Jeeps forever seem to bring out the inner child in whomever is currently driving, especially one with as much off road mojo as the Rubicon Hard Rock! We of course are no exception to that unwritten rule; being in a Jeep is just plain cool in a back woods kind of way. Just driving a vehicle that we know can take us almost anywhere in the world, just brings about a feeling that is hard to describe until one has the chance to take one for a ride.
roots going back to World War II and a look that quite frankly hasn’t really
changed much since that time, what is it about a Jeep that keeps everyone
coming back for more? Is it the fact that the top easily comes off, or the
doors can be taken off and discarded for the summer, or that the front
windshield still folds forward?
is one of the most versatile vehicles on the market today and with a recipe for
success they continue to lead the way with what the ultimate SUV should look
like, and more important is how it should act and perform. The Rubicon that
landed in our driveway was one of the best to be had right off a dealers lot,
with abilities that go way beyond what most of us consider a normal SUV.
it will do well in the Utah snow or any of the elements that Mother Nature has
in store, but it also looks cool and can be configured in so many different
ways. It’s like having a new car every day. The only problem we have
encountered is that each time we get a week with a rugged Jeep it has been in
the dead of winter, hence we know it excels in the snow and mud, but with all
the back country closed- that is close to our home in the dead of winter, we
haven’t had the chance to get some real climbing in.
did spend half of the day Saturday with his sister Marci and her husband Todd
running around some of the back roads west of Springville and Spanish Fork, managing
to find enough mud to last a few weeks on the Jeep and having a great time
The Rubicon handled really well in
the mud and snow, never even thinking about getting truly stuck,
there were some folks out there that gave strange looks on the way home with a
Jeep caked with mud, but it was all part of the experience. The Jeep is easy to
switch from two wheel to four wheel drive, but requires a stop and shifting to
neutral to get into low range four wheel drive.
The Hard Rock edition comes with some
pretty impressive equipment to help get it and its occupants to those really hard
places that Mother Nature has provided for all to enjoy. Things like a
Rock-Trac transfer case, a low gear ratio of 4:1, and an electronic front sway
bar disconnect that gives wheel articulation a new name. Couple that with solid
front and rear axles, and a true five speed automatic transmission, we now,
more than ever had the right recipe for getting anywhere we could imagine, or
at least that was open and within close vicinity. The great feature is that
opportunities that didn’t exist before having a Jeep, were now possibilities
with very little planning.
Driving the very short wheel base of the two door version
the Rubicon presented to us a very athletic feel, especially while we were
navigating rocks and mud and uneven ground on our drive. However, this also
made for getting around in everyday driving very easy, parking was never a
problem, in fact we at times found ourselves over steering for the conditions,
as we are more accustomed to longer vehicles, not the quick response that comes
with a Jeep.
There really isn’t anything like a
Jeep when it comes to going off road, no matter if it’s just heading out for a
few hours on a Saturday, or getting involved in some real hard core, drop the
pressure in the tires and most important, make sure a tool box is onboard, rock
crawling. The Hard Rock couldn’t have cared less what the adventure would
entail, and at the end of the day it will have performed exactly as we would have
expected from a Jeep!
It never ceases to amaze us, the
designers at Jeep continue to keep the vehicle as close to its roots as
possible, yet continue to upgrade it to keep buyers coming back for more. Jeep
has continued to mature and come of age, enticing us more this time around
during the dead of winter, where all of the great interior details that would
make the Hard Rock not be only a rock crawler, but a great addition as the
everyday family driver.
Stepping up to the Hardrock edition
will cost an additional $4,800, but in our opinion if the Jeep is to be used
for more than just a weekend adventure vehicle, it would be necessary. The addition brought along heated front seats
which we found to be fantastic as morning temperatures dipped to near zero, and
being a Jeep, it is not as airtight as most vehicles, so they really helped to
keep us warm.
Of course there were a few other
features included such as power heated mirrors, one touch down windows, black
steel bumpers with red tow hooks, 17 inch premium black wheels, power door
locks and a nice black fuel filler door. There was also a remote keyless entry,
although the key was still needed to start the Jeep, no push buttons on this
old school edition. Bluetooth phone connectivity was included and easy for us
to quickly set up and use, along with a nice message display in the center of
the gauge cluster made for easy access to other vehicle functions.
There were a few other additions on
the Hard Rock, one was a hard top that replaced the soft top that comes with
the standard Jeep package and has to be a necessity with the cold Utah winter
days, it was easy to take off and did give the interior a warmer feel in the
cool mornings we had during the week. It was also nice to have with the snow we
received, if the snowfall had been substantial, a soft top could be damaged
from the weight.
One option was navigation and hard
disk audio system with Sirius radio, something that would come in very handy
when out on the open road, and with the included elevation number would let all
know exactly how high the climb really was. Satellite radio would be the
perfect compliment to regular radio, especially when traveling beyond
civilization that might certainly become a habit in a vehicle like the Jeep
The Jeep is now powered by a V6 3.6
liter motor that produces 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, more than
enough to get the Jeep anywhere and also enough to get to 60 in just 7.7
seconds. The only downside is that average fuel economy is just 18 miles per
gallon, which was just where we came in during the week at 18.4 mpg, but who
would buy a Jeep for the mileage… its really all about the adventure. Our Jeep
had also been upgraded to include a 5- speed automatic transmission from the
standard 4-speed manual. We had to admit it was easier to maneuver and use that
our previous experience with manual transmission.
Having a new Jeep is similar to
joining a new religion- as a whole new world opens up to the owners. See them
today at any of the greater Salt Lake City Jeep dealers
Price as Driven
Craig and Deanne Conover have been
test-driving vehicles for over six years and have had the opportunity to drive
many makes and models. They receive a new car each week for a weeklong test
drive. Craig has worked in the newspaper industry for over 22 years and been
with The Daily Herald for 12 years. Deanne has been a veterinarian’s assistant
at Mountain West Animal Hospital for 10 years. They both love having the unique
opportunity of trying out new cars. They reside in Springville, Utah. Check out
other reviews at heraldextra.com/sundaydrive.
2016 Jeep Rubicon Hard Rock made to tackle Utah terrain
by Craig and Deanne Conover :: posted in Reviews on February 1st, 2016