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WranglerJeep Rubicon Review
Posted by mike on 2003/4/29 0:00:00 (754) reads

A favorable review from The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail, based in Canada, recently posted a review of the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon edition. Here's a snippet:

Not everyone will appreciate Jeep's TJ Rubicon. It's the antithesis to today's cushy-bum sport-utilities - a bit crude on pavement and uncultured in convenience, it makes no bones that the muddy back country is where it's happiest. Still, even city slickers can see the charisma in this limited production mudslinger. Monday to Friday it takes on the concrete jungle and when the weekend rolls around, it's a top down, doors off trail tackler.

Named after the gruelling Rubicon trail in Northern California, this newest Jeep is billed as the "ultimate off-road rig," a vehicle even more capable than the already stouthearted TJ on which it's based. Of course, there are the characteristic round headlights up front and a pair of bright foglamps. Rubicon graphics appear on the sides of the hood, while diamond-plated sill guards protect the rocker panels from off-road uglies. Distinctive Moab 16-inch, 5-spoke aluminum wheels are standard equipment and they're wrapped in toothy Goodyear MT/R tires. The huge Maximum Traction/ Reinforced tires add an inch of ground clearance and feature a tread pattern that extends down the sidewalls for grabbing trail ledges.

...snip...

Inside, the Rubicon is like any other 2003 TJ, save for the differential lock switch on the centre stack. New this year are larger front seats and a 4-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, with controls for the $310 optional cruise control. Without running boards the Rubicon's difficult to get in and out of. Often pants get dirty on the doorsills and ladies shouldn't even attempt it in a short skirt. Two corner pods replace the old speaker bar, each housing improved speakers and an interior light. The new auto-dimming rearview mirror with its integrated compass works well with the large outside mirrors to provide an optimal view around the Jeep. Cargo space is tight behind the rear seat, though the two-person bench can be tumbled forward for more room. For the most part the Rubicon's interior is as rugged as the rest of vehicle, though there are finicky bits. The HVAC dials feel unsure, the defrost vent on the dash top looks like it's made from a plastic stir stick and the door locks look and feel the same as the ones in my old '87 YJ.

Perhaps the biggest drawback of the Rubicon is price. For $29,425 you get a vehicle with exposed metal in the interior, no air conditioning and crank-down windows. Of course no TJ is complete without a soft and a hard top, so add $1,660 for that option. Tack on other extras, including air conditioning ($1,060) and the 4-speed automatic ($1,000) and our tester topped out at a whopping $34,535. On paper that's a lot of green for a vehicle lacking in basic niceties and practicality. Still, it's that bare bones toughness that's made the TJ such a success, and with the Rubicon's off-road capability and fun factor, there's just enough justification for its premium price.

Be sure to check out the entire article.

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Lee
Just a short story (or warning about the "Mighty Rubicon" watch out for your rear upper control arms. Mine snapped while merging on to the highway they are definitely flimsy, I have owned Rubicon for a year and a half, logged 23k miles on the odometer. I have had a great time off-roading and the vehicle is impressive, and what made it so much better was it is under warranty, or so I thought. I have never "abused my Rubicon just used it as advertised, but when the control arms went so did the rear driveshaft. I took it to my local Five Star dealer to get repairs. Yes there is a ding in the oil pan but no leaks, Yes the roller fairlead on my winch bumper has a slight bend. But that doesn't display abuse, does it? Well just to let you know the battle is on going with my dealer & with Chrysler because they say it doesn't fall under warranty, not even the 3/36 full warranty of the "mightiest 4X4 to roll of a production line. So I say beware, and if you like jeeps consider doing a build with a few year old jeep, and buy the warranty on all your parts you will probably save money in the long run, and maybe in the short run too. I will update this when my battle with Chrysler is finished.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: albert
here is my ITS A JEEP THING NOT FOR THE CITY

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Joel
Just order your Rubicon from jeepwarehouse.com

My 2003 hardtop/auto/air/cruise/subwoofer was less than $25K, built to my order.

Easiest purchase I ever made.

The rubicon is a far cry from my other jeep, a 67 CJ-5 V6 with factory hardtop (59K original miles)....

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Patrick Molloy
here is my comment
I didn't read the article as particularly negative. In the UK we have a great magazine calld Off Road 4x4. Naturally we'd expect the Defender to scoer well, but this mag is honest, er. Anyway, the standard TJ, they say, is basically a shit road car but off the scale when it comes to fun factor. I had a YJ 2.5L Islander in '88, switching to a 4L Sahara in '95, and I just imported a Rubicon'04 to the uK...probably the only one here. Why. Well Jeep's an icon for one and since I was a boy I've loved them. I also do a some serious off-raod stuff. My YJ was lifted, snorkled, winched etc but at her age(8) she was getting expensive. True enough, you can always buy cheaper & add the extras. Thats not the point really. I wanted the very latest and the very best ---- and I suspect the very last sadly. Yes, I'll and a winch and other stuff to really get her off road, but is a Rubicon really worth the money. Absolutely it is.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Sam
here is my comment

I think the journalist is way off on his price estimate. I priced out a fully loaded Rubicon for around $27,000, and my dealer has a non-air Rubicon on the lot today for $25,000. When I think of all of the money it would take to upgrade my 97 (which already has a 44, lift, 33 tires, lockers in each end, etc.) to the capability of the Rubicon, I think the Rubicon is a bargain.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: to hell with hondas
actually, if you add it all up, getting a rubicon would be cheaper than getting all aftermarket parts and building it up the same way in a stocker. take into consideration that there are 2 d44s, 4.11 gears, custom lockers, new t-case, rocker guards...ect. im not flaming you im just throwing down some facts.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: to hell with hondas
who the hell wrote this crap. obviously, the author is comparing it with puny, on road vehicles. what s/he failed to understand is it isnt the appearance or the on road manners that makes a rubicon what it is, its the OFF road capabilities that make it. the writer also constantly complains about the "exposed metal" and how the "hard top is a nessesity". i dont think that the author is very in touch with what makes Jeep great. i think that the TJ is a breath of fresh air in the auto world. it isnt a carbon copy of all the other cars on the road, its differant, which is a very good thing.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Sam
here is my comment

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: JOEJEEP
here is my comment

Yeah, I haven't posted here for awhile, I am 2001 Cherokee XJ Limited guy, and own a GPW, MB, 2 45 CJ2A's, Commanche, 74 CJ5, and a 53 Truck. And I have thinned my stock down as well lately!

Everyone has added some good comments, however the 'author' of that article is just trying to say if you really really want this 'Rubicon' don't expect the vehicle to be a '2 way street' like say a Liberty or Grand. It basically is 'strictly off road' and really from what I have seen heh heh-a glorified killer ATV that you can drive on the street.

Before I bought my Cherokee I tried one of the wranglers out, not a Rubicon but a 97 or 98 with the 6, auto, and hardtop-20,000 miles on it. Well, I liked it, but I didn't buy it? Why, because my 74 CJ-5 basically drove not much different than the wrangler, in fact the wrangler wandered more. The wind noise was almost as bad as my CJ-5 and it had the crank windows-which is fine. If you have read any of the magazines Four Wheeler, yadda yadda-they haven't given real positive views but they all say the same thing-it is an off road play toy that you don't have to go out and change and screw up the warranty.

And I will say this much I have never had any dates with females ever complain about the heated leather seats in my XJ cherokee Ltd as well as the infinity sound while still be able to handle alot of trails....

Just my thoughts

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: to hell with hondas
i dont think that we are bitching and moaning i just think that the author completely did not understand what the TJ is about. while i wasnt expecting an in depth offroad article, i would expect that the author would think differantly of the Rubi. after all, its no bimmer, and i think everyone here knows that.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: rich
Well said. I agree. All auto critics these days
want the same thing as every soccer mom&dad. Luxury appointments, dvd players, a ride like a
Rolls, and more room than your neighbors minivan.
That said, he's right about the cost of a Rubicon. While it has plenty of off-road balls, it lacks the space of, say, a Defender, while
it comes close to the cost. Make the 'Con a
4 door or stretch it like the Jeeps AEV provides,
and I'll pony up 30 grand or more!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Anthony Gunsworth
I dont know what it is about you guys, but most of you piss and moan when anyone who isnt a "hardcore Jeeper" even mentions the word Jeep. So the author isnt hardcore, he never said the Rubi sucked, it just wasnt worth the price to him. On another note, do you think the editor of the Canadian Globe or whatever is really going to publish an off-road article? When was the last time you read a technical off-road article in your local paper? Not everyone in this world loves Jeeps the way we do, and even if they did you'd probably whine about that too. I know I love Jeeps and always will, if other people don't; good, more for me.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: dill
mind you that a big reason Rubicon owners buy the Rubicon is because they either dont have time to build a Jeep themselves or they just dont know how. and the Rubicon is the best off road vehicle right out of the factory, and is also a very good starting point for people that do want to take thier Jeep further.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: XJ Forever
I too felt like kicking the ungrateful journalist in the shorts and banning him from ever laying hands on the wheel of another Jeep. The guy is a dork, who essentially cut and pasted the rest of the article's data into place.

Despite his initial punch in the gut to the Rubicon, he did have a point, and that was, for what you get, the Rubicon is over priced. I'd prefer to get the base model Wrangler with the 4.0L. Add an air condition and auto tranny. Talk the sales jerk down a few thousand dollars and add the rest of the stuff myself - the way I want it, saving big bucks and getting a lot more out of it.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Weoflun
I actually appreciated this writer's input. I felt he liked the Wrangler, but he was just saying it's pretty expensive for what it offers; and it is. But, hey, I'd rather them be marked up a bit and only fans owning them, than costing less and more un-enthusiastic people driving them, if you get what I mean. He did say that he owned a YJ, and he marked the advantages of the Jeep and the disadvantages. Most journalists are lazy and uninformed (journalists uninformed? funny)and will simply write the Jeep off as an ingrateful and stubborn goat.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: kjboy
Remember, those are Canadian prices. Multiply by 2/3 to get approximate US prices.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jo
here is my comment:

Rubicon is way over rated. It is not the ultimate off road vehicle, and I say to the guy with the flimsy rear upper control arm--We have got the same problem.
Reaction by: Lee - posted Tuesday, March 23, 2004 at 10:30:56 PM

Lee, let us know how the battle turns out.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Andrew Dickson
here is my comment: Where in the world did you get a based out Rubicon that expensive? You got jacked man. My rubicon came with A/C, CD, hard AND soft top and everything else except the fancy rearview mirror and cruise, and it was just over $26k. If you are looking for a deal try Jasper Jeep just outside of atlanta. That's where I got my deal!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Trooper
here is my comment
Yes, I bit! After getting screwed around by factory ordering and production quota restrictions, I went an AEV/Flanagan SWB conversion. Time and money well spent! Just make sure you have all of conversion products completed before paying for or picking up.
While mine won't see everyday serious offroading (want to use as an everyday alt to 3/4 ton Ram deisel and $ only go so far...) I want that capability!! And it has it!! As far as price vs capabilities I am happy. Only complaint is highway power from Calif. spec 4.0. Maybe Jeep shouldn't offer cruise control as an option!! Or maybe Calif doesn't have hills or long grades!
Just remember, reviews by anyone other than an owner are just opinions and assumptions!!!!
Proud to be a Jeeper, Trooper
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