Which Jeep top is Right for you?
Jeep Wrangler vehicles are as authentic as their owners, and the many available Jeep tops add to their customizable allure. Whether it’s a soft top, a hardtop, or the latest and most advanced Sky One-Touch Power Top, there’s a Jeep top to suit every level of adventure and provide comfort and convenience depending on the buyer’s needs. We’ve simplified the benefits of each available top type along with some of the common downsides for readers to consider before making their choice.
Jeep soft tops offer plenty of versatility, ranging from full tops to half tops to bikini tops – and sometimes even a combination of several of these. Depending on the kind of adventures that Jeepers may be interested in, they’re free to configure their Jeep soft top however they wish – the side or back windows can be removed, as can the doors and the windshield for an additional thrill factor. The best thing to know about soft tops is that they tend to be relatively inexpensive when compared to their hardtop counterparts. In fact, consumers can actually buy several soft tops for the same amount it takes to purchase just one hardtop. A soft top makes being in tune with nature extremely easy with their ability to be adjusted in just a few minutes. For those adventure enthusiasts that crave exposure to the great outdoors, a soft top will feel like a natural choice.
On the other hand, a big downside to a soft top is the lack of durability. While a hardtop is designed to last the life of the vehicle, a soft top can only last so much – after all, it is a piece of heavily reinforced fabric that is continuously subjected to the elements. It’s likely that a soft top will sustain some damage and wear and tear rather quickly under South Florida’s beaming sun and constant summer rain storms. The removal of a soft top can also be a nuisance to some owners since soft tops need several steps for a complete removal. On the upside, soft tops can be stored easily unlike the hardtop. Lastly, a soft top offers little to no security when it comes to being a theft deterrent – the fabric can be cut open if any thief finds a valuable inside the Wrangler that they want to get their hands on.
A hardtop naturally provides the same type of protection that a regular cabin roof provides for drivers and passengers. The hardtop on a Wrangler comes equipped to protect riders from snow, rain, summer heat, winter cold, and toxic city fumes while also reducing the cabin noise. Designed to be much more durable than a soft top, a hardtop typically lasts the life of the vehicle unless some sort of freak accident (read: improper storage) happens. Adventure enthusiasts will also be happy with the additional cargo space that a hardtop provides – they can even opt for an aluminum half rack or rugged rack to transport gear like kayaks or bikes. Unlike soft tops, a hardtop acts as a good theft deterrent since they’re like a traditional car roof and are less likely to be broken into.
The downsides? A hardtop is a bit hectic to remove, mandatorily required to be removed by at least two people due to its weight and the fact that it slides off in one major piece after removing the initial front-cabin freedom panels. Somewhere to store the hardtop to avoid any damage is an absolute necessity, and riding around without a top that needs to stay behind (unlike the soft top that can be stored on the go) exposes the Wrangler and its passengers to the elements. If we know South Florida weather like we think we do, a likely scenario will have Jeepers finding themselves under a sudden rainstorm without a protective cover – risking damage to the upholstery, the interior electronics, and most importantly themselves.
Sky One-Touch Power Top
The Sky One-Touch Power Top is the latest innovation from Jeep, and it’s the crown jewel of all Jeep tops. Mixing the best of both worlds, the Sky One-Touch Power Top is half soft top and half hardtop. Consumers unwilling to go through the motions of removing their entire hardtop or those who struggle taking apart the soft top piece by piece will be happy to learn that this canvas top operates on a track system much like a convertible. Just like its name invokes, this top requires the touch of a single button to slide back on the track and stack accordion-style above the rear quarter windows – touching the button again will cause the top to slide towards the windshield where it’ll be secured by latches that create a watertight seal. Sensors on the track can detect if any objects or little fingers are in the way and they’ll automatically stop the motion until the path is clear.
This top style is a very recent introduction and it’s just slowly begun making its way across Jeep dealer lots. Its limited availability – only available on the Sahara and Rubicon four-door trims as a matter of fact, and its additional cost of $3,995 are some of the limitations. It’s unclear if Jeep has any plans to offer this top on any of their other Wrangler trims.
Don’t just take our word for it, come by Miami Lakes Jeep and see these tops for yourself. Check out our 2018 Jeep Wrangler inventory and hit the road on a test drive.
If you’ve already got a Jeep then you’ll be happy to know that our service department is now open on Sundays as well for your convenience! Schedule your service appointment online today!