Yes, 100% correct- this is standard practice in auto journalism (or at least it should be). I don’t really care about C&D or the 4xE but this is pretty basic stuff.I’m really not sure why you’re contorting yourself to justify the author’s disingenuous reporting. And it IS disingenuous — the fact is that the entry level 2.0T and the entry level 4xe are not directly comparable simply because they are optioned so differently. He conveniently omits that fact entirely!
All the author had to do was to say something along the lines of “The base Sahara 4xe is $X more than the base Sahara 2.0T, but when the 2.0T is similarly equipped to the 4xe the difference drops to $Y. The Rubicon is similar at $A base, but $B similarly equipped.“. That would have been factual, accurate, and given readers the complete picture.