Rubicon vs. High Altitude Help

BigJimSlade41

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Hi all,

My wife and I are putting in an order on a new 4xe today, but we are torn between the Rubicon vs. High Altitude trim levels. We’ve done a lot of research and test drove a Sahara 4xe, but wanted to ask some actual owners their thoughts. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Vehicle Usage
This is primarily going to be used on road in Denver, CO but I would like to take it off-road at least 2-3 times per year. I am leaning towards the Rubicon because I prefer the basic amenities and want the bigger tires, higher fenders and steel bumpers, but I also like that the HA has a smoother ride on paved surfaces. My wife likes the HA "standard" options like the color-keyed fenders and leather seats, which can be added to the Rubicon. One of her biggest concerns is the lack of side rails on the Rubicon and the ease of getting in and out for her and our children.

Questions
  1. How difficult is it to get in and out of the Rubicon? Has anyone added side rails to their Rubicon? If so, how hard are they to install and which ones did you choose?
  2. Are the off-road capabilities really worth the upgraded cost? I know the full-time 4WD is nice but what else is there (I'm not much of a car guy)? How much does the FT 4WD impact fuel efficiency?
  3. How much harsher of a ride on highway is the Rubicon? Is it a lot or barely noticable?
  4. Has anyone removed any of the Rubicon decals? If so, how difficult are they to remove?
  5. If you faced a similar decision, why did you decide on the trim you did?
Thanks for all the help, hope to wave to you all soon.





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MauiSteve

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The Rubicon rides very nicely, it's designed to be compliant off road which makes the on road manners very pleasing. It's not hard to get in and out of, I got the factory rock rails but LOD makes after market ones with steps, as do others. I'm a Rubicon fan, it's the alpha Jeep and always gets attention. It has many upgrades and holds its value very well. Get the Rubicon.
 

rts4714

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Questions
  1. How difficult is it to get in and out of the Rubicon? Has anyone added side rails to their Rubicon? If so, how hard are they to install and which ones did you choose?
- depends on how short you are. I sit a little above a stock Rubi and can get in fine (im 5'10) my mom (5'1) struggles a bit. I installed rock rails so no steps but very easy, 6 bolts per side
  1. Are the off-road capabilities really worth the upgraded cost? I know the full-time 4WD is nice but what else is there (I'm not much of a car guy)? How much does the FT 4WD impact fuel efficiency?
- I haven't driven the full time 4wd in the wrangler but have heard good things. Less of a worry for snow, ice, ect. someone else might be able to better chime in on that. the MPG is probably going to be about the same as the rubicon (larger, more aggressive tires)
  1. How much harsher of a ride on highway is the Rubicon? Is it a lot or barely noticable?
- Also subjective but I don't notice any difference. Personally I prefer the way the rubicon rides more. Feels more grounded.
  1. Has anyone removed any of the Rubicon decals? If so, how difficult are they to remove?
- use a blow dryer or heat gun to heat up the sticker and peel off. keep the heat moving so you don't ruin the clear coat. you may have to buff out some light scratches. I've used this to remove dealership stickers.
  1. If you faced a similar decision, why did you decide on the trim you did?
-All comes to personal preference. The aftermarket world is fantastic and you can always find someone's take off parts (ie. rubicon wheels and tires for $1000).
Thanks for all the help, hope to wave to you all soon.
 

Cjanak21

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1- Between the two the Rubicon is not much "harder" to get into, most jeep owners get grab handles to help get them and passengers up and in for all models of wranglers. The rubicons come with standard grab handles built into the A-piller to help get in... Overall, not a big difference between the two. Side rails are easy to get on and off, few bolts on each side thats it, pretty easy to do at home with basic hand tools.

2- Not a huge fan of full-time 4wd due to the choppiness of a tight turn with it, but mpg wouldn't be too noticeably different, considering all wranglers aren't bought for their "amazing" mpg ratings. For off-roading there's a big difference between the two models, but all wranglers are built to handle off roading requirements, you can do a lot of off-roading in both models but if you want to do anything thats more than "light off roading" which is some light trails and rocks and such without making a lot of upgrades the rubicon is the "king" allowing for higher fenders and wheels in its stock form and comes with lockers for more serious off roading situations.

3-Depends on the tire, but the HA edition stock tires are defiantly a more pleasant drive on the high way and at speed, but with the stock wrangler setup it really isn't bad at all, even at speed. Rubicon may be a bit louder due to the tire size being a bit bigger and tire tread being more aggressive.

4- I have not removed any of the decals, but with a cheap goo-gone or 3M adhesive remover I'm sure it would not be a problem at all to remove whatever you want easily.

5- Just faced this decision 2 weeks ago... parents are buying me and my twin sister brand new from factory jeeps of any model we wanted as a grad present and I chose the white rubicon and my sister chose the white high altitude. Both 3.6 v6 because I am not a fan of the 2.0 Turbo and I heard they may even faze out that engine due to it being more problematic. I chose the rubicon because I really liked the look and the bigger stock ride height and money was not an issue. My sister liked the look of the sleek almost G-wagon look of the high altitude more. She plans on getting a cheap $250 small 1.5"-2" spacer lift to bring the factory ride height up without sacrificing stock ride quality


P.S.
In my opinion whatever Jeep you get your family will love.
 

dalema

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It's funny - I'd normally say to go with the Rubi any day of the week, but based on your description and i hate to say it but as your in the 4xe space - maybe in this case the HA.

I actually think it's a decision that really seems to need an agreement with your wife as you seem to want different things out of the rig. That's where your answer lies!

When you say offroad - any wrangler can handle any type of moderate offroading, but are you thinking more extreme?

And I think they both have full time 4wd which sounds great for your location - but you can just put it in 2wd if you don't want to run that way

Maybe get one each - haha
 

Thill444

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I hope this helps, but my last JL Wrangler, I put on a lift and larger tires and swapped over the Rubicon struts/shocks. Essentially giving it the same height as a Rubicon. I am 5'11" and have a 5'5" wife and three kids with the youngest being under 10 and short. Nobody has a problem getting in the Jeep, I had the factory side step/bar installed and installed grab handles. Zero complaints in 2 years and 17K miles.

Honestly, my wife likes driving it because you have great visibility sitting up higher and can see traffic much better ahead of you.

My advice, talk it over with the wife. Ironically I planned on getting a Sahara 4xe and my wife talked me into the Rubicon 4xe. Her reasoning: "look, you are probably going to want aftermarket tires, maybe a lift, etc and the Rubicon has all that stock, and it will hold it's resale better". She also said she liked the Rubicon hood better.

So I ordered a Rubicon, but I know I would have been very happy in a Sahara. For vast majority of offroading the Sahara is more than adequate, especially for a novice.

Having said that. If you get the Rubicon make a family trip to Moab, UT and hire a guide for a day or two with the family (technically you can do this with they Sahara too). I did that with my family and with my wife's extended family and it was one of the most fun trips we have ever done. I promise you it makes buying a Jeep worthwhile and you can really learn the advantages of the machine. Especially with the Rubicon and learning how to use the lockers and sway bar disconnect. Kids had so much fun and we hope to do it again this year.
 

LarryB

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You mentioned that you are going off-road a few times a year ... are we talking the road to the cottage that your Camry doesn't like but makes it, or are we talking the Rubicon Trail? If it is more of the first, go with the HA.
 
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BigJimSlade41

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You mentioned that you are going off-road a few times a year ... are we talking the road to the cottage that your Camry doesn't like but makes it, or are we talking the Rubicon Trail? If it is more of the first, go with the HA.
Maybe not Rubicon Trail, but definitely places the Camry can't go.
 
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BigJimSlade41

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I really appreciate all of the feedback. Keep it coming!
 

KaiyaKai

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Questions
  1. How difficult is it to get in and out of the Rubicon? Has anyone added side rails to their Rubicon? If so, how hard are they to install and which ones did you choose?
I am 5'4" and I struggle to get into my Rubi, LOL! But when I get out, I have to slide off the seat and with leather seats, they will get worn out, unless you have good seat covers. I like my Jeep towel seat covers so I'll be getting some Ace Engineering rock slider installed shortly to help with both.
 

1st4xe

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I was debating a similar question. I am here in CO, probably won't do a ton of serious off road driving, but some. I choose the HA and I am very pleased with the decision. I love the look of the HA, and find it a good balance between rugged and elegant. Given 95% of my driving is around town, this was the right choice for my situation.
 

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