I bought my 09 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara in June of 2009 and will be honest for the most part it was a great vehicle. It did what I needed it to do getting me wherever I needed to be, protecting my children and I when we were hit by a drunk driver from behind at nearly 40 miles per hour, and the touch screen radio with GPS and HDD were wonderful to have for getting to places and not having a vehicle cluttered with CD's. I rarely took my front top panels off but when I did everyone loved it (cant say how heavy or difficult the back portion was as I never removed it). My torque converter did go bad at 42K miles (thankfully I bought the lifetime warranty on the vehicle which in and of itself paid for the tranny issue), I had to replace the brakes at 65K miles with the rear passenger side shoe sticking and needing a-lot of work, the door hinge bushings were starting to go bad, and finally the O2 sensors (which there are 4 of) went bad twice. I did truly love the vehicle. Visibility was great, the ride was smooth for a 4x4 and it was easy to handle. My main reason for getting rid of it is that the gas mileage is lower than I would have liked and I travel a-lot. I never got more than 21 mpg on the highway (and roughly 50k of the 75k miles I put on it were highway). If you want a fun 4X4 and can get past the lack of mpg and a little less than desirable power the 2009 was a good vehicle (at least for me).
I call this "the last car" because I will never drive anything else. That said, it is not a "car" as much as a street legal toy. A giant go-cart. The feeling of driving a jeep is incomparable, but certainly not for everyone. In fact, if you even have to debate whether you should; then you probably shouldn't. If you are comfortable, however, with the idea of changing a heavy stubborn top (hard or soft), having little freeway acceleration, and generally driving a giant go-cart; then this is the car for you! You have to be prepared to think of your Jeep as a street-legal toy to really appreciate it. (Also, get the manual transmission or just get yourself a minivan)
Off-road ability (duh). Convertible top. Reliability. Sense of freedom and adventure every time you drive. It really is an experience.
None that I can think of. There again, if you know what you are getting into, then you really can't complain about the downsides of jeep ownership.
Got this bailout buggy in 4/09 and have 17,500 miles. The transmission went out at 14,000 miles and it's been a downward spiral ever since to the point that we are considering trading this in for something else. Before that, though, we loved the car. While performance is mediocre, nothing beats a topless Jeep in the summer. Keep the tops off, though, as long as possible since they were poorly designed and engineered. The hard top leaks consistently. Fuel economy is lackluster around town at 14 mpg, but shines on the freeway at 20 mpg at 75 mph. No complaints on the interior of the vehicle, so far. The Sahara model specifically has a smooth ride as well. Also, the 4x4 system is beyond great.
MyGig & Navigation System are flawless. The looks and intimidation of this vehicle in black alone remind me why I got this over an Escape. Handled excellently in the Arizona mountains & is great in the snow. The YesEssentials cloth seats are durable and great. I also like the center dash stack.
Whole new powertrain. Put a V8 in for Pete's sake. Automatic transmission needs to go. Four speeds is ancient now a days. Both should help out fuel economy since the car won't need to be floored to get to speed at a reasonable rate. Fix quality issues at the plant and don't leave it to the dealer.
Had a 1995 Jeep Wrangler Sahara for 13 years. Bought the New 4 door and just love it. Now I find myself looking at the New 2011 Jeep Wrangler 4 door. They changed the inside and some more equipment. It is now your every day drive with comfort and extras and your off road toy. What a great way to get it all in one package.