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Sounds to me like a Sahara would be best for you. Better on road and from your description, you won't need the extra features that are on the Rubi.
 

Bruce Willys

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The Rubicon weighs a couple hundred pounds more than the Sahara and Sport when similarly equipped because of the heavy duty axles/equipment. This will hurt onroad performance in every metric (braking, acceleration, handling, gas mileage), plus as others have mentioned the Rubi runs an open differential when not locked vs getting the LSD which will help with traction in any mode when it's slick out.

The only reason to buy a Rubicon is if you're a serious offroader. The Sport and Sahara can do some serious offroading that most people wouldn't feel comfortable trying, they are more than capable enough for most people's needs in that department. Buying a Rubicon because you may get into extreme offroading in the future doesn't seem prudent to me, it will cost more initially for features you probably won't need and has drawbacks that make it a less street friendly vehicle. My $0.02.
 

tts42572

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Sahara probably the best bet based upon usage.

That said though, what do I know? I was faced with the same choice and similar usage and I went with the Rubicon.

I drove both, and yes, the Sahara felt better on the road. But I just liked the "cool" factor of the Rubicon a little more....tires, lift, red dash & accents, etc. I don't know if I'll go off-roading or not but would love to try it and like knowing I have very capable vehicle should I venture out. I mean, one reason I've never been off-roading is because I've never had a vehicle capable of it. So I tried not letting that override my decision.

I thought a little about the auto 4WD thing. Honestly, I've not been a fan of auto 4WD features on my previous vehicles. I just prefer engaging myself and either knowing it's on or not on and I adjust my driving accordingly. And I feel like the majority of the time I know when I want it or don't want it. So I didn't even add the full time 4WD Auto option on my Rubicon order.

So I just went with the one that was speaking to me more as the two vehicles sat side by side. Haven't gotten it yet to live with but so far have felt happy with my decision.

They're both expensive vehicles.....so get what you want.
 

mtbjeep

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Sahara probably the best bet based upon usage.

That said though, what do I know? I was faced with the same choice and similar usage and I went with the Rubicon.

I drove both, and yes, the Sahara felt better on the road. But I just liked the "cool" factor of the Rubicon a little more....tires, lift, red dash & accents, etc. I don't know if I'll go off-roading or not but would love to try it and like knowing I have very capable vehicle should I venture out. I mean, one reason I've never been off-roading is because I've never had a vehicle capable of it. So I tried not letting that override my decision.

So I just went with the one that was speaking to me more as the two vehicles sat side by side. Haven't gotten it yet to live with but so far have felt happy with my decision.

They're both expensive vehicles.....so get what you want.
I might be in the minority but I think that is a perfectly fine reason to buy a Rubicon or any other specialized vehicle. Hell I've got a friend with a Porsche. You don't get a hallpass on Federal, State and Local speed limits just because you have a vehicle than can triple them. Unless you take the car to a track you could NEVER use that car for what is was engineered to do. But so what. Buy what makes you happy.
 

tts42572

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That's the way I approached it. I'm coming from having family truckster SUV's for the past 15-20 years...Acadia's, Grand Am's, Grand Prix's, etc. Those were okay vehicles but never were vehicles I REALLY wanted. They were what I bought because they were about the best I could do for a family vehicle.

My kids are getting older and so am I lol. I wanted something to have some fun with and maybe make me feel younger than I am lol. My daily commute is all of 10 minutes so isn't like I'm driving heavy highway miles. So ride quality wasn't a big deal for me.

So I know I heavily evaluated both the Sahara and Rubicon. The Sahara was probably the "safer" option that made sense and was a bit cheaper. But my eyes just kept going to the Rubicon.

And I also know I'm not the kind of person to do a bunch of work to a vehicle. I probably would never go add a lift, tires, etc, etc. At least not anytime soon. So what I get is basically what I get.

So I decided for the first time in years to get the vehicle I really wanted.

I might be in the minority but I think that is a perfectly fine reason to buy a Rubicon or any other specialized vehicle. Hell I've got a friend with a Porsche. You don't get a hallpass on Federal, State and Local speed limits just because you have a vehicle than can triple them. Unless you take the car to a track you could NEVER use that car for what is was engineered to do. But so what. Buy what makes you happy.
 

motor12

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Pick the vehicle that you know fits your needs. Then find one that you can honestly afford, and lastly one the wife likes
 
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