From 2014 to 2015, I worked on a national off-road project with Jeep for about a year. It was a time to experience all Jeep models except Renegade, which was released in the second half of 2015, and travel all over the country to see the beauty of nature as well as JEEP’s excellent driving on rough roads.
Since then, I have experienced off-road with several SUVs of various brands, traveling abroad and beyond. I drove through randomly-designed sections, and tried to run away from the manufacturer’s off-road testing facility. While driving an SUV in a variety of environments, I was admired by the improving performance and build quality, but after driving off-road, I still think that there is no brand like JEEP.
In particular, the Wrangler Rubicon, which targets off-road with the most precision method among Jeep’s various models, delivers unchanging charm even as time passes and generations change.
Like this, the unchanging joy of the Jeep Wrangler can be found in the’Im-Do Driving’ I went to a while ago. On a frozen road surface with accumulated snow, on a forest road with scratches and depressions, and on a severe slope as if looking up at the sky, concerns about’is it possible to run?’, and even with pure performance, driving through the forest road around Hwacheon. There was no difficulty at all.
Before discussing the off-road driving performance of Rubicon experienced in Hwacheon, Gangwon-do, let’s first look at Wrangler’s lineup divided into Sport, Overland, and Rubicon. Excluding the entry-trim Sport, Wrangler’s flagship models are Overland and Rubicon. The Overland, which was sold as Sahara by its predecessor, the third-generation Wrangler (JK), focuses on urban driving in the exterior, interior and drivetrain.
In contrast, Rubicon is a model that combines both the image and performance of an authentic offloader that Wrangler pursues, and through a matte black fender, headlight housing, and 7-slot grille, it creates a tougher image compared to the sophisticated overland.
Unlike Overland, which considers the convenience of getting on and off by installing side steps, a lock rail is applied to protect the lower part of the vehicle when off-road, and alloy wheels are also applied with a tougher 17-inch specification. The tires are also BF Goodrich MT tires with rough road driving in mind, promising solid grip on off-road through large blocks.
The spare tire, which is exposed to the outside without a plastic cover, also emphasizes the bold image of Wrangler Rubicon.
The difference from Overland can also be found indoors.
Unlike Overland, where the IP panel was wrapped in leather, Rubicon is decorated in a gorgeous and passionate red color. The Wrangler initials were added to the grip handle to emphasize the heritage. The overall layout and composition are the same for both Sports/Overland/Rubicon, but the composition of Rubycon is a little more eye-catching in terms of color and detail.
The difference in the 4WD system can also be found indoors, making the difference between the Overland and Wrangler even more pronounced.
Like a Rubycon that focuses on rough road driving, it has a 4:1 rock-track HD full-time 4WD system, and accordingly, the Dana M210 front axle and Dana M220 rear axle are applied. In addition, the Tru-Lok electronic front rear differential lock and the electronic front sway bar separation device are applied, making it a full-fledged off-roader.
Except for this, the various convenience equipment that was introduced in the 4th generation model, such as leather seats, seat heating wires, steering wheel heating wires, and infotainment monitors, are applied regardless of the trim level of Overland and Rubicon.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon that creates ample off-roader atmosphere in interior/outdoor design and configuration.
As you can see from the difference between Sports and Overland, Rubicon has applied elements to be used as a full-fledged off-roader. It is difficult to experience this in the general test drive environment of the city center and highway. Together with my acquaintances who enjoyed overlanding with Jeep Wrangler, I went to find the rugged forest and experienced the true value of Rubicon in Hwacheon, Gangwon-do in the middle of winter.
Even if you don’t have to use 4WD even if you don’t dare to use 4WD even if you don’t dare to use 4WD even if you don’t have to use 4WD, you can drive through the roads that are good enough for an urban SUV, but on frozen roads with snow piled up, just putting it at 4H AUTO can make it difficult. The 4H AUTO mode, which transmits power to the rear wheels according to the road surface, and quickly distributes the driving power to 50:50 when a slip is detected, provides optimized driving power according to the driving environment without having to select 2H or 4H.
However, if you are on a serious road, you need to maximize the potential of Rubicon by changing the transfer lever of Rubicon to 4H and releasing the sway bar. Of course, the differential lock and 4L are left in consideration of a more extreme environment, but only 4H and sway bar release are sufficient for most forest roads that are driven in a pure state.
By distributing power evenly to the four tires with 4H gear, and setting the left and right tires to move more smoothly by releasing the sway bar, you can go through roughly rough roads just by gently manipulating the accelerator pedal and steering wheel. Before entering the course in earnest, I was worried about whether I could go up here for a while, and the appearance of the tires climbing lightly without making a squeaky sound reminds me of the Wrangler Rubicon!
Slopes are more difficult and dangerous to go down than to go up.
It is important to keep the speed as low as possible, especially in environments where the coefficient of friction on the road surface is as low as possible due to snow or fallen leaves. The 4H mode of the rock-track full-time 4WD makes use of the 4.0:1 ratio of low gear by lowering the transfer lever to 4L when going down the section that was lightly up. In addition, HDC, which maintains a low speed and descends as slowly as a person walks, is also available in 4L, so it is not difficult to descend a steep hill.
The sway bar release function that maximizes wheel travel responds to the concave road surface, and the 4L and HDC assist with the risk of losing control in case of a brake operation mistake, so you can focus on keeping an eye on the surrounding environment and operating the steering wheel carefully. I can.
Although the hill doesn’t look very rugged in the picture, in fact, even if people go up, it is easy to slide and it is difficult to climb to the middle with a general SUV. From the easy and unstoppable up and down of such a road surface, I was able to get a glimpse of the pleasure and sense of accomplishment that 4WD driving gives.
The forest road in the Hwaaksan area seemed to have prepared an off-road test drive course at random, and there were many sections made in their natural state such as slopes, slopes, and beompi.
I was particularly impressed with the road surface that resembles the Bumpy Course, which is not excluded from the off-road experience. In general, when you pass the course, you will experience the experience of one tire floating in the air or the body being shaken due to the difference in height of the road surface. But, what if a rubicon that releases the sway bar and makes the left and right tires more aggressively grip the road? As expected, it smoothly passed through the section while actively utilizing traction and driving power without any difficulty.
When passing through a forest road, to avoid a naturally formed road trough, they either stick to one side of the road, or fill the pit with another. But with Rubicon, you can traverse the curved road without any injury and difficulty simply by gently manipulating the steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedals.
Of course, what you need in such a driving is a partner who will check the condition of the vehicle body and road surface from the outside. No matter how good the vehicle is, even if it has a camera that illuminates 360 degrees around the body, there is a clear difference from what you actually see. Therefore, when driving on a forest road, if the road in front is not normal, you need someone to check the surrounding environment from the outside of the vehicle and accurately guide the route.
Snowy roads, which are indispensable for winter forest driving, are also very light for Wranglers.
Neither winter tires for full-fledged snowy driving nor All Terrain tires promising good grip on snowy roads, but the Wrangler Rubicon of MT tires easily ran over snowy roads. There was a slight difficulty in braking, and both steering and starting were handled as if driving on a snowless road. The MT tires did their job on the road where there was a lot of snow piled up or turned like mud by repeated melting and freezing, and this is also true of the rock-track full-time 4WD.
However, if there is a lot of driving conditions on snowy roads in winter, you must change to a suitable tire. Vehicles such as Wranglers that are mindful of driving on rough roads can handle up to a certain environment, but they also need to have suitable tires or chains to ensure clear limits.
Even if you ride a vehicle with excellent frequency regardless of the road surface like Wrangler Rubicon, and with a partner who will check the road surface and the movement of the vehicle from the outside, unexpected situations can always occur. Therefore, if you are driving on forest roads, it is recommended to prepare for an unknown situation by driving together two or more vehicles in places where the electric wave of the smartphone is weak due to the steep mountain slope and the access of the rescue vehicle is not easy. If the vehicle with you is a little more off-road, or if you have rescue equipment such as a winch, it’s a big win.
From Seoul to Gangwon-do, from Gangwon-do to the deep mountain.
The charm and satisfaction of the Wrangler were different depending on the driving environment. When driving through the downtown area of Seoul, there was a regret about the larger and clunky body. There were no cameras that kindly looked around the car, and the ride at the moment of running on the polished asphalt was somewhat rough. When you get on the highway, this regret comes even more. The powertop’s soft top, which would provide a sense of openness off-road, had to compensate by increasing the volume of the audio by transmitting outside noise without filtering. This is quite different from Overland, which conveyed a pretty sophisticated atmosphere in the city center and at high speed.
However, from the moment it entered the forest, Rubicon showed a different charm one by one.
The steering wheel feel and ride, which was awkward on the pavement, gently touches the ditched and scratched road surface, minimizing the rustling or unpleasant feeling. The tall body, which is a bit difficult to get on and off, allows you to drive around the forest without worrying about touching the floor, and the power top with the entire roof open also conveys a nice sense of openness as if riding a convertible.
If Overland drives moderately straight off-road and does not lose the charm of the Jeep even on-road, Rubicon will fully offset the regrets of on-road with its powerful charm and fun off-road. Even if I don’t have to go off-road, the style and charm are clear, but with this test drive I was able to feel again that the place where JEEP WRANGLER RUBICON fits best is off-road.
Wrangler prices start at 59.9 million won.
The cost of the test car 4-door Rubicon Power Top is 65.4 million won.
“This content was created by receiving a test ride from Jeep Korea.”
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