Test drove my first ever Wranglers today. Thoughts and help with concerns please

Yolobaggins

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So I test drove 3 different Wranglers today for the first time. 3 cars I have owned in the past: 98 Expedition, Mazda 3 and my current, Rav 4 Hybrid, just so you see where I am coming from

Drove a Rubicon 3.6 hard top, Diesel Soft, and a Sky 2.0. My thoughts and questions:

- Instantly liked the 2.0 better. I knew it was different without looking at the sticker
- I liked the Rubicon but was a little bit more "rough" than I was expecting
- Soft Top to me is the exact same vs Hard Top in terms of sound
- Diesel is loud as hell but responsive
- I felt the leather seats were more uncomfortable than than the cloth (and I love leather)
- Holy crap the heater works. I was sweating within 1 minute in that thing. I could imagine myself driving doors off and roof off in the winter with that
- Idk why people complain about the steering. I loved it. It felt super responsive and smooth, like I could turn around anything
- I actually enjoyed the sport model better than the Rubicon, I believe due to the tires, suspension, and the 2.0. It just felt better on the road
- Loved the 8.4 and the Alpine, hard to not go to that instead of 7.0
- The backup camera is one of the highest qualities I have seen

So my questions are

- With that good of a heater, is the cold weather group still worth it?
- I want to eventually have leather (kids, easy clean up) Is Katzkin a good seat?
- I want to upgrade the sport look (small lift, aggressive tires, hood, etc) Will this hinder how I liked the way the Sport felt better on pavement than the Rubicon?
- I couldn't test the lights do to being the day. LED group that much better?
- Didn't test the safety group. Is that worth it as well? I have all of the safety stuff on my Rav 4. I just like the blind spot and back up camera warning part. I hate the lane assist peep, the steering control stuff, etc

Sorry for long post but man I enjoyed it!





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MauiSteve

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Get the Rubicon, check the differences, it’s not just a sticker. Best resale too.
Led option is good if your budget can handle it.
 

rocky4by

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So I test drove 3 different Wranglers today for the first time. 3 cars I have owned in the past: 98 Expedition, Mazda 3 and my current, Rav 4 Hybrid, just so you see where I am coming from

Drove a Rubicon 3.6 hard top, Diesel Soft, and a Sky 2.0. My thoughts and questions:

- Instantly liked the 2.0 better. I knew it was different without looking at the sticker
- I liked the Rubicon but was a little bit more "rough" than I was expecting
- Soft Top to me is the exact same vs Hard Top in terms of sound
- Diesel is loud as hell but responsive
- I felt the leather seats were more uncomfortable than than the cloth (and I love leather)
- Holy crap the heater works. I was sweating within 1 minute in that thing. I could imagine myself driving doors off and roof off in the winter with that
- Idk why people complain about the steering. I loved it. It felt super responsive and smooth, like I could turn around anything
- I actually enjoyed the sport model better than the Rubicon, I believe due to the tires, suspension, and the 2.0. It just felt better on the road
- Loved the 8.4 and the Alpine, hard to not go to that instead of 7.0
- The backup camera is one of the highest qualities I have seen

So my questions are

- With that good of a heater, is the cold weather group still worth it?
- I want to eventually have leather (kids, easy clean up) Is Katzkin a good seat?
- I want to upgrade the sport look (small lift, aggressive tires, hood, etc) Will this hinder how I liked the way the Sport felt better on pavement than the Rubicon?
- I couldn't test the lights do to being the day. LED group that much better?
- Didn't test the safety group. Is that worth it as well? I have all of the safety stuff on my Rav 4. I just like the blind spot and back up camera warning part. I hate the lane assist peep, the steering control stuff, etc

Sorry for long post but man I enjoyed it!
Good information, :like: that's funny with all our different thoughts between models. I just frove a sport diesel today and thought how quite it was and the torque is great.
 
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Yondu_JLU

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Awesome to hear that you loved your initial experience!

Regarding how it will ride with bigger tires and a lift, and as a 2.0 Sport S owner myself, I can vouch that it will ride a bit different, but not drastically. I have a Mopar lift and 35s on mine with a few other goodies, but honestly with a good alignment and proper suspension geometry, this thing rides as smooth as butter.

If you want to get an aggressive looking tire, but want to retain a relatively high tread-life, I recommend going with a set of all terrains or hybrids. I run Trail Grappler M/T’s and they ride really well for what they are, but they have to be maintained VERY regularly to get the most life out of them.

You’ll love the 2.0 motor if you choose to go with it! It’s very peppy, even with the added weight of 35s and a lift. Plus, you can brag that you’ve got a turbo .
 

Wabujitsu

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I went with a JKS 3.5” lift (over 4” actually) on my 2018 Sport with 2.0 turbo. I also upgraded to 33” Toyo Open Country AT 2s. The ride and handling after the lift are virtually the same as when it was stock.
 

Xcoaste

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The type of tires will greatly change the ride quality of any vehicle.
I keep my vehicles garaged so I passed on the cold weather group.
When considering hard vs soft top also think about security of the top and also how easy you want it to be to get into the rear. I coach a baseball team and the soft top is a big hassle compared to the soft top. Because of this I swap my hard top out a little later in the season than most people. It isn’t a huge deal, but something to consider for some.
 

Abramovich

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- With that good of a heater, is the cold weather group still worth it?
Personal preference.
- I want to eventually have leather (kids, easy clean up) Is Katzkin a good seat?
Yes, very nice and great selection
- I want to upgrade the sport look (small lift, aggressive tires, hood, etc) Will this hinder how I liked the way the Sport felt better on pavement than the Rubicon?
No, should be fine.
- I couldn't test the lights do to being the day. LED group that much better?
Yes, the OEM LED is a great value and high quality. The number 1 things buyers regret not getting.
- Didn't test the safety group. Is that worth it as well? I have all of the safety stuff on my Rav 4. I just like the blind spot and back up camera warning part. I hate the lane assist peep, the steering control stuff, etc
Personal preference, but you can shut off the blind spot audible warning.
 

BritishGuy

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Careful, you're one step closer to owning a JL! :) Here's my $0.02, coming from somebody with a 2019 JLUR 3.6 manual and having checked most of the option list...
  • When your hands are cold and you then feel the warmth from that heated steering wheel, you'll know that package was totally worth it. Even down here in Texas I use it in the brief winter that we have.
  • I too thought the leather seats were harder than the cloth seats, but after having to clean up a mess in the backseat from the kids, I'll get leather everyday and just deal with a little bit more of the firmness.
  • LED group - MOST DEFINITELY! Such a huge difference and to me this is more like a safety feature than 'pretty lights'. Totally worth it and I'd not buy one without. There are some aftermarket LED lights out there and I'm sure some come close, but the factory LED ones are fantastic.
  • The Safety Group is okay - blind spot monitor works as does the really loud backup warning. I don't know about the Advanced Safety Group because, as like you, I didn't want that type of system on the Jeep. My fear is that it would break just after the warranty expires and end up costing me thousands to get the vehicle moving again.
A number of people on this site have purchased a Sport/S or the Sahara and then regretted not getting the Rubicon. Others have realized they've bought more than they wanted and downgraded. Take plenty of test drives, do the numbers, and get exactly what you want.


Good luck!

- Matt
 

Dkretden

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OP,

if you buy the sport, consider getting a Rubi take-off suspension. They are cheap as chips and may just give you the exact stance that you want. And, it’s Mopar so no warranty concerns. Maybe try that before investing in a lift?
 

aldo98229

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See my answers below:

- With that good of a heater, is the cold weather group still worth it? —depends how cold it gets where you are. The nice thing about the Cold Weather Group is that you can start the Jeep remotely and have the seats and steering wheel all nice a toasty waiting for you.

- I want to eventually have leather (kids, easy clean up) Is Katzkin a good seat? —Katzkin is just the leather upholstery. If you decide to add Katzkin leather, the installer will remove the fabric and replace it with Katzkin leather. Supposedly, Katzkin is the supplier of leather seats to FCA, so you get as good quality or better. I have them on my JL; they look like factory. It is key to find a good installer, though.

- I want to upgrade the sport look (small lift, aggressive tires, hood, etc) Will this hinder how I liked the way the Sport felt better on pavement than the Rubicon? —Yes. You will be adding height to the center of gravity and unsprung weight, both of which work directly against physics in handling. Jeep owners who claim that “the lift and the heavy tires improved my Jeep’s ride and handling” are in denial. The reality is you may or may not get a better ride, but the handling is going to suffer, unfortunately. In fact, I suspect the reason you liked the way the Sport handled was precisely because it comes with smaller —i.e., lighter— tires and a lower center of gravity.

- I couldn't test the lights do to being the day. LED group that much better? —Yes. Night and day. Pun intended.

- Didn't test the safety group. Is that worth it as well? I have all of the safety stuff on my Rav 4. I just like the blind spot and back up camera warning part. I hate the lane assist peep, the steering control stuff, etc. —then get the basic Safety Group; it adds BSM, rear sonar and LED taillights. The backup camera is standard on all JLs. The Advanced Safety Group adds the lane departure warning, ACC and forward collision. It is all expensive, sensitive electronics that are bound to break, anyway.
 
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Jdsmoke

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Sport S here- think about how you are going to use the vehicle the most. I off road 2-3 times a year on the greens and blues. I don’t need lockers. I upgraded to a 2.5 inch lift, 35s and new bumpers. I would have done all this mater the vehicle so the sport saved me cash over the Rubicon. I wish I had the factory LEDs and Alpine stereo as I upgraded these but could have lived w the OEM versions.
 

rickinAZ

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With that good of a heater, is the cold weather group still worth it?
I didn't buy the cold weather group for somewhat obvious reasons, but I heard that the heated wheel is too hot with no way to modulate it.
 

tts42572

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As somebody who just went through what you're going through, it's tough! I placed an order a few weeks ago for a Rubicon and don't have it yet so can't say much.

One thing that helped me though is this forum and you tube. Just do what you're doing here browsing threads and gather advice from other owners. And watch you tube videos. I watched for weeks just trying to help myself decide what was really important to me and see where my heart really was.

I was debating a Willy's and a Rubicon. I'm not an off roader and don't need the Rubi, but that was what I kept coming back to even though logically the Willy's probably made more sense for me. I just loved the style of it with the accents, sporty hood, lifted look, bigger tires, etc. And I knew I would never do the lift and bigger tires myself if I didn't buy it that way. Hopefully when I get to the point where I need new tires I can step up to some 35's without any other work.

Cold weather group was a must have for me being in Upstate NY with cold weather like 7 months a year.

LED's were something I didn't think I needed at first, but added to my order at the last minute because I just really dug how they looked and was going to regret not getting them as they look cool and also provide more functional light.

Safety group....I added that. Just like the blind spot monitoring.

I started with the 7.0 radio without Alpine but ended up getting the 8.4 with alpine. Another one of those things I didn't really need but was going to regret if I didn't do it.

Seat type...I'm personally not a fan of leather at all. I just had leather seats for the first time in my last car because it was bought off the lot and hated them. Twice I've had to have things repaired....one tear that happened by itself on a seam and a hole that came about somehow. I stuck with cloth on my recent JL order. And for me, cloth is often more comfortable.

One other thing to consider is the remote proximity. I was on the fence here but didn't get it. I may regret this with the size of the key fob but just didn't think it was something I needed. My wife has it on her car and I don't even use it when I drive it and still find myself unlocking the doors with the fob. I suspect if I were a female with a purse or if I had other stuff I was always carrying that could hold the fob, this would be a must have though so you could just toss that fob in your purse/bags and forget about it. I guess to me it wasn't worth $500 and I'm okay pushing a button on the fob to unlock the doors.

Tow group is another option....Didn't get that as I don't tow and don't have need for the aux switches as I don't plan to add a winch, lights or other stuff.

One other big decision for me was the top choice on painted versus black. I loved both looks but after a lot of debate decided I liked the black a tiny bit better. Just liked the contrast with the sting gray color Jeep. On some colors I liked the painted better though (black, granite Crystal, Blue). Basically I think I decided I liked painted on the darker colors and black when it could provide good contrast (sting gray, billet silver, yellow, red, etc).

Last decision I remember was steel vs plastic bumpers. I stuck with plastic as to me they look fine. Yeah, steel looks a bit better but I worried about steel holding up with snow and salt in NY winters. Mostly, I just didn't want to spend $1,800 for the full steel group. There's tons of after market options also so figured that's something that's easy enough to change later if I want.

Just thought I'd toss out my decision making process on some of the stuff that comes up. It's all personal preference though and great that there so many choices.

Figure out the budget, what's really important to you. There's so many options with these things the possibilities are endless.
 
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DavidArmen

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Glad you liked the rides! I just want to be one more proponent for the LED package, if for nothing but safety reasons. I would highly recommend that option more than any others. The halogens don’t even come close to the whiteness and brightness of the LED Headlights in my opinion.
 

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Tires will definitely effect sound, handling and interior noise. Years ago I put a set of very nice looking, moderately aggressive tires on my TJ and the ”drone” on the highway was unreal. Got rid of them at 11k miles and replaced with a more aggressive tire that was a Lot quieter. Looks can’t tell you how they’ll sound. Talk to folks on the forum before springing for a more aggressive tire. The heater in my JL is truly incredible. I have warm are before I reach the end of my 1/4 mile drive.
 

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