Description: Compact Sport Utility Vehicle
Base MSRP Range: $16,270 - $25,085
Invoice Price Range: $15,176 - $22,821
The Rubicon Trail -- rated Class 10 (out of 10) as most daunting four-wheeling trace on the continent -- scrambles over granite slabs and boulder-spiked sluices in the Desolation Wilderness of California's Sierra Nevada Range. So much experience running Jeeps across the Rubicon led Jeep designers to create the ultimate dirt-dog trail vehicle outfitted at the factory with all armaments needed to successfully scale the Rubicon's walls of granite or slip down steep chutes on a Class 10 trail. It's called, appropriately, Rubicon and amounts to a supreme off-road edition crafted from the rough-and-ready Wrangler wagon.
Rubicon installs important hardware for off-road running, like driver-selectable locking differentials fore and aft with Dana model 44 axles plus a low-range transfer case geared down to four-to-one ratio and heavy-duty drive shafts with 1330 universal joints. Wrangler's line of soft-top models for 2004 expands to five models with the new X edition, plus the SE, Sport, Sahara and the rugged Rubicon. A hard top is available for all and comes with steel doors and roll-up windows.
Wrangler's base four-cylinder displaces 2.4 liters and produces 150 hp. A mega-torque in-line-six with 4.0-liter displacement is stock on Rubicon and delivers 190 hp plus 235 lb-ft of torque through a five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic. Latest paint shades for Wrangler are a vivid Solar Yellow or Electric Lime Green.