2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited 4×4

31 Oct 2009 | 1,439 views | No Comment
When I was 17 years old my future brother-in-law arrived at our house in a new, red Jeep Wrangler. We spent the better part of our summer driving around with the doors and top off exploring the Southern California beaches and deserts- it was one my most memorable summers. When Jeep dropped off the Rubicon test vehicle I was eager to get back behind the wheel and relive some of those memories. For the base price of $31,465, Jeep has included an impressive set of standard features including Electronic Stability Control, a 7-Speaker Infiniti Sound System, Electronic Roll Mitigation, 4-Wheel Anti-Lock Disc Brakes (with oversize knobby LT 255/sr-17 tires and Cast Aluminum wheels) and a tire pressure monitoring system. Our optional equipment included a removable 3-piece Freedom Top, Trailer Tow and Hitch, 4-Speed Automatic Transmission, and a Muti-Media Navigation System with touch Screen, for an as-tested price of $36,120.00. The Jeep is powered by a 3.8 Liter V-6 SMPI engine, producing 237 ft. pounds of torque with a total of 202 horsepower. The engine is capable, but a bit sluggish when trying to merge into traffic. The cabin was quiet at freeway speeds, even with the oversized wheels and tires. Estimated fuel costs are $3616 annually based on 15,000 miles and a fuel cost of $4.10 per gallon. As I ventured off road I was impressed with the Jeep’s ability to negotiate large obstacles while maintaining a comfortable ride and feel. Outfitted with an electronic sway bar, the vehicle’s suspension was able to compress and expand while driving through dips and steep turns. The ride never felt stiff, but controlled and competent. I did, however, need to correct the steering while traveling in a straight line on several occasions. The interior of the vehicle is typical Jeep-very few frills, with functionality in mind. I found almost all of the controls to be within reach, and logical. When I first entered the Jeep I had a hard time finding the window switches: they were on the front panel under the radio. The touch-screen Multi-Media Navigation Screen took some getting used to. After referring to the manual, and with some regular use it was easily mastered. The doors are supported with nylon straps instead of traditional metal hinges. Be careful here as they can quickly sway much further than typical car doors. The same strap-system is used with the tail-gate. While unloading groceries I nearly hit the car next to me with the door. Getting in and out of the Jeep can also be tricky. I’m 5’10 and had to lift myself up several inches when getting into the seat. Although the windshield is small, overall visibility is excellent. From a high command-seating position it is easy to see traffic in front, behind, and either side of the vehicle. The mirrors are large (although manual) and provide additional unobstructed views of the sides and rear of the vehicle. Our Unlimited Jeep came with bright halogen headlamps, and fog-lights that proved to be plenty bright during the evening hours. One oddity; no automatic shut-off for the headlights for the 2009 model. You can still come back to a dead battery if you accidentally forget to turn off your lights. Driving the Jeep Rubicon was an enjoyable experience. Even though it is designed to be a tough off-road vehicle it is pleasant and easy to drive for everyday use. Although I would have liked to a few more creature comforts for the lofty sticker price, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4x4 proved to be satisfying, and above all, fun to drive.

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