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Its a Jeep Thing logo 4/4/2017 Conrad Camellino

First, a few disclaimers. This review is on an Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock Edition with basically every option. Keep that in mind when I say this vehicle is more luxurious than some other reviewers (for example, the Sport comes with roll-up windows and no air conditioning). Second, I've driven about 30,000 miles in this vehicle and 50,000 in a 2014 Unlimited Rubicon I had prior to this, so I've had a lot of experience behind the wheel. 1. The Good: there's a lot of it. The Rubicon Hard Rock is the single BEST vehicle you can buy for rock crawling and for all-around off-roading. That's not bias talking - its an objective truth. It comes standard with low-range 4WD, heavy duty Dana 44 axles front and rear with electronic lockers, 32 inch mud/terrain tires, an electronic sway-bar disconnect, skid plates, rock sliders, steel bumpers front and rear (the front is winch and hoop capable). It will go anywhere you ask of it, and not break a sweat. The Raptor can desert run, but isn't much of a rock crawler. The Ram Power Wagon can rock crawl - unless the trail gets too narrow or windy. Small pickups like the Tacoma and Frontier are fine, but have bad departure angles and independent front suspension (bad for off-roading). Its easy to dwell on the off-road prowess of the Rubicon, so lets move on to some under-appreciated categories. The interior, for example. Mine has heated leather seats with "RUBICON" embroidered onto the backs, leather center console, door armrests, shifters, and steering wheel...its got illuminated footwells and cupholders, navigation, bluetooth, voice-controlled calling and radio, DVD player (when stopped), a 9-speaker, 500-watt sound system. I could go on and on. Long story short, its a pretty swell place to spend some time, and not half as uncomfortable as some reviewers (professional and consumer) make it out to be. Its a great family hauler too - it seats five comfortably and with no discernible power drop, can fit loads of gear in the back with all seats up and an astronomical amount with the rear seats down. Furthermore, I never had any maintenance problems with either of my Wranglers for over 80,000 miles. 2. The Bad: yeah, there's some. Comfort isn't what you'd expect from a $50,000+ vehicle. Wind tosses the car (which has the aerodynamics of a cutting board) all around the road if you're not careful, and wind noise at high speeds can be irksome (not terrible, but again - for the price, you really don't want to hear ANYTHING). Technology is lacking too. I have everything I want as a twenty-two year old male with no children. But if you were using this as a family car on occasion, you might want more than 6 airbags, maybe safety features like blind spot monitoring or lane keep assist. The primary safety feature in this car after the traction control and stability control (which, admittedly, are both excellent), is YOU. A Jeep Wrangler asks you to pay attention, something fewer and fewer cars ask of you. MPG is also bad - after a point. I say this because driving 55-65 along curvy Colorado mountain roads, the Wrangler is a rockstar. It gets 20-sometimes 22 MPG on roads and at speeds like that, which is more than I would ask of a giant, boxy off-roader with a five-speed transmission. However, at interstate speeds (75+), on windy days (and the interstate often follows windy corridors), you might average 13 or 14 MPG. That sucks, to put it bluntly. 3. Conclusions: think about what you want out of your car. As a daily driver, the Jeep is comfortable enough and averages 18 MPG, which is fine by me - but there are better options out there. As an off-roader, it is hands-down the single best option currently on the market (and that includes the G-Wagen, the Land Cruiser, the Range Rover, et cetera). As a luxury SUV, it does well, if you're comparing it to 5-8 year old luxury SUVs (cross shopping this Jeep with a 2008 Mercedes M-Class or a 2009 Land Rover LR3 is actually pretty fair). And there are ways around its more unfortunate quirks. Upgrade the LCD screen to a 9-inch offering from Alpine that includes a rear-view camera. PAY ATTENTION when driving. For that better MPG, take the longer way to your destination and save fuel. And what do you get, for your trouble? One of the most badass, quirkiest, most fun to drive, most attention grabbing vehicles on the market (many would say THE most). Its worth it, by my reckoning. I'll be a Jeep owner for life.

Average Rating : 5


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