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Old 02-20-2014, 03:45 PM   #1
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Whats the difference between Rubicon and MDX

Have a rubicon with the front & rear lockers in the Dana 44, also I have an Acura MDX with the SH-AWD.

I've looked up the difference but most of the info focuses on the difference bet AWD and 4WD. Not much can be found about the AWD vs the 4WD w/lockers. And after reading, it's still not clear which is better for what situations.

During the recent snowstorms, I felt more confident taking out the Jeep than the MDX. I would not put my baby in the MDX but feel more confident in the Jeep.

What's the difference betwixt the two? Which is better on Sniw, mud, sand, etc

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Old 02-20-2014, 05:32 PM   #2
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One is a grocery getting POS. The other is an extremely functional offroad vehicle.

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Old 02-20-2014, 06:58 PM   #3
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One is a grocery getting POS. The other is an extremely functional offroad vehicle.

Flash
Oh ...hah hah hah...ho ho ho...how witty...what a clever comedian!

Seriously, what are you, about 12 years old, junior?

oh please...regale us with more of your clever hilarity.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:04 PM   #4
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The AWD is basically an open differential in the transfer case, meaning the front and rear driveshafts can spin at different speeds. In a jeep, they are locked together. Having them locked together means power is split 50/50 so no matter what, at least two tires are spinning. (One in front, one in rear) Add in differential lockers in the rubicon that force each shaft to turn at the same speed and you have all 4 tires receiving power no matter what.




In true 4wd, all 4 tires recieve equal amounts of power and spin no matter what.

In AWD, because the transfer case and differentials are open or limited slip, its possible that only one tire will receive 100% of the power. One tire with lots of power on snow=loss of traction and control.


Even the best AWD systems that apply the brakes to wheels that loose traction can take up to a couple of seconds to engage. By that time, you could be sliding sideways on ice.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:36 PM   #5
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I may have the unpopular opinion here but here is my thought.

The Rubi will be much better off-road because it is a true 4WD and the lockers will evenly distribute power even when one wheel is slipping. The MDX with its AWD will not do that. I'd also take the Rubi to drive around most days just because it's a Jeep and I like it better.

Snow is a different story. Since the Rubi is selectable 4WD if you drive it in 4WD on dry pavement you will tear up the transfer case. Since many of the streets are plowed after it snows you are basically going back and forth between dry pavement and snow so you either have to switch back and forth between 2WD and 4WD or risk tearing up your transfer case. Also the lockers in the Rubi may get you out if you are stuck in the snow but can get very sketchy going around turns since both wheels are spinning at the same time.

Given the choice between the two, driving on streets in the snow, I would take the MDX.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:59 PM   #6
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For off road the 4wd system of the Wrangler is much better and much simpler. For on road, especially snow storms, AWD with traction control, stability control, and ABS is far superior. Other than a 2wd vehicle the Jeep is about the last vehicle I'd want to drive in the snow. If I can I'll drive my parent's 2014 AWD Sante Fe over the Jeep when it snows. Plus it has a heated steering wheel and seats.
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:10 PM   #7
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For off road the 4wd system of the Wrangler is much better and much simpler. For on road, especially snow storms, AWD with traction control, stability control, and ABS is far superior. Other than a 2wd vehicle the Jeep is about the last vehicle I'd want to drive in the snow. If I can I'll drive my parent's 2014 AWD Sante Fe over the Jeep when it snows. Plus it has a heated steering wheel and seats.
Ya, I should have added that it has snowed a lot here this year and I will take out my AWD BMW 335 in it before my TJ for these reasons.
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:14 PM   #8
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I have a 2006 rubicon and we had 18" of snow. Put the jeep in 4wd and was going through 2-2.5 foot drifts with no problem. My jeep is just a stock jeep with Goodyear MTRs on it.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:02 PM   #9
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If I needed to get from Point A to Point B on icy/snow-covered highways in Minnesota, I'd take the Acura. If I needed to get from one end of an offroad snow-covered trail to the other, I'd take the Jeep.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:18 PM   #10
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If I needed to get from Point A to Point B on icy/snow-covered highways in Minnesota, I'd take the Acura. If I needed to get from one end of an offroad snow-covered trail to the other, I'd take the Jeep.
In my opinion, the key word there was highways. I had a 99 Grand Cherokee w/ full time 4 wheel drive for 10 years.... The thing drove like it was on rails in the white stuff. That being said, my current Wrangler is unstoppable......up to about 30-35 miles an hour. I don't know if it's the bigger tires, or the short wheelbase, but she gets a little squirrelly as the speed increases. Still my first choice any time, any conditions.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:56 PM   #11
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In my opinion, the key word there was highways. I had a 99 Grand Cherokee w/ full time 4 wheel drive for 10 years.... The thing drove like it was on rails in the white stuff. That being said, my current Wrangler is unstoppable......up to about 30-35 miles an hour. I don't know if it's the bigger tires, or the short wheelbase, but she gets a little squirrelly as the speed increases. Still my first choice any time, any conditions.
Yeah, because a 15 year old GC is anything like the systems of modern vehicles. If you've driven anything AWD made in recent years you would have a different opinion.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:17 PM   #12
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Things like type of awd system and center of gravity matter too

However for slick on road conditions either awd or fwd help and what usually makes the most difference is if either has true modern snow tires
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:20 PM   #13
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My suburban with true winter snow tires passes numerous stuck 4x4 SUVs ever big mountain snow storm we get

The SUVs are in 4x4 on road steep grade and just spinning tires and sliding around

Very amusing
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:51 PM   #14
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Um...sorry I haven't driven any modern AWD vehicles. Those would require money I don't have. As I stated my, apparently sorry GC was better in most conditions than my current TJ. I just love driving my wrangler. Feel better now?
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:04 AM   #15
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... As I stated my, apparently sorry GC was better in most conditions than my current TJ. I just love driving my wrangler. Feel better now?
The longer wheelbase on the GC makes a big difference compared to a TJ.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:56 AM   #16
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If I needed to get from Point A to Point B on icy/snow-covered highways in Minnesota, I'd take the Acura. If I needed to get from one end of an offroad snow-covered trail to the other, I'd take the Jeep.
X2, for snow covered situations awd and abs are far surpior then the part time system used in the TJ. With 8+ inches outside my window I'm glad I don't have to take the jeep out.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:31 AM   #17
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We don't get much snow in Atlanta, so I drove my jeep for the first time in it this year as opposed to my AWD Isuzu Trooper. It did great, but the difference for me was as stated above. I was constantly going from 2hi to 4hi and back, having to evaluate the upcoming surface.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:20 AM   #18
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I agree that AWD/4WD full time is better for roads that are half pavement/half snow covered. However, if the road is totally covered, then the Jeep's part time 4WD is better, because with full time 4WD you are more likely to spin tires.

Also for deep snow, the Jeep once again has the advantage of clearance. More clearance + bigger tires = less likely you will get stuck in deep snow. General rule of thumb: if the snow comes up to the midway point of your tire and you have no forward momentum, you will most likely get stuck, at least temporarily. The lockers of the Rubicon will only help you get unstuck, but not safe for driving since it would limit your turning ability. However, the limited slip rear in the Rubicon will give you better traction all the time without sacrificing turning ability.

Also, ABS does not work on low traction surfaces like snow.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:33 PM   #19
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Work vehicle = 2010 Ford Expedition. 5.4L V8, auto, 4wd with 4auto, 4hi and 4lo, all computer controlled. Also has traction control and ABS. Here at O'Hare, the runways and taxiways take precedence (rightfully so...) over the roads, so sometimes (especially this year) the access roads to the different facilities I have to maintain don't get plowed regularly. Once you put the Ford in 4 hi and turn off the traction control, it's not too bad on the snow covered roads, as long as the snow's not too deep (10" is about the max), but it's got street tires and open diffs. Traction control sucks.

Personal vehicle (DD) = 1999 TJ. It just works. I'll switch back and forth from 4hi to 2hi as needed, no big deal. If I could drive the Jeep on the airport, I would.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:02 PM   #20
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I'm also in agreement with everyone above with the exception of the young Mr. Flash.
Our Lexus RX330 the wife drives is great on snow covered roads with its AWD and traction control gizmos.
I have my TJ and an old 94 F250 4x4. Neither performs as well on snow covered roads. But, more than a foot and that Lexus would be high centered and going nowhere.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:09 PM   #21
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I'm also in agreement with everyone above with the exception of the young Mr. Flash.
Our Lexus RX330 the wife drives is great on snow covered roads with its AWD and traction control gizmos.
I have my TJ and an old 94 F250 4x4. Neither performs as well on snow covered roads. But, more than a foot and that Lexus would be high centered and going nowhere.
A quick question about the traction control on your Lexus...does it lower the rpms and so forth in low traction conditions? That's what the Ford does, which is a momentum killer in deep snow.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:18 PM   #22
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I may have the unpopular opinion here but here is my thought.

The Rubi will be much better off-road because it is a true 4WD and the lockers will evenly distribute power even when one wheel is slipping. The MDX with its AWD will not do that. I'd also take the Rubi to drive around most days just because it's a Jeep and I like it better.

Snow is a different story. Since the Rubi is selectable 4WD if you drive it in 4WD on dry pavement you will tear up the transfer case. Since many of the streets are plowed after it snows you are basically going back and forth between dry pavement and snow so you either have to switch back and forth between 2WD and 4WD or risk tearing up your transfer case. Also the lockers in the Rubi may get you out if you are stuck in the snow but can get very sketchy going around turns since both wheels are spinning at the same time.

Given the choice between the two, driving on streets in the snow, I would take the MDX.
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In my opinion, the key word there was highways. I had a 99 Grand Cherokee w/ full time 4 wheel drive for 10 years.... The thing drove like it was on rails in the white stuff. That being said, my current Wrangler is unstoppable......up to about 30-35 miles an hour. I don't know if it's the bigger tires, or the short wheelbase, but she gets a little squirrelly as the speed increases. Still my first choice any time, any conditions.
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Yeah, because a 15 year old GC is anything like the systems of modern vehicles. If you've driven anything AWD made in recent years you would have a different opinion.
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I'm also in agreement with everyone above with the exception of the young Mr. Flash.
Our Lexus RX330 the wife drives is great on snow covered roads with its AWD and traction control gizmos.
I have my TJ and an old 94 F250 4x4. Neither performs as well on snow covered roads. But, more than a foot and that Lexus would be high centered and going nowhere.
Slightly different perspective...but maybe "relative" to the discussion....our garage has 4 vehicles an'04 TJ with Duratracs, a '12 JK Sport with stock tires, a '13 Chrysler 300 with AWD, and a '14 JKU POLAR......in light snow/ packed roads the 300 SHOULD do the best but I prefer the TJ. IN the drifted snow we have had with up to 2'foot drifts I still prefer the TJ..but I have been driving it for 10 years a lot of it is confidence in what the "circumstances" are. The visibility in the 300 is horrible with the 3'-5' foot drifts/ snow piles from the plows at corners and intersections. The cost of replacing the TJ does factor into my comfort level. THE MOST STABLE and CONFIDENCE INSPIRING is the JKU....my wife is afraid of nothing in it. The longer wheelbase and all the nanny controls make her feel as if she can go anywhere at any time...I still prefer the TJ...IMO it also has to do with what YOU feel the best driving, what gives you the most peace of mind.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:24 PM   #23
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A quick question about the traction control on your Lexus...does it lower the rpms and so forth in low traction conditions? That's what the Ford does, which is a momentum killer in deep snow.
Yes. The computer recognizes a spinning tire and starts messing with the throttle to correct it. I was playing around in the snow when we got it. Threw it into a small poweslide around a corner. The computer took over and straightend it out. ..almost into the curb.
Drives me nuts, but it's good for the wife.
I also prefer the driving TJ over pretty much everything I have ever owned.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:08 PM   #24
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Lots of good, real world input. At the end of the day it's what vehicle gives you confidence on the road. Would I send my wife and kids out in a snow storm with my TJ? Better than her minivan! But yeah, I'd much prefer her to be out in a computer controlled, AWD masterpiece that requires little driver skill. If I needed to get somewhere in a blizzard.... Give me my TJ.
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:41 AM   #25
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Hey you could always go pull a np 209 out of an old ford and you'd have the full time 4wd system that uses hydraulic motions in the case to lock up at higher speeds, but still have the controllability of front wheel drive in the slippery conditions at 30mph or under.

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