I have waited to purchase a Jeep Wrangler for several years.
I have not been disappointed!
For you 40 somethings; this is not your dad's Jeep.
It has creature comforts, not a choppy ride, not cold / hot, good acceleration, easy top removal, and most importantly;
Don't listen to other reviews about not being a daily driver.
I commute 54 miles daily to work on the highway and back roads without issue or regret.
If you are penny pinching and worried about your fuel bill, you may want to think twice about a Jeep.
It is what it is and the fun factor has certainly more than offset the pump price.
I drove my 2014 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (automatic transmission, 3.73 gearing) for 2 years until a car crash (another driver's fault) took her from me. I loved the car so much I've ordered a 2016 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock as a replacement.
This was two years and 55k miles of hard, varied, challenging driving. The Jeep took me on two long, 3000 mile roadtrips to national parks; it also served as my commute vehicle from Boulder to Denver and around Boulder (city driving) for that time.
First, a disclaimer: this review is about a loaded Rubicon. Some of the positives I mention will not relate to a base Sport or even a Sahara or a limited edition, but at the core (engine, transmission, basic off-road capability), all Wranglers have a lot in common.
Now, the positives (there are too many to list, but I'll cover my favorites).
(1 - Off-road ability) My Jeep saw two trips to Moab and countless trips to the Colorado trails. The mud-terrain tires, heavy Dana 44 axles with lockers, the sway bar electronic disconnect, and trip computer with navigation and tire pressure monitoring and etc. proved invaluable. Not only was I able to climb terrain my friends in Nissan XTerra Pro4Xs and Toyota FJ Cruisers could only dream of, I was able to do it EASILY and often quite slowly. Sometimes momentum is your friend in challenging or slippery conditions. While some cars had to floor it in 4-LOW to ascend a hill, I could do it at a leisurely crawl. Furthermore, when I bought the Jeep I was an offroad novice. This vehicle endured countless crunches (and I mean crunches) onto the skid plates and rock rails while I made rookie mistakes. And at the end of the day, I drove back out onto the two lane highway, shifted into 2WD, and drove away without a hitch. Most cars would have been rendered immobile by what I often subjected the Jeep to.
(2 - Luxury) Yes, luxury. A Wrangler is not, and hopefully will never be, a Mercedes-quality vehicle. But the Rubicon surrounds you with heated leather seats with "Rubicon" embroidery and contrast baseball stitching, illuminated footwells and cupholders, leather wrapped (yes, real leather) steering wheel and shift knobs (both the transmission and the 4WD knobs). My Rubicon also had a very good 7-speaker Alpine sound system with a subwoofer. New Rubicons have a 9 speaker, 500 watt Alpine system. The UConnect system has Garmin navigation and voice-controlled sound system (iPod, radio, etc.) and voice-controlled Bluetooth calling. Mine also had a TravelLink subscription which allowed you to check weather, ski conditions, movie times, etc. from the touch screen. Another qualification: my Rubi cost almost $50,000. With that kind of money, you could buy a much more luxurious Ford Explorer Limited or Honda Pilot Touring. The Wrangler is not plush. But it IS comfortable, and sitting in it makes you feel special, and isn't that all you can ask of a vehicle? To scope out the interior more, simply build the edition of your choice on CarGurus and look at pics of the interior - it speaks for itself.
(3 - a feeling of command and safety) The Wrangler's upright driving position, planted stance, and almost entirely vertical glass make the road easy to see, the vehicle easy to place on the road, and you confident that you're driving less of a passenger car and more of a tank. Especially with the hard top, you really do feel in command of the road and ready to meet anything the world or other drivers want to throw at you. That confidence simply isn't felt in a reclined, car-like CUV like a Honda CR-V or Toyota Rav4.
(4 - SAFETY!) As stated, I was involved in a car crash. I was going about 40 mph through a green light and another driver made a left turn into me going the opposite direction (she was going about 20 mph). It was a fast crash (60 mph) but not awful. Even still, head-on collisions are always scary and you want a car that can protect you. Both front airbags deployed and I got out of the vehicle without a scratch and feeling relatively fine. The other driver was stuck in her car and distressed. Speaking of the other car - it was totaled, the hood crushed and the front end pretty compacted. The Jeep looked almost fine aside from the bumper being dented in dramatically and damage to the grille. Ultmately, it was totaled anyway - it needed a new frame apparently (which I blame on a combination of the crash and aforementioned rock crunching, which I'm sure weakened the frame). Feel free to argue amongst yourselves what this means about crash durability of the Wrangler - I simply care that it protected me so well and had very little visible damage.
(5 - A few cons) Fuel economy decent but not great, lack of some luxury or convenience features you'd want for 50K. Other than that, its an absolutely incredible vehicle.
I bought a brand new 2014 jeep wrangler sahara back in September. I drove an automatic and didn't like it at all. Drove the only manual they had on the lot and bought it on the spot. Haven't regreted it for a min. Got the hard top, navigation sirius and alpine stereo. This is my 5th jeep and best yet. Everyone that gets in it can not believe how smooth and quiet the ride it. Including my dad who has a Jeep grand cherokee. I will have this vehicle for years to come. Very happy with my purchase especially since we just had our first snow fall here in NJ and it handled beautifully.
I was going to write a very detailed review, but I only have 700 characters, so here are the main points:
- I drive 60+ miles every day in this Jeep and it's fine. Better than fine, as good as any mid-level SUV out there.
- I got the dual top option. Do it if you live in an area like I do (Chicago) if you can afford it. The hard top is fantastic in winter, and soft top is great in summer. Switching is not the tops is really not that hard at all.
This is my second Wrangler and a third jeep. I had a grand cherokee before the first Wrangler. This last version is like they fixed all of the bad parts by keeping the good stuff.
-3.6 Pentastar is so much faster than 3.8 engine. I don't feel like I am driving a truck anymore
-suspension is smoother
-steering is more precise
-interior is more refined and way more places to put your things in
The car drives great and I can compare it to the smoothness of a grand cherokee I had before. If you are thinking about changing your wrangler or getting into one, do it - you will love it!