Should I build a Wrangler or hold out for the right used JL? Should I even BUY a Wrangler?

ThirtyOne

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Hi, everyone. Total "noob" here so apologies for the vague subject line and basic questions, but I'm planning to make the biggest purchase of my life outside of my home and I figured who better to ask than people who drive what I am becoming obsessed with.

A little about my situation: This will be my only vehicle. My credit is good but I plan to pay cash in full. I have been driving the same Chevy pickup for 21 years, and have about $36,408 saved up. Late last year I went to test drive a used Tacoma and for no reason other than it caught my eye, also test drove a manual Willys Wrangler. While the Tacoma seemed far and away the more practical choice; that Jeep was SO fun to drive that I couldn't bring myself to buy the pickup. I left the dealership with no new keys in hand to do my homework. Weeks later I still can't stop thinking about it. I have built no less than 200 of them online at this point.

We live in the mountains and a 4 wheel drive is mandatory. I hunt and fish on land you wouldn't exactly want to take a Camry through. This is part of the reason a used JL appeals to me -I don't want to put the first scratches on a shiny new Jeep. But my daily driving will be exactly 2 miles to work and 2 miles home each day, trips to the grocery store and so forth. Something my wife can drive when there's snow and ice.

I am not a mechanic. I am not good at diagnosing vehicle problems and worse at fixing them myself. Reliability is paramount, and my biggest fear is expenses after the warranty expires. Threads abound here with titles like, "Back to the dealership" and I do realize that people are going to post when something goes wrong more often than, "My JL hit 100,000 miles today." My faith in Fiat isn't terribly high though.

I've spoken with Travis at Tri-Cities who is a sponsor here. My local guy offered $500 off of invoice, and Travis does 5%, and another 1% if I get an FCA control number. Attached is the build I sent him to quote. Has everything I want except cold weather group, because I can't seem to add that without a convenience group (and with a manual, it won't remote start, plus I have no garage door).

My preferences are as follows (please chime in if anyone thinks any of these aren't worth the $ or I'm omitting something I might wish I had down the road):
3 piece hard top
manual (aware of the recall)
wheels that aren't ugly (Yes, I can upgrade later, but I can already hear my wife saying something about replacing "perfectly good wheels")
LED lighting group
a color my wife and I both like (Sarge green is my favorite, hers is Snazberry, ocean blue metallic is #2 for both of us)
Side steps since she's 5' flat
A/C
Cold weather group
In a perfect world I'd want steel bumpers, but they only seem to be available on the Rubicon which is out of my budget (new anyway). Thanks for reading all of this and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
I would buy new and get exactly what you want. I would also at lease evaluate the financing deal. Rates are very low right now. If you finance with the dealer, the rate may be a little higher but he will give you an extra 1% off.

If you don't have a control number you can get one with Tread Lightly.

And I want to put in a plug for @[email protected] . He's a great guy. Tri-City is a great little dealership. They were completely transparent and treated me great.





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BadWolf

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Oddly, Ocean Blue metallic isn't offered on 2021. I see them all the time, so I can't imagine it was that poor of a seller, but looking like it will be Sarge green, which is my favorite and she likes pretty well.
I actually thought I wanted blue so I waited for them to be available (Hydro and Chief). I can't really put in words why, but I didn't like the way they looked. Since Sarge Green was my original second choice, I could have ordered last fall like I originally planned! I went online and talked to Jeep Chat this morning, and the Rubicon I ordered Jan. 30th is already built, but there is currently no estimated delivery date. Oh well, more waiting!
 
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OP
Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge

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I'm with you on that. Really wanted metallic ocean blue since my better half likes it so much and I like it pretty well, but the other two blues aren't for me. I've seen some beauties on here with it, just not what I'd pick for my own.

I'm also really liking the Gladiator Willys, but don't want to not be able to post it here!
 

Oldbear

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I too would strongly urge the new vs used Jeep. A used will cost almost as much $$ as new, and with new you know you’re not getting someone else’s problems. Also look hard at getting the limited slip dif...really increases capability.
 

beachbumm78

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Manual owner here. I faced some of the same decisions you did. I echo what many here have said. I decided to go new as 1) I know how it’s been driven. 2) I keep my vehicles until they’re past deaths door so I know I’ll keep this for along time. I’d also recommend ordering if you can’t find exactly what you want. If you’re planning on keeping it for awhile highly recommend. Yes, some have had issues with their jeeps. I think many more have had no issues so I’d make note of the issues and get what you feel comfortable with. I’ve had no real issues with mine outside of a clutch issue (master cylinder) and a little gremlin I think that was causing an issue with my sway bar disconnect button. All fixed and been solid ever since. I’m at 42k in 14 months so mine has been driven quite a bit.
For options wide variety of opinions. I, personally love my cold weather package. It gets used all the time. Long day at work and back is tight—-turn that seat warmer and viola—back feels better. Little chilly out but want windows down or top off—-turn on the steering wheel and seat warmer and I’m golden. I love it! Also recommend towing package. Like been mentioned comes with some good upgrades. The 8” infotainment screen is nice with the audio upgrade. I went back and forth on this but glad I decided to upgrade. I got soft top only. No complaints or regrets. I possibly would of done dual top if I owned a house with a place to store the hard top. Even considered renting a storage unit to store the hard top. In the end decided to just do soft top. The reality is I’d almost never use the hard top. Like never. I love the convenience of the soft top and the ability to put the top down any time I want. Led—i know it’s been said how the leds in snow can lead to snow accumulation. I’ve read on here that, in reality, even the non-led lights will also get a snow buildup as neither of them produce heat enough to melt snow. The issue is with how the headlight housing is made. I could be wrong on this—-just what I remember reading on here in other discussions.
All in all—it’s really what you feel would best serve you. Good luck with it!!
 

DuRsT

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Well. I guess I'm going to have a relatively unpopular opinion, but hear me out.

I personally would find a very nice and very low mileage JK Rubicon that you can pay cash for if you're worried about the issues that come inherent with the JL. That way you spend less than you have, no car payment, and get an upgraded model that someone else took the depreciation hit on initially. Since you're a cash buying customer you can be picky about what you buy and take your time.

The JK of course had its own issues, but they didn't seem to compare with the JL in most senses.

This is just my opinion of course.
 

DirtyCreeker

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One thing I'd like to point out is that where you mention the cold weather group requiring the convenience group, I'd have a dealer verify that. I found several issues with the different options on a build. I am shocked that I was able to find so many and wonder how many people opted out of options because of the errors.

Granted, I was only looking at Rubicon builds, but I found that the tan soft top was listed for $0 was part of the dual top group. The bikini top was always selected and needed to be unselected each time. Upgrading to the bigger screen (technology package) also charged for the premium sound package upgrade, and selecting the rear storage liner made you buy door protectors.

When I priced it with a dealer, the sound package came off (because it's part of the technology package) and door protectors weren't required. That was like $1300 off the online price right there.

So if you want the cold weather group, I'd have a dealer price it to make sure it doesn't require the other group purchase as well.
 

Terminex

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With these uncertain times, I would spend as little of your savings as possible.

A vehicle (even with great resale value) is NOT a liquid asset.

If you are getting a new vehicle (new or new to you) I would definitely finance.

Once you have the vehicle, I would then look at your financial situation, and your employment situation again, and see what your outlook is. If you are 100% sure that things are good, I would suggest you start making an extra principal only payment each month.

Choose whatever makes sense $500 - $1000 each month (this is in addition to your scheduled monthly payment) The extra payment goes directly towards your principal.

This will allow you to pay off the vehicle VERY fast, yet still give you the flexibility to stop making the extra payments if something happens to your financial situation.


Now, with the above long winded advice, I would also definitely recommend new. This will give you a much better loan rate, and allow you to get what you want.

One final thought. Get what you want, but I would recommend an automatic, and not the manual. There are many reasons, resale value, recalls on manual, as you get older, the manual is less fun in most circumstances.

no matter what, get a jeep and enjoy it:)

Cheers.
 

BadWolf

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One thing I'd like to point out is that where you mention the cold weather group requiring the convenience group, I'd have a dealer verify that. I found several issues with the different options on a build. I am shocked that I was able to find so many and wonder how many people opted out of options because of the errors.

Granted, I was only looking at Rubicon builds, but I found that the tan soft top was listed for $0 was part of the dual top group. The bikini top was always selected and needed to be unselected each time. Upgrading to the bigger screen (technology package) also charged for the premium sound package upgrade, and selecting the rear storage liner made you buy door protectors.

When I priced it with a dealer, the sound package came off (because it's part of the technology package) and door protectors weren't required. That was like $1300 off the online price right there.

So if you want the cold weather group, I'd have a dealer price it to make sure it doesn't require the other group purchase as well.
When I did my build on Jeep.com, it would tell me the Mopar Hard Top Headliners were not allowed when I chose 3.6L engine. However, if I chose the 3.6L engine first, it had no problem adding the Hard Top Headliners.

However, after talking to a few people I trust, I decided not to get the Mopar Headliners and instead get the Hothead Headliners, mostly so I could get color other than black so it would better match my Dark Saddle seats.
 

Goin2drt

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OP I read your initial post but didn’t read all the replies. You want “reliable” dont get a JL. Most have been far from reliable. Second sounds like you are frugal and wise with your money, if you are going to buy a JL then get one used. Let some other guy take the quick drive off the lot depreciation.
 
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Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge

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My biggest issue is so many of them (JL's, at least) are about the same used as I could get off of sticker price by buying from Travis. Only benefit would be that I would get it now, and that's not a big concern.
 

dgoodhue

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My biggest issue is so many of them (JL's, at least) are about the same used as I could get off of sticker price by buying from Travis. Only benefit would be that I would get it now, and that's not a big concern.
This is exactly what I found looking last fall. I was little more picky in that I required certain options. I just ordered a 80th JLU this week. I personally do not think it is not worth 10% discount for buying a slightly used car.

I am similar to you in that I have enough liquid assets to purchase a Jeep with cash. My purchase is back by cash, but I am gambling that I can make more money in my investments. I can afford the payment so even if my investments go south, so I am not in trouble. We will see how that works. My last new car purchase in 2012, but I was not in this position. It does feel good to be payment free, I paid off that 2012 with 2.9% interest rate early.
 

Kluk Ztopolovky

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Hi, everyone. Total "noob" here so apologies for the vague subject line and basic questions, but I'm planning to make the biggest purchase of my life outside of my home and I figured who better to ask than people who drive what I am becoming obsessed with.

A little about my situation: This will be my only vehicle. My credit is good but I plan to pay cash in full. I have been driving the same Chevy pickup for 21 years, and have about $36,408 saved up. Late last year I went to test drive a used Tacoma and for no reason other than it caught my eye, also test drove a manual Willys Wrangler. While the Tacoma seemed far and away the more practical choice; that Jeep was SO fun to drive that I couldn't bring myself to buy the pickup. I left the dealership with no new keys in hand to do my homework. Weeks later I still can't stop thinking about it. I have built no less than 200 of them online at this point.

We live in the mountains and a 4 wheel drive is mandatory. I hunt and fish on land you wouldn't exactly want to take a Camry through. This is part of the reason a used JL appeals to me -I don't want to put the first scratches on a shiny new Jeep. But my daily driving will be exactly 2 miles to work and 2 miles home each day, trips to the grocery store and so forth. Something my wife can drive when there's snow and ice.

I am not a mechanic. I am not good at diagnosing vehicle problems and worse at fixing them myself. Reliability is paramount, and my biggest fear is expenses after the warranty expires. Threads abound here with titles like, "Back to the dealership" and I do realize that people are going to post when something goes wrong more often than, "My JL hit 100,000 miles today." My faith in Fiat isn't terribly high though.

I've spoken with Travis at Tri-Cities who is a sponsor here. My local guy offered $500 off of invoice, and Travis does 5%, and another 1% if I get an FCA control number. Attached is the build I sent him to quote. Has everything I want except cold weather group, because I can't seem to add that without a convenience group (and with a manual, it won't remote start, plus I have no garage door).

My preferences are as follows (please chime in if anyone thinks any of these aren't worth the $ or I'm omitting something I might wish I had down the road):
3 piece hard top
manual (aware of the recall)
wheels that aren't ugly (Yes, I can upgrade later, but I can already hear my wife saying something about replacing "perfectly good wheels")
LED lighting group
a color my wife and I both like (Sarge green is my favorite, hers is Snazberry, ocean blue metallic is #2 for both of us)
Side steps since she's 5' flat
A/C
Cold weather group
In a perfect world I'd want steel bumpers, but they only seem to be available on the Rubicon which is out of my budget (new anyway). Thanks for reading all of this and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Well, that's in a way like asking someone whether one should stay single or would marriage solve all the life's problems.You know even people with severe case of diabetes take a bite out of a chocolate bar time to time knowing well how harmful it probably is to their health. I would say go for it and get your Jeep. If you won't do it now then probably you won't do it later either. But more importantly if you won't do it now you will feel like a miserable failure , you will feel like the worst case of a loser and you will never find enough of confidence and courage to ask the prettiest girl on the dance floor for a date. For the rest of your life you will be biting you nails and suffer of sweaty underarms. So go ahead and make the right decision now and Good Luck.
 

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