The 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon can venture where many 4x4s fear to tread, and this year, it does it with more power and efficiency. It’s no surprise then, that Four Wheeler magazine named this tougher-than-Patton model “Four Wheeler of the Year,” joining Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine, which also named the 2012 Wrangler “4x4 of the Year.”
The popularity of the Wrangler is pretty much universal. Respected research source Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com has named the Wrangler “Best Resale Value in its Class” and put the 2012 Wrangler on its list of the “Top 10 cars with Best Resale Value” – the second year in a row the Wrangler has appeared on that list. Last November, ALG, the acknowledged leader in automotive residual value and depreciation information, selected the 2012 Jeep Wrangler for its “Residual Value Award” in the “Compact Utility” category. The Wrangler has won more awards, but you get the idea.
The “Trail Rated®” badge on the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon signifies it can ably handle the most difficult terrain. Given that Jeep often tests vehicles on California’s rugged Rubicon Trail, you can expect a vehicle named for that trail to deliver. Twelve miles of the 22-mile Rubicon Trail, (which lies west of Lake Tahoe in California’s High Sierra region), traverses rocky twists, turns, dips and obstacles. Only the hardiest off-road vehicles and drivers need apply. Jeep engineered the Wrangler Rubicon to handle this off-roader’s paradise, which offers some of the most inspiring vistas in the western United States.
You certainly don’t have to drive the Rubicon Trail, however, to enjoy all that the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (MSRP $29,995) offers. For starters, it delivers more power and efficiency from an all-new powertrain. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 delivers 285 hp and 260 lb/ft of torque, increases of 40 percent and 10 percent, respectively, over the previous 3.8-liter V6. The 2012 Wrangler Rubicon is certainly a quicker machine, and it’s also more fuel-efficient, returning an EPA-estimated 21 mpg highway, an improvement of two mpg.
Credit for the boosted performance and fuel economy goes also to the newly available five-speed automatic transmission, which replaces last year’s four-speed unit. The standard six-speed manual transmission, a rarity in the segment, remains available for enthusiasts who prefer to shift for themselves.
Built around strong, fully boxed body-on-frame construction with solid-axle front and rear suspension, the Jeep Wrangler remains the off-roader’s choice for handling the most rugged off-pavement driving. Removable doors and a fold-down windshield (for off-road driving only) remain unique in the industry. The round headlights, seven-slot grille and flared fenders give the Wrangler a truly iconic style with a heritage that stretches back six decades.
At the same time, high quality materials and a wide choice of comfort amenities and onboard infotainment technology make the Jeep Wrangler a great all-season vehicle. Remember, too, that the Jeep Wrangler is a convertible with a standard Sunrider® soft-top and choices in available removable hardtop styles. In the Rubicon model, the standard 368-watt premium audio system plays through seven Infinity® speakers including a subwoofer. A year of SiriusXM Satellite Radio service is included, and a 115-volt auxiliary power outlet comes in handy for camping and other activities.
If the standard Wrangler Sport model comes Trail Rated, then what turns a Wrangler into a Wrangler Rubicon? Jeep outfitted this model with the kind of heavy-duty hardware that Jeep enthusiasts would specify if equipping a vehicle for maximum trail-handling capability. The keystone feature is the Rock-Trac® 4WD system, which uses the Rock-Trac heavy-duty transfer case, Tru-Lok® front and rear locking differentials and, for greater wheel articulation over obstacles, electronic sway bar disconnect.
The 17-inch alloy wheels with 32-inch BFGoodrich® Mud Terrain Tires and gas-charged shock absorbers aren’t made for tiptoeing through mall parking lots. They’re on the Wrangler Rubicon to keep the vehicle planted over the terrain that would immobilize a crossover or ordinary SUV.
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon offers best-in-class ground clearance and best-in-class approach and departure angles. Rock rails and steel-plate underbody armor complete its off-road package without the owner having to turn to the aftermarket for such parts. Best of all, all of the heavy-duty off-road hardware comes protected by the vehicle’s three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
As quick as the new V6 makes the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, true off-roaders need to know how slow it can go when they’re climbing or descending difficult slopes or rocky terrain. They look for a super-low (numerically high) “crawl ratio” to enable controlled, low-speed maneuvering over such obstacles. The higher the number, the slower the vehicle will go. The crawl ratio comes from multiplying the first gear ratio by the low range ratio and the axle ratio. In the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, that equation sums to an incredible 73.3:1 crawl ratio, which allows the vehicle to cruise at a controlled snail’s pace of just half-a-mile per hour.
If going a half-mile an hour over rugged, rocky terrain gets you more excited than a muscle car’s quarter-mile times, then the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon speaks your language. Come in and see the Jeep that truly can conquer the West.