Presence. Sometimes you simply feel in control and ready. A new suit, a pair of dress shoes, even the right jacket can give you that extra bit of confidence.
Driving the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon provides the same boost; authority, strength, style and in the case of the Rubicon, comfort. Jeep’s latest iteration of the iconic Wrangler provides the best of all worlds – brawn and beauty and without breaking the bank. Outdoor adventures are covered. Cruising the beach with the top down, absolutely. Picking up the kids at the carpool lane? Yes. Grocery store runs or a weekend trip to the home improvement store? No problem. With the upscale interior, even date night is elevated.
Wrangler has been synonymous with strength and authority since the mid-eighties. The Wrangler was even a co-star alongside the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. The vehicle has a strong following. Owners often flash lights and waive to each other in passing. Very few vehicles command the dedication of the iconic Jeep Wrangler.
Our review vehicle, the Wrangler Rubicon, was powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission. The V6 produces 285 horsepower and 260 ft-lbs of torque. The engine and transmission combination works well for day to day driving. Fuel economy is about what you’d expect from a boxy off-road ready vehicle at 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. The power is immediate and thanks to Jeep’s brilliant eight-speed automatic, the Wrangler feels ready up to the speed limit and beyond.
While the Rubicon is a welcome daily driver, the Wrangler really shines off road. The almost unstoppable 4×4 features locking front and read differentials. The transmission offers a 4-wheel low setting that works to keep the Jeep moving in terrain that stops many other off-road vehicles in their tracks. Get in over your head and the disconnectable front stabilizer bar frees up the front wheels to help climb otherwise impossible rocks and crags.
Road noise is abundant, especially at highway speeds, but the Uconnect infotainment system remains among the best in the industry. Our review vehicle included an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. FCA’s lauded system is easy to use and loaded with features. Audio is clear and loud and the smartphone integration works flawlessly.
While the Wrangler is not for everyone, Jeep’s off-road ready convertible is the only vehicle for some. With a starting price tag of just over $28k the Wrangler can be configured to meet most budgets. Our nicely-equipped Rubicon, with a long-list of MOPAR options, costs close to $50k.
Chris Brewer is an automotive writer and photographer living in Northeast Florida. Chris is a regular contributor to numerous automotive magazines and founded Jacksonville Car Culture, an automotive lifestyle firm that runs Jacksonville’s Cars & Coffee. Chris also works as the director of communications for The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, a world-renowned automotive event and two-time winner of the International Historic Motoring Event of the Year award. He also has a doctorate degree from The Institute for Worship Studies.