I'm considering a Patriot because I like having a stable vehicle in lousy weather conditions. However, I don't know if the Patriot will have enough capability.....that is besides the point though.
For those of you who have driven the JK in snow and ice, how would you compare its traction vs. a vehicle such as a Chevy Blazer w/auto 4WD, or something along the lines of a Subaru Forester?
Again, all I'm curious about is how it performs in the snow. I've heard horror stories about previous Wrangler models, and though I'd love an off-road performer, I am to practical to deal with slipping and sliding in lousy weather.
Unfortunately, with the part-time system, I wouldn't be able to just leave it in 4WD at the first sign of snowfall.
For those of you who have driven the JK in snow and ice, how would you compare its traction vs. a vehicle such as a Chevy Blazer w/auto 4WD, or something along the lines of a Subaru Forester? Again, all I'm curious about is how it performs in the snow. I've heard horror stories about previous Wrangler models, and though I'd love an off-road performer, I am to practical to deal with slipping and sliding in lousy weather.
Having driven my JK 5000 miles from Virginia to Alaska in the middle of January across some icy, snowy, and generally nasty roads, and as an Alaskan resident greatly familiar with driving on ice and snow, I can speak with some authority on this issue (:
I assume you are talking about the 4-door version. All of my comments are about the 4-door version. My guess is that the 2-door version isn't much better than previous 2-door versions, except that it does have traction control, which should count for something.
I give this vehicle absolutely high marks for driving on ice and snow. It handles beautifully. I have driven it hard enough to get the traction control to kick in, and I've been impressed with its ability to "right" the vehicle quickly and efficiently. I have absolutely no hesitation in giving the vehicle a high recommendation in this area.
By comparison, my 1991 Isuzu Trooper (which I've been driving up here for 13 years), is noticeably less stable on ice and snow. It definitely wants to slide around a lot more than the Wrangler (and yes, it has good tires). It of course has no traction control, and from what I can tell by eyeballing it, a smaller overall footprint.
For what it's worth, I also get the ABS to kick in on a regular basis. It works very nice. This is my first vehicle with ABS, and I find that it is nice to have (I was skeptical about this before).
Anyway - my experience is that this vehicle is not prone to excessive sliding and slipping. Sure, if one drives it like an idiot, or in special conditions when probably no one should be driving, one might have a problem - but I would say that this vehicle is definitely practical in terms of driving on ice and snow.
The right tire will make all the difference in the world. For example, when I had my 95 Wrangler, it was flat out dangerous to drive on the highway during rain because it had super swamper tires. A quick change of tires cured that in a hurry. With the super swampers, in the rain I had to keep it in 4WD HI on the highway or else when I would turn the wheel, the vehicle would continue going straight. With the new tires, all those problems went away. I am waiting on my JK Unlimited to come in, so I can't comment on it. It doesn't snow where I live, but I suspect that if proper tire selection made that much of a difference in the rain, it would make more of a difference in the snow. A person would be foolish to go mudding with racing slicks on. Check out sites like tirerack.com which have customer reviews of tires and comments on performance in various weather conditions.
I previously drove a Dodge Ram and was considering trading during the winter. During our first ice storm, my truck was rendered nearly useless. I decided right there and then that I would trade for a Jeep or an H3. I test drove both during icy conditions. The H3 had f/t AWD and ran well. I drove the Jeep which had the manual system with traction control and it test drove just as well. I bought the Jeep.
The very next day, the ice was worse. I attempted to go to work and it was flawless. I had some fun watching everyone else spin on the roads and bounce off of each other and the retaining walls. I decided that I did not want one of them to hit me in my 1 day old Jeep and went home.
All in all - The Jeep works extremely well. Almost too well because I may easily get a false sense of security in those conditions.
I have the JK Unlimited with the Goodyear SRA tires, not even considered to be the best tires for snow and ice, but I can tell you the JK is awesome in snow and ice and the traction control is great. The ABS is great as well. I have done panic stop testing from 30 mph to 0 and the JK stays straight on ice. Also, the traction control moves the JK even when you stop on a very steep ice hill and restart from a dead stop. The JK is much better than my 1993 Wrangler (although that was a great car on snow and ice as well).
I love my JK Unlimited. I still have the stock 17" tires and it runs great on the snow, on ice, during snow storm and ice storm.
I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. So I know what I'm talking about as far as snow and ice weather !!!
And the JK rocks in both those condition ! It doesnt really slide, ABS and traction control works great, so does the 4WD Hi.
it's my first Jeep ever, ( cuz of the 4 door) and sure wont be my last one.. as long as they continue to make 4 doors !!
and to compare to a 200 Chev Blazer that my brother had.
The Blazer was good on ice but he said it doesnt run the same way as does my Jeep. HE prefered the way the Jeep handle in the snow. HE doesnt know for ice because when he tried it, it was during a snow storm.
got my first jeep on Feb 7th 2007 !!
1.) Feeling secure going over a small "drift" (ie 1" - 2") on the highway, or at speeds over 45 mph.
2.) Pulling out of a snow/ice caked side street onto a main street with on-coming traffic. I don't want to make a decision to go (ie I can merge with traffic), only to have my ***-end not agree with me because its slipping.
3.) Fishtailing when I take a corner in snowy or slippery conditions......and no, I don't take them very fast.
I now drive a Chevy Blazer 2002 w/ part-time, low, and auto 4x4. The auto setting doesn't really do much, but it allows me to leave it set under 65 mph even on dry streets if I'm so inclined. This basically halves the problems listed above when it is engaged. I only have to use part-time when there is standing snow on the streets.
On the other hand, I also took my Blazer "off-roading" and quickly realized it wasn't a Jeep. Hence, I'm considering a Wrangler if it will fit my needs, or a Liberty (the '08 seems a bit big) w/SelecTrak, or a Patriot if all else fails.
I live in Wisconsin, and we have quit a bit of snow and ice here, I have the 17 inch rims, with the goodyear 255 75 r17's on it. I was a little worried about the tires, they look a little passenger carish to me. I have not slid one bit, not braking, not accelerating, nothing at all. Yesterday I took it through 2 feet of snow without a problem, my co-worker got stuck pulling into the driveway with his F250 power stroke. That is after I had already cut a path for him.
Not 1 regret for me, I like this thing more and more everyday.
I have a Suburban with the auto 4wd. The system works ok but comes on with a bang. You just end up putting it in 4wd in those conditions. It takes some thought and you often forget to engage or not to engage. On the other hand I have a couple of Land Rovers with AWD. The differance is night and day. The Rovers do a 1000 times better in the conditions you are talking about. Now we come to the new JK Rubicon unlimited sitting in my drive. I have had a chance to drive the JK in icy and snow conditions. I must say that it does very well in 2wd. Once switched to 4wd the traction control is fantastic. But this does require you to switch it into 4wd. Traction control does work in 2wd but you are only dealing with the rear wheels not all four. It boils down to trade offs. If you just want to turn on the key and drive, go with a good true AWD. If you want to have fun and look good go with the JK. You can't beat the JK for the price.
Thank you very much for the responses. This is the type of stuff you can't ask dealers and expect a straight answer.
2k2wranglerx: when you describe the performance being better than quadradrive and selectrac, are you comparing it when the vehicle is in 2WD (just relying on the traction control) or when 4WD is engaged?
in 2wd you need to remember it's a rear wheel drive truck. BUT the esp really helps keep it straight. it's almost impossible to do drifts and donuts with it on. BUT, if it's snowing and the roads are covered, i just go ahead and put it in 4wd.
When we had that big snow storm that seemed to last for like 2 weeks, i would forget it was in 4wd. it's defenitely not like my TJ was in 4wd. much smoother, much easier to engage, and you don't get teh wheel shake. So when it's icy/not icey (mixed) i just leave it in 4wd. if i feel i need it.
93 yj. 355 chevy, heads, cam, intake, etc. 35's, bumpers, winch, lights, and a killer stereo.