We don't normally post every review of a Jeep vehicle we come across - we tend to save it for a review on one extreme or other - in this case, the reviewer from the Edmonton Journal on Canada.com couldn't have shoveled more praise on the Wrangler Rubicon if he had a backhoe. Here's some highlights:
...the 2004 model may share no bolt or basic dimension with the feisty little Second World War utility vehicle, but in design and intent, it hasn't changed a whit.
Like that first Jeep, the TJ is built to churn through anything it encounters. Comfort and convenience take a back seat (and a thin and bouncy seat, it is) to this single-minded goal.
Our test subject, the TJ Rubicon, is more faithful than ever to the tenets of the original Jeep. Introduced for 2003 and named for one of the toughest off-road trails in the U.S., the Rubicon comes with huge, paddle-wheel tires, diamond-plate steel sill guards and a heavy-duty transfer case that could grind gravel into sand. Its qualifications go beyond even Jeep's new Trail Rated system to designate its four-by-fours have met tough standards for water-fording, articulation (wheel travel) and other off-roading.
We didn't cross the Rubicon in our TJ, but we did visit a Kanata construction site on a rainy Sunday.
It was a ride in the park. We churned easily through the slick mud without even needing to lock the axles (a simple matter of hitting a dash switch once to lock the rear axle, or twice to lock front and rear). With 235 ft.-lbs. of torque, the 4.0-litre straight-six engine gave us all the power we needed.
We tried deeper puddles, steeper inclines. The Rubicon never hesitated. We wondered if it was laughing at us through its famous, seven-slotted grille.