We had a sport s JL, sold it 4 months ago and just bought an ocean blue rubicon yesterday. I would say yes, but to each their own.
Nobody pays full price. I surely didn't pay sticker price for my JLUR. Similar to what Sean K. said, it's a base line for comparison.yea but i got my Sport S 24s package with tech group, cold group, safety group, convenience group, and a mopar lift kit all for 36,900. that is way below the price of a Rubicon and the money i saved i put into new tires and wheels just a few weeks after i bought it. now my Sport s did have a MSRP of 45,400 before i got them to lower the price.
Somewhat disagree with the first part. Location has a big role on the need part I find. If I was down south, Moab for example rubicon all the way with the 4:1 locked front and rear bit up here, especially as a daily locked front, limited slip rear and sport 2.72.1 case is perfect. We have the unfortunate trails that have mud and require wheel speed to get through so your forever in and out of 4lo. My brother has a Rubi JT and gets the joy of that. After one trail, his t case is smooth as butter now tho! HahahaIt boils down to this ugly fact: If you don't "need" 4:1 and lockers f/r....you aren't wheeling very tough trails for the most part and you are certainly taking the bypasses.
If you have a Rubicon and you don't actually have to use those components, you really didn't "need" a Rubicon.
In truth, you'll know if you should have bought a Rubicon by the aforementioned scenarios.
And yes, you can build a lesser equipped model up to a Rubicon, but it's doubtful you're going to save much money at all doing so.
Mine and my brothers Rubi will start 1st gear in auto all the time, and yes you can up shift to gain a better wheel speed obviously but it is a lot more limited with the 4:1Sorry, that argument doesn't wash. The JL has a 6 speed MT or 8 spd. AT. The AT has a manual mode. You can simply upshift if you need more wheel speed. And the AT doesn't even start in 1st gear unless you have it in manual mode anyway.