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Q: “I bought a new soft top Jeep Wrangler, and one of my buddies said I need a hardtop to make it through the seasons in Cleveland. Is that true?” – TA, Willoughby, OH
A: Great question! The Greater Cleveland area was made for Jeeps! From the rocky terrain of Geauga County to the beaches and riverfront areas across Northeast Ohio, there are plenty of places to take your Jeep Wrangler for adventure in Cleveland. With that said, many owners struggle with the hardtop vs. soft top debate. Another popular Jeep accessory in Cleveland is the automatic soft top. We’ll explore all three to help you make a decision!
The Pros and Cons of a Hardtop for Your Cleveland Jeep.
The biggest pro for having a hardtop on your Cleveland Jeep Wrangler is that you get an extra layer of insulation to protect you from cold air and the elements in the freezing winter months. Snow is heavy, and it can also do damage to a soft top if it’s not removed quickly. A hardtop eliminates that worry, plus it can protect in case of a brutal hailstorm. If you live or work in an area where car break-ins are common, the hardtop does provide some extra protection.
If you enjoy a ride with less noise coming from the road and more sounds coming from your music or conversations, a hardtop blocks out sounds quite nicely.
The hardtop does have some cons. For one thing, you can’t remove the hardtop as easily. There are no automatic hardtop accessories for Jeep Wranglers. It can be a little bit of a beast to remove, and once it’s taken off, you have to have ample space to store it. It can’t be folded or rolled up like a soft top can. There are also fewer options if you want to get a hardtop versus the soft top market. The price can also be a deterrent, as they are more expensive than the soft options.
What About the Soft Top?
The soft top roof for your Jeep Wrangler gives you the flexibility you were looking for when you bought a Jeep. On a nice day, it’s easy to remove that soft top and open up the cabin of the vehicle. This is the “wind through your hair” option that Jeep enthusiasts love. When it starts to sprinkle, it’s easy to put the top back on and move on your way. When you want to leave the top off for a couple of days, it’s easy to do, because the soft top doesn’t take much space in your garage. The soft tops are less expensive because there are multiple aftermarket options.
So, why wouldn’t the soft top be a slam dunk? Durability is usually the first concern. They can fade over time due to exposure to sun and other natural elements. They are also susceptible to rips and tears from falling debris, like limbs and rocks. They are also vulnerable to security lapses because they are usually attached through zippers, snaps, or even Velcro. Thieves can find their way into the vehicle easier than they could with the hardtop.
There are also environmental issues. Soft tops aren’t as warm as the hardtop options, but that is also subjective. Some owners don’t mind a little colder air and say it even adds to some of their winter driving experiences. They are a little less soundproof as well, making for a louder car ride. Some people enjoy the sound of the road, and a soft top will give you plenty of access to that roar.
What About Automatic Soft Tops?
One of our most popular Jeep Accessories is the automatic soft top. D&S features the myTop line of automatic Jeep tops. The biggest pro for these soft top options is that you push a button and eight seconds later your top is on and you are on your way! An automatic soft top is great for those that might have physical limitations that would make putting a soft top back on a challenge. They have the same sound and heat issues that some Jeep Wrangler owners steer away from when considering a soft top, but the convenience is unmatched. Starting at around $4,000, the price point can be a concern for some as well, but with next-business-day installs and a 7-9 hour install time, the convenience offered by D&S makes this a great option for those who want convenience and versatility in their Wrangler!
Thinking about getting a new lid for your Jeep?
D&S Automotive has a great line of Jeep accessories in Northeast Ohio, including soft tops and the automatic Jeep myTop! Visit us today and let’s talk about helping you get the most out of your Jeep Wrangler!