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school me on rag top jeeps UPDATE

Old 07-13-2019, 12:29 PM
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Default school me on rag top jeeps UPDATE

My wife has a 2014 camaro convertible. she loves driving with the top down me not so much. Im not crazy about the camaro because the visibility with the top up is not so good but I hardly ever drive it. we wind up driving my truck everywhere we go. I finally convinced her to look at jeeps with soft tops. My thought is its a little more manly so I wouldn't mind driving it.
I started looking and was shocked how much they cost. A few questions to those in the know. 2 door or 4 and why. years to stay away from and things to look out for. I'm wanting to get 4x4 and auto trans, as new as I can get with as few miles as I can get for low very low 20's.
Right now her car stays in the garage more than it is driven. she's had It excatly a year and I don't think she's put 5k miles on it in a year. I doubt if the jeep will be driven on long trips mainly back and forth to our beach condo which is 90 miles away and only 15 of it on the interstate. The only thing that may get towed with it is my sons 17' scout flats boat.
Thanks for educating me..

Last edited by oceandansar; 07-20-2019 at 12:05 PM.
Old 07-13-2019, 03:56 PM
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4dr rides much better. I like both.
2011 was a new interior, 2012 was a new motor- you want both
automatic is a good transmission. Manuals have a so-so clutch,
2018 the jk and jl were sold at the same time 19+ are all JL models.
get 3.73 or 4.10 gears if you can. 3.21's are the most common.

A 3.73 or 4.10 geared manual soft top 2dr is a blast to drive.
Forget the 2dr if she spends much time on the highway imo

So, I'd say a 2012-2018
A 17ft scout of any type will be pushing it. They suck for towing (I have one).
Old 07-13-2019, 04:24 PM
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Thanks for the info. She likes the looks of the 2 door much better. I worry may not have enough room with a couple of grand kids in it. But hey it’s got to be as roomy as the Camaro. Really very little driving on interstate like I said 15 miles on 75 heading to condo and we don’t have to go on it if we don’t want to.
Old 07-13-2019, 05:22 PM
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I haven't owned a Jeep before but I have spent some time in a JK and a new JL and the JL is a massive improvement over the JK. The interior quality and comfort are significantly improved as are the ride comfort and driving dynamics. I hated the JK Unlimited that I had as a rental for a few days. It rode horribly, had lackluster handling, felt like it had no power and had an interior I would expect from 2005, not 2017. I didn't have any of those complaints with the JL. It's worth mentioning that the JL had the 2.0L turbo 4 cylinder.
Old 07-13-2019, 07:09 PM
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I had an older 2 door rag top... I wouldn’t tow anything with it, no wheelbase, no stability.

if you go older, find a soft top with hard windows/doors.
Old 07-14-2019, 12:12 AM
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I've owned 7 jeeps and agree with the 2dr not being a good candidate for towing. The best way I can describe the 2dr ride is abrupt. The 2004-2006 LJ rides worlds better then the 2dr jk and almost as good as the 4dr. The 2012+ 3.6L is a huge improvement over the 3.8L and 4.0L.

If it were me. I'd be looking for a 2012+ 4dr JK.
Old 07-14-2019, 03:09 AM
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You can drive around with the doors off that’s about all the Jeep is good at,
Old 07-14-2019, 05:58 AM
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I had a JK X prior to the Pentastar motor. It was dog slow.
That said, there are enough accessories for Jeeps to shame JC Whitney. Top options, mirror brackets so you can take the doors off and on and on. Pulling the doors and riding trails is a blast. As people mod their own, you can pick up cheap Rubicon stuff. I added the front bumper with fog lights to mine.
They hold their value very well, are fun, and all other Jeeps wave at you, so there's that....
Old 07-14-2019, 08:33 AM
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Around here we call them nerd vehicles. Seems like every dork that owns one has to accessorize it to the point that even a mexican would be jealous. I just don't understand paying 50K for a jeep then rip everything off it and drive around in 99 degree weather trying to be cool with your foot hanging out the door. But I digress.
They are overpriced for what you get. Jeep has definitely hit a home run with these things.
Any of the JK's will be fine for your needs. The early ones had a 3.8l minivan v6 that was gutless but will run forever.
Old 07-14-2019, 08:40 AM
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I would look at a 4 door with 3.73 gears and hard top with the targa front section. Top sections pop in and out easily, and close up tight when not open.
Old 07-14-2019, 09:33 AM
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I have a 2015 JKU with the freedom top. Hard top but it’s in three pieces. Above front seats it’s a T top and then the rest is one piece. Takes a few minutes to remove the two pieces and throw them in the back. Quadratec makes a pulley system to store the rear portion of a hard top if you want to go topless.

I would go go hard top over soft top every time.

In FL you don’t have to worry about winter but soft tops are freezing in the cold even with heat at full blast. I had a ‘91 wrangler with hardtop back in the 90’s. I drove from Philly to Boston in December. I had some washed but not dried clothes laying over the rear seat and by the time I arrived they were frozen in the shake of the seat Even with heat cranking.

Newer jeeps are way more comfortable and insulated but when it’s 95 with 90% humidity do you really want to cruise around sweating to death. Even with a soft top and AC cranking it’s going to be hot inside.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:36 AM
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Oh and get the Unlimited 4 door. Way more useful especially with grandkids.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:45 AM
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There was a "premium soft top" option. Nice improvement over the std soft top. Usually the color looks much darker/deeper. It has more of a denim texture than the regular one.
All the late model jk factory hardtops have the freedom panels.
I much prefer a hardtop. If you plan to use the cargo area take a look at what it takes (to access) in the soft top version. It's a pain in the ass.
Old 07-15-2019, 01:13 PM
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I've owned a ton of them. The newer the better (Fiat has made a ton of major improvements in them) but $20K won't get you a JL. My current Jeep is a 2018 JL Rubicon 4 door and it's by far nicer than any previous Jeep I've owned. Also there are a ton of tops available for Jeeps (www.quadratec.com) but almost all of them are a bit much for most women to take down or off by themselves.

Unless you or her are really Jeep people there are a ton of other vehicles that you can get for less; Jeeps really hold their value.
Old 07-15-2019, 07:39 PM
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Pretty sound advice from the above. I have owned/restored over a dozen CJs, and the new Jeeps are a much different beast. DVR hit it right, 2012 or later and I like the auto tranny personally. Mine is a 2017 Unlimited Rubicon, only mods are a 2” Mopar lift and 35” BFG tires. We pull a 14’ cargo trailer 5.5 hours each way to the Keys each year, it does fine (4.10 gears). I bought a lifetime warranty on mine thru Mopar, and being it was done in Florida I can transfer if I ever sold it, but honestly I love it. Hardtop is really the only way, you can remove the front two panels (think old school T Tops) and much easier and cleaner looking than a soft top. 4dr rides a little better, little more stable, probably easier to resell. Since it’s THT pic of wife included.


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Old 07-15-2019, 08:12 PM
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Agree with most of the above. Ride is terrible, it'll suck on the interstate, you can't leave anything in them (like your luggage while you go to eat) because it'll get stolen, it may or may not leak in the rain, you won't be able to break 75 mph driving into a storm with a headwind, the list goes on and on.

Four door is going to be a lot more practical if you ever plan on having anybody in the back.

I've owned 3 earlier models, refused to buy one with the 3.8 and now with the JL I figure they've more or less gotten their act back together. 2020 JL orders just opened up.

If you can swing a JL I'd go that route. The problem is, they hold their value so well it is really, really hard to justify a used one. You may be able to find a decent deal on a 2014-2017, which is before the current redesign but after the decent engine and most of the bugs worked out.

Rumor is there are still brand 2018s on the lots that you can get for 15% under MSRP which is a lot off for a Jeep. You might hit low 20s for a two door. In 3 years when you realize you wanted a 4 door, you'll probably be able to sell it for $5k less than you paid.
Old 07-15-2019, 08:31 PM
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JLs do have the option for the power sliding top. Just something to think about for the wifey. Not as open as a regular softtop but press a button and the top slides back. I do prefer the hard tops, but in JK models hard tops are more prone to water leaks than soft tops. But they are quieter and cooler than a soft.
Old 07-16-2019, 05:15 AM
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One option, rent one for a few days. I know National has them, and price wise they weren’t too bad at all. As others pointed out, they hold value so finding a cheap, newer one that hasn’t been dogged is tough. I don’t live too far based on your sig, just let me know if you need any help. Wranglerforum always has Jeeps for sale too.
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:34 AM
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Unless you or her are really Jeep people there are a ton of other vehicles that you can get for less; Jeeps really hold their value.

i hear yah. I like the looks of the Jeep but the top may be a deal breaker as she loves to push the button to put the top down. It is her car and definitely not a daily driver. I thought she could just leave the top down or off like she does with the camaro. It’s in the garage at home or under the building at condo. But since we live in Florida and subject to rain at a moments notice it concerns me about the top.
havent given up on the idea yet as she wants to look and drive some so we will see. Great info here and thanks for the input.

Old 07-16-2019, 06:18 AM
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CJ = Jeep
YJ, TJ Jl, JK not so much

I have owned most of them still own a TJ.
New ones remind me of a poor copy of a H3.

Doug

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