Jeep Wrangler - any owners?

Discussion in 'Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Airplanes Talk' started by purr1n, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Pilsnerpunk

    Pilsnerpunk Friend

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  2. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

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  3. Tim Thomas

    Tim Thomas Friend

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    SBAF Logo Grill or in the Head Rests!
     
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  4. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

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    hello,
    when i move to Hilo, i want one of these with no top, and drain holes.
     
  5. aamefford

    aamefford Nothing like chamberpot coffee

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    I’ve been in Hilo since Wednesday night. Thursday was as beautiful as Hilo can be. The rest of the days have had a few dry spells, but otherwise have been as wet as I have ever seen it. Make sure they are BIG drain Holes!

    My very limited experience with the Wrangler 4 door (probably 2017 model year) was as an on road vehicle for a 4 day rental in Honolulu, so a bit thin. My take away is you really need to need (or want) the Wrangler’s off-road capabilities to have it as your daily driver. I found it loud and cobby as a daily driver. I’d love one as a weekender, if my life could accommodate a weekend warrior. My daily driver is a nicely optioned 2014 Ram 1500 crew cab, just for reference.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Took a test drive of the 2018 JLU "Unlimited" (4 door) with the family. First off, the kids loved it! I guess it makes sense because they are only a few years graduated from Tonka trucks and Bob the Builder toys. I think they had fun climbing in - but I doubt that fun would last long without a rocker rail or step. There's definitely a coolness factor. My daughter imagines taking the top panels off, installing netting, and driving on the beach. Both kids have already called dibs on the car when they are old enough to drive.

    The 2018 JL drove much better than I thought it would based on comments here and there. I haven't driven the older 2017 JK yet, but I assume improvements were made to the 2018 JL to make it more daily driver friendly. It's got a little bit of that truck feel with slightly numb steering and road isolation. But compared to something like a Buick Enclave or Tahoe, the JL's handling seems to be in another class. The JL felt imminently controllable. The brakes felt good with good bite. Understeer to my surprise was not excessive. I almost drove into the curb making a right turn out of the dealer lot and had to correct because I wrongly assumed that understeer would be excessive, like that of other SUVs I've owned such as the Encore or MDX. Body roll was minimal during moderately high speed turns and shock damping was on the stiffer side (my preference - I hate the boaty Ford Mustang feel). I'm sure that bit of gas on the solid rear axle helped rotate it quickly too. While I did not drive the JK, I did sit inside it and noted that rear passenger leg room was less by a few inches. The inch or two makes a big difference. The JL seems to have much more legroom in the back. I think the JL sitting position was slightly more comfortable too with more recline.

    The 8-speed auto along with the gas pedal responsiveness were fantastic. It's not sluggish, refusing to downshift, like my old MDX or all Hondas of today. And it's not overly sensitive and aggressive like the BMWs. The auto was actually really smart, downshifting and helping the motor pick up when it needed to - when I wanted it to. Depression of the gas pedal past 50% yielded results - more acceleration. No concerns about the 6 cylinder Pentastar motor at all, which I initially had because the torque and HP come on late past 4000RPM rather than early. The 8-speed auto just does a great job. However, I am super curious about the turbo 4-banger / mild hybrid which is due to come out later this year. That motor is tuned with more torque and at a lower RPM point. Visibility also exceeded my expectations, but then again, I am coming from the HUGE B-pillar on our Enclave (which makes the blindspot sensor almost mandatory) and HUGE passenger side blind spot on the BRZ from the useless rear quarter window, already obscured by the passenger headrest, even more useless.

    The things that concerned my wife and I? The wind noise from the back. We drove the hard top JL. The removable hard top panel material seems to be very similar to that of those plastic foldable tables sold at Office Depot. They are just bare without any sound insulation on them, although I am aware that there are several aftermarket brands of headliner / acoustic insulation material for them. And the digital screen instrument cluster makes me a bit nervous. I like mechanical stuff - electrical stuff always scares me unless they've tested them in orbit like avionics for air and spacecraft.

    Finally, have any of you guys wondered WTF this byzantine system of dealer networks still exists in 2018? Car shopping should be easy. Dealer networks are a fricking scam perpetuated by the owners and butthead state politicians of a bygone era.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  7. JK47

    JK47 The Beer Houdini

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    I'm heavily considering trading in my WRX for the upcoming diesel JL.
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Shady Dealers - Why is Car Buying Still So Difficult in 2018?

    Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep dealers are shady as hell. This is the most annoying experience I've had trying to make a purchase decision for an automobile. It's like trying to pull teeth to get numbers of out of these guys. All I get in response is to come by the showroom, even when they do not have the car that I want on the lot. In contrast, I've never had a problem getting straight numbers from the Internet managers out of Chevy, Subaru, Acurca, Toyota, Honda, and Lexus dealers. I don't know if things have changed over the years, but every Jeep dealer I've contacted has three or four Internet salespeople. It use to be that dealerships only had one or two; and these Internet salespeople were often senior level or easier to deal with because they were expected to work with more intelligent customers who had done their research. It's super annoying being contacted by three different people at the same dealership in two days. You'd think they be using CRM tools like Salesforce to work together and land the sale, instead of this Glengarry Glen Ross bullshit where the random dude who lands the actual sale wins.

    It suddenly dawned on me that these dealers expect you to act like how any decent normal person would, while they themselves would not. It's basically pathological behavior on their part to land a sale. Therefore, I decided that I should just test drive the heck out of as many permuations of the Wrangler as possible (including the older JK while they are still around) from as many dealers as possible. If they want to waste my time, I should take it up upon myself to waste their time. They can try to Glengarry Glen Ross me as much as they would like.

    To be continued...
    1. 2017 JK vs. 2018 JL models
    2. Sport vs. Sahara vs. Rubicon
    3. Manual JK vs. manual JL vs. automatic
    BTW, the Wranger forums are almost next to useless trying to get good impressions of the JL.
     
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  9. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    I helped my dad pickup a grand cherokee several years ago. It was the worst experience that either of us have ever had with a dealership. It's like every sales person there is first year out of college and doesn't have a clue that treating people fairly and genuinely will make them successful. Instead their tactics give used car salesman a bad name.

    To make matters worse, the GC turned out to be a lemon. The car leaked after the first month we bought it. whenever it rained. The dealership NEVER found an answer to the problem. The tried to fix it at least 10 times. My local repair guy who is wonderful finally found out the frame was bent. Eventually my dad ditched the car at Carmax and to this day will go into a rage when anyone asks him about Jeep products.
     
  10. captkirk

    captkirk Khan's BFF

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    Having worked at a vehicle dealer (motorcycles) for the past 12 years, I'd argue this has a lot to do with what the majority of a person's experience is at dealers. I'm not saying there aren't tactics, but the old-hand sales guys are more slick than can effectively be commented on. They know you're going to buy, when you're ready to buy, and any pressure to put you over just makes for an over-eager inexperienced poor sot just pushing enough to stay under his Sales Manager's radar.

    Smaller dealers are the way to go, and are usually staffed by long-time guys/gals that know the benefit of a no-pressure sale and are not stressed about making numbers because they're secure themselves in their job and know if you're happy, you'll likely consider going back to them when you buy another car. Big metropolitan dealers have too much competition to let any potential lead go and are driven by pure numbers over the likelihood that a satisfied person would come back for a repeat sale.
     
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  11. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    When the planes hit on 9-11, I was in between tech jobs as I had an unplanned move back to CO from VA. Needless to say, with the economy going to shit, I couldn't find tech work, and had to find something. I figured - I like cars, and had worked in retail as a kid, so... I got a car sales job with a MAJOR dealership in my area. I told myself I wasn't going to be one of those asshole sales guys, and I could be a good guy and still put food on the table and a roof over my head.

    This was almost exactly what it was like as a salesman during that time, and many of these are actual sales techniques they told us to use:


    (From the movie Suckers)

    I had that job for 6 months and felt like a soulless husk when I quit. I literally felt dead inside. Not only was I not a good guy, but I had betrayed every single good guy moral ideal once $7000+ a month started rolling in. I left to go make 1/6th as much as a telephone help desk tech instead of live in guilt and misery about all the people who got completely fucked over, especially in a down economy.

    A few things I did learn:

    Get as much of the process completed outside of the dealership as you possibly can. This means get your financing done yourself with your bank or credit union on a pre-approved loan. Sell your trade-in yourself, because the dealership basically makes double on used vehicles - once when they steal it from you, and again when they resell it. I've taken in trade-ins where the dealer essentially bought the trade-in for $5,000 under it's $12,000 value, then turned around and sold it for $17,000. That's about $10,000 profit, and the car was on the lot for 4 days.

    NADA / Kelly Blue Book values are blatant lie.

    MSRP = suggested pricing from the auto maker. It's not a fair pricing standard in a fluctuating marketplace, and shouldn't be considered a good price.

    Your monthly payment is not indicative of your total out of pocket cost. Don't talk monthly payment numbers to your salesman, talk about final, complete and total, out the door cost. Taxes, fees, everything. You already know what you can afford from working with your bank before you went in, right? Further, dealers can add "points", aka - percentage points, to any loan they setup for you though any bank, which means you may be approved for a loan at 3% interest, and they can tack on as much as 3% more as pure profit. Cut them out of that loop.

    Dealer handling charges are bullshit. Don't pay them. This is the "cost" of shipping the car to the dealership so it can be sold, detailing it and getting it ready for sale. The cost of this is already born out in the MSRP. They're dicking you twice if you pay dealer handling.

    You are the one in control. If you think you're being jerked around, say as much then leave. Don't look back.

    Edit - DO NOT give your personal information to them, and FFS do not sign anything before you've made a purchase decision. They need your written permission to run your credit, and that's usually what you're signing before you go on a test drive. They will then check out your credit and have a game plan set on how to best sell you the car based on this information while you take the car for a spin. If you already have a loan setup though your bank, they don't need to run your credit AT ALL.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  12. donunus

    donunus Friend

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    Not a wrangler owner, but I used to own a Kennedy. Something like this but painted silver.

    AMG_M151_A2_(1978)_GB_(owner_Gavin_Broad).JPG
     
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  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Haha. Great visibility I bet. After so many test drives of the Jeep Wranglers, I do long for the days when cars had bigger windows. All modern cars have super small windows as a result of the high beltline or trunk, ginormous sloped C-pillars, and on occasion, slanted rear side windows. I guess part of this is for looks (a modern fad) and maybe the other part is for aerodynamics.

    I don't think cars with big windows are ugly. Do you guys remember the Acura Legend Coupe from the 90s or even the E46 BMWs?
     
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  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    MSRP is an insult. I start the negotiations at invoice. I won't even set foot on a dealer lot to purchase unless I know the invoice price (or lower) is where we start.
     
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  15. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    As for car buying experiences, we had a great one with Subaru. Bought a used Impreza hatchback from Subaru dealer, after we had committed to buying it, they gave us another $800 off the price for being a returning customer. Also installed a roof rack for free (had to pay for rack, not installation). I wanted a Jeep because they looked cool, but my parents (who payed for the car, so they make the decision) washed something more reliable, so they got that. I quite like it though.
     
  16. Sqveak

    Sqveak Friend

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    It's mostly a safety thing with the higher belt-lines and the thicker pillars.
    More surface area and material to absorb impact when people do stupid.
    Also note the thickness of doors vs older models.
    It's all about them crumple zones.
     
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  17. Soups

    Soups Sadomasochistic cat

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    I don't know if Jeep dealers nationwide are shady, but there could be a lot of money saved if you're open to "internet shopping" from dealerships all around the country. I know this adds a whole new layer of hassle you may not be interested in, but I was able to buy our minivan brand new for almost 3K *below* invoice because I happened to be moving and was willing to travel to purchase it. I was shocked to get my asking price but I think there's a lot of room to negotiate for certain makes/models in certain regions (and times of the year). And who knows, you may not have to travel very far to find a deal. Could even turn into a fun road-trip home too! Lastly, I was able to take care of the whole process via phone and email, and although that was a pain, all I needed at the end was a credit card to to secure a deposit for the car.

    On a sadder note, we partly funded the minivan by selling my wife's kickass '79 CJ7. hope someday, after the kids get older to get another fun off-roader with some 'character'.
     
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Going Straight on Highways

    So back to the Wrangler. Yes, the new 2018 JLs still wander like the JK. Not as bad. The JK Rubicon loved wiggling all over the place on the freeway. The JL is slightly better, but it still doesn't want to track totally straight, especially when there are crosswinds or road imperfections. I chalk this up to the fact that the vehicle is essentially shaped like a box with two solid axles. It's less than the JL tracking straight, but more that corrections in the steering take a little bit more time to go into effect, sort of like a boat (exaggeration, but you guys get the point). This is in contrast to my 2015 BRZ where corrections are almost instantaneous without any dead zone in the steering. Bottom line is that you have to pay attention and drive the car. This ain't no Tesla.

    JL Eight-Speed-Auto vs JL Stick vs JK Stick

    The JL eight speed automatic is awesome and works very well with the latest Pentastar V6 motor. Very willing to downshift, and won't do retarded shit on the highway. With enough load and high enough speed, the JL will not even shift into the highest gear. The automatic almost reads my mind. FYI, the accelerator pedal on the JL actually has very little travel. The tuning is not aggressive with most of the throttle in the first half of depression like BMWs. You will still get results (more acceleration) mashing it down from 50% to the floor.

    That being said, my wife drives stick and so I do. We are too old school; and besides, a real Jeep to me means stick shift. No snowflakes here. The JL manual is dramatically better than the JK's. The JK's stick reminds me of a 90s Toyota truck stick with rubbery feel, having no idea of where the gates are, super long throws, and super long clutch pedal. The JK is a dramatic improvement. Throws are still kind of long, about as long as say a E46 BMW stick (maybe just a fraction of a inch longer). However, the clutch is almost sports car like. The effort is super light (too light for my tastes to be honest). The take up and bite are early and fairly immediate. I would have liked the take up to come a bit later, but I can deal with it. I could have dealt with the JK's shifter; but honestly, I can't believe that Jeep stuck with that shifter for 12 years. The primitive quality of the JK's shifter made my brain almost want double clutch, like on those school buses circa 1980. The JL gears are just a little bit harder to find than on my BRZ, but they are less notchy. I think with practice, I could shift faster on the JL, simply because the shifter is less notchy. I don't mind the longish throws. BTW, brake and gas pedal are set up well for heel-toe downshifts.

    New V6 Motor

    On the JK, the motor noise and the shifter vibration gave me a sense of the RPMs. The JL does a lot, maybe too much, to isolate the vibration and noise, hence it's harder to tell when I should shift. (I actually like the vibration and noise in the BRZ because I can shift based on what I am feeling and hearing.) So there is some bad with the good. The good is that the new motor seems smoother, more willing to rev, and slightly more powerful. The old motor, as tested on the JK Rubicon just didn't sound happy. The newer version of the motor has higher compression ratio, but the peak HP and Torque specs are the same. I have no idea what the actual changes are - supposedly they are not minor - but the new motor does feel more powerful at lower RPMs. It could be that the JLs are a few hundred pounds lighter with selective use of aluminum. But there is definitely more refinement with the new motor.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
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  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yup. I've done the TrueCar and Edmunds thing, along with e-mailing a ton of dealers all the way up to the NorCal area. My phone is basically set on do-not-disturb. I only reply back to those who give me decent numbers where I can begin the negotiation process. I doubt I will get a fantastic deal because the JLs are a redesign and seem to be flying off the lots based on my daily searches, at least the desirable trims.

    And no, I do not want to drive to Dennis Dillon Jeep in Idaho to get 5% below invoice. Some of the deals I see at Gilroy and Long Beach seem shady. I couldn't get them to give me numbers in writing. Yelp seems to indicate that they do a lot of bait and switch crap, e.g. managers coming into the finance office tearing up the deal because it was a "misunderstanding". I won't support dealers like that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
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  20. Divad al-Rahsir

    Divad al-Rahsir Facebook Friend

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    2014 JKU owner since 2014. I only bought new because the used ones in an equivalent trim level cost as much or more than new. (More on this later.)

    The good: excellent off road ability for a stock vehicle, an abundance of WWII-era engineering that's very easy to work on (after driving imports since the nineties, it feels good to do my own oil changes again), excellent resale value, head and leg room sufficient for a 6'1" adult both front and back, good AC (you will need it), good heating (you will need that too), plenty of power, and if you want a convertible 4x4, this is basically the only game in town. The fuel economy is not as bad as you'd think if you drive carefully.

    This was the first car that I've owned that I didn't have to duck to get into. I like that.

    The bad: if the roof doesn't leak, the dash will. (The dealer told me that this can't happen, while watching it happen. This may be an anomaly, as most owners simply have to deal with roof leaks.) An abundance of WWII-era engineering that's very easy to work on, and will require some work. Some more modern engineering that's not so easy to work on, and will also require work. Interior carpeting in a vehicle that will leak, which is easy enough to fix - simply remove the carpeting, as it should not have been there to begin with. Minor but annoying electrical gremlins at 4 years/15,000 miles, which are probably related to the leaking. Window controls that are not where you expect them to be. Some security upgrades (rims, gas cap, hood latch) are a very good idea depending on your neighborhood. The fuel economy is far worse than you'd think if you don't drive carefully. I won't call the brakes crap because they're probably very good at stopping a 1.5 ton vehicle, but this is a 2.5 ton vehicle, so stay alert and plan ahead.

    It's been a love/hate relationship, but I'm still driving it, so I suppose that I'm essentially happy with it. If you're not afraid of turning a wrench...well, there aren't a lot of new vehicles that a casual mechanic can really maintain these days, but the Wrangler is such a vehicle. There were some assembly issues with mine, and also questionable cost-cutting efforts - the exterior screws are rusting, for instance. The stock radio gets shit reception. The roof seals are basically applied by eye, and if the technician that did yours was having a bad day, you can expect quick and constant leaks; if the technician was on the ball, your leaks will take longer to develop. If you park in a garage, don't worry about it.

    Some years back, Jeep was trying to make the Wrangler more appealing to the soccer mom crowd and geared it a little taller for lower highway RPM's. This is a trap. It will indeed cruise at 60 MPH a few hundred RPM lower, but if you test this side by side with the lower gearing that comes with the towing package, you'll notice a very significant difference in acceleration. Accelerating with the tall gearing made the Wrangler feel like an economy car. The towing package forces me to mind my foot if I don't want to lay rubber down. I went with the towing package. This may have changed in the last couple of years but given that we're discussing Jeep, I doubt that anything has changed, or will change any time soon.

    After over a decade of driving VW's with manual transmissions, the Jeep's shifting felt so clunky and unworkable that I went with my first automatic in almost two decades. I don't regret that decision. If you wind up missing Jeep's shitty manual, you can kind of replicate it with the auto's manual shifting feature. It's not the same sort of shitty, but it's about equally shitty.

    The water issues are probably magnified by my location. I feel as if the Wrangler's natural habitat is the southwest. It's certainly not the northwest.

    These things seem to have insane resale values and I can't understand why, but there you go.

    EDIT: And there goes Marv, ninja'ing my post and showing that Jeep does indeed change features more frequently than every twenty years or so. As I'm unfamiliar with the new offerings, I won't comment on those.
     

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