JL Rubicon vs Renegade Trailhawk snow performance?

Tudor97

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i currently have a 2020 Renegade Trailhawk with bfg ko2 tires on it as my dedicated winter vehicle. I have an ordered placed for a 2021 JL Rubicon 2 door and i have recently gotten cold feet due to seeing conflicting opinions about a rubicons performance in the snow. Does anyone have a first hand experience with comparing these two? One last question are the lockers a detriment or an asset for wintery conditions? Thanks





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jessedacri

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It's all in the driver. I found my 2 door JLR to be incredible in the snow as long as you know how to use it. If you're in slippery, slushy, or snow covered pavement just toss it in 4H and it feels very confident, especially on KO2s. I still like the winter handling on my 35" Patagonia MTs which are noted to not be the best in the snow.

It's not going to be as hands-off as an AWD system but I think my Jeep is plenty confident in the snow and also is a ton of fun in it.

Lockers are really neither here nor there for general winter conditions. Great to have, but with the really nice brake lock differential feature on all JLs in all driving modes, the vehicle already is helping drive torque to the correct place. Lockers are more for slow, precise control when tire placement is important and you need to ensure all of your wheels are spinning simultaneously.

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entropy

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i currently have a 2020 Renegade Trailhawk with bfg ko2 tires on it as my dedicated winter vehicle. I have an ordered placed for a 2021 JL Rubicon 2 door and i have recently gotten cold feet due to seeing conflicting opinions about a rubicons performance in the snow. Does anyone have a first hand experience with comparing these two? One last question are the lockers a detriment or an asset for wintery conditions? Thanks
The Rubicon will be much less likey than the renegade to get stuck, much better for deep snow slow driving. Lockers wont help on most winter driving situations.

The renegade will be better for slippery roads, traveling at higher speeds during a storm, icy/snowy roads. Much better.

Ill tell you the truth. The 2 door JL is very sketchy on winter driving. Short wheelbase , high center of gravity and terrible aerodynamics. But does fine if you take it easy. I lived in VT for 10 years, had a 25 mile commute on rural roads, so I got my share of winter driving.Get a 4 door if you want better winter onroad manners. The issue with the wrangler is not the 4WD system but the dynamics of it while at speed.
 

Suffolklou

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I don't have a renegade but I can compare a Rubicon to a Grand Cherokee. We had a pretty big snow here a couple of years back. I live at the bottom of a hill and saw quite a few of my neighbors try to make it up the hill, with no success. Including the wifes grand cherokee. they were pushing too much snow. My JK (at the time) on 33" KO2's with lockers had no problem. The ground clearance was a help to keep me from snow plowing.

You wont regret the rubicon.

Another bonus is that you could get stock take off wheels pretty cheap if you want to get dedicated snow tires.
 

Strommen95

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Take it easy accelerating and braking. If so, any JL can handle almost anything. You'll find it to be one of the best, most capable snow vehicles for the snow you'll ever own. When people complain about any Wrangler being poor in the snow, understand it's their way of saying they're a poor driver.
 

Sparty

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100% based on driver ability. My TJ could get through just about anything. Biggest thing is to know when to engage 4WD and also the fact that you should rarely engage the lockers unless you're crawling somewhere.
 

jludave

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I also agree that driver ability is key to winter driving. We had some significant snow here this past winter and had no issue getting around in my JL (on stick tires at the time). 4 hi was all that I needed. My wife was even driving around in her Grand Cherokee. All she does is throw it into Snow Mode. Knowing what your vehicle can and can't do in various situations is also key.
 

Crawldad

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some weight in the back end helps immensely. without it they are kinda like a pickup truck in the snow (not quite as bad but the ass end is light)
 

Reinen

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Depends on what kind winter driving you're talking about. The #1 factor is all about the tires, with Driver Ability 2nd. I also hope you got the 4WD Auto option, that's ideal for snowy/icy roads.

BFG KO2 AT's are pretty good in off-road deep snow and snow/mud mix, but don't let that severe snow 3PMSF rating fool you. They are mediocre at best at on-road snow and ice (like any AT tire). For on-road snow & ice just about any dedicated winter tire will be MUCH better. They are tall and narrow, a.k.a "Pizza Cutters". The tread compound is much softer and loaded with snow grabbing sipes which is why you don't want to use them in temps over 45-50 degrees (they wear fast when warm). However they stick to cold/snowy/icy roads like glue. The '21 JLR 2dr with 4WD Auto and winter tires is a go-anywhere winter beast.

FYI, 4WD is not ideal on snowy/icy roads. It forces one or more tires to slip in turns which is the exact opposite of what you want. In that situation, AWD is best followed closely by 4WD Auto. If you don't have the 4WD Auto option, 2WD should be your go-to and shift into 4WD if your rear tires slip.
 

entropy

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Depends on what kind winter driving you're talking about. The #1 factor is all about the tires, with Driver Ability 2nd. I also hope you got the 4WD Auto option, that's ideal for snowy/icy roads.

BFG KO2 AT's are pretty good in off-road deep snow and snow/mud mix, but don't let that severe snow 3PMSF rating fool you. They are mediocre at best at on-road snow and ice (like any AT tire). For on-road snow & ice just about any dedicated winter tire will be MUCH better. They are tall and narrow, a.k.a "Pizza Cutters". The tread compound is much softer and loaded with snow grabbing sipes which is why you don't want to use them in temps over 45-50 degrees (they wear fast when warm). However they stick to cold/snowy/icy roads like glue. The '21 JLR 2dr with 4WD Auto and winter tires is a go-anywhere winter beast.

FYI, 4WD is not ideal on snowy/icy roads. It forces one or more tires to slip in turns which is the exact opposite of what you want. In that situation, AWD is best followed closely by 4WD Auto. If you don't have the 4WD Auto option, 2WD should be your go-to and shift into 4WD if your rear tires slip.
Yeah I agree. I have plenty experience driving in snow, but minimal with a 2 door wrangler. Maybe I am not used to the Wrangler but I had to drive extremely slow or it will be all over the road. Winter tires are the most important factor (real winter tires). If not, the next best is to drop the pressure of A/T tires quite a bit.

Last time I drove my 2 door wrangler on an icy road I had to turn 4WD. Otherwise the tail would be out of control. With 4 wheel drive it was perfectly fine, but I had to drive extremely slow. The road was very icy and it was also a windy mountain road. Worst conditions for a Wrangler. Oh, and they don't salt roads here. So the pavement was covered with a thick layer of ice + wet snow. Terrible. This was somewhere around Mammoth lakes.
 

Reinen

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Yeah I agree. I have plenty experience driving in snow, but minimal with a 2 door wrangler. Maybe I am not used to the Wrangler but I had to drive extremely slow or it will be all over the road. Winter tires are the most important factor (real winter tires). If not, the next best is to drop the pressure of A/T tires quite a bit.

Last time I drove my 2 door wrangler on an icy road I had to turn 4WD. Otherwise the tail would be out of control. With 4 wheel drive it was perfectly fine, but I had to drive extremely slow. The road was very icy and it was also a windy mountain road. Worst conditions for a Wrangler. Oh, and they don't salt roads here. So the pavement was covered with a thick layer of ice + wet snow. Terrible. This was somewhere around Mammoth lakes.
Well the 2dr Wrangler is never a speed demon and snow/ice is no different. But it is hard to get it stuck. You would like 4WD Auto in snow & ice, it's just automagically 4WD when it should be and 2WD when it shouldn't. No thought, it's just there when you need it with no binding/sliding when you don't. AWD would be a tad better, but just a tad.

That sounds like bad conditions for any vehicle but the non-existent aerodynamics would definitely make the knuckles white in the wind. I have wondered about real winter tires off road. They would definitely be better at finding firm snow/ice to grip under soft snow but definitely not better if you find soft mud under the snow. I haven't tried it yet to find out. Out here, trails easily get 10+ ft of snow on them so by the time the ground becomes a factor, it's always a mud tire situation.
 

Reinen

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If you're in slippery, slushy, or snow covered pavement just toss it in 4H and it feels very confident, especially on KO2s.
I have to very much disagree with that. While KO2s are at the better performing end of AT tires, I am very much not confident with any AT tire on slippery, slushy or snow covered pavement and have to rely on driving skill to compensate for the poor tire performance. You'll know exactly what I mean once you run dedicated winter-only tires. Their performance on cold pavement, snow & ice is a huge night & day improvement.

Also, while 4WD will help you move forward it also works against you in turns. In a turn 4WD forces one of your tires to slip leaving only 3 tires to keep you on the road. That may not be enough and is why you'll often see 4WD vehicles sliding off the road in turns.
 
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Oldbear

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My JLwith limited slips and KO2’s does pretty well in snow, however if I lived in serious snow country I’d pick up a second set of wheels and put dedicated WINTER tires in it, they will make a Jeep almost unstoppable.
 

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