I traded in a '95 Wrangler SE for a brand new 2003 Wrangler Sahara with a sticker price of over $28,000. This was the worst mistake I have ever made.
First the dealership butchered the tailgate area by installing a large metal switch where the tailgate closes against the weatherstripping. This caused the tailgate to stay partially open, and created a water leak in that area. After arguing with the dealership over this "botched" installation and getting nowhere, I was forced to bring the Jeep to a body-shop and have it repaired at my expense.
I am amazed that a new car dealer could be so arrogant and treat customer so badly, but I guess if they can get away with it they will. Chrysler was of no help at all in settling this dispute.
My new Sahara is equipped with the 4 liter six-cylinder engine, trac-lock, ABS, and a Chrysler built automatic transmission. This transmission performs terribly!
The up-shifts are abrupt at any speed. The transmission groans and shutters causing the vehicle from side to side, and worst of all when coming to a stop, the transmission slams into a lower gear which often caused me to look in my rear-view mirror to see if I was rear-ended!
The other issue which is causing me to regret this purchase is that the rear suspension squeaks loudly on almost any road surface.
My Sahara does have some good points, the ride is much smoother than the leaf-spring equipped Wranglers. (I just hope they all don't squeak like mine does, the engine has plenty of power, and the interior is nicely finished. (Just look out for water-leaks!)
After having owned the '95 Wrangler, and having had a great experience with that A.M.C. designed, Chrysler built model. I have come to the conclusion that Chrysler Corp. has ruined the Wrangler, and is damaging the Jeep name.
I have heard rumors that Chrysler is failing, and that the Jeep name will be bought out by Ford. If this is true, I hope that Ford (or whoever buys the Jeep name) can repair the damage done by Chrysler Corp.
I would have cut my losses and traded this Wrangler for another new Jeep from a reputable dealer, but when I checked the blue book I found that this $28,000+ vehicle had depreciated $11,000 in less than 3 months! So I guess I must learn to live with this chassis-squeaking, water-leaking, transmission groaning vehicle for the next few years. How I wish I had my '95 back!