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Antonmb 01-24-2019 04:17 PM

Jeep Wrangler advice
 
My wife has always loved Jeeps. She currently has a 2004 Liberty, which is getting pretty long in the tooth, but is great for hauling around our big dog, the grandkids, getting around in the snow, and occasionally driving on forest service roads for hiking trips. It has, however, been one of the most trouble-prone vehicles we’ve ever owned. This week we’ve been driving a rental Wrangler 4-door while on vacation, and my wife really likes it (for me it’s meh, but that’s irrelevant). We’ve been talking about replacing the Liberty with a Wrangler Unlimited, either a Rubicon or Safari. We won’t be doing any rock crawling, but will occasionally go off-road, and sometimes our road goes unplowed for a day or two in snowy weather. Anyone have experience with either or both, and have any thoughts or preferences? Any maintenance experience?

PHC1 01-24-2019 04:45 PM

Tony, I don't know if you are looking at new vs preowned or what your budget is.. The new Wrangler "JL" has gone up in price quite a bit from the JK model.

The Wrangler in general is not nearly as compliant or civilized as the Liberty, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee offerings. The Wrangler definitely appeals to a "special group" of enthusiasts who do not mind the increased road noise from off-road biased tires or the harsher ride or the increased interior noise. One either loves it or.... hates it long term. :yes: I've met both types of owners. :D

If off-roading or traversing unplowed/deep snow is part of your "travels" in this type of vehicle, it makes a lot of sense. The Wrangler can also be modified/built up from mild to wild for all kinds of purposes if the desire to do so comes along. Sounds like you have a pretty good idea of what it's all about since you've rented the Wrangler but I would definitely suggest doing an even more thorough test drive, a few times at least to make sure that it appeals to the both of you.

Having said that, in the same price range as the Wrangler JL and especially Rubicon/Safari, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has all the comfort, convenience and awesome off-road and snow capability (with the right wheel/tire combo)

I've owned at least 4 Grand Cherokees and they have always been reliable. There was only 1 recall on my latest one which took 10 min to resolve for the techs.

I don't know about long term Wrangler reliability but I would suggest googling "Wrangler Death Wobble" it is an ongoing problem evidently even with the new JL models. It is a seriously unnerving experience when the front wheels start to oscillate/wobble unexpectedly after hitting a bump and especially at freeway speeds. Not something one forgets and it certainly causes quite a bit of loss of confidence in the vehicle until the problem is resolved which is not an easy task for whatever reason?? :scratch2:

Good luck with your decision. :thumbsup:

Antonmb 01-24-2019 05:12 PM

Serge, thanks for the insights. We’d be buying new, budget up to $60k is ok. My wife has always had a bug for a Wrangler, she doesn’t mind the noise and bouncy ride and she doesn’t really care for the Cherokee. I’m not in love with it, but my daily driver is an MB GLC, and I can handle the occasional outing in a Wrangler and it would be fun to take to the mountains occasionally.

The death wobble does concern me a bit, I’ll do some more research - thanks for that tip.

My understanding is the Rubicon is the more serious off-road configuration, whereas the Safari is a bit more civilized, if one can call any Wrangler civilized, is that right?

Cohibaman 01-24-2019 05:52 PM

Tony,

I posed your question to a friend that has several jeeps. Here’s his reply;

“Have him buy a 2018 JK and avoid the 2019 JL (new design). He’ll have good pricing and a more reliable (proven) Wrangler. The new ones (JL platform started in last half of 2018) are troublesome because they’re first year models. The JK and JL models were made concurrently in 2018 so shop carefully. The interior of the new models is beautiful, but if they decide to do any modding (decorative or otherwise) there is a vast amount of options in the aftermarket for the “older” 2018 JK. Buy a Rubicon version if the budget allows...great for resale when that time comes.

My 2012 JK Wrangler is trouble free at 72,000 miles, with several off pavement excursions each year.”


Good luck.

Mike

PHC1 01-24-2019 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Antonmb (Post 950511)
Serge, thanks for the insights. We’d be buying new, budget up to $60k is ok. My wife has always had a bug for a Wrangler, she doesn’t mind the noise and bouncy ride and she doesn’t really care for the Cherokee. I’m not in love with it, but my daily driver is an MB GLC, and I can handle the occasional outing in a Wrangler and it would be fun to take to the mountains occasionally.

The death wobble does concern me a bit, I’ll do some more research - thanks for that tip.

My understanding is the Rubicon is the more serious off-road configuration, whereas the Safari is a bit more civilized, if one can call any Wrangler civilized, is that right?

Tony, correct. The Rubicon is the serious off-road weapon with sway bar disconnect for maximum suspension flex and other on the fly features for off-roading. The JL although unproven seems to have very positive reception from the enthusiast crowd so far and the new grill design is wonderful. I’ve already built a Rubicon on the Jeep website a dozen times myself. I also really like them. :D

PHC1 01-24-2019 06:33 PM

With my recent curiosity of Wrangler's since I've never owned one and the fact that I enjoy reading "automotive history" I picked up a book on the history of the Jeep. :D Fascinating read since the Jeep has its roots in WWII and was a vehicle that almost never saw the light of day but instead went on to be the most significant vehicle for the armed forces starting in 1941. :yes: The admiration for and duty of the Willis Jeep was both fanatical and indispensable for the soldiers. . :thumbsup:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....4,203,200_.jpg

PHC1 01-24-2019 06:35 PM

Oh yeah, women love them too! Every other Wrangler I see, it is a woman driver. :D

https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6018/5...9ed619dc_b.jpg

Formerly YB-2 01-24-2019 07:22 PM

Serge - where can I get one equipped like that? I've looked & looked at the option lists but can't find. ;)

Higgens 01-24-2019 07:26 PM

Get into your time machine and set it for 1942 :)

W9TR 01-24-2019 07:30 PM

Tony,
Your wife mentioned she doesn’t like the Cherokee. Does she feel that way about the grand Cherokee? Two totally different cars. Definitely not the Wrangler though. More refined. I take my Grand Cherokee on some hairy roads here in Colorado. The Wrangler is more capable but unless you are with a group that can recover your vehicle, the Grand Cherokee will fill the bill for lost off road adventures.


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