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Old 11-03-2010, 09:27 PM   #1
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Jeep Newbie...Rubicon vs Sahara???

hello everyone,
i am new to the forum (obviously). i'll go ahead and get it out of the way....i am a land rover guy. i have an '05 land rover LR3 that i've modified about as much as an LR3 can, and i wheel it on a regular basis. it's been the best truck i've ever had, and i still love it. it's gone to many places that other folks didn't think it could. if it just weren't for all those darn electronics on it...

anyways, my wife has wanted a jeep unlimited for a long time, and we are finally at a point where we can likely buy one in the coming months. she is in love with the new sahara tan unlimited with the sahara package. the body colored top and flares are a big deal to her. she wants to put some simple white steel wheels and nice tires on it to give it a bit of a retro look. i also want to throw a 2.5" lift on it. so, i am really pumped that my wife wants a jeep as that is good for me as we will wheel it on some minor stuff and use it camping, but i would like to wheel it pretty hard after the newness wears off to her in a couple years. (especially after seeing how well a few stock rubicons did out in moab a few weeks ago at the national land rover rally)

i would like to go ahead and get the rubicon, but she is pretty set on the painted fenders/top of the sahara. i know they will get scratched up, but i am planning on dealing with it. my question for you guys is how much am i limiting myself down the road by buying the sahara instead of the rubicon? how much will it cost to roughly get myself up to rubicon capabilities in a few years (ie axles/lockers/e-disco)? should i just fork over the extra $2k for the rubicon now and then pay another $2k to get sahara fenders and a painted top? or should i just get the sahara, save a few bucks now, and see if she will even let me wheel hard it in the future?

i know these are somewhat stupid questions to be asking on a forum of mostly hardcore offroaders, but thought i'd give it a try. thanks in advance. i hope we become part of the jeep crew soon!


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Old 11-03-2010, 09:47 PM   #2
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It will cost more than a couple grand to get the front and rear air lockers as well as several other things the Rubicon has that the Sahara doesn't. Sahara is considered the luxury package of the newer Jeeps. Rubicon is..Rubicon. The best Jeep makes commercially.

Get the Rubicon. Go to the Jeep website and look at em both if you want to compare the differences.

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Old 11-03-2010, 09:51 PM   #3
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The Rubicon is the top end off road model, however the Sahara will blow the pants of your LR3 off road.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by toxictv View Post
It will cost more than a couple grand to get the front and rear e- lockers as well as several other things the Rubicon has that the Sahara doesn't. Sahara is considered the luxury package of the newer Jeeps. Rubicon is..Rubicon. The best Jeep makes commercially.

Get the Rubicon. Go to the Jeep website and look at em both if you want to compare the differences.
Fixed it for ya! Yes Rubicons come with lockers, electronic swaybar discos, 4:10 gears in front and rear D44 axles... You want those if your planning on doing serious wheeling. I thought painted tops were an option on all the new ones. And painting the flares will take a couple of hours on a nice Sunday afternoon if they are important. Get the Rubicon, paint the flares and both of you will be in love....
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:54 AM   #5
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I had a 2000 Sahara....what a NICE jeep! Great sound system, padded carpeting, plush interior...and then traded up to a 2003 Rubicon. DAMN...WHAT A JEEP! There just is no way to tell you the difference except the Rubicon is just far superior for offroading right out of the dealership parking lot! Your best bet is to get the RUBICON and then gussy it up with fancy shit so she'll be happy...I think the new ones now come with auto disconnects...so get HER out on a trail run with some moderate obstacles and let her see how it just climbs over everything in the way with no problem....she'll forget about the fancy stuff quickly. My wife now does half the driving when we go offroad-has no problem and will tackle extreme stuff I would rather go around....
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:07 AM   #6
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I hear ya on the electrical gremlins on the LR's, I had a Freelander (got 0% financing) when the power moonroof went out I knew I had entered the twilight zone and traded it in on my 2007 Sahara


Looking at you pic of the LR3 I'd say you NEED the Rubicon.... the Sahara would have a good chance of getting hung up on her side steps on that trail you're on... I loved my Sahara but am sure I have upgraded with my new Rubi every time I get behind the wheel, it's a beast compared to the Sahara
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:53 AM   #7
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I think the others have already said it..... Rubicon!.... but i am biased as well
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:55 AM   #8
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I think your going to be happy with either one . ENJOY
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:17 AM   #9
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thanks for the advice guys! i really appreciate it. it kinda seems like if i am going to be spending $35k plus on a new jeep, then i should spend a bit more to get the most capable one available (even if it means painting fenders and top). i really can't wait to get the jeep.

outside of a new front steel bumper/winch combo, i've pretty much maxed out what i can upgrade on my LR3. it is an amazing combo of onroad comfort, cargo space, and offroad capabilities, but it definitely has inherent limitations that will prevent it from keeping up with a rubicon on the trail, especially a rubicon with another $1k of mods. it is pretty sweet seeing how vast the aftermarket parts are for the jeep and how much cheaper too! i broke my passenger front half axle while in moab recently. it was a huge pain to even get the replacement part! most LR service depts don't even stock it.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:38 PM   #10
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I had the Sahara JKU for 8 months. Got a do-over and ended up with a Rubicon. They were both great vehicles but the Rubicon makes the difference between just a grin and a shl+ eating grin off road. I can't explain it but my confidence level went way up when I took delivery of the Rubicon. I wheeled them both. The Rubi is definitely more aggressive.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:16 PM   #11
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I'd vote rubicon, since u can get everything the sahara has as an option on the rubicon (leather, nav, infinity stereo). But r u REALLY going to paint the top?

Be honest with yourself on that if it really is that important to wifey... Cuz if momma ain't happy, nobody's happy.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:22 PM   #12
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I got the 2011 JK Rubicon... It's awesome!! At this point, I feel like I can get it through anything. Lockers + Disconnects = Dope ass ride
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:55 PM   #13
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Definitely the Rubicon!! I bought mine same time as a buddy bought a Sahara...he's regretting not buying the other Rubi!! Dint get me wring he's still happy with his Sahara it's still a jeep but he's team extreme, would of save him some $$ on mods!
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:48 AM   #14
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I have an '08 Sahara, completely stock and have wheeled it hard. The Sahara is more of the luxury model of a Wrangler. It has both good on-road and off-road capabilities; but the tires get chunked up pretty quickly while driving on the rocks.
I would go with the Rubicon if you are looking at doing some serious off-roading as it comes better equiped with lockers, better axels, etc. Go with the Sahara if you know it wont be used too much for off-roading. I read that you would do some modifications to the Sahara if you went with that idea and I'm all for that.

But in terms on off-roading, you will want the Rubicon.
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:50 AM   #15
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Rubi, always better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:12 PM   #16
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I have a 08 jk x that I have built up to be better than a rubicon, with the mony I saved on buying the sahara or the rubicon, I sunk it into buying the parts that will get me through anything, I call my jeep the rubikill jeeps arnt bought there built
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:07 PM   #17
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If you don't need the hardtop right away you could get the rubi with just the soft top then next year when the hard top's are more available probably pick up a matching top one.

You'll probably want aftermarket fenders too if you're going to be wheelin it hard, so don't get worked up on the plastic stock ones.

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