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.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.
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?