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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

5 Jeep Wrangler trims that go beyond graphics | Hagerty Media

The Jeep Wrangler can trace its roots to the WWII Willys MB. Although it has grown in size and added some creature comforts, the Wrangler remains a utilitarian off-roader at its core.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/5-jeep-wrangler-trims-that-go-beyond-graphics/
35 REPLIES 35
F360Spider
Detailer

I had an Army green 2006 Rubicon 2 door that was difficult to drive, unstable at any speed, noisy and overall a rather poor example of automotive engineering. That said, it was extremely popular and people would come up to the car and gawk at it all the time. When I put the car up for sale, it took all of six days from the time the ad hit the Autotrader until it left my garage. The buyer drove all the way from Pensacola (500 miles) to buy it sight unseen. There's a market for these cars and I don't understand it.
s083874
Pit Crew

Its a Jeep thing. You still don't understand. You are Gwagon material.
Rider79
Instructor

"Gwagon"? Is that some Game of Thrones thing or something? ;<)

There is indeed a market, and I guess it IS a Jeep thing. I did a lot of riding in a buddy's 1963 CJ-3B, and it was crude, rough-riding, incredibly noisy, and slow - and a lot of fun, when I was 20. From what I have read, Jeeps now are quite similar, in that they are crude compared to today's cars and more sophisticated off-road vehicles (such as the Land Rover, or even the Land Cruiser).

My niece had one, and it was great for off-roading. As far as driving it as actual transportation, though, not so much; she had a Zephyr for that. It is good that they still exist as an option for those so-inclined, though - and they often DO look pretty cool.
farna
Advanced Driver

G-Wagon is a Mercedes 4x4. It's more rugged than most modern SUVs, but nothing like a Wrangler. Wranglers are purchased and driven on the highway exclusively by people who just think it's cool, and hope it rubs off, I guess. No one should pick one for a daily commuter unless they have some rough roads to travel. Many are willing to put up with a Wranglers traits (I can't call them warts... they are purposely built that way -- for a reason!) and baby them on the road, never taking them anywhere rougher than a dirt road or driveway. But that's what they have been "dumbed down" too, not really what they were meant for....
JeepGuy69
Pit Crew

Jeep Wranglers are noisy, all of them. They have removable body panels. If it was unstable it was either tires not big enough for the height to make it stable or steering components that were bad. Also, they are not "cars". Jeep doesn't make "cars"
BMD4800
Instructor

I’ve driven a F360 spider, seen a F360 spider disassembled for major repair, and worked on them.
Your Jeep must have been horribly neglected, lifted with spring spacers, not properly aligned, and running oversized tires with excessive offset.
I’m not a Jeep guy, but I had to tuck my pants into my socks while reading your post.
Polaris and Ferrari use thin wall square tubing. Spare me your elitism.
KBetts
Intermediate Driver

Never was a fan of off the shelf trail vehicles. I drove a few Jeeps off road and they're a handful. As F360Spider pointed out, there are a lot of compromises to get something to perform off road. That said, I had a Suzuki Samurai and loved it off road but as you all know it wasn't much of a road vehicle.
BMD4800
Instructor

F360 Spyder didn’t point out anything except his/her own horrible ignorance.
Work on one.
Germans make exceptionally well engineered cars.
The Japanese have exceptional quality control.
Ferraris are just that. Enjoy them for what they are, but don’t try to make them out to be any more.
Willys
New Driver

Do not to forget the Willys option.
rb59
New Driver

Almost Bronco time!!!
OkJustOneMore
Intermediate Driver

Had a 95 Wrangler, bought new. I wanted no options. Sold it cause my wife couldnt drive a manual. Drove from Nashville to Atlanta every other weekend. Wore me out but it was never supposed to be a luxury ride. Good ole days.....
The_Collector
Pit Crew

The Wrangler (IMOM) is not designed to fetch groceries or take the kiddos to soccer. They drive exactly as they were originally engineered. If deliveries or commuting is the intention, it may be prudent to look at buying one of those cute, adorable little Broncos. If you Buy one for the looks, don't complain about the way it drives.
Tim
Instructor

By "cute, adorable little Bronco," I assume you are talking about the Bronco Sport and not the standard Bronco that conquered the Rubicon, Moab and more in completely stock trim. The Bronco that in two-door trim is seven inches longer and a few inches wider than the Jeep. (The four-door Bronco and Jeep are nearly the same length.) No need to get defensive, I'm sure Jeep will be looking at all of the improvements that Ford made with the Bronco and making them available on the Jeep eventually.
The_Collector
Pit Crew

Of course I meant the new Bronco skinned Escape. It's an embarrassing example of the Bronco legacy. Think e-locker in a transaxle. Lol

ed
Detailer

The wife and I like to cruise in a 2-seat convertible, but can't take the dog. Dog liked the truck, but we couldn't let the top down. Solution: Jeep Gladiator, a JL with a bed. We no longer have the massive RAM that we used mainly for dog transport, and the occasional load of sod. A good compromise for us. First week with the Gladiator, I had a bucket of stone dropped in the bed, quite capable. And puppy is happy, too, but it's winter, and we've yet to go top off/down. Weird thing is, I've never done much off-roading, but this thing begs for it.

 

Oh, we still have the 2-seater.  Some things have no substitute.

shoulderboards
Intermediate Driver

I’ve had several various Jeeps over the years including 64 FC170, 67 Gladiator,
77 CJ5, 2004 TJ and a 2011 Rubicon 2DR.
I want a Gladiator, but not until Jeep comes out with a 2DR version with a full 6-foot bed like the ones they brought to Moab for several years to tease us with. I like the current Willys model Wrangler the best.
Ric_Rabbit
Pit Crew

I'd like to have a Moab waiting for me in Moab.
Mal
Pit Crew

I know there's limited space in these articles so only so many can be listed but the 10th Anniversary Rubicon, from 2013, is another interesting model that goes well beyond graphics and colors. It introduced the features that turned into the Hard Rock version which has been, essentially, a top end Rubicon. A vented hood (needing a quick mod to make it more effective), very good steel bumpers (became the Hard Rock) and 2013 model year unique springs that are still sought after as a common modification. It's a Jeep, so there are also four or five cosmetic things, including a red seat option with 10th Anniversary stitching.
Tim
Instructor

We seriously considered a Rubicon when they first arrived. But I held off, being disappointed by the aging and anemic V6. I thought for sure we were just a year or two away from seeing a new and vastly improved power plant. Time passed, no such engine ever arrived and eventually the itch went away without ever being scratched.

Fast forward to July 13, 2020 and I see the new Ford Bronco being introduced and did not hesitate to make a reservation. No disrespect to Jeep owners and lovers, it just wasn't meant to be for me. Healthy competition will be good for Jeep to step up its pace of improvements to this storied brand.
JeepGuy69
Pit Crew

The Fiat engines in the new Jeeps are garbage but you get either a Turbo 4 or Turbo 6 in the Bronco and both of those are also garbage
BMD4800
Instructor

3.6 is MOPAR. Not Fiat.
392 is...MOPAR.

Ford has some pretty big issues with Eco-boost engines around 100k miles.

But, Ferrari guy is probably still mad that Roadkill demonstrated women couldn’t give two F’s about a Ferrari.
DRKDGLR
Pit Crew

The early Rubicons Never had a V6...so, you would have been disappointed.
farna
Advanced Driver

Not with a 4.0L straight six! It was SO MUCH better for off roading than the V-6s are... ask a REAL Jeep person...
chrlsful
Instructor

"...how would you build your dream Wrangler?..."
CJ8 is the only one, 258, D44 (frnt/rear), NP231, NV3550. Start there w/a sheet metal break & some alu - make an alaskan postal. Pretty sure no windows'n able to lift off~

Everything is available aftr mrkt (more than any other usa vehicle?) so ask The Application 1st'n go from there. While the cab sat hung from the rafters for a drop-on if camping or otherwise needed it would spend much of it's time w/tool boxes on the bed rails as income producer (many make a glass 1/2 cab for the bulkhead) and bed tonneau. I'd like a bench but am not sure if jeep ever had one & certainly don't need seating for the other 3 (1X every 3 or 4 yrs?). 1.5 inch DOM tube bumper up frnt step'n tow behind, the rest, as said, selected for application (33 inch tire, lockers, yedha, yedha...
mwmyers91
Detailer

I like em' all
tpkrods
Pit Crew

We have a 2007 Wrangler Rubicon, it's actually my wife's personal vehicle and she loves it , couldn't pry it away from her if you tried. To make it a little more accessible and driver friendly I removed the rock rails and bolted on a set of standard Wrangler running boards. Gas mileage isn't great but who cares, it doesn't get driven much over 5K a year. It's reliable, parking is a dream, visibility is great, and she can drive it safely in any weather (we live in Canada so that is particularly important). OK so you have to be a contortionist to get into the back seat but again, who cares, that's not where we ride.
carbuff77
New Driver

If they made a transmission that was worth a **bleep** I'd still have my Cherokee...FIAT, Fix it again Tony!
BMD4800
Instructor

You said Cherokee, what year? Aisin-Warner AW4, or the front drive 9-speed? Neither are Jeep/Chrysler/FIAT products.
same folks overlook Honda automatic disasters...
JeepGuy69
Pit Crew

TJ was the last Great Wrangler. For a factory 4x4 any Rubicon is Badass out the box but the 3.6l motors Fiat has are crap.
BMD4800
Instructor

3.6 isn’t FIAT.

69 Jeep? With a dauntless? Aka Buick...
DaveP
Pit Crew

"Back in the day" my brother bought an old CJ2A for $100. No top, doors, windshield, muffler, etc. We drove it around the fields & woods and had a ball. Definitely not street legal or road licensed, but it was great, real "off road" fun. Actually, we never really ran it "on road". Then came college, etc etc. He sold it back in 1980 for $400 - wish we still had it so I could restore it. Now THAT was a Jeep!
BMD4800
Instructor

I’m not even a Jeep guy, but the old flattie 4 Jeep motor was solid. Ubiquitous workhorses, text book engineering simplicity and longevity.
All lost today.
Sad, really.
BMD4800
Instructor

I wheeled a neon engined, TJ, with the junky 5-speed (4s where different), open diffs, 4.10s, failure prone DANA 35 (4cyl Jeep’s weren’t intended for this) with 31s for a week in the Colorado Rockies. I rented this thing because I didn’t want to drive/tow my trail truck from the east coast to Durango. That beat up old TJ never let me down and ran every trail. BlackBear (don’t tell the rental co), Poughkeepsie, etc, plus all the side trails, for a week. All we did is run trails all day, every day. Much respect for a bargain basement, abused rental Jeep. Even if I still run all those trials with my built rig, the Jeep did very well.
HHCO
Intermediate Driver

have a 2018 wrangler sahara,great vehicle,waitng to drive 392

Hagertom
New Driver

Being a single retired male individual I will not be interested in any Jeep product until such a time as an extended cab (2 door!) Gladiator with a considerably larger truck bed is available with the turbo 4 cylinder engine. I realize my demographic does not meet any criteria to which most manufactures will currently pay heed. I am a current and/or previous owner of the Chevy S-10 / Ford Ranger-sized vehicles. I truly lament the lack of availability of any such vehicle these days. Again, I realize why they are not available, I just think that is too bad. For me, at least.