Which Jeep Model & Why?

TRoss32

New member
Hey everyone,

I'm shopping for a new vehicle right now, and I wanted to get some opinions on what off-road/daily commuter I should look into. What Jeep model comes best equipped to handle the following:

1. The vehicle will be my every day commuter, but needs to have off-road capabilities.

2. Needs to be able to pull my inTech Pursue trailer (roughly 2,000 lbs loaded).

3. 4WD

4. Price - <= 25K

5. Used

Thanks in advance for your input.
 

Deathtrap

New member
Should be able to find a used 2012+ rubicon around that price range, but there are certain years that have inherent problems. With the rubicon you'll get 3.73 gears with the auto or 4.10's with the manual, I've had both, the manual was nicer for towing but the shifting got old pretty quick when in town. I pull around my jumping jack trailer, loaded it's roughly 15-1700 lbs, the auto does alright with it, I take it through the mountains and it does it just fine. But that being said you could probably pick up a well optioned sahara for cheaper than the rubicon and spend some money re-gearing and on lockers or limited slips depending on your plans for wheeling.

Problems for model years that I'm aware and some I've experienced first hand are:

2012/13: Known cylinder head issues in the first years of the 3.6, usually starts as a tick but turns into replacing the head.
Transmission programming issues in the rubicons for autos, related to the transmission getting stuck in second when going from low range to hi range, pretty sure their is a program update you can get at the dealer now, or you just put the vehicle back into low, manually shift to 1st gear than shift back to high. Its not a show stopper but a pain in the butt.

2014/15: Oil cooler on the engine known to leak.
Rads are known to leak at the plastic tanks.
Also their are a run of cam position sensor's that are known to be faulty, I have the TSB somewhere and i'll try to post that up later, has the part serial number that stamped on the sensor, easy fix, just replace them and done, usually a symptom is hard starting with the occasional check engine light and torque derate light, goes away on vehicle restart.

All rubicons have the possibility of having the electronic locking sway bar fail, I've had this happen on my 14, was interesting to drive for a week while waiting for the parts.

Ive had a 2012 Auto, 2014 Manual and now a 18JK Auto, I hated my 12 for all the little problems I had with it, my 14 was great for the most part but was tired of shifting, my 18 RECON has been great so far with 40,000km on it. All of them have had all the bells and whistles. I went 18 JK instead of JL because Jeep finally got all the bugs worked out for 17/18, don't hear of many issues with the last 2 years.
 
Should be able to find a used 2012+ rubicon around that price range, but there are certain years that have inherent problems. With the rubicon you'll get 3.73 gears with the auto or 4.10's with the manual, I've had both, the manual was nicer for towing but the shifting got old pretty quick when in town. I pull around my jumping jack trailer, loaded it's roughly 15-1700 lbs, the auto does alright with it, I take it through the mountains and it does it just fine. But that being said you could probably pick up a well optioned sahara for cheaper than the rubicon and spend some money re-gearing and on lockers or limited slips depending on your plans for wheeling.

Problems for model years that I'm aware and some I've experienced first hand are:

2012/13: Known cylinder head issues in the first years of the 3.6, usually starts as a tick but turns into replacing the head.
Transmission programming issues in the rubicons for autos, related to the transmission getting stuck in second when going from low range to hi range, pretty sure their is a program update you can get at the dealer now, or you just put the vehicle back into low, manually shift to 1st gear than shift back to high. Its not a show stopper but a pain in the butt.

2014/15: Oil cooler on the engine known to leak.
Rads are known to leak at the plastic tanks.
Also their are a run of cam position sensor's that are known to be faulty, I have the TSB somewhere and i'll try to post that up later, has the part serial number that stamped on the sensor, easy fix, just replace them and done, usually a symptom is hard starting with the occasional check engine light and torque derate light, goes away on vehicle restart.

All rubicons have the possibility of having the electronic locking sway bar fail, I've had this happen on my 14, was interesting to drive for a week while waiting for the parts.

Ive had a 2012 Auto, 2014 Manual and now a 18JK Auto, I hated my 12 for all the little problems I had with it, my 14 was great for the most part but was tired of shifting, my 18 RECON has been great so far with 40,000km on it. All of them have had all the bells and whistles. I went 18 JK instead of JL because Jeep finally got all the bugs worked out for 17/18, don't hear of many issues with the last 2 years.
You can find 2012 and newer with auto and 4.10 gears. Mine did stock.
 

Deathtrap

New member
CaptainChaos, they are out there thats for sure, just most rolled off the lot with the 3.73 base option, wish mine had the 4.10's factory.
 

docwatson

Adventurer
I feel like the Grand Cherokee w/ QTII* checks all those boxes while giving you better MPGs while commuting and more comfort when traveling.

*depending on what you mean by "offroad capable". Like running the Rubicon or degraded forest service roads
 

gspfunk

New member
IMO, your options depend on the terrain when you’ll be off-roading. A GC will be the best all-around for daily commute & comfort, and will go most places. The Wrangler is more rugged, versatile (removable tops, doors, etc), and can go pretty much anywhere, but may not be as comfortable for a DD.

I just went thru the debate between a JLUR and a GC Trailhawk. Although I LOVED the JL, I wanted the auto/memory seats and Hemi, plus the comfort since it’ll see more city than offroad.
 
Rubicon all the way look for an auto with 410s. there are plenty
why you ask so many reasons
Before i list them let me ask you a question

Do you hsve fun driving to work now?

1 go anywhere do anything
2 there is nothing like driving a jeeep it is a feeling like any moment you could just disappear in the woods mountains desert etc.
3 there is a comradery amongst jeep owners
4 many more reasons that will become your reasons
As for towing i had an old 2008 jeep rubicon 4dr auto with 410s itowed our tentrailer that weighed in at 3500 lbs over 2000 miles when the motor hsd 135000 miles on it
It did fine except going up steep mtn passes
It was slow there in all fairness iwas running 315 70 75 on stock 410 gears i also drove it everyday to work i finally sold itb for 11500 when it had 175000 miles on it i only sold it because yep you guessed it bought a new 2018 jlur
 

leaveyourego

New member
I can't comment on the new Cherokee's, but I currently have a WK Grand and did own a two-door JK for 8 years. As a daily commuter, go for the Grand Cherokee. The stock JK was not too bad for road manners, but the more you modify it from stock the more unpleasant it gets. Going to a genuine AT or MT tire makes things loud in the cabin. You do not want that if you commute any significant distance, you'll be worn out by the time you get there. Granted, the JK was a ton of fun. Taking the doors and top off radically changed the drive and made it a blast.

The Grand Cherokees have better engine options, they're more comfortable, and will get through 90% of the terrain the stock JK can. The biggest disadvantage the Grand has off-road in contrast to the SWB JK is the suspension angles are not as good. That can be fixed with a lift kit if necessary, but in an occasional off-roader, that may not be a big need. Just need to be strategic about your lines.
 

GB_Willys_2014

Active member
Thankfully, I don't have a daily commute. But if I did have to commute for any long distance, I would look for something other than my JKU.
 

MOguy

Explorer
If the priority is an off road vehicle you want the Wrangler. If you the priority is comfort you want the Grand. The Wrangler will make a far better daily driver than the Grand will make as an off road machine.

As far as an SUV/Cross Off road vehicle the Grand is a very good choice for off roading but not as good as the Wrangler.

Modifying and maintaining a Wrangler is much easier then modifying and maintaining a Grand.

If you modify either one of them you can change the on and off road characteristics.
 
Exactly. And a few other things. I agree that the gc is a better road machine. But not by much over well designed and built jku or jlu. The longer wheel base makes for a great ride. Lifted a little with the right springs an compliant shocks. It is fine. I had o8 Jkur I put a 175000 on it I drive 200 miles. Regularly San Diego to Malibu for projects. My wife had a 2007. GC with a hemi leather heated seats. I admit it was super nice. But I cringed every time we took it off road. Because of the low unprotected sides below the doors. Not so with the Jku. Now the new jlur is awesome. I bought one I got leather heated seats. The nicer soft top. Just put 315 70 17 on it no lift needed. The very best of both worlds. IMHO
 

JK4AER

New member
I have a 2018 WK2 Trailhawk w/Hemi and love it. It is comfortable and fun to drive. I also had a JKU Rubicon for many years and there is no comparison to the WK2. I also have a TJ Rubicon which is fun to drive but not for trips.
 

jadmt

Active member
Should be able to find a used 2012+ rubicon around that price range, but there are certain years that have inherent problems. With the rubicon you'll get 3.73 gears with the auto or 4.10's with the manual, I've had both, the manual was nicer for towing but the shifting got old pretty quick when in town. I pull around my jumping jack trailer, loaded it's roughly 15-1700 lbs, the auto does alright with it, I take it through the mountains and it does it just fine. But that being said you could probably pick up a well optioned sahara for cheaper than the rubicon and spend some money re-gearing and on lockers or limited slips depending on your plans for wheeling.

Problems for model years that I'm aware and some I've experienced first hand are:

2012/13: Known cylinder head issues in the first years of the 3.6, usually starts as a tick but turns into replacing the head.
Transmission programming issues in the rubicons for autos, related to the transmission getting stuck in second when going from low range to hi range, pretty sure their is a program update you can get at the dealer now, or you just put the vehicle back into low, manually shift to 1st gear than shift back to high. Its not a show stopper but a pain in the butt.

2014/15: Oil cooler on the engine known to leak.
Rads are known to leak at the plastic tanks.
Also their are a run of cam position sensor's that are known to be faulty, I have the TSB somewhere and i'll try to post that up later, has the part serial number that stamped on the sensor, easy fix, just replace them and done, usually a symptom is hard starting with the occasional check engine light and torque derate light, goes away on vehicle restart.

All rubicons have the possibility of having the electronic locking sway bar fail, I've had this happen on my 14, was interesting to drive for a week while waiting for the parts.

Ive had a 2012 Auto, 2014 Manual and now a 18JK Auto, I hated my 12 for all the little problems I had with it, my 14 was great for the most part but was tired of shifting, my 18 RECON has been great so far with 40,000km on it. All of them have had all the bells and whistles. I went 18 JK instead of JL because Jeep finally got all the bugs worked out for 17/18, don't hear of many issues with the last 2 years.
I have had a 2013 sport, 2014 and 2016 rubicon and now a 2018 rubicon recon all the rubicons were sitting on the lot with autos an 4.10's. sounds like there is as many problems with 17 and 18's as there were with any other years. on another forum a new 2018 just had the same oil filter cooler leak and replaced already. (I had this and the radiator replaced under warranty on my 2014 both at just over 50,000 miles) The 2018 radiator is the same as the 2014 radiator just a poor design. some 2018 have pcm problems creating no start issues when hot and some when cold. I would never buy another FCA product other than a wrangler and the only reason I buy wranglers is no other vehicle is really comparable. I was hoping the Bronco will be but it won't.
 

MOguy

Explorer
The ONLY Jeeps I would consider at all. LJ then TJ (Rubicon preferably). Then a YJ. Then XJ . The newer ones are scaring me. I keep hearing more and more issues about the newer Wranglers.
 
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