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Unread 02-05-2013, 09:45 AM   #16
Kenny-g
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I don't intend to bash on all the Compass and Patriot hating a few of you have said but I'll try to keep this clean and non-argumentative...all these products will still have 4x4 as an option so I don't know why theres so much complaining over not having solid axles and whatnot.

The offroading market nowadays are primarily owned by 3 things...most any AWD Subaru, a IFS trail designed truck (EG; Raptor, Tacoma Baja, Ram Runner-though it's not on the market by Ram), and THE Wrangler.

If you want a great vehicle to run light trails and haul your camping gear in, a lot of people choose Subaru's or similar AWD vehicles. If you want a more durable rig but don't need to crawl, IFS big/mid sized trucks are where many buyers go. But if you want something to get you in and out of most any situation, almost anyone would look to the Wranglers.

Now there are older models you can buy used (XJ's, ZJ's, WJ's, any Wrangler, old 'Yota and Nissan p/u's, etc) but Jeep isn't building old vehicles ... they are building new ones and they are now trying to appeal to the 'Subaru AWD' market. Thus all the independent suspension components and real time AWD or whatever it's called. It's very high tech and safe not to mention it's usefulness on trails/off-road.

And I havent even gotten to the fact that everyone is about MPG's nowadays (including myself) which is largely a factor in wha thteir new products can do both on road and off-road (in 4x4 model's).

That's all I'm saying. You can't hate on Jeep for not making a new XJ because that's not where the market is...the market is currently in AWD sedans and small CUV's which is what the Patriot and Compass accomplish and do so quite well. While I'd love a Wrangler to play with off-road, I don't need one and do need better MPG's so a Patriot fits the bill for me (and yes I do some semi-tough local trails...tall hills, climbing over rocks, water fording, etc in my Pat it doesn't just go to and from work).

I really hope the new Cherokee will look slightly different from the GC since they already have two vehicles on the market that look so much alike. I would like to see the Cherokee have it's own face. AllPar has alredy released sneak peek photos of the Cherokee in it's camo and it's hard to see it's front but I bet you that most of you XJ owners are going to immediately hate it cause it is no where near the same look that the XJ's have

And yes they are going to axe both MK's in 2015/2016 with a single replacement model. In an interview done at the NAIAS in Detroit, some Jeep head honchoe (blanking on his name) said tat they will be replaced by a single new vehicle so I highly doubt they will keep the Compass name. And he also mentioned a Grand Wagoneer he wants to see hit the market along with a smaller Wrangler (mentioned in the OP by Marauder) hit the world markets. He also mentioned that we "may" see a Wrangler JK8 for sale on dealership lots everywhere from the factory...and when he said "may," he was pretty sure he wanted that to happen...or he sounded that way!

So all-in-all, I see exciting things to come for jeep in the future even though sadly my Patriot will be no longer in a few years

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Unread 02-05-2013, 10:18 AM   #17
funkduck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny-g View Post

The offroading market nowadays are primarily owned by 3 things...most any AWD Subaru, a IFS trail designed truck (EG; Raptor, Tacoma Baja, Ram Runner-though it's not on the market by Ram), and THE Wrangler.

If you want a great vehicle to run light trails and haul your camping gear in, a lot of people choose Subaru's or similar AWD vehicles. If you want a more durable rig but don't need to crawl, IFS big/mid sized trucks are where many buyers go. But if you want something to get you in and out of most any situation, almost anyone would look to the Wranglers.

Now there are older models you can buy used (XJ's, ZJ's, WJ's, any Wrangler, old 'Yota and Nissan p/u's, etc) but Jeep isn't building old vehicles ... they are building new ones and they are now trying to appeal to the 'Subaru AWD' market. Thus all the independent suspension components and real time AWD or whatever it's called. It's very high tech and safe not to mention it's usefulness on trails/off-road.

And I havent even gotten to the fact that everyone is about MPG's nowadays (including myself) which is largely a factor in wha thteir new products can do both on road and off-road (in 4x4 model's).
I'm with you, and what I'd love to see in (any brand)'s light SUV segment is something with 10+ inches of ground clearance, low range, and a properly comprehensive set of carbon fiber under-body panels to protect the vehicle's dangly bits and permit good aerodynamics.

I had a ZR2 Blazer (s10 chassis) with carbon fiber skidplates and though the "enthusiasts" all wanted steel, the fiber actually put up with quite a lot of abuse. Because it lived under the vehicle out of sight, the fiber was relatively "unfinished" in apperance, with thick fibers and a less cosmetic weave appearance than you typically see in junk "carbon fiber look" products or true high $$$$$$ high speed gear. I'm sure it was low cost, it was definitely low weight, and it was stout as hell. I could jack the back tires off the ground (and greatly reduce the weight on the front tires) from the center of the transfer case skidplate - or lift the front tires off the ground from the center of either front CF skidplate.

That experience, plus a fair understanding of underbody aerodynamics from lots of participation and reading at www.ecomodder.com suggests a set of maybe 6 carbon panels, with a couple access doors for lube/etc and a couple good gaps for cooling, could completely cover the underside of a light all-terrain car and let drivers get around on dirt roads without meaningful damage. Maybe no driving off the showroom floor and tackling Helldorado, but underbody protection and low range would address the 2 main problems I see in today's light SUV market, without necessitating heavy, sloppy solid axles and without much expense, and without negatively affecting fuel efficiency or performance. The only packaging challenge would be in giving the machine meaningful ground clearance, sorry but 7 or 8 inches might be enough for rutting but it's not enough for rutted dirt roads or rough terrain.
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Unread 02-05-2013, 03:10 PM   #18
Kenny-g
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Would be cool but I'd be happy with any kind of skid plates under there on every model or at least every 'trail rated' model. The 'Trail rated' MK's have a gas tank skid and a engine/trans skid if I remember correctly. Otherwise it's all bare. I don't know if Subaru or similar vehicles are any better but I'd assume not.
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Unread 02-05-2013, 04:29 PM   #19
funkduck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny-g View Post
I don't know if Subaru or similar vehicles are any better but I'd assume not.
They're not I had a 2001 Forester for some time, and it was very nearly a perfect car - but its completely unprotected engine sump, extremely vulnerable exhaust manifolds, and generally unguarded undercarriage, plus its lack of low range and its short ground clearance made it impossible for me to keep as an only car because I like to explore Arizona's back roads.

Because it was such a fantastic car otherwise, I thought long and hard about trying to armor and lift it and import the Aussie version of its gearbox (about a 15% lower low gear) but ultimately that would have been more expense and trouble than just buying a bigger, more cumbersome and less fuel efficient "real" SUV. I gave up light and nimble to have ground clearance, low range and armor - and wonder why I can't have it all?
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Unread 02-05-2013, 05:13 PM   #20
Rob K
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You guys are right. If they would at least give us some decent ground clearance in these crossovers for driving down rutted roads and a fair amount of snow then I wouldn't be so quick to brush them aside.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 07:25 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkduck View Post
I gave up light and nimble to have ground clearance, low range and armor - and wonder why I can't have it all?
Light and nimble, ground clearance, low range and armor.

Sounds a lot like the XJ.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 08:17 AM   #22
Necros
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Really looking forward to the Cherokee. I was looking to get a new car back in December but I've been holding off since I started reading the rumors.. and I didn't want my brand new ride covered in salt for the first 4 months I had it too Just wish they would show some real photos already... Been planning on a 2014 compass lately, but still holding out just in case...
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Unread 02-07-2013, 08:26 AM   #23
Kenny-g
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^ I gues if you like the styling of the Compass and GC then it's cool that you're waiting. If you're expecting to see something new styling wise I wouldn't bother waiting lol

@ XJ2Timer; Serious question...I'm just curious, is there ever bad things people say about XJs? Cause all I ever read is how great they are on Jeep's FB page and on forums. Not to mention the constant bashing of MK's, or any other Jeep besides a Wrangler for that matter, by them. It rubs me the wrong way since I see Jeep as a brand and not as single vehicle 'type'-solid axles and I6/V6/V8 engines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkduck View Post
Will this be available here? 'cause, small-cheap-efficient-rugged is exactly what I want in a vehicle, and can very rarely find anymore. Make the interior versatile and give it a "clam shell" type tailgate (the bottom drops, the top lifts) and they'll need a catcher's mitt to handle how fast I throw money their way.
And I missed this earlier...I'd love to see a Jeep with features like this as well!
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Unread 02-07-2013, 08:51 AM   #24
Necros
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Well I love the look of the newer GCs, but can't afford to get one with the goodies I want. So the Compass was the next best thing, similar looks and all.. but I figured I may as well wait on the Cherokee to decide if I want that or a compass, gonna have to drive both so I guess I'll be waiting till the summer time at least...

Trouble is I don't wanna sink any more cash into my Ford, but it's getting to the point where it's gonna need new brakes, and prolly tires soon after... So I might just say screw it and get the compass after all, but I still wanna want for the '14's at least.
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Unread 02-07-2013, 01:03 PM   #25
Kenny-g
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Yea, that sucks that you're in a sticky perdicament with your Ford. Personally I love the Patriots styling cause it looks more "traditional" with it's big round headlights. It's exterior styling and great gas mileage are what drew me to it and its good (for my needs) offroading capabilities kept me there. I don't regret buying my Pat
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Unread 02-07-2013, 04:49 PM   #26
dmill89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny-g View Post

I'm just curious, is there ever bad things people say about XJs? Cause all I ever read is how great they are on Jeep's FB page and on forums.
They were (and still are) Cheap, reliable, simple, relitively well built, capible in stock form, easy to modify, and easy/cheap to repair.

These are all things that I wish were more common on newer vehicles.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 07:58 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Kenny-g View Post

@ XJ2Timer; Serious question...I'm just curious, is there ever bad things people say about XJs? Cause all I ever read is how great they are on Jeep's FB page and on forums. Not to mention the constant bashing of MK's, or any other Jeep besides a Wrangler for that matter, by them. It rubs me the wrong way since I see Jeep as a brand and not as single vehicle 'type'-solid axles and I6/V6/V8 engines.
The brakes suck. Seriously. It may have had a 5000 lbs tow rating but anything over 1000 pounds you better have trailer brakes.
Many people (especially car magazines that don't know the first thing about off roading) hate the ride quality. Being a narrow, fairly short vehicle with leaf springs in the back and solid axles, even the 2 wheel drive had a beam axle up front it does have a good amount of side to side head tossing.
The early XJ's with the 2.8 V6 from GM were way underpowered. The Jeep 2.5 4 cylinder made almost as much power. I once test drove a 4 cylinder with an automatic and it was a dog.

Those are the two big negatives. But one thing I have noticed in the 23 years I have been using XJ's as my daily driver. That jittery ride that always gets complaints does not wear me out on long trips. In fact one former Jeep engineer made a comment on Allpar something to the effect that the suspension design along with the spring rates had something to do with keeping drivers refreshed. I know I can hit the road and put in 9 to 10 hours of highway driving and I feel fine at the end of the day. Other types of vehicles that have softer, floaty types of rides are what wears me out.

A lot of the praise for the XJ comes from its simplicity. Easy to work on, parts aren't too expensive or complicated. Tons of aftermarket support, which comes from the fact that its utility and capability made it so popular.

The XJ doesn't necessarily do any one thing great but it does a lot of things really well.

For me, the low roof weight is a major positive. It seems I am always carrying ladders and the low roof makes my 5'8" easy to use the roof rack. The massive amount of glass area (especially compared to any new vehicle) offers great visibility. Over 23 years I have had situations where being able to see traffic has prevented accidents. Even though the XJ is small it feels roomy to me as a driver because it was built before stylists went to over sized center consoles and wrap around instrument panels that make you feel like you are in a fighter jet cockpit. It's minimalism inside is one of its pluses.

The XJ is nimble, with a small turning radius with quick steering, great for off roading but it also makes it excel on road too.

As for the Compass and Patriot? Other than the original front end on the Compass I had no problem with it. A great around town on road vehicle with all wheel drive for when the weather is bad. My complaint was actually with the Patriot because I felt that by trying to make it resemble the XJ Jeep was trying to trick people into thinking it was as capable as the XJ.

Personally I happen to prefer the driving characteristics of rear wheel drive over front wheel drive. I also believe that the weight bias of a front wheel drive based 4x4 isn't best for off road. A nose heavy 4x4 isn't something I want. That's a big gripe about the KL (new Cherokee coming out). I also don't see how such a vehicle could possibly have a tow rating anywhere close to the XJ. The KL will have more powerful brakes than the XJ which is fantastic but it just won't be able to do the work of the XJ. I also feel that a square boxy shape to the cargo area is the most logical shape. Sloping rear roofs and back ends that aren't near vertical just doesn't work as well when carrying things. Those tings may be necessary to optimize mpg but it sure reduces the Utility of an Sport Utility Vehicle.

The XJ had the Sport, size, handling, turning radius, quick steering, Utility, low roof weight for usable roof rack, square design for maximum cargo capacity, good tow rating. Then it had a simple but rugged 4 wheel drive system. Like I said it did many things well.

Any new, what some of us call "real replacement" for the XJ would have to address certain issues in order to sell in today's market. It would have to be quieter. It would have to have better fuel mileage, certain ride issues would have to be addressed. The size would likely increase in both width and length in order to improve the ride. Obviously all that wonderful glass area and great visibility would disappear due to today's roof strength requirements. XJ fans aren't against nice things inside. My 89 was a Laredo and my 01 is a Limited.

We just want a fixed metal roof Jeep that has near the off road capability of the Wrangler without the extra weight of being body on frame. In fact an XJ with the 242 transfer case like my 01 offers more capability than the Wrangler. The 242 has a full time hard surface position in addition to the regular 4 HI and 4 LO loose surface positions.

Way long but I hope it answers some of the questions many have on why the current and upcoming metal roof Jeeps aren't meeting the needs of every Jeep owner. And why the non fixed roof Wrangler isn't the answer.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 08:10 PM   #28
Rob K
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It's funny how many of these prototype threads end up on the XJ's. They really do set the bar for a good all-rounder.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 02:00 AM   #29
funkduck
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It's funny how many of these prototype threads end up on the XJ's. They really do set the bar for a good all-rounder.
Yeah, I don't even give a darn about XJ's but it's pretty obvious they have a dedicated following.

The trouble of course, as has been stated a few times, they literally can't just tool back up and start manufacturing brand new XJ's for sale brand new today in 2013 or tomorrow in 2014.

Even if they had a mountain of 2001 XJ parts lying around and assembled them and tried to sell them with 2013 VIN's, they do not meet current federal requirements - on top of that, "public opinion" would completely roast them because no matter how much nostalgia you might have for a classic car, classic cars actually suck. Before someone gets their panties in a twist about that, I mean like a '55 Corvette had maybe 150 horsepower on a good day and a 3-speed transmission and bias ply tires - those things wouldn't exactly sell today. XJ's aren't that old but they're still at least 12 years behind now in everything and realistically are an 80's car..

So what could they do to capture the essence of the XJ in something they COULD sell? To me the obvious answer is a unibody JK with about a 100" wheelbase. Unfortunately that would mean the wide JK axles... after all apparently you just have to make every vehicle get more and more huge so it can fit every butt in the world at the same time.. Gas is getting more expensive? CAFE standards increasing? I KNOW LET'S MAKE EVERY VEHICLE AS BIG AND FAT AS POSSIBLE! <-- one more of those for good measure.

Anyway none of that's ever happening. The XJ's not coming back, ever. I doubt we'll see a light duty SUV with meaningful ground clearance ever, and because of that, guys like me will continue to keep old steel on the road as long as we can and not give Jeep a dime.. sorry. It's not that I don't like the Patriot and its ilk, it's just that they're literally useless as boobs on a yak to me.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 07:18 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkduck

Yeah, I don't even give a darn about XJ's but it's pretty obvious they have a dedicated following.

The trouble of course, as has been stated a few times, they literally can't just tool back up and start manufacturing brand new XJ's for sale brand new today in 2013 or tomorrow in 2014.

Even if they had a mountain of 2001 XJ parts lying around and assembled them and tried to sell them with 2013 VIN's, they do not meet current federal requirements - on top of that, "public opinion" would completely roast them because no matter how much nostalgia you might have for a classic car, classic cars actually suck. Before someone gets their panties in a twist about that, I mean like a '55 Corvette had maybe 150 horsepower on a good day and a 3-speed transmission and bias ply tires - those things wouldn't exactly sell today. XJ's aren't that old but they're still at least 12 years behind now in everything and realistically are an 80's car..

So what could they do to capture the essence of the XJ in something they COULD sell? To me the obvious answer is a unibody JK with about a 100" wheelbase. Unfortunately that would mean the wide JK axles... after all apparently you just have to make every vehicle get more and more huge so it can fit every butt in the world at the same time.. Gas is getting more expensive? CAFE standards increasing? I KNOW LET'S MAKE EVERY VEHICLE AS BIG AND FAT AS POSSIBLE! <-- one more of those for good measure.

Anyway none of that's ever happening. The XJ's not coming back, ever. I doubt we'll see a light duty SUV with meaningful ground clearance ever, and because of that, guys like me will continue to keep old steel on the road as long as we can and not give Jeep a dime.. sorry. It's not that I don't like the Patriot and its ilk, it's just that they're literally useless as boobs on a yak to me.
This post pretty much sums up my thoughts except for not giving a damn about the XJ, I'm a new Heep owner but I've always wanted an XJ and finally bought one. It sucks at nearly everything but I love it, it just feels right. It's an 00' but most people mistake it for an 80's vehicle, it's slow (2.5) ugly and rides like **** and gets bad gas mileage but I still have more fun driving it than my v8 Toyota 4Runner which stomps it on all categories even light off roading (ground clearance and IFS limiting).
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