The path that leads me to consider a Jeep JL Sport

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Patrick
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First, I never owned or considered any kind of Jeep.

I live within the city of Albany NY, the Catskills are to the south and the Adirondacks are to the north. There is a Jeep Wrangler club in the area. I began camping last year towing a 900 lbs. micro camper. And I have been kayaking for some time. Moreover, my one and only vehicle is a Kia Soul 1.6 liter 6-speed manual with an aftermarket hitch 4-pin and roof racks. It is easy to imagine I over stress the car sometimes…

So what I am looking for:
-Short wheelbase for parallel parking in a city – tight spaces
-Trailer hitch with 7-pin connector to tow up to 2,500 for future towing requirements - need trailer brake in NY when curb weight is over 1,000 lbs.
-Roof rack to carry kayak(s) and or Bicycle(s)
-Air conditioning
-Ability to go off-road – not mountain climbing - participate in club events and charities

Nothing more... It’s all about getting closer to nature…

I built a Jeep JL Sport 2-door on Jeep’s website with tow package, limited slip, and air conditioning. The total is $31,625 plus fees and sales tax.

Heartburn (for me that is):
-31,625 for a barebones vehicle – big premium for off-road
-Only 2,000 lbs. max towing (3,500 for 4-door model which includes different gear ratio) why isn’t the different gear ratio included in the 2-door model for towing up the to 3,500
-Elaborate roof rack with soft top

So, why am I considering a Jeep Wrangler…? I need help rationalizing the purchase... Or do I caution to the wind and consider it a "Jeep thing"...

P.S. Great forum - thanks all for your contributions...
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Jeepsterfreak

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First, I never owned or considered any kind of Jeep.

I live within the city of Albany NY, the Catskills are to the south and the Adirondacks are to the north. There is a Jeep Wrangler club in the area. I began camping last year towing a 900 lbs. micro camper. And I have been kayaking for some time. Moreover, my one and only vehicle is a Kia Soul 1.6 liter 6-speed manual with an aftermarket hitch 4-pin and roof racks. It is easy to imagine I over stress the car sometimes…

So what I am looking for:
-Short wheelbase for parallel parking in a city – tight spaces
-Trailer hitch with 7-pin connector to tow up to 2,500 for future towing requirements - need trailer brake in NY when curb weight is over 1,000 lbs.
-Roof rack to carry kayak(s) and or Bicycle(s)
-Air conditioning
-Ability to go off-road – not mountain climbing - participate in club events and charities

Nothing more... It’s all about getting closer to nature…

I built a Jeep JL Sport 2-door on Jeep’s website with tow package, limited slip, and air conditioning. The total is $31,625 plus fees and sales tax.

Heartburn (for me that is):
-31,625 for a barebones vehicle – big premium for off-road
-Only 2,000 lbs. max towing (3,500 for 4-door model which includes different gear ratio) why isn’t the different gear ratio included in the 2-door model for towing up the to 3,500
-Elaborate roof rack with soft top

So, why am I considering a Jeep Wrangler…? I need help rationalizing the purchase... Or do I caution to the wind and consider it a "Jeep thing"...

P.S. Great forum - thanks all for your contributions...
3.45 gear ratio is same for 2 or 4 door.

I believe tow rating is based on wheelbase and weight.
 

Raylan Givens

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A Wrangler is probably not the best choice for what you have listed as requirements. However if you get the four door hardtop it will be the most fun vehicle that meets your requirements.
 

Shooting or Jeeping

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Look, I’ll say this- on paper, there are other options for you. A 4Runner would be right in line for you, as well as some other smaller utes.

That in mind, the Jeep is honestly the most fun for the money. You can’t take a top off of anything else. You can’t take the doors off of anything else. You can’t get the looks with anything else (short of a sports car). No one has a poster of a Tacoma on their walls.

You get the options you want, the fun factor you’ll love and a billion ways to make it your own. And if you want a test- ask others if they’ve ever wanted to own a Jeep. The odds will be in your favor...
 
OP
OP
Who's Wrangler is this?
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Jeepsterfreak, thank you for the correction. I can't find where I thought I saw the reference for the different axle ratio for the 3,500 pounds towing on the unlimited.
 
OP
OP
Who's Wrangler is this?
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Shooting or Jeeping, yes - I have considered the 4runner. It is still a consideration - minimum MSRP is 37,300. More than I wanted to pay and longer than I wanted to park in the city. But if I were to accept the total length - the 4runner and the unlimited are about the same length. The unlimited has better MPG. The unlimited with same options as the 2-door I spec'ed 35,275.

And talking about the "wow factor". I'm in the village of Lake George this weekend and I saw a JK unlimited with doors off and top down - many admirers and I was envious...
 

Bubba33

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My first one and it has been on my bucket list. Like said above there is nothing else that gives you the fun feeling , like this JLU.
 

ThirtyOne

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If the price seems high for what you get you can check out a new or used JK.

Also if you use the dealers from this site you get 5% below invoice on a JL if you order it.
 

BlackRook

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If the price seems high for what you get you can check out a new or used JK.

Also if you use the dealers from this site you get 5% below invoice on a JL if you order it.
This. Don't even pay attention to the MSRP, a little due diligence on your part and you should be able go get a lot less (5% under invoice is roughly 10-14% under MSRP, as a frame of reference).
 

The_Phew

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Many folks have had the same requirements as you and chose a Subie Outback.

Obviously a Wrangler would be nice, but a $32k Outback is pretty loaded (could possibly even get the 3.6L engine at that price), and a $32k Wrangler has crank windows and manual door locks. An Outback also comes from the factory with a good roof rack (and 150 lb roof rack capacity), but Wranglers require pretty serious (read: $) modification to put two kayaks up there. Don't listen to the folks on here that say you need a Rubicon with a lift and 37" tires to drive on a dirt trail; an Outback will take you pretty far off the beaten path (I've driven them on some pretty gnarly trails/forded ~foot deep creeks, etc). There's nothing saying you can't put all-terrain tires on them if needed, also.

An Outback is pretty dull to drive, though. Decisions, decisions.
 
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RussJeep1

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First, I never owned or considered any kind of Jeep.

I live within the city of Albany NY, the Catskills are to the south and the Adirondacks are to the north. There is a Jeep Wrangler club in the area. I began camping last year towing a 900 lbs. micro camper. And I have been kayaking for some time. Moreover, my one and only vehicle is a Kia Soul 1.6 liter 6-speed manual with an aftermarket hitch 4-pin and roof racks. It is easy to imagine I over stress the car sometimes…

So what I am looking for:
-Short wheelbase for parallel parking in a city – tight spaces
-Trailer hitch with 7-pin connector to tow up to 2,500 for future towing requirements - need trailer brake in NY when curb weight is over 1,000 lbs.
-Roof rack to carry kayak(s) and or Bicycle(s)
-Air conditioning
-Ability to go off-road – not mountain climbing - participate in club events and charities

Nothing more... It’s all about getting closer to nature…

I built a Jeep JL Sport 2-door on Jeep’s website with tow package, limited slip, and air conditioning. The total is $31,625 plus fees and sales tax.

Heartburn (for me that is):
-31,625 for a barebones vehicle – big premium for off-road
-Only 2,000 lbs. max towing (3,500 for 4-door model which includes different gear ratio) why isn’t the different gear ratio included in the 2-door model for towing up the to 3,500
-Elaborate roof rack with soft top

So, why am I considering a Jeep Wrangler…? I need help rationalizing the purchase... Or do I caution to the wind and consider it a "Jeep thing"...

P.S. Great forum - thanks all for your contributions...
Patrick: if I may speak frankly, if not also maybe a tad bit too honestly, I am guessing (maybe incorrectly) that you are in a quandary because you have unknowingly contradicted yourself. I'll point out the two statements if I may:

"Nothing more" and "So, why am I considering a Jeep Wrangler…?"

If these requirements were truly nothing more, allow me to humbly suggest a Subaru (towing weight?). They're great vehicles. They'll reliable, comfortable, and safely take you places and have all the features you seek and more.

If I may also guess, you are considering a Jeep Wrangler because you acknowledge that they are so much more dang fun, and you are trying to quantify what this fun differential is worth to you in money.

Coming from Albany, taking Amtrak to Koons Chrysler in Vienna, VA to pick up a new JL at 5% below invoice in not hard. Go from Albany to Penn Station, NY, to D.C., and take the D.C. metro to the VA suburb's station that's walking distance to Koons. (I did it, and recommend this.)

The Lake George area is just too beautiful to not, if you can afford it, take off as many parts of your rig as you can in the warmer weather to enjoy it.

I'm jest: I'm thinking of trying to get legislation passed that makes it illegal, on a nice summer day, to park your Wrangler at any of the lakeside eateries, and not have top and doors off.;)

Do note though that especially soon after their brought to market, roof racks for a soft top will be expensive.
 
OP
OP
Who's Wrangler is this?
First Name
Patrick
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Location
Albany, NY
Vehicle(s)
2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Rubicon 2-door
Thanks all, there is a lot of info to process here...

A local dealer contacted my today and said that a 2-door Sport JL arrived with these options:

8–Speed Automatic Transmission
Deep Tint Sunscreen Windows
Air Conditioning
Black Freedom Top® 3–Piece Hard Top

I think it is the first 2-door Sport JL in the area - all the others have been Rubicons... Will get a look tomorrow.

I'm waiting for a standard shift Sport JL to arrive at another local dealer.

Thanks again for all your comments.
 
OP
OP
Who's Wrangler is this?
First Name
Patrick
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Location
Albany, NY
Vehicle(s)
2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Rubicon 2-door
Thanks all, there is a lot of info to process here...

A local dealer contacted my today and said that a 2-door Sport JL arrived with these options:

8–Speed Automatic Transmission
Deep Tint Sunscreen Windows
Air Conditioning
Black Freedom Top® 3–Piece Hard Top

I think it is the first 2-door Sport JL in the area - all the others have been Rubicons... Will get a look tomorrow.

I'm waiting for a standard shift Sport JL to arrive at another local dealer.

Thanks again for all your comments.
Test drove the 2-door Sport JL 8–Speed Automatic - love it... More refined than I had expected... Less road and wind noise than expected, and not as harsh on the road than expected. Actually thrilled. It is fire cracker red.

It has the hardtop and I found that the drip edge is extended all the way back to the top on the hardtop JL's. This means that cross bars can be mounted with enough separation to safely carry a kayak(s).

I saw a pumpkin on the lot. The color is nice. Must see in person - I have not seen an internet picture that truly captures the color.

A half an hour after I left the dealership several JL unlimited arrived and at least one has manual transmission. So, will get a chance to try a manual...
 
OP
OP
Who's Wrangler is this?
First Name
Patrick
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Location
Albany, NY
Vehicle(s)
2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Rubicon 2-door
Forgot to mention the steering takes a little getting used to. The mechanism feels tight but the steering (track of vehicle) tends to wander somewhat.
 
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