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Unread 07-01-2013, 12:56 AM   #1
quietas
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Wasilla, AK
Posts: 34
I'm buying a new, or nearly new (2012+), JKU and I need some assistance.

It's the age old question, to buy a Rubicon or not. I think I should, but will the cost savings be worth it?

Backstory: I'm in the process of a divorce so I'll be less one wife and one step son. I'm left with one 5 year o.d son half time and a mid sized Great Dane (smaller than a vow bug, bigger than a Labrador). The minivan that replaced my decrepit Grand Cherokee will be sold and replaced. I live in Alaska and I like together out and find new places to try and get stuck.

Uses: first and foremost its a daily driver. I commute about 40 miles daily, so nothing crazy and mpg won't hurt much. This will be my sole vehicle, so no trailer queens or mall crawlers. As mentioned above I need seating for one adult, one growing kid, and a pony sized dog, plus gear. The weekends will be camping, mild off raiding initially, and once I find a good (bad?) 4x4 crowd I'll get more adventurous. The Matsu valley where I live has plenty of mud trails, huge deep sucking mud, and plenty of silt and small rocks along the rivers. I'd like to do real rocks eventually as well.

Skills: I currently don't have a garage or house, may change this winter, so a large amount wrenching is out. I'm a computer tech by trade, carpenter by teaching, and mechanic by Googling. I can deal with soldering, electronics, and I can bolt the hell out of bolt on parts.

Thoughts: I'm leaning forwards the Rubicon for a few reasons. 1) Already on 32's. 2) I can order the auto with 4.10 gearing for later upgrade to 35's which are as large S I want. 3) Included factory lockers. 4) Electronic disco, weak but all I need now. 5) D44 front axle.

I know I can get a Sahara or Sport with the same upgrades and packages that I want. I need the max trailer group, cloth seats, 430 nav, uconnect, mopar bits like floormats, black hard top, 4.10 gearing, and automatic for autostart. The Rubicon comes built 4x4 ready at the level I think I need, it's warrantied, it's financed low, and here's the best part, it's done.

Am I off and a Sahara or Sport would do the job just fine?
Do I save cash to buy lower and build?
Is the a great quality difference?
Minus real tech stuff like real regearing, how much is truly bolt on and drive way doable?

Any opinions will be appreciated, reviewed, eaten by the dog, and considered. My 5 year old says to get the orange one and I heartily agree, it'll be whatever that 2014 copper orange color is once I see an actual paint chip

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Unread 07-01-2013, 09:21 AM   #2
Adam013085
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Carbondale, IL, Murphysboro, IL
Posts: 1,075
If you are going 2012+ you may as well buy brand new. Not much price difference and you will get better financing on a new one. Better trade too.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 09:38 AM   #3
quietas
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Wasilla, AK
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam013085
If you are going 2012+ you may as well buy brand new. Not much price difference and you will get better financing on a new one. Better trade too.
I've been eyeing a 2012 that has all I want and more at a used dealership with only 12k miles. It's manual so no auto start but I've watched the price drop from 36k to 33k, if I could get them to 30k I could pay someone to go startup Jeep. $10k less if used would be worth it, but getting new and what I want exactly is still my best option I think.

Do I need the extra Rubicon upgrade cost though?
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Unread 07-01-2013, 09:47 AM   #4
Adam013085
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Location: Carbondale, IL, Murphysboro, IL
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If you will use the Rubi upgrade do it, otherwise look at a sport or sahara. Prices must be a bit inflated where you live, you should be able to get a new jeep for those prices especially if you go with the sport and maybe the rubi as well. I have seen people post about new rubi prices being in the mid 30s.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 09:58 AM   #5
quietas
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Location: Wasilla, AK
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You're correct and a couple thousand for stupid dealer markups in Alaska. Bear in mind that is MSRP, I plan to buy through USAA and get a much better rate. I'll probably get it through a lower 48 dealer, fly there to pick it up, and make a road trip of it. I'll let my two local dealers make the first attempt though since I can do a trade in through them.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 10:00 AM   #6
Adam013085
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Location: Carbondale, IL, Murphysboro, IL
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I think if you join tread lightly you get it 1% under invoice or something like that? Someone else can chime in and confirm whether this information is correct or not. I don't and probably never will have 30k to spend on a Jeep, so its not something I look into.
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Unread 07-04-2013, 08:11 PM   #7
Pkauf123456
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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I am a huge fan of the Rubi. I wouldn't want anything less unless I was always going to be on good roads. It is great right off the showroom floor and an excellent platform for upgrades to serious offloading. You can buy lockers and gears, etc for the others but you won't save any money and you still won't have the better transfer case.
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Unread 07-05-2013, 09:31 AM   #8
222Doc
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lake Havasu City, AZ
Posts: 4,468
the Rubicon. Mud can be and seems to be harder on jeeps than Rocks. I would get into crawling way before mudding. If all there was is mudding I would drive a car.

If you go NON Rubicon you may well be re-gearing, adding lockers and it still will not have the Tbox the rubi gets or the d44 front. heaver axles. You will spend by far more doing it latter and it adds to the monthly cost unless you are cash and can do all the major changes your self. just two ARB's lockers no gears/ labor. is like 1K each.

I have never wished I would have started with a sport, not once. Sounds like you need a 4d too. for that pony. though I can pack my 2d for at least a week of camping when the trails are that long it has to packed like a tuna can.
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Unread 07-05-2013, 09:51 AM   #9
quietas
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So far I'm still going with my gut on the Rubicon Unlimited 4dr.

As for mud vs rocks. I've done plenty of mud but I'm new to rocks. I'll have to find the rock crowd up here.

I guess it's time to start shopping. I'm planning to check through USAA, Costco, tread lightly, and of course the local guys. Local would be nice since I could use my minivan as a trade-in and not have to sell it myself.
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Unread 07-05-2013, 09:53 AM   #10
wtracing
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Carlsbad, CA
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If you're considering used, why not look for a jeep that's built to your expectations already? There's always used jeeps out there with a small lift, axle swaps with gears and lockers and lots of bolt on stuff for less than the price of a new jeep. At the same time, from what you described, I think you will be more than pleased with a stock rubicon. (Wouldn't recommend going 35's without regearing but you could do a small bb and run 33's and be ok) it really comes down to how long you're willing to wait for that perfect used jeep or how much you're willing to spend on the new jeep. My opinion... Go for the rubicon! I wish I would have when I got mine.
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