So, you’re thinking about buying your first Jeep?

Shibadog

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Congratulations! The Wrangler is one of THE most fun vehicles out there, and those of us who love them are quite passionate about them. With that said, there is another group of folks who are almost as passionate in their dislike for them. Why? Well, Jeeps are NOT for everybody. A short wheelbase and solid axles make for a vehicle that rides, handles and steers very differently than the typical family truckster. Fuel economy, while much better than in days of old, still is on the low side. If you have not spent a considerably amount of time in one, may I most strongly urge you to rent a Wrangler and actually LIVE with it for at least a week. Drive it as YOU will actually be driving it on a routine basis (commuter, grocery getter, etc.). Take a road trip of at least a couple hundred miles. Drive it the way you live, not some fanciful “maybe someday” trip down the Rubicon trail, but the way YOU will spend 95% of YOUR time. Still like it? (If not that’s ok, you just saved yourself a chunk of cheese). Great! Time to start shopping around. First off, you do Not “need” a Rubicon ( for those few who do extreme rock crawling, ok, but for almost everyone else, and especially for those who’ve never done off road driving) the Rubi is massive overkill). Most people will be better served with a Sport S or Sahara for real world use. Second, do NOT buy that lifted, big wheeled/tired beast sitting on the showroom floor. It will not drive, handle or be as fuel efficient as the stocker you just rented. It is there to catch your eye and bring in lots of extra $$ for the dealership. Get a stock Jeep with the options you want and no dealer installed “extras”. There are a zillion places you can get any mod you may ever desire for Less than your average dealer will want to charge you. You can add/modify to your little hearts content after you’ve owned and driven it for a few k miles and determined what you need/want.. Remember there are no free lunches. Modifications can easily change vehicle characteristics for the worse. In this part of the world the used Jeeps sitting on dealer lots usually have low mileage and lots of modifications either (1) traded because the previous owner was an unhappy camper or (2) added after the trade in to make more $$& for the selling dealer ( and in this latter case often modified with the cheapest parts available). Make the best deal you can on a Jeep for your needs. Later, if you want/need bigger tires, bumpers, winches, lifts, etc. you can add what YOU want and be sure you are getting parts on known quality (folks on this forum will be happy to point out quality brands they have personal experience with). Welcome to the world of Jeep! If they are for You, you are in for years of adventures and good times. Stay safe, have fun. There are a ton of good tips on this forum from folks with years/decades of Jeeping behind them. Enjoy the Ride!

 

twinjeepmom

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Great post! I rented on one last year to try it out, it's a great idea. If only I read it before I ordered my Rubi ( which just went into production). I was planning on A Sahara, but was not available, Hubby was excited that we HAD to get a Rubi. I think I will love it. Can't wait to get it.
 

Old Dogger

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X2…on very well said.. 👍
 


blnewt

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Just ask @cosine he knows!
I’ll say it again for the people in the back.
“Should have bought a Rubicon!”
In my case "should have bought a 2dr Rubicon"!
Still love our Sport though :)
 
OP
OP

Shibadog

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I am by no means “anti-Rubicon”, they are great for those who are VERY seriously into rock crawling and such. They are just pretty heavy duty overkill for the vast majority of folks. I went pretty well all over in a TJ that didn’t even have limited slip. I see folks buying Rubicons because they live in the snow belt-lockers and snow/ice is a rather interesting combination, not the ticket for winter on road driving.
 

Stuckinthesand

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I’ll say it again for the people in the back.
“Should have bought a Rubicon!”
I’m good with my sport s with the limited slip rear. Lift, bumpers, winch, wheels and tires and can do any trail I’d attempt until my hearts content. I’m also in for thousands less than what I would pay for a rubicon for accessories I’d never use.

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OP
OP

Shibadog

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And THAT is the entire point. #2 nephew (Pa.)bought a new Jeep Rubi a few years back “it’ll be great for getting to work in the snow”. I told him lockers are not always your friend. Sure enough, ice with snow on top. He heads for work locked up😳. Slides off the road at a corner. Stuck big time. Calls his wife who comes in her Subaru sedan to get him and take him the rest of the way to work😁. Of course nobody teased him about that😂. His big bad modded Jeep stuck while momma’s little Subi just chugged along. Lesson? THE single most important thing thing to bring with you is the thing between your ears.
 

slowcrawlerZJ

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I have owned and modified just about every model of Jeep. Grew up with them as a boy and started buying them once I could. Correct…they drive like tanks, eat gas non stop, can be problematic at times but man how I love them, the things you can do with them, the places they can take you to and the Jeep community as a whole. Great advise on renting one to try out. I rented a new JLR before making my decision to buy one. I wanted to see and feel what improvements were made and all it took was a day on some trails and I went on the hunt for mine.
 


Jim1964

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I’ll say it again for the people in the back.
“Should have bought a Rubicon!”
Shhhhhh….. don’t tell them.

Nothing to see here; Rubicon option is an expensive waste of money. Sure would be a shame if demand fell and the price dropped. Don’t buy one…
 

RFR JLR 2.0

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First time I drove a wrangler was on my 3 mile test drive from the dealer. Went back and bought it and couldn’t have been happier. Now has a 2.5” lift and 35’s, and puts a smile on my face every time I drive it. Also glad I went with the rubicon. It’s taken me places I may never have tried to go without it. May not be for everyone but it was the right choice for me.
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aldo98229

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I am by no means “anti-Rubicon”, they are great for those who are VERY seriously into rock crawling and such. They are just pretty heavy duty overkill for the vast majority of folks. I went pretty well all over in a TJ that didn’t even have limited slip. I see folks buying Rubicons because they live in the snow belt-lockers and snow/ice is a rather interesting combination, not the ticket for winter on road driving.
I agree.

I too have owned several Wranglers with various configurations in different climates. No doubt a Rubicon will get you through winters, but is not the most ideal setup.

I find a Wrangler with a rear LSD to be the best winter setup; you don’t even need to engage 4WD half the time.

And then Selec-Trac just adds another layer of convenience.
 

mferrara91

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I’m good with my sport s with the limited slip rear. Lift, bumpers, winch, wheels and tires and can do any trail I’d attempt until my hearts content. I’m also in for thousands less than what I would pay for a rubicon for accessories I’d never use.

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Well said. I do primarily light trails, sometimes rocky, nothing too extreme and I have never had the need for lockers or sway bar disconnect. I'm into mine for a fraction of what a loaded Rubi would have cost me. There are many out there that buy Rubicons and use them for what they were built for, but then there are just as many out there that buy them because of the name and it will never see dirt. To each his own.

 

Rubitrux
 
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