Why Not A Rubicon?

ODDs

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At the end of the day, I believe that with the exception of a very small handful of buyers, the decision to opt for anything other than a Rubicon boils down to money. Ask this question to yourself HONESTLY: if you’ve got $x to spend on purchasing a new Jeep (let’s for example say $35K) and you go to the dealership and the salesperson tells you that you can pick ANY Jeep on the lot or order one configured with any trim and any options that are offered by FCA, would you choose a Rubicon or something else? Yes, I know there’s a few luddites that actually DO want manual everything and no AC because of simplicity and they’re more manly than the rest of us. But excluding those <1% of Jeepers people would opt for more capability and options if they didn’t have to pay any more for it than a bare bones Sport.
There's also the luddites like myself that bought a Sahara instead of Rubicon specifically because we did not want the Rubicon's 'upgrades'. Taller tires look cool, but also introduce compromises. At the time only the Sahara could be had with full time 4WD, a feature I would argue is more useful for the vast majority of buyers. Same with LSD over lockers. With most of the miles being on the pavement, the Sahara's more pavement friendly suspension was preferred.

For many Sahara buyers, myself included, their Sahara's MSRP was $10k or more above the base Rubicon MSRP. So a Rubicon could easily have been had for the money, but it simply wasn't wanted.

Getting off the grid is how my family and I choose to spend our free time. Yet none of us enjoy rock crawling. So why compromise our vehicle for features we don't need? The Sahara is GP (general purpose) enough for us, isn't that how the Jeep name started?





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Chocolate Thunder

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Agreed. After over 3 years of being on this forum and into Jeeps, money and budget are the most common reasons why the Rubicon holds last place in overall sales numbers.

Also, it was a good back and forth between you and S2k. Great points made. One thing to add, is that hard trails aren't required to appreciate the Rubicon features. The axles will go a long way towards longevity, even for those who want larger than 35's on a jeep that'll never leave the pavement.
I have a Rubicon and I haven’t done anything that most people would consider a hard trail! :LOL:
 

aldo98229

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I have owned several Rubicons and Saharas over the years. I appreciate what each brings to the table. No surprise, then, that I shopped both before buying a JL.

Lockers are the ultimate traction device, no doubt. But the reality is that with a locker you effectively have an open rear differential 99% of the time.

In my experience, a rear LSD is a lot more useful than an open differential or even a locking differential, across a wider variety of terrains and driving conditions.

Moving from California to Washington, extreme off-roading in perfect weather gave way by moderate off-roading in unpredictable weather. I needed my JL to serve less as a weekend toy and more as all-around, all-weather vehicle. So this time I got a Sahara with Trac-Lok LSD. Selec-Trac alone made my choice easier.

Now that Willys has reappeared, and Select-Trac and Trac-Lok have been made available on everything from Sport S through Sahara Altitude, I’d probably stick with a Wrangler with Selec-Trac and Trac-Lok whenever I am back on the market.
 
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Headbarcode

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I have a Rubicon and I haven’t done anything that most people would consider a hard trail! :LOL:
It's OK! Off roading is illegal in New York and winter is my only down time from work to be able to travel to where fun is allowed. And I kept ripping my jeep apart this winter, preventing me from heading to Pennsylvania this year. So far, the only real flexing my jeep has seen, is with the forklift at work. Next winter I will make up the lost time.
 

Atom631

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I've run the rubicon trail in everything from my 89 xj on 35's and welded difs, to the wife's 01 wj on 31's with lsd's, to an 09 jk sport with a 3" spacer lift and 35's. We've yet to do it in the jlur on 37's, but having wheeled moab and big bear trails I can say hands down the jl will be the most fun. The older rigs had the added challenges of not having enough gearing, open difs, weaker parts (both the xj and wj have been left on the trail for a week at times to facilitate work and parts ordering), and reliability issues that the rubicon just doesn't have. You can get out and wheel in just about anything. The jlur can be daily driven on the hottest and coldest of days (ac and seat heaters), wheeled hard, and driven home at 85mph. No more trailer, no more tow rig, no more compromise. Yes it's an expensive rig, but it does everything we want it to, easily, without stress, and incredibly comfortably. Nobody needs a Rubicon, but if you can afford it it's worth every penny.
this is the nail on the head for me. I was a hardcore Toyota guy. My last rig was an 85 hilux on 37s, detroits, hydro, dual tcases, exo cage, etc. it was awesome and I loved wheeling it. I hated that I had to trailer it everywhere. I hated that it had no heat or a/c (and I live on the east coast). It also no longer fit my lifestyle having a young family that couldn’t partake in the fun bc it was a 2 seater. Also, I was never into wrenching. I just loved driving and the wrenching was a means to an end. I wound up selling it least year and miss having something to go wheeling with.

I just ordered a JLUR (my first wrangler) one week ago today after having binged watched a ton of YT videos of what Rubicon’s are capable of right out of the box w/ some 35s. I was blown away by its capability. It’s really all I need and want - I can drive to and from the trails. I can hit all the greens and blue without a worry and maybe even some moderate blacks. No trailering and all the creature comforts I need to keep the family happy.

it’s a great foundation for fun without too much worrying or modifying right away. I can have a blast on the Easy/moderate trials and don’t need to constantly have the pucker factor of reds. I’m over that. Being out in the woods no matter the trail is all the fun I need right now. Overtime as the warranty expires I’ll throw on a lift and 37s. all easy bolt-on stuff. No major welding/grinding/cutting to make things fit. When I finally pay it off - maybe I’ll consider a complete hardcore build on it! It’s nice having so many options with so much aftermarket support!!
 

Moto_21

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It's OK! Off roading is illegal in New York and winter is my only down time from work to be able to travel to where fun is allowed. And I kept ripping my jeep apart this winter, preventing me from heading to Pennsylvania this year. So far, the only real flexing my jeep has seen, is with the forklift at work. Next winter I will make up the lost time.
Ew get outta that state. Honestly though california will ban offroading soon too, and working, and camping....shit whered i put my ticket for my bread...😂
 

aldo98229

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Ew get outta that state. Honestly though california will ban offroading soon too, and working, and camping....shit whered i put my ticket for my bread...😂
There's no way California will ban off-roading. California is a Mecca of off-roading, along with Utah and perhaps Colorado.

The Rubicon trail alone brings quite a chunk of revenue from tourists, off-roaders and automakers using it for testing and development.

There are several dozen trails up and down the Sierras that are as good, and sometimes even better, than the Rubicon trail that are known only to the locals.
 

Hound Dog

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There's no way California will ban off-roading. California is a Mecca of off-roading, along with Utah and perhaps Colorado.

The Rubicon trail alone brings quite a chunk of revenue from tourists, off-roaders and automakers using it for testing and development.

There are several dozen trails up and down the Sierras that are as good, and sometimes even better, than the Rubicon trail that are known only to the locals.
They may just restrict off roading to solar powered mopeds though. Your sickening fossil fuel guzzling, carbon footprint stomping, rolling environmental hazard on wheels will be abolished like Newsom at a Trump rally!
 

Headbarcode

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Ew get outta that state. Honestly though california will ban offroading soon too, and working, and camping....shit whered i put my ticket for my bread...😂
You're still allowed to have bread?! We've had to convert our meth houses into blackmarket bake houses. Still trying to complete the conversion, but we're getting there.
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GRXKen

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So I bought a Sport off the lot back in early July, last weekend I ordered a Rubicon.

We bought the first one on impulse, we both always wanted one, we shopped for a used one for a long time and just decided rather than pay 10K plus for a used Wrangler with 100,000 miles on it we would bite the bullet and buy a new one.

Within a month we were on a trip and hitting back roads and we had a blast. We will never go rock crawling, we will never go mudding but we will go exploring. I started looking into the trails all over the country and saw many id like to try. I probably don't need a Rubicon but who knows. Having the locking axels and sway disconnect at my fingertips allows me some flexibility I wouldn't have other wise. The extra ground clearance is nice, I don't need a lift and I can still move up to 35s if I ever decided to. I really like the steel bumpers and they allow me to add a winch As a bonus my lockers are covered by a factory warranty.

I've built cars and trucks in the past and I enjoyed it, I'll still tinker with this one I'm sure, I already have a list of a dozen items I'll add but the big ticket items are already there.

So why not a Rubicon. Its a toy for us, weekend trip to the woods or drive for ice cream. We both work our asses off 6 and 7 days a week so we bought a Rubicon as a reward. May never truly need the features but its like a parachute.
 

Az-jewel

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All,

I apologize for responding to a half year idle thread, but having a lifted Sport on 35s with Sway-bar Quick Disconnects, I do have a pretty relevant perspective that I'd like to share.

I've been able to wheel my rig with open diffs (on both axles, not even an LSD) over many difficult to severe trails here in my home state of Colorado, all with remarkably great success. Sports are way more capable than what most people give them credit for. Especially if setup properly.

My desire was to see way more of my state by trekking into rather than bouncing upon every over-sized boulder along the way. Certainly, 'Stay-the-Trail' requires going over rather than around obstacles, and the lockers do crawl over the extreme crap better than anything, but I found a lot of enjoyment in doing these things with good Jeeping skill rather than shear brute force.

1. If the route is too severe, I'll find a different trail. I don't need to see every square inch of the Rocky Mountains. Anything within a few miles of the same mountain range is absolutely sufficient.

2. With careful consideration of the best approach and proper line, I haven't yet found an obstacle that I wasn't able to tackle. Granted, I tend to wheel with other experienced Jeepers that are more than happy to help solve and spot me within the less than extreme stuff.

3. My 2019 2-doorJL with the software implemented BLD (Brake Lock Differentials) works pretty amazingly great if I'm really (very) disciplined at keeping a light foot and using exactly only just enough torque, in order to keep from losing traction. Where the lockers allow most everyone to just muscle their way through most crap, open diffs require a whole different approach. Wheel slip is something that must carefully be both monitored and managed while maintaining forward momentum. More throttle is seldom ever the best solution.

4. Accomplishing the trails in a Sport where only Rubicon's tend to venture is a pretty good feeling. I'm not sure every Rubi driver could do whatever trail I do without their lockers. But I get it, why would you not use your available equipment? Still, I like to think of it as comparing a sail boat to a power cruiser. One simply requires a throttle, the other requires a little more skill, a lot of finesse and truthfully, some pretty good luck.

For me, this is what Jeeping is all about.

Clearly, having a Rubi and not using the lockers, unless becoming stuck, would provide the exact same experience, but part of the adrenaline rush is knowing that you don't have that as an option. I'm having more fun with the entire open diff complexity than I can adequately describe. If this makes any sense at all.

For you Rubicon drivers, probably not that much. For many of you, it's just about the badge rather than the accomplishment. To each their own. If this makes me an oddball, I'll wear that badge with honor.

And in all honesty, I just didn't have the damn deep pockets for a fribben Rubi. Otherwise I wouldn't be making these excuses.

Either way, I'm having a blast. Hope you're doing the same no matter what model and trim Wrangler you're driving.

Jay
I get this!!

This is how I feel wheeling a manual! It’s definitely not for everyone and not the easy route, but i love the challenge and control I have!
 

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