I just wanted to explain myself in regards to the JK, or more specifically, the JK Unlimited. I am in no way a hater (from other posts, some might think I am). In fact, the more I see the JK, the more it is growing on me. I have a problem though with the 4door, as well as some of the features and changes made to it (power windows/door locks, 2 wheel drive, smoother ride, etc.).
I would be willing to bet that if 10 years ago you asked Jeep enthusiasts what they thought about Wrangler making a 4door with power options and 2 wheel drive, most would have laughed in your face. With that in mind, let me ask you now, what do you think about Wrangler having seating for 7 and 4 wheel independent suspension with 4 wheel drive as an EXTRA option as well as a nonremovable top but now it is electric (convertable)? Sound crazy? Maybe. I know there is a market for family/soccer-mom SUV's. Most people can't even drive to the end of their own street without seeing several of them. In the 17 years I have been driving, I have owned 13 vehicles, 2 of which were actually cars. The rest, SUV's. I like them and what they have to offer, just like everyone else who buys them. My wife is a soccer-mom, but she drives an Explorer. She is looking at the Commander right now to trade with, but she is not interested in the JK Unlimited. She, like me, does not want to support Jeep going in that direction. By that, I mean this...there is obviously a market for the family/soccer-mom SUV. Heck, I am in that marketing group myself. But the fact that Jeep does make 4 other models that fill those requirements, I don't think that the JK should also. Commments have been made about solid front axle, convertable, and so on, so yes, the JK offers different features that Jeep's other models don't, but so what. With the excpetion of the convertable part, what percentage of the buying population of the JK Unlimited do think is actually going to put all of it's off-road or different features to use? To me, it seems like the H2 problem. Although I am sure the H2 is capable off road (not like a Jeep though ), not too many people, from what I have seen, are taking their $60K+ rig to the trails. To expensive and not really intended for that kind of use and treatment. Not like its predicessor that was designed more with off-road use in mind. It's more of the "X-factor" of "look what I drive", "I'm cool". It, like other SUV's, do however, have the room, egress, power immenaties, and what not, to make them the perfect family/soccer-mom SUV.
So rather than reading what I write and instantly thinking "hater", no, I am not a hater. I am and will be a die hard Jeeper until I die. I am just affraid that Wrangler might be heading in the wrong direction. My fear is that there will be small changes from model to model, and people will say "that is just progress and evolution", until one day it just isn't a Wrangler anymore. Then people will sit back and say "wow, how did this happen?". I do not want to see Jeep making so much money in this new marketing group (new to the Wrangler), that instead of making improvements and advancements toward off-road capability, they are engineering it more towards comfort and sensibility to the everyday DD around town as most all other vehicles already are. I had an uncle who passed away 12 years ago that worked for GM in the engineering department. I remember he once said that auto manufacturers work 5 years out, meaning, that right now, Jeep engineering is working on the 2012 Wrangler model. Wouldn't it be interesting to see what kind of changes they have made to it?
So in closing, I do not hate the JK nor do I oppose progress. I just don't want to see Wrangler get so far away from its' roots that it isn't a Wrangler anymore. Up until this year, most of the changes Jeep has made, from the CJ to the TJ, has been directed towards off-raoding, rugged capability, and their enthuiasts groups, not towards giong to the PTA meeting or the company picnic. I can't help but worry about the great exceptance of the JK Unlimited, and in what direction that will lead Jeep engineering towards. I guess only time will tell. Until then, I suppose we will have to agree to disagree and when we see eachother...
I think people need to look at the history of Jeep and the vehicles Jeep produced before getting worked up about 2wd and 4 doors.
You mention the progression from CJ through TJ and being mostly about off-road ability. Well, the TJ is better off-road than it's predesessors but it is also better on-road and has more creature comforts. The JK is even better off-road and designed for easier aftermarket upgrades and has better axles and transfercase plus is even better on-road and has more amenities. How can you go wrong?
Jeep was doing 2wd in the 1950s with the Jeepsters and then there's the mail Jeeps. The Comandos were available with electric/hydraulic convertible tops (got one).
No one is forcing you to buy electric windows or extra doors. If I did get a 4 door I would probably get the electric windows simply because you can operate the rears while driving.
I hear people complain about the AVAILABILITY of power options but not about the availability of the "My Gig" system. I find that odd.
I think that expanding the wrangler line will ultimately give it broader market share and insure it's future.
If I buy it will be a 2 door, no power windows and, if I could, I'd eliminate the AC... I never use it and I'd rather save the weight and not have to pay for it.
I guess I don't really mind Jeep offering "more" in the Wrangler, I just hope they stay "true-to-form" over the next decade or so. As long as they keep offering it in the 2door design, I'll be happy. Can't wait for them to flood the stealerships though and see what actually happens to the sticker price. I see people already dealing with keeping prices at MSRP.
If you don't like the 4-door Jeep, then don't buy one...they still make a 2-door model for you...
If you'd rather have to reach over and crank your windows up and down instead of being able to just push a button, then don't get the power windows option...
Why shouldn't those of use who want 4-doors and power windows be able to buy them if we want to? Jeep is making these options available because there is a market for them...
Why concern yourself so much with the vehicle someone else is driving?
Exactly!!!!! What's the big deal. Really, I think this starts off with somebody hearing someone they respect (may an older respected jeeper) talk about the newer jeeps being too nice and comfy. So basically, hoping to get to that level of respect one day regurgitate the same stuff because that is what they think is the trendy thing to say.
If you don't like it, don't get it. Simple enough.
I do agree with you guys "if you don't like, don't get it". I guess what I am getting at is this...many die hard Jeepers and off-road enthusiats are saying things like "I will stick with my TJ", or "I better get an 06 before the TJ's are gone", yadyada and so on. In 2 or 3 years, I plan on getting a JK, once all the bugs are worked out and there is an ambundance of after market upgrades. For my personal taste, I prefer the 2 door "original style" Jeep. I just worry that if these hard core Jeepers stick to their word, sales of the JK that I prefer will be low. I don't want to see this happen for fear of Jeep getting away from that vehicle design. I hope that they continue to make the regular JK for years to come because I think that the hard core guys, if purchasing a new Jeep, will probably go the direction I will go and stick with the 2 door. I do understand about the desire for for the 4 door for many, and I am okay with that. I simply hope that Jeep always keeps the option there for the 2 door. That's all. I guess once the 2 door actually hits the dealers, and they become more commmon on the street, opinions will probably change for the better. After all, that is what happened when the CJ went away. In any case, I am glad Jeep is at least still making the vehicle.
Look... Yes jeep made it more comfortable on the road, but they've also made it more capable off road. I really don't see the problem in that.
Also, as long as they keep offering a short wheelbase version, I don't see the point in complaining about the 4 door version. Actually it opens up the wrangler to a whole new category of buyers. Like me for example, I've always liked the wranglers, but I have a family, it's just not possible for us to have a 2-door wrangler.
I hear ya and can understand and agree with some of your concerns. To me the TJ (at least bodywise) was an "evolution" over the YJ and CJ that preceded it. Yes, it got coil sprung axles which was fairly radical, but it still had that familiar looking narrow tub. I would liken the JK to more of a "revolution" than an "evolution". My biggest objection to it I guess is just how damn wide it looks/is. Gives the proportions a different "look", and those new proportions either look good or bad depending on your perspective. I will say this, there was a section on one of the intermediate trails at Camp Jeep this year where you had to thread between a couple of trees and a TJ was about the max that could go through there - if they bring Camp Jeep back to Wisconsin again and run that same trail, they'll have to cut down one of those trees!
On the plus side, it could have been much, much worse. Jeep was facing some fairly stiff crash regulations that necessitated radical change. Hence the new stiffer frame, stronger body structure, etc. I was glad to see that the body-on-frame construction continued along with the solid axles, they could have gone the way of the WK with IFS!
What I'd like to see them do is a third wheelbase - a true replacement for the "old" unlimited. In other words, a JK with 2 doors and about an 8"-10" wheelbase stretch. This configuration would be of interest to me, but I recognize that there may not be enough like-minded people to make it worth Jeep's while.
Were I ever to replace my TJ, I would have considered the "old" unlimited, but the new one is not for me - I have no need or desire for 4-doors. The 2-door JK doesn't necessarily buy me much more room than my curent SWB TJ, whereas the LJ was just right. Guess I may have to add an LJ to my collection someday!
'06 Rubicon Unlimited Sienna Jeep Club: Member #15
I get that some TJ'ers (like myself) could be a little upset at the change. But change is enevitable. IMHO - the JK is a step in the future direction while doing a great job at maintaining heritage. I've had 2 YJ's, 4 TJ's, and soon a JK. To me...each version has gotten better due to the phenomenal advances made in design, manufacturing, engineering, etc.
Granted there are some techy items on the JK - but hasn't everything made progress? And doesn't some of that new "tech" just make the Wrangler even better at what it already was great at? Auto disconnect! Anyone remember 4wd's where you had to get out and manually lock the hubs (OK - not on a Jeep, but still)? I don't remember anybody complaining when they added the Rubicon with the tracklock differential. Isnt' that a bit of progress?
REJOICE - It's still a rock climber. Now it's just nicer GETTING TO the rocks. And I'll tell you this...I will always prefer listening to my iPod and satellite radio over Cd's, and am/fm. It makes each journey (daily or otherwise) even more my own.
At least with this generation Wrangler - it still LOOKS like a Wrangler.
Life is not perfect. People aren't perfect. The world is not perfect. This new Wrangler is not perfect. But it's still a Wrangler. And it will still outcrawl most anything else out there in stock form.
I agree, car sales in general were flat the past 3 -4 quarters with the fuel prices as high as they were. We'll see what happens after the election's this fall and the excuses the oil exec's give us next spring and summer. I'm sure the prices will go back up just as fast as as they fell if not faster.
as for keeping this on topic, I like the JK. After owning a sami, YJ, and 2 TJ's the JK beats them all in comfort, power and capability off the lot IMHO.