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Old 12-02-2014, 02:55 PM
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Thoughts of a first-time jeep owner on my 2015 JKUR

This is more a place to air my thoughts to those folks out there thinking about their first Jeep. Some of this is probably covered elsewhere, but again, this is just my thoughts about my Jeep.

Not sure if this'll be helpful or not, but here goes...

Background: Previously owned Chevrolet trucks for most of my adult life, with a four year stint in Ford cars (terrible experience, but that's for another post...). Current ride ('99 Z71, 270k miles since new) needs replacement, wife suggests Jeep and here we are...

My current ride, Ordered 26 Oct, delivered 02 Nov: 2015 JK Unlimited Rubicon, Baja Yellow, base plus two options: Upgraded sound; Dual Top Group

I've put 2k miles on it, so far, with a couple of 5+ hour cross country trips in there and am thinking of what I'd have done different...

Ride: Shorter wheelbase means it's a bit more 'whippy' than the truck on the highway. If you look down into the console chasing your sunglasses, it'll change lanes on you a _lot_ quicker than the truck. That said, parking is a breeze!

Another comment on the ride, driving it home the first time was interesting. Like another member on here stated, it felt like driving on greased snakes or something. Just really 'slippery' or loose. Checked tire pressure (48psi), lowered to something more reasonable (36psi) and felt a lot more confident about lateral stability in general after that.

Transmission is a bit more 'clunky' than I expected in a 6-spd, but I've gotten used to it now. I'm on the fence if I should have bought an auto. (I _wanted_ a manual!) I'm happy, but not sure what I'd do if I ordered again.

Tranmission is also the source of my only 'squawk' so far; the stick 'buzzes' rather loudly in 3rd above 2800 RPM. Gripping the stick doesn't dampen the buzz and no other gear makes this sound. I'll be asking them to look at that on the first service.

Braking was a surprise. It's probably the suspension, but I've had a couple of unexpected crash stops and the front end drops _way_ down! Stops great, mind you! Just really kneels down at the front, ya'know?

Long haul was pleasant. Can't really complain much, as I was surprised at not being sore. Sixth gear cruise control only kicked off once, on a fairly steep hill. Only discomfort was finding a place for my left foot to rest, as there's not much room to stretch out down there. Most manual vehicles have a little hard plastic footrest to the left of the clutch, but not this one. I could work around it, but would've liked a place to rest my foot beside the clutch rather than in front of it.

Took it off road at deer camp. Walked across a plowed field in south Arkansas with lots of erosion and terracing. We have a hard time getting a Yamaha Rhino across. Put 'er in 4lo, disengaged the sway bar and just walked. it. right. across. Simple. My relatives (who all drive GM trucks, we look like a commercial...) were _very_ impressed. Can't wait to take it up a firebreak or the like. Need to find some trails here in N. Alabama, STAT.

Options I wish I'd bought/not bought:
- Dual Top Group: Buy! No brainer, as I was going to buy the premium soft top. If I decide I don't need the hard top, I can sell for more than the difference. I haven't had the whole hardtop off yet, but it's nice to have as winter arrived.
- Premium Sound: Sell. Might be the baseline radio, but overall disapointed in the sound. Wish I'd saved the $800 and kept the storage area and bought Polk audio speakers. I always planned to upgrade the radio after my free year Sirrus trial. Wish I'd spent that money elsewhere.
- Connectivity Group: BUY!! I really, REALLY wish I'd bought this. My biggest regret to date. I didn't get enough information about it before hand. With the bluetooth antenna, button suite on the wheel, upgraded trip computer and USB port all included, this is a must-have and should've been rolled into the base IMHO. Not sure if I can install afterward, as there's a computer flash required. Need to research options and prices...
- Seat heaters: Buy. Opted out for aftermarket. Didn't realize the OEM buttons were on the buss. I will still go aftermarket and mount the switches in the center console behind the shifter, but wish I had those OEM switches. Would buy OEM if I did it again.
- Max trailer tow: Sell. Opted out, bought the Quadretec hitch and bolted on in 30 mins. I had the suspension (Hardtop option) and the 4.10 gearing (Rubicon manual) already, so all I needed was the hitch/wiring. Good choice, overall.

Thoughts on 'intangables':
- Wife/kids LOVE the vehicle. She's taken it out on 'errands' several times (I think she's just driving it around...) Lots of compliments from coworkers, neighbors. Surprised at the looks I'm getting from people next to me at red lights. This thing just has that "It" factor...

Wish list, in order of preference: (Disclaimer, I'm an OEM-type guy...)
- Seat heaters, front seats; aftermarket
- Upgraded radio: Dunno which one, probably Alpine. Might go farther and start replacing speakers if the new radio doesn't improve the sound. Really wish I hadn't bought Premium sound...
- Bumper/winch/light kit: Understated, full-width. Not sure here what I want, but no 'cow-catchers', please! And I actually need the light kit, as we're off-road quite a bit in low-light. (Family of hunters)
- That MOLLE tailgate thing that folds down into a table. I really like that idea for storage. Might get a couple for the sides, too, if I can find the original design for the JKU. I don't like the current one.
- Maybe ACE Rock Sliders, I like the look and could use the step for the family
- Maybe a bikini top or the like. Really depends upon how I like the soft top next summer.

Anyhow, that's all I can think of after 2,000 miles. Hope this helps ya'll out there...
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2014, 03:44 PM
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Re: Thoughts of a first-time jeep owner on my 2015 JKUR

Looks like you've caught the Jeep bug.

By the way that color looks really nice!
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:37 PM
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Re: Thoughts of a first-time jeep owner on my 2015 JKUR

Interesting that you didn't like the premium sound, I tossed it on mine just because I went soft top, and I don't plan on pulling the radio; I do have the connectivity package.

I'll have to compare it when I receive it, I currently have a decent install in my truck.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:25 PM
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Re: Thoughts of a first-time jeep owner on my 2015 JKUR

Excellent write up. Thank you so much for taking the time to give your thoughts! I recently rented a jeep to feel out the positives and negatives. I thought the regular stereo was complete crap. I wondered how much better the upgraded system would be but it seems like not much better from your experience. Would be tough for me to compare I guess but I like the idea of just doing a complete upgrade on my own. Thanks again.
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Old 12-04-2014, 03:45 PM
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Re: Thoughts of a first-time jeep owner on my 2015 JKUR

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneJeepinBro View Post
Interesting that you didn't like the premium sound, I tossed it on mine just because I went soft top, and I don't plan on pulling the radio; I do have the connectivity package.

I'll have to compare it when I receive it, I currently have a decent install in my truck.
In my '99 Z71 Extended cab, I had a $100 Alpine CD player, mid-priced Polk Audio speakers in all four corners (6 1/2" 3-way in doors, plate 4x6's in the rear) and a 12" JL audio sub on a 200w amp under the seat (quality, not quantity). I liked the setup, but was constanted tweaking the gain on the sub to try eliminating 'booming' while still getting 'thump'.

In this vehicle, at low volume (most of the time), it just has this tin-box sound to it. That's _with_ the hardtop on. Once I get it up around 18 or so (pretty loud), it actually performs well. I just don't care to always listen to it that loud. I wish I could tweak the gains a bit, and increase the 'brightness' at low volume, but no can do on the base system. Maybe an aftermarket deck with a better tone/equalizer will fix the problem.

I'm going to give the (st)ealer a call and see how much he'd charge to retrofit the connectivity kit. If possible...
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:54 PM
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Re: Thoughts of a first-time jeep owner on my 2015 JKUR

Quote:
Originally Posted by garndawg View Post
In my '99 Z71 Extended cab, I had a $100 Alpine CD player, mid-priced Polk Audio speakers in all four corners (6 1/2" 3-way in doors, plate 4x6's in the rear) and a 12" JL audio sub on a 200w amp under the seat (quality, not quantity). I liked the setup, but was constanted tweaking the gain on the sub to try eliminating 'booming' while still getting 'thump'.

In this vehicle, at low volume (most of the time), it just has this tin-box sound to it. That's _with_ the hardtop on. Once I get it up around 18 or so (pretty loud), it actually performs well. I just don't care to always listen to it that loud. I wish I could tweak the gains a bit, and increase the 'brightness' at low volume, but no can do on the base system. Maybe an aftermarket deck with a better tone/equalizer will fix the problem.

I'm going to give the (st)ealer a call and see how much he'd charge to retrofit the connectivity kit. If possible...
Well, a 12" in a truck isn't the greatest choice unless you're into SQL, which I wouldn't call 200W on a 12". You could try dropping the crossover under 60hz if your mids are up to it.

09 Ranger Single Cab
I have a SQ build,
JL W3 6.5" sub in a stealth box.
Poor man's Focals' 5x7 with external crossovers (Planet Audio)
760W 4channel Pioneer A/B amp
Pioneer 8500BH headunit.

Its loud and clean, and I honestly don't expect a Wrangler to come close, but it is what it is. With the top down, and in "Motion" I'm sure the bass won't boom much at all, but I will have to see when I get mine... Either way I can't wait to try it.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:40 PM
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Re: Thoughts of a first-time jeep owner on my 2015 JKUR

Im still a Chevy driver (2013 Burb 2500) and I've owned two CJs, an XJ, and a 79 Chief. My 2015 was my first foray into the new Jeeps. Like you, I got a 6-spd and went over the option list a few times before ordering. I got a Rubi with heated cloth, no nav, hardtop only, Alpine sound, power windows, no trailer tow. I'm at 700 miles and I've been amazed at how perfect the stock Rubi suspension setup is. Maybe because I've owned CJs and I know that 65 in one is risky, so I'm loving the 2015. I can do 85 and not worry about death. My 6-spd is wonderful except it sometimes requires a bit of force to get to reverse. No noises in any gears. Rally glad I didn't get the auto - the manual makes it feel like a Jeep. I'm also very glad I got the power group - I almost didn't. The Bluetooth streaming has been very cool, and I think the stock stereo is very adequate for a Jeep. Once again, I'm used to CJs. Seat heaters are fantastic - hot enough without getting burned. A nice option I'm very glad I got. Didn't think I'd want towing package (bc the 2500 Burb) , but I'll prob get a hitch now, just in case.

Overall, I love it. The kids love it. It could be a daily driver, but I didn't buy it for that. I'm going to be a 20-30 year owner, so I'll take care of it appropriately. Only thing I've bought for it so far are a spidertop for the summers and metal hood latches. Watching the hood bounce in high winds is very unnerving. I'll prob get an ARB front/rear bumpers next year so I can get rid of the stupid plastic bumper covers, but after that I'm done.

Once the kids move off to college, I want to ship it to Fairbanks AK and drive it from Prudhoe Bay to San Diego. Drive by day, first class hotels by night. I'm already anxious.
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Old 12-10-2014, 03:52 PM
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Re: Thoughts of a first-time jeep owner on my 2015 JKUR

Now that I have had time to play around with my new toy, I'm not really sure what the problem is with the Premium Audio... The only faults are of the same, the soundbar needs polyfill and they used an under-powered amp to keep idiots from blowing up the speakers...When you consider what it is, an OEM sound system, its really decent I mean its loud, its clean, it hits and this is in the basic soft top.....
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:20 PM
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Re: Thoughts of a first-time jeep owner on my 2015 JKUR

Quote:
Originally Posted by garndawg View Post

- Seat heaters: Buy. Opted out for aftermarket. Didn't realize the OEM buttons were on the buss. I will still go aftermarket and mount the switches in the center console behind the shifter, but wish I had those OEM switches. Would buy OEM if I did it again.
If you got the factory seat heaters, there is only a 50-50 chance that they will actually warm your butt.
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneJeepinBro View Post
Now that I have had time to play around with my new toy, I'm not really sure what the problem is with the Premium Audio... The only faults are of the same, the soundbar needs polyfill and they used an under-powered amp to keep idiots from blowing up the speakers...When you consider what it is, an OEM sound system, its really decent I mean its loud, its clean, it hits and this is in the basic soft top.....
Agree. I expected it to be just "acceptable" but I really like it. Just as good or better than the factory Bose system in my other vehicle but maybe that's not saying much. I was on the fence between the 2014 and 2015 models but am glad I waited.

So far so good with the heated seats...
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:45 PM
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Re: Thoughts of a first-time jeep owner on my 2015 JKUR

I didn't really make this video for the purpose of the stereo, I was just cruising and came across this neighborhood and pulled out my phone, you kinda can hear what it sounds like with the top down...
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:03 PM
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Re: Thoughts of a first-time jeep owner on my 2015 JKUR

Very nice write up. It is always good to have more input but when people say vastly different things about the same option, it clouds the decision making. I have heard many people rave about the new upgraded stereo and I have heard many people complain about braking. So much so that I have decided that when I order a new Wrangler in the coming weeks, I'll insist on the upgraded stereo and order the Terraflex big brake kit.

Enjoy your new Jeep.

NC
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