With the kids out of school and the pools all open, summer is now in full swing. And what is more representative of summer than a soft top Jeep?
Yes, the Jeep Wrangler is synonymous with summer so what better time to get behind the wheel of a beautiful Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4×4 – 10th Anniversary Edition.
Whether it’s the charming Jeep wave, monster ride height, or the distinctive lines largely unchanged from its beginnings more than sixty years ago, one thing remains; everyone has an opinion about Jeeps. Although there is something very polarizing about the Jeep, it continues to be an endearing vehicle like no other. With its round curves and friendly grill, it truly is one of the most iconic brands within the automotive world. Market researchers routinely place Jeep a top of the list of the world’s most known brands. Still sold throughout the world it remains popular in many different locales resulting in top seller status globally for Chrysler.
Of course, what would a Jeep experience be without a little camping in the countryside. Our Wrangler Rubicon tester was totally at home cruising through the countryside northwest of Toronto searching for the perfect plot to pitch our tent. As well, with its large amount of rear cargo room it was very practical for heading out on a family camping trip.
The idea behind the Rubicon is to offer a model from the factory that includes a ton of off-road upgrades for the enthusiast. Beginning with Chrysler’s new 285-hp Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 the Rubicon is a treat to drive around town and the country. But the real goodies for the off-roader, lie in the guts of the vehicle with its 4.10:1 Dana 44 axles working through a Rock-Track part-time transfer case with a 4:1 low-range ratio and Tru-Lok locking differentials.
Beginning with Chrysler’s competitive 5 Year /100,000 km powertrain limited warranty the Rubicon offers the outdoor enthusiast an unmatched unique vehicle experience.
With a base price of $36,045 CAD and a total price as tested coming in at $48,680 our tester included all the bells and whistles you would ever want, or need, on your Jeep.
In addition to its standard equipment, the following are just some of the extra tricked out options that are available with the 10th Anniversary Edition:
- LT265/70R17E OWL On/Off Road Tires
- Rock Rails by Mopar
- Red Front and Rear Tow Hooks
- Steel Front and Rear Bumpers
- Radar Red Stitching Accents
- Quick Silver Interior Accents
- Chrome/Leather-Wrapped Shift Knob
- Uconnect 730N with 6.5″ touch screen, navigation and 20GB Hard Drive
- Integrated Voice Command with Bluetooth
- Rear Window Wiper/Washer
- Trailer Tow with 4-Pin Connector Wiring
Our test vehicle came mated to a standard six speed manual transmission which was quite fun to drive in both city and highway environments. Although getting it into overdrive (sixth gear) was a little challenging initially, we got use to it quickly and found the transmission very smooth overall.
From the Jeep icon silhouette on the front windscreen to the simulated tread marks of the rear floor mats, to the red leather stitching on the armrest, Jeep brings a leading level of attention to detail to the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 10th Anniversary edition.
As for the Rubicon’s interior technology, Chrysler’s Uconnect system worked very well as it understood voice commands when spoken to the first time and navigation within the system was very intuitive overall. Our test vehicle came with a 6.5 inch touchscreen media centre with enhanced navigation and a solid stereo which included a subwoofer in the rear cargo area.
- There was an acceptable amount of noise coming from the tires considering they are LT265/70R17E offroad/onroad tires.
- Fuel economy is stated at 13.4 L/100 km (21 mi/gal) City 9.6 L/100 km (29 mi/gal) Highway. Considering its pedigree and what it’s built for this is solid fuel efficiency.
- As expected there is some body roll when taking sharp corners, or going over contoured surfaces on the highway.
- The split rear door was useful for passengers accessing the rear storage area easily.
- Placement of standard equipment such as power window and power mirror adjustments were located in the centre console and not on the doors themselves, which took some getting used to but quickly became familiar.
As expected rear leg room was slightly limited, but seriously who buys a Jeep Rubicon for rear leg room?
The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon really is in a segment of its own since there is nothing available here in Canada that truly parallels all its offerings for an apple to apple comparison. That being said the main general competition are the following models.
- Toyota 4Runner
- Land Rover LR2
- Subaru Forester
- Nissan Xterra
- Ford Raptor * not in same class but target for off-road enthusiasts
While the the Rubicon is not for everyone, for those looking for a vehicle with a little luxury for the city during the week and the capability to go hard core in the country during the weekend, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4×4 – 10th Anniversary edition is for you. Chrysler has hit a home run within this specialized market by blending every day practicality with unparalleled off road abilities.