The ability to do tasks which are highly risky and do involve the strength and agility which is only gifted to a man by nature is the true concept of masculinity.
And the same ability to conquer tough terrains and tricky situations, on and off the road a thing for very few cars in the world, less than half of which are officially sold in India. The elite and tough SUVs, or as we call it, 'the butch class' comprises 3 main products, The Mercedes Benz G-wagen which sits right at the top of the echelon, the Land Rover Defender which is the British love child of the old school Defender and a space-ship and the glorious Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
The Rubicon is the most loaded Jeep Wrangler available in the market on this side of the pond and gives you every possible feature that a proper off-roading enthusiast will need on days when they are either feeling gloomy or too ecstatic. The silhouette is properly Jeep and does signify power and presence like no other. The way the exposed lock clamps on the bonnet and hinges on the door look and feel, does scare the onlooker about the image of the owner. Although the owner might look as adorable as Ed-Sheeran on Halloween.
The Wrangler's popularity in India took a massive boost due to the Mahindra Thar's demand and a lot of Punjabi Singers driving around in Wranglers with big wheels around in their music videos or on their weekend brunch scenes. The Wrangler really truly is a rockstar in disguise.
On the Inside
The Wrangler is more functional than glamorous, and the engineers at Jeep have done a tremendous job at making this generation of the Wrangler a very easy-to-live-with everyday car that the previous generations were notoriously not favoured for.
The dashboard design is clean and boasts large physical buttons and rotary knobs to control various functions of the multi-media interface, air-conditioning and 4x4 systems. The square-shaped 8.4-inch touchscreen features most of the functions and data required to run this behemoth of an SUV with absolute ease. The fattest of fingers or even your forehead can press these buttons spread across the dashboard.
There is quality and a sense of longevity in everything you feel and press, all around the car. Jeep has made sure it uses top-grade materials to cast the plastics, metal and rubber components all across the cabin. I particularly like the use of black, silver and red which makes the interiors look sportier and more 2023 than how it was before when it was dull and dark. The window switches are neatly integrated into the central console below the air-conditioning controls, although it is one of the most unergonomic spots to position these switches are our brain is programmed to find these switches on the door cards. This is done to allow the doors to be de-latched when going full monty on your off-road trails and honestly, once you start living with it, you easily get used to it.
The seats are properly American. They are one of the widest, longest and most supportive seats in luxury SUVs of today. Sure, they don't have the convenience of having an electrical adjustment, nor do they have ventilation and massage functions like the cars at a similar price. But, ergonomically and qualitatively, it is on the superior side, they hug you really well and are great for long-distance road trips.
How is it to Drive?
It's a solid Jeep.
If you're thinking of picking up the Wrangler with the notion that this will be the best-handling SUV around the corners, then you might as well look elsewhere. This is a proper hardcore 4x4 SUV that demands respect and commands every path you take. On the paved roads, it is always good to drive around the Wrangler in a much sedate manner, like you're James Bond or something heading for a party where everyone should be made to wait for you. Rush it like an animal and it will stick to the road pretty well, it is just that it won't be as happy carving corners like an absolute Go-Kart.
This is also due to the fact that the Wrangler Rubicon that we have is fitted with the Mud-Terrain tyres as standard which aren't particularly good for highway dynamics. Off the road though, these tyres are incredibly potent at supplying traction to the entire mechanical setup.
The Wrangler Rubicon's ability to go anywhere is second to none, it is indeed one of the greatest and most capable off-road vehicles to be sold in India. The way this SUV takes over good roads, rough roads, bad roads and even no roads is impressive, and would be an understatement. You just don't feel like stopping for anything, not even a speedhump, unless they are tall and you have passengers at the back sipping into their morning hot coffee.
The 1995 cc GME 4-cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine produces 272 bhp of max power @ 5250 rpm and 400 Nm of max torque peaking @ 3000 rpm. With a Bore X Stroke of 84.0 X 90.0 mm and a Compression Ratio of 10.0 : 1, the power output is pretty strong and makes this 2.1-tonne SUV shoot to a 100 kmph from a standstill in 6.4 seconds (tested). The push from the motor at initial gears is strong and in the middle of the rev range, the pull feels healthy enough. It is at higher rpms that this engine starts losing out on steam, which is also thanks to the mechanical system's orientation towards supplying good off-road capabilities lower in the torque band.
Is it comfortable for Back Seat Passengers?
The Wrangler Rubicon is a proper family adventure / long-distance touring/mall shopper SUV. The rear seats are as comfortable as the ones in the front with absolutely fantastic cushioning, well shaped seat squabs and features to keep your family properly engaged in the driving experience. There is a large central armrest which has pretty soft cushioning and an extendable cup holder which can accommodate upto 1.25-litre water bottles. There are 2 USB ports to charge your handheld devices and a 2-pin plug point to power your laptop /
Should you buy the Wrangler Rubicon?
A lot of people will tell you against it, it isn't as well loaded for the price, it doesn't have ADAS, a Panoramic Glass Roof, Angels coming out of the glovebox to serve you orange juice, etc. But as an SUV with decades of history and prestige and solid respect when rolling on the road, very few come close, and this is one of the top cars in that list. The Wrangler Rubicon is a cult that I am sold to. A breed of an SUV built for the bravest of drivers to go to paths and places undiscovered with absolute ease. Quite a win-win as a properly packaged hardcore SUV.