Let me start by saying that I am an eighteen year old girl who has never owned her own car before. However, I've grown up around Jeeps my entire life (my grandfather started the Jeep club in my particular area long before I was born), and since I was a little girl I've had my heart set on owning one. Everyone around me wants huge, loud trucks or fast little cars, but not me. And the people who do own Jeeps here mostly cover them from head-to-toe in mud and give them extremely high lifts, and you wouldn't believe the amount of kids that get their Jeeps stuck and over-turned because they don't understand the vehicle they're driving. I'm not like that. I held my permit for about three years before I finally got my driver's liscense, just to be sure I was ready. My family has owned: '88 YJ, '76 CJ7, '72 CJ7, '64 CJ7, '64 CJ5, '53 Commander, '48 Old Willy's, '04 Liberty, '79 Cherokee, '98 Cherokee.
My dilemma is this: I'm extremely, extremely torn between the 2012/2013/2014 Wrangler Sport, Sahara, and Rubicon - the Sahara being my favorite. I don't particularly want an older or pre-owned Jeep, mostly because it's hard to find a pre-owned Jeep here that hasn't been submerged in the mud or over-turned at least once (I understand a lot of people consider that fun!) and just treated roughly in general. But I also like the newer dash features, and especially the GPS Navigation that comes with the Sahara, since I'm directionally challenged. Manual or automatic - either is not an issue; I can drive both. Price is not an issue for me, either. It's just that I can't decide which Jeep best fits me.
I want to ride with the top down, a lot. Most days here (I'm in South Carolina, if that makes any difference) are hot, sunny, and extremely humid. But we also have a lot of rainy days and during the fall it gets cooler than a lot of people would think, so I'll probably have the top on a good portion of the time, too. I don't carry a lot of people, so I'll stick with a two-door, and I don't go many places. Not like, out partying or whatever. I mainly commute to and from work and go to the beach. The rest of my time is spent out riding horses and doing trail rides - I also owned a fourwheeler for several years, so I used to do a lot of trails with those. I want to take my Jeep off-road. Not every day, not even every week, but at least once every couple months or so. I'm not too-concerned with comfort or whatever. I'm going out to test Jeeps next week at several dealerships, but I want to be informed as I possibly can, so I can ask the right questions and have some sense of what I want out of the Jeep for my uses.
I just want your opinions. I've done a lot of research, but it hasn't really helped me. So anything you can provide pro/con wise, and just kind of your own general opinion (especially if you own/have owned that kind of Jeep) would be greatly, greatly appreciated! Are either Jeeps better than the others? In what aspects?