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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It’s been around two weeks, and with roughy 1,000 miles on the new Wrangler it seems like a good time to share initial impressions. This is more for those considering, as opposed to those of you who are already owners.

I traded a 2018 Grand Cherokee SRT for the Wrangler. It was really a great vehicle, my second GC, but our present living circumstances…mostly spent in rural Wisconsin…meant it was no longer the best choice. Very comfy on the highway and overall a great performer, but not really ideal for heavy snow and traversing the occasional mudslide that affects roads around here.

So far—and I know it’s still new—no mechanical issues at all. On the negative side, the Wrangler is simply not as well behaved on the highway. Big knobby tires and a brick-like profile result in it getting pushed around a bit on windy days. A couple of days ago, I drove 200+ miles in winds that were gusting to over 30 mph and it required focus to keep it between the lines (the GC had an electric steering rack and lane centering that handled these conditions pretty well). The second negative…and one that I fully expected as well…is that the Sky One Touch roof is noticeably noisy at speeds over 70 mph. Again, exacerbated in windy conditions, where I was essentially experiencing 100 mph+ headwinds. I’ve added the Hothead Headliner, which does help considerably.

On the positive side, the Wrangler is quite a bit quicker than I expected. In passing maneuvers, it feels every bit as fast as the SRT, jumping up to 85-90 mph if you get on it. The steering ratio is quicker than I recall in driving other Wranglers, and it’s relatively satisfying to drive on local streets and curvy roads. Opening the SOT roof really makes it a fun drive. Overall comfort and responsiveness ain’t bad.

No significant off-roading yet, so I can’t comment on that. And, yes, I know that’s really the point of a Rubicon. The day will come.

I’ll follow up with more detail, but so far I’m loving it. No significant surprises. Zero problems so far, and quite a bit of fun on the road.

Dog Wheel Tire Vehicle Hood
 

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I think it makes a great 2nd or 3rd car to have for fun. I keep my Lexus RX for longer drives. 4XE for around town I have the hard top woth $595 insulation added and it is damn loud over 70mph
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think it makes a great 2nd or 3rd car to have for fun. I keep my Lexus RX for longer drives. 4XE for around town I have the hard top woth $595 insulation added and it is damn loud over 70mph
Not a bad strategy. We’ve got a Jaguar F-Pace S, which is better suited to highway cruising. We’ll see how this works out, but I envision using that more often for our longer highway trips.

Love the pic, a jeep, dog and the American flag is about as American you can get! Enjoy your new ride.
A little hard to see, but that’s a John Deere in the background. So, we pretty well have the ‘Merica stuff covered.
 

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This is a great write-up! Even though I already have my Jeep, its great to hear what the impression is from other people.

I too have the one touch sky roof - You mentioned you installed the hothead headliner which helped a lot. Do you think the benefits of the noise reduction justify the cost of ~$329? I've been tempted to pull the trigger but would love to hear your thoughts on it first!
 

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2021 Rubicon 4xe
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It’s been around two weeks, and with roughy 1,000 miles on the new Wrangler it seems like a good time to share initial impressions. This is more for those considering, as opposed to those of you who are already owners.

I traded a 2018 Grand Cherokee SRT for the Wrangler. It was really a great vehicle, my second GC, but our present living circumstances…mostly spent in rural Wisconsin…meant it was no longer the best choice. Very comfy on the highway and overall a great performer, but not really ideal for heavy snow and traversing the occasional mudslide that affects roads around here.

So far—and I know it’s still new—no mechanical issues at all. On the negative side, the Wrangler is simply not as well behaved on the highway. Big knobby tires and a brick-like profile result in it getting pushed around a bit on windy days. A couple of days ago, I drove 200+ miles in winds that were gusting to over 30 mph and it required focus to keep it between the lines (the GC had an electric steering rack and lane centering that handled these conditions pretty well). The second negative…and one that I fully expected as well…is that the Sky One Touch roof is noticeably noisy at speeds over 70 mph. Again, exacerbated in windy conditions, where I was essentially experiencing 100 mph+ headwinds. I’ve added the Hothead Headliner, which does help considerably.

On the positive side, the Wrangler is quite a bit quicker than I expected. In passing maneuvers, it feels every bit as fast as the SRT, jumping up to 85-90 mph if you get on it. The steering ratio is quicker than I recall in driving other Wranglers, and it’s relatively satisfying to drive on local streets and curvy roads. Opening the SOT roof really makes it a fun drive. Overall comfort and responsiveness ain’t bad.

No significant off-roading yet, so I can’t comment on that. And, yes, I know that’s really the point of a Rubicon. The day will come.

I’ll follow up with more detail, but so far I’m loving it. No significant surprises. Zero problems so far, and quite a bit of fun on the road.

View attachment 2968
🤣 Those are not big knobby tires! I’ve had knobby tires on a pickup before, you have no idea how obnoxious they can really be. Dick Cepek Crushers… mud tires with bones as the treads and skulls on the sidewalls. If you like vibrations and loud noise, these are the ones for you.
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Synthetic rubber
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I too have the one touch sky roof - You mentioned you installed the hothead headliner which helped a lot. Do you think the benefits of the noise reduction justify the cost of ~$329? I've been tempted to pull the trigger but would love to hear your thoughts on it first!
Full disclosure: I’m a military retiree and received a 10% discount. This is also available to first responders.

Regardless, I do think it was worth it. I’ve seen one instrumented test, though it was done with a smartphone decibel meter, and it showed a definite improvement. The liner in no way eliminates wind noise, but my seat of the pants guess would be the level of noise reduction at 30-40%. Installation was pretty easy; even trying to be meticulous in prepping the surfaces it took no more than 30-40 minutes. So, I’d say it was worth it, at least if you tend to do a fair amount of highway driving.
 

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Had a GC Overland for several years. Definitely better on the highway even though the center console made things a little cramped. Absolutely no comparison offroad, though. That's where the Wrangler shines. Got the GC stuck in snow once and had to get a tow. Yes, snow. You will be shocked and amazed once you get the Rubicon in the snow and mud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Had a GC Overland for several years. Definitely better on the highway even though the center console made things a little cramped. Absolutely no comparison offroad, though. That's where the Wrangler shines. Got the GC stuck in snow once and had to get a tow. Yes, snow. You will be shocked and amazed once you get the Rubicon in the snow and mud.
Yes, that’s what’s behind all of this. I realized it would be more of a beast on the highway. None of what I’ve written reflects dissatisfaction, just an acknowledgement of reality.
 

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Yes, that’s what’s behind all of this. I realized it would be more of a beast on the highway. None of what I’ve written reflects dissatisfaction, just an acknowledgement of reality.
When my wife had the GC, I had a TJ Sahara. Open diffs and all while her GC had the top transfer case made at the time. The TJ ran circles around it offroad. The JLUR is worlds beyond that. Very comfortable on the highway too. It has become our travel vehicle. My wife's Infinity Q60R just sits now. I think you're making the right decision, but I also think the JL is a good daily driver too. Doesn't have to be a spare vehicle or a weekend toy.
 

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I've had mine going a little over two week's. I expected terrible road manners from all the research I did prior. At hwy speeds and with winds, it definitely requires your full attention, but coming from driving a 3/4 ton truck it's old hat for me. What I didn't expect was how fun it is to drive around town, the steering is very responsive and it has a great turning radius. It's an absolute joy to maneuver in tight spaces. The Uconnect app is another story. It updates my Jeeps status when I start a charge, but won't update further unless I log out and reset the app by clearing the cache. Several doors seem misaligned and are more difficult to close than they should be. In general I love it so far.:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've had mine going a little over two week's. I expected terrible road manners from all the research I did prior. At hwy speeds and with winds, it definitely requires your full attention, but coming from driving a 3/4 ton truck it's old hat for me. What I didn't expect was how fun it is to drive around town, the steering is very responsive and it has a great turning radius. It's a absolute joy to maneuver in tight spaces. The Uconnect app is another story. It updates my Jeeps status when I start a charge, but won't update further unless I log out and reset the app by clearing the cache. Several doors seem misaligned and are more difficult to close than they should be. In general I love it so far.:cool:
Yeah, the around town responsiveness was a pleasant surprise to me, too. But, more than that I’ve been surprised by its responsiveness at speed. Speaking as one coming from the SRT and having owned some pretty fast cars, it’s very fast in passing maneuvers.
 

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There was a part of me that really wanted a Charger, but for tax reasons an SUV over 6k lbs made the most sense. I had been debating a Jeep vs sports car purchase for years wondering which would be the most fun. I am really enjoying the versatility of the Jeep and haven't even had a chance to take it on some trails yet. It's a unique vehicle that in the past had huge sacrifices due to it's off road capabilities, but they've really reduced those to a minimal level with this one.
 

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I've had mine going a little over two week's. I expected terrible road manners from all the research I did prior. At hwy speeds and with winds, it definitely requires your full attention, but coming from driving a 3/4 ton truck it's old hat for me. What I didn't expect was how fun it is to drive around town, the steering is very responsive and it has a great turning radius. It's a absolute joy to maneuver in tight spaces. The Uconnect app is another story. It updates my Jeeps status when I start a charge, but won't update further unless I log out and reset the app by clearing the cache. Several doors seem misaligned and are more difficult to close than they should be. In general I love it so far.:cool:
I have found that using an app developed for anything I buy tends to take all the fun out of the experience. Until companies take software development seriously instead of giving it to the interns, I just don't plan to download or try to use product apps.
 
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