2012 Jeep Wrangler Consumer Review: Fun car but

2012 Jeep Wrangler - Consumer Review

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139 of 157 people found this review helpful
Fun car but
By strman on


2012 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 2dr SUV 4WD (3.6L 6cyl 6M)


I bought the 2012 Wrangler Sahara.
So far I'm happy with the vehicle but it does have it's quirks.
I have the soft top and this rag is a very poor fitting nightmare.
You will bust up your hands just to get the back window in place and I'm cursing the designer of this top every time I put it back up.
It already has small holes tearing in the top and it is only a month old.
The transmission and engine feel great though.
I've spent the past 6 years driving a Subaru OutbackXT.
The Subaru is a lot smoother and quicker and actually does better on the beach than this new Wrangler.

Driving 2000 miles now mileage is around 20 highway and 16.4 around town.
There are no skid plates around engine

Best Features

Engine and transmission feel like they are mated very well. I have the 5 speed auto. Edmunds did not have an auto category for the review. Good heater and air and i love the vents! Very good stereo.

Worst Features

If you are going to call it an off roader, it needs skid plates protecting the engine. Oil pan is fully exposed! It has no undercoating so i expect this car to rust quickly. I bought the anti-spin differential but this thing has poor traction on wet roads or dry sand. Jeep needs to improve the top. It fits poorly and difficult to put up. With top up, rain pours inside when you crack the door or window.
Recommend (139) (18)

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Comments (8) Post a Comment
By strman
on 11/15/11 18:06 PM (PST)

Trmckin, I went to the site that you suggested and there are other jeep owners experiencing the same problems that i have. It confirmed to me that this top was designed by an idiot and is very poor quality. I'm going to try to get mine replaced under warranty as the holes are getting bigger all the time. Btw, did your older Wranglers have skid plates? I'd be afraid of going through a mud hole or climbing rocks with this one as there is no protection against stumps or rocks whatsoever.

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By rightrudder
on 07/01/12 18:44 PM (PDT)

You bought a Sahara with open diffs why would you complain about lack of traction or no skid plates. Your lack of any sort off legitimate off-roading experience/credentials is glaringly apparent. Did you not look at the specifics on your vehicle before you signed for it?

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By trmckin
on 11/15/11 22:57 PM (PST)

Ever occur to you that people there are asking the same question b/c they don't know how to use the top and they are there asking for tips? Kinda why I pointed you there bud. Hoping you'd find a video or answer but seems you only focused on the few that had issues. Not shocked. As for skid plates, my current rubicon has them. I put aftermarket plates on my TJ. The YJ and CJ did not have them. The only thing I've broken over the years are u-joints (CJ and YJ) and a few bent exhaust supports. As for being afraid to take a jeep through mud and fear of stumps and rocks, much like the top, you have to know what you are doing. While it's good to have skids when crawling or going over stumps, common sense about what a vehicle can do trumps any aftermarket or stock part's capability. Mud is bad for any vehicle (skid plates or not) but if you had to take one into deep mud, i'd take a jeep any day of the week. If you are worried about dents and scrapes, those will happen. Doesn't mean it's broken. It's a jeep... When used properly, it will take you almost anywhere. Might have some scrapes and dents but that is part of the trip. It's cheap to fix too. Cheap relative to land rover or toyota comparables. In short.. You bought a sahara and in jeep terms, you bought the city version but it's still very capable when properly equipped. Rubicon would be more what you are looking for as far as protection and extreme off road conditions. Rock rails, lockers, aggressive tires, skid plates, 4.10 gearing.. built for abuse. In closing, judging by your tone and "disappointment", I think you were expecting a highly civilized vehicle when in reality, you bought an offroader posing as a city vehicle with painted fenders. My advice... Go buy a set of goodyear duratrac tires, get some skid plates, and buy a hardtop with freedom panels. You will have your protection and the better tires will solve your traction issues. The top won't get holes and the freedom panels are huge so when removed, it's almost like having the top down. Oh and stop slamming your doors as that won't fix anything. Go get it checked out at the dealer. Won't be the first make or model to have something repaired at a dealer post purchase. As for the "idiot" top designer.. well.. knowing many jeep owners, while we've all questioned things at times, usually the idiot label falls on the operator. Not saying this is a perfect vehicle but I will say that it works. Has for a very long time now. Good luck.

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By strman
on 10/30/11 16:05 PM (PDT)

To trmckin, I got a DVD with my Wrangler that showed me how to do the top. I'm following the procedure but my top does not fit right and is all ready tearing in the middle. Even in the video, they tell you that you need an extra set of hands. That is not always convenient. There are other problems as well such as having to slam doors repeatedly to get the dash light to go out. On the beach, in dry sand, even aired down this thing needs to be in low range and struggles where our Subaru outback and Forester travel with ease without any low range whatsoever. Are you a salesman?

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By anhdao
on 06/13/12 17:17 PM (PDT)

My husband is seeing a similar issue with his Jeep.

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By warbossindy
on 09/23/12 04:37 AM (PDT)

I have to agree that the way the DVD shows you to put up the top is bad. The one I watched on youtube was way better. Even my dealer who is a friend said not to use the DVD (I won't use the dealership name so they don't get in the doghouse). I also agree that you have to watch the acceleration is sand. I went playing in florida and that I was heading towards the water because I was not use to the way the power came to the 4x4 (I'm a new owner).

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By trmckin
on 11/14/11 14:03 PM (PST)

Nope.. I'm an accountant for an oil and gas company in Denver. I take the top down on mine solo several times a month and haven't had any of the issues you mention. I've owned every generation of wrangler since the cj models so I'm definitely a fan of them. These are niche vehicles and if you take some time to learn something about them, you'll find your experience more pleasant. I suggest joining a forum as a starting point. Good place to ask questions and get tips. Here is one of my favorites for the new models. http://www.jk-forum.com/showthread.php?185325-Rear-Window-Removal-(Soft-Top)&highlight=soft+top+tips It's helpful... Register so you can get full access. Might start in the newbie 101 section and work your way up. Might also help to meet fellow jeep owners in your area. Someone with some experience might go a long way. Hope you get it figured out. It's a great vehicle.

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By trmckin
on 10/28/11 22:34 PM (PDT)

suggest you go check out youtube on how to use the top man. it's probably the easiest of all the previous generations if you know how to do it properly. As for the rear diff, you bought a solid axle SUV, not a sports car. Ease up on the gas and your traction problems should disappear. It's a body on frame truck. Not a Subaru. The one true complaint you have is regarding the door/window water issue. That is just a bad design but then again... when you drive a jeep, getting wet from time to time is expected.

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