Willys vs Rubicon vs 4 runner

displayname

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If Jeep is afraid to offer lockers across non-Rubicon models because it might dilute the Rubicon sub-brand, then it should add a “Rubicon Sport” that offers the off-road goodies at a more affordable price point.

The current setup by which we have to step into a Rubicon just for the lockers might work for greedy FCA, but not for the average off-roader.
I don't know if it would make business sense or not, but I would also be happy to see a Rubicon Sport option.

However, Rubicon, or any Wrangler for that matter, offers little actual content for the money. Things like LEDs, leather, navigation, heated seats, etc., are all standard on vehicles costing $35,000 to $40,000. You need to pay $60,000 to get them on Rubicon.
I guess high ground clearance, convertible tops, and 4x4 don't count as actual content any more. Personally I'd rather spend $35K on a base Wrangler than the same amount on a far less capable SUV with more "content."
I'm just glad the market has options for both.
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aldo98229

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I guess high ground clearance, convertible tops, and 4x4 don't count as actual content any more. Personally I'd rather spend $35K on a base Wrangler than the same amount on a far less capable SUV with more "content."
I'm just glad the market has options for both.
Well, I guess the point I was trying to make is that in developing JL, FCA made the decision to spend more time and attention on overall refinement and adding comfort features, than expanding its off-road capabilities.

Doing so greatly expanded Wrangler’s target audience by appealing to buyers who wouldn't normally have considered a Wrangler before. JL is now attracting more first-time Jeep buyers than ever before, and JL has been a sales success. Which is all fine and good.

But these changes in brand direction bring their own set of challenges. Attracting a more “mainstream” group of buyers also means that Wrangler is going to be increasingly judged by how it performs as a daily driver. Adding to that, FCA keeps raising prices fast and, in doing so, is replacing Wrangler’s traditional blue-collar, life-long off-roaders with more affluent yuppies who don’t intend to go off-road.

As such, “value for money" will become increasingly judged less by off-road prowess and more by curb appeal, and day-to-day practicality.

I’m not saying I agree with it. But that’s the direction FCA has chosen.
 

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Well, I guess the point I was trying to make is that in developing JL, FCA made the decision to spend more time and attention on overall refinement and adding comfort features, than expanding its off-road capabilities.

Doing so greatly expanded Wrangler’s target audience by appealing to buyers who wouldn't normally have considered a Wrangler before. JL is now attracting more first-time Jeep buyers than ever before, and JL has been a sales success. Which is all fine and good.

But these changes in brand direction bring their own set of challenges. Attracting a more “mainstream” group of buyers also means that Wrangler is going to be increasingly judged by how it performs as a daily driver. Adding to that, FCA keeps raising prices fast and, in doing so, is replacing Wrangler’s traditional blue-collar, life-long off-roaders with more affluent yuppies who don’t intend to go off-road.

As such, “value for money" will become increasingly judged less by off-road prowess and more by curb appeal, and day-to-day practicality.

I’m not saying I agree with it. But that’s the direction FCA has chosen.
That's a fair assessment. Honestly, I think everything is going up though. Outside of small crossovers and sedans, the market doesn't have much under $35. The Wrangler may be on the rise with more creature comforts being added, but I still view a base Sport as a very affordable vehicle.
 

Yogi1956

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I had a 2017 off road premium with the KDSS. I hated that car more than any other vehicle I’ve ever owned. The body roll around corners on that thing was horrendous. Interior was so dated I felt like I had been transported back 15 years. But that’s just my opinion haha.
I had the same in a 14’, could never get a small vibration out of it on the freeway. Balanced, changed tires and no help from Toyota. Quite a few squeaks too
 

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Trying to compare dealer stock the price difference is always massive. Watching my local dealers stock for years, it is obvious why. They stock low optioned sports/willys or loaded rubicons/Saharas. They never have the in between loaded willys or base rubicon/Sahara. The uninformed buyer will look at that and assume all saharas/rubicons are pushing $60k and sports/willys are $20k cheaper. If you want all the off road goodies, but don't want all the creature comforts, the Rubicon is affordable. You will have to custom order it that way though as I've literally never seen 1 in stock. If you want the most off road ability at the absolute cheapest possible price, the Willys is a great value. As far as tire size, 32-33's are great for most trails. If you want to play in the big rocks, bigger is better. With lockers you can drag your way over the rocks on 33's, but a long trail like the Rubicon or the Dusy that gets old really fast. We bought our Rubicon as both my wife's daily driver and for use in big rocks. We went for the loaded with tech, creature comforts, and off road goodies and it's been worth every penny. Ran moderate trails for the first year and then went with a 2.5" lift and 37's. 2 moab trips, ouray, multiple desert trips, and the dusy have all been more fun with the bigger tires. Personally I'd go stripped Rubicon over a Willy's but only because we use the sway bar disco and lockers often.
 

Ridgway Jeeper

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Not everybody values things like leather, led lights, Alpine stereo systems, painted fenders/roof panels, adaptive cruise and safety systems. I understand I am the odd ball on this but I ordered two new vehicles this year and avoided ALL of those things on both intentionally, not because I could not afford to add them. We got rid of two vehicles that had all of those things...

I found a dealer in Denver that does order, or did prior to the supply crisis, base Rubicons. They had several under $45k this past spring. They are rare, no argument there, and they refused to do a dealer trade so I ordered locally instead.
 

gato

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Well, I guess the point I was trying to make is that in developing JL, FCA made the decision to spend more time and attention on overall refinement and adding comfort features, than expanding its off-road capabilities.

Doing so greatly expanded Wrangler’s target audience by appealing to buyers who wouldn't normally have considered a Wrangler before. JL is now attracting more first-time Jeep buyers than ever before, and JL has been a sales success. Which is all fine and good.

But these changes in brand direction bring their own set of challenges. Attracting a more “mainstream” group of buyers also means that Wrangler is going to be increasingly judged by how it performs as a daily driver. Adding to that, FCA keeps raising prices fast and, in doing so, is replacing Wrangler’s traditional blue-collar, life-long off-roaders with more affluent yuppies who don’t intend to go off-road.

As such, “value for money" will become increasingly judged less by off-road prowess and more by curb appeal, and day-to-day practicality.

I’m not saying I agree with it. But that’s the direction FCA has chosen.

Pretty much all the so called "creature comfort features" are optional in the Wrangler line up. You can buy a stripped sport. You can buy a Willys sport and you can buy a basic Rubicon with only power doors/windows and a 7" display being the "forced" creature comfort options.

If anything, the exact opposite is happening. The competition from the Bronco off-road features (35s from the factory, 4.7 gears from the factory, etc) are forcing Jeep to add more off-road focused content (XR, 4.88 gears, etc).
 

Ridgway Jeeper

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Not to mention the Bronco with rubber seats and floor, that is a different kind of luxury for sure :)
 

Zandcwhite

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I think we are confusing two different things:
  1. Yes, Rubicon offers incredible value when you consider the hardware you gain for an additional $4,000: front and rear D44 axles with lockers, swaybar disconnect, 4:1 transfer case, etc.
  2. However, Rubicon, or any Wrangler for that matter, offers little actual content for the money. Things like LEDs, leather, navigation, heated seats, etc., are all standard on vehicles costing $35,000 to $40,000. You need to pay $60,000 to get them on Rubicon.
Sure, the removable hardtop and Wrangler’s “image” are worth it to some. But that still doesn’t mean that Rubicon is an “incredible value.” The only reason Jeep has gotten away with shortchanging buyers is because Wrangler hasn’t had a direct competitor for a long time.
If Bronco is that direct competitor, they are literally priced nearly identically. If a 4wd truck is that competitor, again in the same price range. If your comparison vehicles are unibody, 2wd or all wheel drive cars or soft roaders, well there are a multitude of reasons they are cheaper...and worth every penny. Body on frame, real 4wd with a transfer case, durable vehicles are expensive period. That's not short changing buyers, it is pricing to the market. If Jeeps were nearly as overpriced as some seem to think they are, they wouldn't sell. Look at the land rover if you want to see what people will pay for a base luxury off roader. If you think Wranglers should come standard with power everything, leather, etc, get ready for $50k base price and options pushing near six figures.
 

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How is the 4 Runner's transmission compared to the 8-speed ZF in the JL? Does the 4 Runner's trans take anything away from the driving experience? People say the Toyota gets worse mpg also. Is that true?
I have the manual in the JL and the 4R has a V8. The 4R gets up and goes, the JL I drive with a little more finesse, on road.

The JL gets about 19mpg, the 4R gets about 17 mpg.
 

Zandcwhite

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I have the manual in the JL and the 4R has a V8. The 4R gets up and goes, the JL I drive with a little more finesse, on road.

The JL gets about 19mpg, the 4R gets about 17 mpg.
Manual 2dr jl 6.1sec 0-60, v8 4 runner...7.1sec. The v8 note makes it feel like it's doing more than it is.
 

Hinckle21901

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I went with the Willy's. Obviously price of the Rubicon was a issue, but I also won't be doing anymore super hardcore wheeling or modifying. We all say that don't we? LOL Anyways, The Willy's gives the best bang for the buck for the offroader. I wish Mopar would have offered the steel bumper package with the Willy but they didn't. On a plus note it leaves the customer to decide on his front and rear bumper choice. The included rock rails are quality so I feel no need to change those.
 

AcesandEights

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Manual 2dr jl 6.1sec 0-60, v8 4 runner...7.1sec. The v8 note makes it feel like it's doing more than it is.
Haha, maybe to some folks. Sound isnt feel, but sounds like you're trying to argue something that I'm not.
 

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So this whole "Rubicon Sport" idea baffles me. They pretty much come that way if you do not pile on the options. The base Rubicon equipment level is nearly identical to a Sport S. I suppose there would be the opportunity to go to steel wheels, roll up windows, 5" screen no AC but would that really sell? Seems to me a fairly "basic" Rubicon already exists...
 
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