Jeep has been producing the legendary Wrangler for ,well let’s say, a few years now. However not content with producing a ubiquitous off road vehicle that will leave most following in its tyre tracks, ten years ago they decided to produce a special vehicle with further capabilities called the Rubicon. Named after the famed Rubicon Trail, a demanding trail in the States.
Now ten years down the track with the Rubicon winning a host of international awards and still one of the most capable production 4WD vehicles on the planet, Jeep have decided to mark the anniversary with yet another limited edition with more capability.
The Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition is limited to just 30 vehicles for Australia. 12 two door and 18 four door versions, so my advice is to get in now because after driving a four door version for a week its reckon its awesome.
External features that are specific to the 10th Anniversary model include an extra 12.5mm of ride height combined with 245/75/17 Goodyear Wrangler tyres, 17 inch Alloy wheels, finished in satin black with polished faces and a red Jeep Wrangler ‘icon’ logo on the outside lip, dual bonnet air intakes, Mopar rock rails, black tail lamp guards, body-coloured fender flares, deep-tinted sunscreen rear and quarter glass, 10 Anniversary badges and a full Rubicon bonnet decal.
The Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition comes standard with a three-piece body-colour Freedom hard top, while the soft top is also included in the vehicle. Exterior paint colours for the Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition are White and an exclusive 10th Anniversary Edition colour called Anvil.
Internal features include quite bright red leather seats with ‘Rubicon 10th Anniversary’ decals, red stitching on the leather steering wheel and centre console. A unique gauge cluster features a ‘10th Anniversary’ signature as well as a premium Electronic Vehicle Information Centre (EVIC) with read-outs such as oil pressure, oil temperature and tyre pressure. There are silver embellishments throughout as well.
Of more practical use is the Mopar slush mats, Uconnect media centre with 6.4-inch touchscreen and GPS navigation, front seat side airbags and a reversing camera which should be mandatory for all vehicles.
The 10th Anniversary Rubicon model is powered by the Pentastar 3.6-litre V6 engine producing power output of 209 kW @ 6,350rpm and torque of 347 Nm @ 4,300 rpm. This is mated to either a six-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic transmission. This combination uses fuel at a rate of about 17L/100K around town and 11.5L/100K on the freeway.
The Jeep part-time four-wheel-drive system features front and rear Dana® 44 axles with a 4.10 axle ratio, shift on the fly transfer case, Tru-Lok® electronic remote-locking differentials and a Rock-Trac® transfer case with a 4:1 low range, off road skid plate, while Electronic Front Sway Bar Disconnect permits increased articulation.
With the standard six-speed manual transmission, the Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition has an impressive crawl ratio of 73.1:1 that makes it a breeze to negotiate any obstacle for those insane minded individuals. However the optional automatic transmission is my choice.
The Wrangler Rubicon is all about 4WD adventures. For the four door the approach angle is 35 degrees (or 42.5 with the Mopar front bar fitted,) departure angle is 28 degrees (33.4 with the rear Mopar bar fitted) and ramp over angle of 18 degrees. Ground clearance is 264.2mm, water fording depth is 762mm and it has a towing capacity of only 2300Kg.
Safety features include: advanced multistage driver and front-passenger airbags, supplemental side seat-mounted airbags for front occupants . Electronic Stability Control, four-wheel anti-lock, with on- and off-road calibrations, four-channel, active-wheel-speed, vehicle-speed, steering-wheel-angle, yaw-rate and lateral acceleration sensors, vehicle stability management with three-stage activation switch, All-Speed Traction Control (ASTC), Brake Assist, Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)ABS with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) and VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control). HDC (Hill Descent Control)
So what is the 10th Anniversary Rubicon really like. Similar to all Wranglers it has certain attributes that only the faithful can love. It has a lack of effective storage spaces other than the centre console and glove box, it has doors that swing freely in the wind and have a habit of swinging back on your shins as you are getting out, a hard top that takes two people to remove it, no reach adjustable steering wheel, Its ride on the road can be a little unsettled, especially in strong crosswinds and the four door has a turning circle like the Queen Mary as well as a number of other unique ‘characteristics’. However turn off the bitumen and head to the bush and all those idiosyncrasies are quickly forgiven and forgotten.
The 10th Anniversary Wrangler Rubicon is simply awesome off road. For the price there is nothing that compares to its capability. We took a drive through the Watagan’s Sate Forest and National Park and along Stockton Beach to test it out. Given that it a limited edition and not our vehicle we were reticent to take it too far into the rough tracks. On fire trails, rutted or rocky tracks the articulation, ground clearance and underbody protection simply eats them without fuss. You can head into the really rough tracks, further than most other standard vehicles , without fear.
On the sand it simply glides over the dunes. One annoying trait is the propensity to override the switch off button for the traction control. As an experienced 4WD driver I turn it off on the sand for a reason and it is annoying when the electronics believes it should turn itself back on. The tyre pressure monitors are a handy feature as we found out when we put air in the tyres after driving on Stockton Beach. The tyre gauge at the garage obviously was a little out because as we drove out the tyre monitor was flashing telling us that the tyres still needed more air.
We have reviewed the normal Wrangler Rubicon previously and it is amongst our favourites, the 10th Anniversary model makes the ride all the better. As there are only 30 examples available, we feel privileged to have been able to test it. I can’t help but wish for the 3.0L CRD engine from the Grand Cherokee as the power plant. Now that would be an unstoppable, and economical 4WD. Everyone has their wish list of their top 5 cars and the 10th Anniversary Wrangler Rubicon just made that list for me!
• Additional Anniversary Features
• 4WD capability
• Very cool
• Wrangler idiosyncrasies
• On road handling
• Prefer diesel engine
Model Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary
Model Price $60,779 RDAP
Engine 3.6L V6 ULP
Drivetrain 4WD 5 speed Auto
Power 209 Kw @ 6,350 rpm
Torque 347 Nm @ 4,300 rpm
Safety 4 Star ANCAP
CO2 Emissions 276 g/km
Green Vehicle Rating 3 ½ Star
Economy (ADR comb) 11.9L/100km
Tow Capacity – Max 2300 kg
Tow Ball Rating 230 kg
Warranty 3yr/ 100,000 km with full roadside assist
Overall OzRoamer Rating 86/100
Behind the Wheel 8
Ride & Handling 8
Fit for Purpose 10
Towing Ability 7
Off Road Ability 10
Value for Money 10