I wanted to give an update on my situation in the case someone comes across this thread with the same questions I had. I ended up buying a 2011 2dr Rubi... pretty much everything I ever wanted in a Jeep, so I'm really excited. I did come in over my original budget, but not by too much. After a few weeks of driving, here is my bullet list of thoughts:
- Although a 4dr would fit the family, I've always wanted a 2dr and I'm happy with it. The more I drive it and the more I check out 4drs the more I realize that they are huge. Coming from a Cherokee I underestimated how big a 2dr actually is. I'm very happy I don't have to try and park a 4dr in my garage downtown.
- Obviously, it kindof stinks to not be able to fit the entire family in the new Jeep. But that's the price.
- I'm very happy I went with the Rubicon. Haven't specifically needed any Rubi feature yet (and those situations may be few and far between), but it is great knowing that 1) I have it if I need it, and 2) I don't have to worry about aftermarketing them.
- Extremely happy I went 2011 over a 2007-2010. The interior is is far and away a better sight to look at.
- In that vein, a 2012 would have been nice for the power and mpg; but a 2012 would have taken at least a year (probably closer to 2) to move down to my price range.
- Mpg sucks, but... whatever. That won't bother me so much when I don't do 40+ miles a day in Alaska.
- Immediate storage (i.e. not folding the rear seats) is super limited. I carry a backpack to work, and used to throw that behind the driver's seat when I got in my car. Really doesn't work so much with the JK.
- Lastly, I'm pretty sure that if I didn't get the 2011 JKR that I would always have the "I wish" thought in the back of my mind. I'm super excited that I got the exact Jeep I wanted. It's a great feeling.
That's it. Thanks again for all the responses. Time to get out of the buying forum and get into the JK tech forum. Later!
I'm at the crossroads of a big decision and would very much appreciate any input I receive from the group. I will be buying a Wrangler in the next month or two, and cannot decide between a 4dr (Sahara), or a 2dr (Rubicon). Obviously these are questions that need to be answered personally, so I'm hoping to find people who have already had to answer them to themselves.
I'm only looking at JK's, and I've set an upper limit of $25k. In the current market, that will that will buy a Rubicon 2dr, but not 4dr.
A 2dr Rubicon would be my dream Jeep, but a 4dr would make a lot more sense with my three kids.
As my DD, I will be driving ~50 miles a day and will need to park it in small spots in a garage downtown.
I haven't wheeled as much in my XJ as I had originally hoped for, but I do plan on going out more with the JK.
Currently in Houston, but may see myself in Alaska within 5 years.
1. For those who have purchased a 4dr over a 2dr; any regrets? What have you experienced to be the primary pro's/con's of your decision?
2. For those who have purchased a 2dr over a 4dr; any regrets? What have you experienced to be the primary pro's/con's of your decision?
3. For Rubicon owners, was the additional expense worth it to you (either through use the package upgrades or peace of mind by having them available)?
4. For non-Rubicon owners, do you wish you would have opted Rubicon from the start?
5. 2dr Rubicon, better commuter car than a 4dr?
6. If my dream Jeep is a 2dr Rubicon and I were to buy a 4dr Sahara, do you think that I will always have the "if only..." thought in the back of my mind?
I don't currently have a Wrangler, I am waiting to order a 2013 for myself, but I had a couple thoughts while reading your post. Are you looking for strictly new JK? Would you perhaps consider a 1-2 year old JK Unlimited Rubicon? The reason I ask is cuz I think you could possibly pick up a lightly used 4 door Rubicon for the $25k (depending on deal/some negotiating) or less mark and sorta get what you really want (Rubicon) along with the functionality of your stage in life (4 door for the family).
The other option would be to buy a Sahara unlimited and "make it" a Rubicon through aftermarket upgrades to the components of a Rubicon over time as your budget allows. Just a couple thoughts to add to try to maybe make the decision easier on you.
While a Rubicon is great I'd think with three kids, and if this is going to be your DD, and you don't plan on doing a lot of SERIOUS off roading then the Sahara would be the obvious choice. The 4:10 rear end and smaller crew capacity would make it dead last, imo.
HOWEVER, The fact that you may end up in Alaska in 5 years on the other hand may make those 4:10 gears make a lot more sense. If you're looking for a vehicle you plan on keeping past 5 years my honest advice is try to wait a year to save the money to get the 4dr Rubi. If this Jeep isn't going to be THE Jeep, then get the Sahara, pay it off in 5 years or less, and then get yourself the 4dr Rubi should the Alaska "maybe", turn into a "definitely".
In the end, these are just my opinions, and you gotta do what you gotta do. Whatever you decide I wish you the best, and enjoy the hell out of it!
Thanks for the replies. To clarify, yes I am looking at the used market. The limit I set is not so much a matter of money for me, but rather because in another life I suffer from the joyless prudence of an accountant and have issues with investing a lot of money in a depreciable asset.
That being said, from the replies above and from my consideration over the past few weeks, it seems that if I really want to own want a Rubicon I should hold out for a Rubicon, whether it be a 2dr or 4dr. Looking around the country, it does seem that I can pick up a JKU Rubi within my budget (may just have to wait, or travel to pick it up).
I'm still torn as to whether or not I should go 2dr or 4dr, though. Anyone go one way and have regrets?
I am not a Wrangler owner yet, but here's what my thought process has been thus far:
Day 1: Man... that new JK is sweet! I gotta get one! Probably should spring for a Rubi.
Month later: Did a ton of research. I went to a local Jeep dealer and got to drive a JK Sport Automatic. Nice Jeep, decent power, feels nimble and fun to drive, turned on a dime. Loved it.
First issue: Fitting a couple of full-sized people in it. It was me (6'1" tall, 280 lbs) and a friend of mine of similar stature, along with the salesman who was not a small man by any means. I felt fine, but my buddy in the back looked a bit cramped.
Second Issue: When I popped the rear glass open, I realized that the JK didn't have a lot of room behind the rear seat. (My C6 Corvette appears to have more available room, to be honest.) I travel quite a bit for my job, so being able to load a couple of suitcases in the back is important... and while I can fold down the rear seat to get the luggage to fit, what happens when I try to load up to go camping? What if I take a couple of friends and all of our gear?
Needless to say, I still like the 2-door JK... it's a great vehicle for sure. But I'm now leaning towards getting a JKU because of the space issue. I'm a single guy with no kids... I can't imagine that you'd be happy with a 2-door with three kids, especially if you ever needed to haul them, their stuff, etc...
As for getting a Rubi or not... you'll get quite a few different opinions about that. Unless you plan on doing some serious wheeling from day one, I don't think you'll be disappointed with a 'regular' JKU.
I have a 91 YJ 2 door & 2 kids...I'm 6'1 240 and my son is 6-4 210. If it is just the two of us it is fine, but when I want to put a third person in that is a different story. With the top off no problem, just climb on back tire and get in. With top on it really blows. A small kid has trouble getting in. I'm looking at buying the 4 door so I can get 4 people in and and still have cargo room in the back. The JKU is the only way to go if you ever plan to have more than 2 people in it. At 6'1 240 I'm confortable in the back of the JKU. Not for long trips but for short trips it's fine. It sure would be great if jeep would make the back seats recline. It would be very confortable with that option. Last point to consider. If you ever plan to put tires larger than 31" you should really go with the Rubicon with the 4.1 gears. 3.73 gears can handle 32" but anything larger you lose power.
I saw your post and thought I would give my $.02 I currently own a 06 Unlimited and wish I had looked around for an 07 or newer unlimited. Reason being is I have 4 kids which 3 are with me full time. So with the 07 and newer 2 door model the backseat only seats 2 legally! And like coachbarnes said it is a pain to get in and out of the back with 2 doors. My kids treat it like a jungle gym but I still need to help each one of them out of my jeep! I too use my Jeep as a daily driver and have done minimal wheeling but I still wish I would have gotten the Rubi. As you can imagine raising 4 kids I dont have much in the budget for add-ons and going with a rubi would have made it a lot better with their extras included with the Rubi. And the census that I have found is that you will here I wish I would have gotten a Rubicon, but you will never here someone say I should have bought a Sahara, or Sport! If it were me and looking back now, I would hold off for the 4 dr Rubi. And just for giggles Teraflex makes a bracket kit to install a 3rd row seat in the newer JK's!
I went from an '03 TJ to a '12 JKUR. Why? B/c I had a kid. Easier access in and out, more overall room for "stuff".
The backseat will actually fit 3. The 2dr won't. If you plan on using this as a family hauler, the 4 door would be the obvious choice. Go test drive with all 3 kids and wife (assuming you have one of those...) and see how it works in a 2 dr. It won't. No middle seat belt.
What every you get, I would get the 4dr first if you plan to haul more than 3 people plus yourself. The 4drs ride nicer than the 2dr just because of the longer wheelbase they can also tow more. IMO I would either hold out for a 4dr Rubicon, or find a nicely equipped X forget the Sahara its just and expensive appearance package nothing more. If you find an X with the low gear ratio you could save some money and build it as you go, if you can't afford a Rubicon now. That said until you build it the up, your are going to wish you owned a Rubicon. Also long term you will end up dumping more money into an X or Sahara to make it Rubicon capable than you would pay for a Rubicon in most cases
2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
4.0L, 42RLE, Dual Tops, Full Doors, JKS Front Disconnects, Cragar Soft 8 Black Wheels, 33x12.5x15 Goodyear Duratracs, .75" Front Coil Spacers, Bushwacker 6" Flat Fender Flares, Skid Row Steering Box Skid, LubeLockers, Rubicon Locker Mod, OBA, Cobra 19 Ultra III CB, 3' Firestik, Rough Country 2.2 Steering Stabilizer, RC 1.25" BL, RC 1" MML, RC Grab Handles, Fog Lamp Bent Pin Mod, 4" Apline S Series Speakers, Kenwood Excelon 6.5" Speakers, 6.5" JL Audio 6W3V3 Subwoofer (in center console) w/MTX Thunder 202 amp, IPF H4 Headlight Housing, Sliverstar H4 bulbs.
Check cars.com, craigslist, ebay etc. I see 07-09 JKUR all day for $20-25k. There was one on pirate4x4 with $19k (5.13s, armors, skids, 37's) in mods and it sold for $24,500.
The deals are out there. Just gotta look. Im in the same market actually but not looking to move on one until late July and August. I was dead set on an LJ until I saw the need for a 4 door. With a girl friend and 2 dogs an LJ gets really cramped...really fast.
My Thread - http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/another-lj-rubicon-thread-1516486/