Why Not A Rubicon?

CarbonSteel

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Over the past year, I have seen more than one recommendation to buy a Sport (or other models) and build it out versus buying a Rubicon. Why is this? What is it that is discarded on a Rubicon and replaced that would not be on a different model?

Genuine question here...



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Notorious

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Back in the day, there was a significant difference in cost between a fully loaded Sport vs a “base” Rubicon.

The train of thought was
“for the price of a Rubicon, I can get a Sport and build it to be so much more capable than the already capable Rubicon”
So Rubis were perceived as exceptionally capable from the factory and Sports were for the people who either didn’t need the features of a Rubi, couldn’t afford a Rubi or for those who wanted to build a more capable Wrangler.

Times have changed and so have perceptions. But still the Rubi is one of the most capable Wranglers out of the factory. The price difference isn’t as significant between the two models as it once was and so the thinking is now,
“if I’m spending this much, I may as well spend a little more and get something that’s more capable.”
Do what you will with that.
 

Chocolate Thunder

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If you can afford a Rubicon, there’s no reason not to buy one IMO even if you plan to upgrade some things. The stuff you take off will swiftly be purchased by those who either couldn’t afford to buy the Rubicon or didn’t want one for whatever reason.

When upgrading you can sell your wheels, tires, axles, suspension, etc. to the guys who didn’t buy a Rubicon. You’ve already got front and rear lockers. High fenders. Etc.

I’m not sure that I’ve seen folks posting that they bought a Rubicon and felt they made a bad choice or wasted money after the fact. There are tons of threads on the stuff that Sport or Sahara owners do to add the features of a Rubicon. But some folks actually prefer to spend their time and money building it that way themselves so there’s something to be said for that if that’s your thing.
 

ThirtyOne

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It comes from 2 places.

One is the case Is on pretty serious builds. if you are going to 40s, Dana 60s, an Atlas transfer case, 5:13+ gears, and you are going to strip out the interior and add a roll cage, then don’t buy a Rubicon. Buy a Sport.

The other case is where you can save 10,000 and then use that money to build it over time. Some parts are Rubicon take-offs. Some are better. Some you fabricate with your bare teeth. You do all the work yourself and create a truly personal vehicle thats as good as a Rubicon all things considered and you had a great time building it.

Neither of those cases apply to the majority of Jeep buyers.

I think the other case where it makes sense is you buy a Jeep thinking you are going to go to Moab every weekend and instead you never take it off-road. You put a lift and tires on it and it looks great but it doesn’t really need to be a Rubicon and you can save thousands. That is probably more common.
 

entropy

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The price difference between sport and Rubicon are not as small as people suggest. I was able to get a pretty good deal on a sport S, but when looking at Rubicons it was much harder to get them to drop the price. The MSRP might not be that fair, but the real value of the vehicle is larger. I saved over 10k on my sport S vs a "basic" Rubicon.

If you want to go rock crawling and extreme off-roading, there is no reason to not start with a Rubicon in my opinion, what you get for the money is still way worth it. You are gonna have to be dealing with how to get lockers on a sport, a beefier axle, disconnects, tires, lift, etc...

With that said, the sport as it comes is still a beast off-road and you can go out and do trails that will make you sh!t your pants if you are new to off-roading. It is also more of a white canvas, that you can customize as you want. Maybe you just care about image, so you can make a sport look bad ass even though it doesnt have lockers, but who can see lockers anyway?. Maybe you care about long overlanding trips than rock crawling and MPG matters more to you, so you get a rack, winch, etc... and save money on lockers. Maybe you want a daily driver that can hit the trails? reasons to buy a sport over a Rubicon are endless, and it is not about being able to afford a Rubicon or not.

I wasn't interested in extreme rock crawling so I bought a sport S with the LSD to help on certain off roading situations. I do want a bit more clearance and slightly beefier suspension, so I bought rubi take offs for $150. That gives me the same articulation of the rubi (if I disconnect), ground clearance, and beefier springs for higher loads (roof rack etc). The money I saved from the rubi I am going to use to buy a nice hiker trailer. See? to me it was worth it. But it depends on your lifestyle and what YOU want. The Rubicon is not a rip off, and you do get what you pay for, but do you rather spend that extra money in something else?

If you want to buy a sport to make it as capable as the Rubicon, then just buy a Rubicon. I don't fully understand when people say "oh you cant afford the rubicon buy a sport". In this day and age if you can afford a sport you can afford a rubicon, if you are that limited in cash then maybe you shouldnt be buying a new wrangler.
 
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CarbonSteel

CarbonSteel

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(I could be wrong here), but I see all models changing out the suspension and steering components, the OEM stuff even on Rubicon is pretty weak. What I wonder is how often do people buy a Rubicon to install Dana 60 or stronger axles. I would hazard a guess it is not that often and therefore **for many people** the Rubicon axles would be just fine since they are ELD and are not experiencing the issues the LSD axles are.

Lift kits and the like happen to all models so no Rubicon benefit there (unless one is happy with the Rubicon height). In the end, it just does not seem to be a "waste" to buy a Rubicon since the majority of what is changed on a Rubicon is also changed on the other models too (except, perhaps for the axles).

Am I correct in my assumption?
 

Jeepsk8

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This subject is as volatile as oil threads, lol.

Is $10k a value to you for better axles, e-lockers, better tires, 4:1 transfer case, 4.10 gears, electronic sway bar disconnect, cool hood, different interior trim and a couple of kickass hood stickers? If so, then buy it (I did).

If you intend to replace axles and blah blah blah, then get the sport. Although I would question why you would want to buy a brand new Jeep to do that anyway.

I bought the Rubicon because I don't want to spend more time wrenching than wheeling. It's insanely good right out of the box. I will upgrade as stuff breaks or wears out.
 

Notorious

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The price difference between sport and Rubicon are not as small as people suggest.
What we mean is that there is overlap in price between a fully optioned sport and an entry level Rubicon. If a buyer has a hard budget of $51k they can build both a Sport and a Rubicon, these will be optioned differently and then at that point the buyer has to decide if having the features unique to the Rubicon make sense to forgo some of the options they want.

Spec both out with the same options and there’s a $7k-$10k delta between the trim levels. Is it worth it? Buyer has to answer for himself.
In the end, it just does not seem to be a "waste" to buy a Rubicon since the majority of what is changed on a Rubicon is also changed on the other models too (except, perhaps for the axles).
Said differently, if what is changed on a Wrangler is not specific to any trim, is the higher end trim worth it or a “waste” of money? You’ll get opinions but at the end of the day, it really depends on the buyer, what they can afford and if they see value in making their purchase for the trim level.
 

rubileon

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Over the past year, I have seen more than one recommendation to buy a Sport (or other models) and build it out versus buying a Rubicon. Why is this? What is it that is discarded on a Rubicon and replaced that would not be on a different model?

Genuine question here...
I just recommended another guy to buy a Sport and build as well.

But the reason why I went with a Rubicon is because it's my daily driver and I had an Overland JK (a higher trim of Sahara) before. If you get a Sport, it doesn't look as good as a daily driver. When you modify it, it's not going to be much of a daily driver.
 
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CarbonSteel

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Why pay for things you're going to upgrade?
I think you just asked the question I have been driving at. What is specific on a Rubicon that you would upgrade that would not be upgraded on any model? With the exception of the axles, are the costs not about the same no matter which model it is?
 

txj2go

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I bought a sport- even though I do go offroad (just got back from an offroad trip) I did not likely need the advantages of the Rubicon. But really it was out of my budget unless I went with a JK. If I had the money and money didn't matter to me, I would have bought the Rubicon. (There is a separate thread about "crazy money" in the JL ownership.) What some people have said- if you intend to upgrade the axles, gears and transfer case anyway, then you are throwing away a lot of what you paid extra money for.

If you buy a lot of options then the difference in price might be $10k, but in the models that i was looking for a Rubicon would have cost about $14k more, that's a lot of money.
 

Notorious

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Why pay for things you're going to upgrade?
Exactly. At the end of the day, are the things that make the trims unique worth the money? Every buyer will say something different.
I’m amazed at the amount of people who buy a Rubicon because they think it is the top trim, but they have no idea what they are buying.
Yep. We hear from them from time to time complaining about spending $50k on an FCA Jeep “car” and their “car” has problems. The real problem sits in the driver’s seat and began well before the purchase. :giggle:
 



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