Jeep. A name connected to a long history of over 70 years of sport utility heritage. Since 1941, Jeep has been a brand identified by a vehicle that can go anywhere, and do just about anything, while still offering plenty of versatility, capability, and off-road grins. One of Jeep’s latest marketing campaigns simply states, “Jeep. There is only one”, which aligns the performance of the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4x4 to be nearly unmatched in the industry and segment.
Besides Land Rover, there are not very many other vehicles in the industry that are noted with such a strong brand identity and brand image. To differentiate from the Sport model, the Rubicon proudly wears its own badge of honor, also known as the Trail Rated designation. The nameplate assures the Rubicon 4x4 is willing and able to conquer a series of grueling tests set in real world type of off road conditions. It also certifies the freedom to explore most types of terrain including climbing, water fording, and even declines.
To handle the diversion from the pavement, Jeep has recently added Chrysler’s new Pentastar 3.6 V6 engine that returns 285 horsepower with 260 lb ft of torque, and helps to contribute to the off road range of the Rubicon 4x4. The EPA rates the MPG on the Jeep to be 21 MPG on the highway, and while not the best, still manages to surpass power delivery and efficiency of the previous V8 engine option. Power delivery is smooth, and torque delivers instantaneous thrust.
The test vehicle was primarily painted in the very appropriate Gecko Pearl green. Not only was this color completely perfect for this type of vehicle, but also was a noted favorite among all that encountered the Jeep over its 8-day test drive. On the rare occasion the convertible top is up, the black color perfectly tied in with the bright green body tone. Open the doors and one could find a slightly carpeted black interior floor, with a dark gray cloth seat nicely tailored with Rubicon embroidery.
On the inside, all the modern touches are present including a new, advanced navigation system with UConnect, automatic climate control, power windows, door locks, and cruise control. To enhance the off road theme, all map pockets and storage areas are replaced with flexible nets to store various items. The driver and passenger doors are also quite easy to remove by unhooking door straps, disconnecting power supply, and removing four bolts.
During the week of testing, the Rubicon was able to endure various types of terrain and obstacles to completely test its “Trail Rated” capabilities. First, a trip to South Florida’s famous Fort Lauderdale beach, which allowed the Jeep to play in the sand, and get some sun, minus the canvas top and doors. Never once did the Wrangler display a hesitation in being able to conquer driving through the sand. The next stop for obstacle testing included the natural serenity of the Everglades National Preserve. What could have been mistaken as another giant green reptile, the Rubicon had no issues with climbing up steep rock berms, driving through shallow alligator-filled swamps, and various sand dunes.
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4x4 is certainly a vehicle that stands out on its own, and is safe to say that the competition is non-existent. The Wrangler is one of the few convertibles that can offer such a high sense of versatility, capability, and freedom, while still maintaining its 4WD strength. No other convertible offers the sense of the open trail quite like a Jeep. It offers the perfect combination of daily driving and weekend fun. For more information, please visit the Rubicon at Jeep.com.