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Old 03-20-2012, 11:52 AM   #1
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Jeep newbie -- Sahara or Rubicon?

Hello -- I currently have a Subaru legacy and when my lease is up I'm planning on getting something I can take off road. I live in Colorado and there is approx 100,000 really cool 4x4 roads and things you can't get to in regular cars here.

This would be my daily driver as well, need something that's OK on the street but can still do some real 4x4 roads. I'm pretty decided on the Wrangler Unlimited, just not sure which model? The Rubicon is the more serious off-roader of course, but I guess the question is do I actually need that? I haven't really done any off-roading yet so I don't know how serious the trail has to be to require that.

I'm not going to be in Moab doing serious rock crawling, but I do want to be able to go on the "4x4 high clearance vehicle required" roads.

For example:

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve - Medano Pass Primitive Road (U.S. National Park Service)

"A high-clearance 4-wheel drive, full-size SUV, truck, or Jeep is required. Low wagons, mini-SUVs, or all-wheel drive vehicles will get stuck in sand or in creek crossings."

TrailDamage.com - Pickle Gulch

TrailDamage.com - Shelf Road

What do you guys think?

Thanks

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Old 03-20-2012, 11:56 AM   #2
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The Sahara or Sport would be fine.

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Old 03-20-2012, 11:57 AM   #3
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welcome to wf and congrats on the future purchase!

if you plan on doing lots of offloading, there is no way you could go wrong with getting the rubicon. but, there is no way you could go wrong with getting the sahara either. both jeeps as far as I am concerned can do anything you'd like them to, just depends on how you're actually going to use them versus intended use. the high clearance roads will probably just require you to throw on some 33's or 35's and add a nice lift to the sahara and you would be set, wouldn't see you needing all the fancy axel and differentials the rubi offers.

others will chime in. my vote is for the sahara, you'll save some $ and be able to still do the off roading your intending to do.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:01 PM   #4
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:06 PM   #5
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Don't get the Rubicon unless you plan on using it or you have an inferiority complex and need something to boost your ego.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:09 PM   #6
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Don't get the Rubicon unless you plan on using it or you have an inferiority complex and need something to boost your ego.
That's the question I guess, is what are some examples of using it for when you would need a Rubicon?

There are some pretty serious trails in CO, I just don't know how much into it I would get?

TrailDamage.com - Blanca Peak
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:12 PM   #7
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Rubicon.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:14 PM   #8
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If the extra cash for the Rubicon doesn't matter, get it. Resale will be better and you can still get most of the comforts you find in the Sahara.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:17 PM   #9
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If the extra cash for the Rubicon doesn't matter, get it. Resale will be better and you can still get most of the comforts you find in the Sahara.

A few people mentioned resale value in those articles that were posted earlier. It seems like the Rubi is only 2k more or so based on the local inventory I'm seeing.

So for that, is there anything in the Rubicon that you lose in the Sahara? Is it terrible on the road?

How is it in snow driving around the city?
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:18 PM   #10
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Get the sahara and with the extra money saved, put rock rails, lift, and winch on
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:22 PM   #11
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The Rubicon is all about the important underneath stuff.
As far as trim levels it looks like anything you can do with a Sahara you can do with a Rubicon.

I didn't drive a Sahara, but my Rubi is great on the road.
Unfortunately I didn't get enough snow this season to give you any feedback about snow driving.

I went Rubi after spending a few very long nights helping various folks build vehicles up to levels already found on the "nicer" models.

No matter what you decide on you will love it because you are getting a Jeep Wrangler.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:23 PM   #12
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I just don't know how much into it I would get?
Nor do we . . . .

If you really believe you'll need front and rear lockers, get the Rubi. Of the extra "goodies" on the Rubi, those are the ones that are most desired and expensive to add aftermarket. In other words, I think most Sport/Sahara owners who find themselves adding front and rear lockers probably made the "wrong" choice at the outset.

Similarly, if you really believe you'll run bigger than 35" tires, you should get the Rubi. Adding a new D44 front axle--or doing the recommended reinforcement to a D35--is likely to be expensive. So I also think Sport/Sahara owners who find themselves rolling 37s or 40s probably made the "wrong" choice at the outset.

Of course, most folks don't really need lockers or at most only need/want one, and most folks never run 37" or 40" tires. If you are in the group with "most folks," then it's probably not actually "worth it" to get the Rubi from a strict financial point of view. On the other hand, if you've got the cash and don't mind spending it, then you can go ahead and get a Rubi anyway if you so desire.

The onroad handling is not going to be significantly different between Sport/Sahara/Rubi.

JMHO.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:23 PM   #13
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That's the question I guess, is what are some examples of using it for when you would need a Rubicon?

There are some pretty serious trails in CO, I just don't know how much into it I would get?

TrailDamage.com - Blanca Peak
I'll put it to you this way. My first Jeep was a 97 TJ 4banger I bought in 96. I put a 3" body lift on it with 33's. At the time I was an E2 in the Navy and couldn't afford too much. But that thing could get into some places some of my buddies bigger 4x's couldn't. While it couldn't hang with the later Rubicons that came out, It still served its purpose of having fun on and off the road.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:27 PM   #14
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If the extra cash for the Rubicon doesn't matter, get it. Resale will be better and you can still get most of the comforts you find in the Sahara.
The Rubicon does not hold its value any better than any other model. It does have a higher resale "price", because it starts higher, but not a higher value.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:13 PM   #15
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If you can affordit--get the Rubi--

Not only will it retain resale value, but you can NEVER build another jeep into a RUBICON and

If you build a sport/sahara to be a better off-road jeep--you lose 90% of the money you've invested, if you sell it later-

You never need a RUBICON--you have to WANT one-especially if you tow off-road !!

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Old 03-20-2012, 01:18 PM   #16
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The Rubicon does not hold its value any better than any other model. It does have a higher resale "price", because it starts higher, but not a higher value.
x2.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by CapnRich22
Get the sahara and with the extra money saved, put rock rails, lift, and winch on
Buy a sport tow package, save even more. Build it into a frankenstein with all the money you save. Its not what you buy, its what you build folks
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:32 PM   #18
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Buy a sport tow package, save even more. Build it into a frankenstein with all the money you save. Its not what you buy, its what you build folks
agree. there are too many mods out there and there is too much a jeep can change into to basically say one is better. gotta look at it in the short run and long run...cost now vs cost later depending on what you're going to do with it. Sahara or like pkm said will both be plenty sufficient for your needs while saving tons of money. brand new rubicon's (unless you have money to blow) are too expensive off the lot imo.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:12 PM   #19
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I agree with the comment, it's not what I want to do with it today, but what I want to do with it tomorrow". I bought the Sahara, took it offroading and got hooked. Now I wish I had purchased the Rubicon. Whatever you choose, you may want to consider the availability of the 4.1 gears. If you are going to put a 33" or 35" inch tire on your Jeep, you'll be happy you did.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:14 PM   #20
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I agree with the comment, it's not what I want to do with it today, but what I want to do with it tomorrow". I bought the Sahara, took it offroading and got hooked. Now I wish I had purchased the Rubicon. Whatever you choose, you may want to consider the availability of the 4.1 gears. If you are going to put a 33" or 35" inch tire on your Jeep, you'll be happy you did.

true but your budget today isn't the same as it will be tomorrow or the next day and that doesn't necessarily mean it will be increased...
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:20 PM   #21
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I should add that I don't really want to tinker or add parts too much, maybe a couple things but I mostly just want to drive this. Have a 98 Mustang Cobra that I do that kinda stuff on

Thinking more about the Rubicon, especially since there is one locally with the Cosmos Blue color
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:21 PM   #22
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Another Subaru to soon to be Wrangler guy... sweet! I had the same decision as you coming from my lifted Subaru. I couldn't decide if I really needed teh Rubi or if I'd be fine with just a Sport or Sahara. Needless to say, my Jeep buddy convinced me to go with a TJ Rubi (couldn't/can't afford the JK models) simply for the fact it already had the dana 44's, 4.11 gearing, front/rear lockers (newer models have the electronic swaybar disconnects) and I'd be happy in the long run. Basically, what I'm trying to say is if you have the extra duckets and can afford it buy the Rubi... the "extra" features are great and well worth it in my mind.

BTW, my 99 Subaru OBS with a slight 2.5 inch suspension lift, under armor, and Hankook i-Pikes did fine on the sand dunes, mud, gravel, trails. It surprised quite a few off roading people/friends and was well known up here in Michigan. Don't doubt the Subaru off-road... for what it is and what it was not meant to do it does exceptionally well...

Oh and what part of Colorado you in? I'm coming back home (to Golden) for a few weeks in June before I move out to SoCal
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:26 PM   #23
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Another Subaru to soon to be Wrangler guy... sweet! I had the same decision as you coming from my lifted Subaru. I couldn't decide if I really needed teh Rubi or if I'd be fine with just a Sport or Sahara. Needless to say, my Jeep buddy convinced me to go with a TJ Rubi (couldn't/can't afford the JK models) simply for the fact it already had the dana 44's, 4.11 gearing, front/rear lockers (newer models have the electronic swaybar disconnects) and I'd be happy in the long run. Basically, what I'm trying to say is if you have the extra duckets and can afford it buy the Rubi... the "extra" features are great and well worth it in my mind.

BTW, my 99 Subaru OBS with a slight 2.5 inch suspension lift, under armor, and Hankook i-Pikes did fine on the sand dunes, mud, gravel, trails. It surprised quite a few off roading people/friends and was well known up here in Michigan. Don't doubt the Subaru off-road... for what it is and what it was not meant to do it does exceptionally well...

Oh and what part of Colorado you in? I'm coming back home (to Golden) for a few weeks in June before I move out to SoCal
Littleton, i'm in the Colorado Mountain Club so I'm over in Golden quite a bit

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Old 03-20-2012, 02:29 PM   #24
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Don't get the Rubicon unless you plan on using it or you have an inferiority complex and need something to boost your ego.
This is what Sahara owners want you to believe. I have a Rubi, but you'll be good to go in a Sahara. I think if it was going to be my DD I would have gotten a Sahara. The bottom line is, most don't "need" a Rubicon. However, a lot of us "want" a Rubicon. Good luck.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:36 PM   #25
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Of the 3 trail links you posted, I'd feel my own 08JK Sahara perfectly capable of doing the first 2 without any mods. Notice the trail rating numbers though, below the 6-7 level that gets way more twitchy in need for upgrade mechanicals.

I've seen the 'Shelf Road' from the Cripple Creek end and declined to go on it because of my own 'edge phobia', not because of real off-road challenge.

The last trail, with the 7-8 rating, I wouldn't attempt with my Sahara. No lift, no winch, and no personal interest in such obstacles.
I've already spent a fortune over the decades repairing my rigs due to fascination with overcoming such demanding terrain.

Colorado probably has far more reasons a Rubi WOULD be desirable in just the normal off-road wanderings you could expect to want to make, without the full-monty challenge of the 7-8+ trails.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:38 PM   #26
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Going to look at this after work

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Old 03-20-2012, 02:46 PM   #27
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I just called the dealer and they claim this is the last Cosmo Blue Jeep Unlimited in the US
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:49 PM   #28
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I just called the dealer and they claim this is the last Cosmo Blue Jeep Unlimited in the US
then that looks like you should be the last buyer!
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:52 PM   #29
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Littleton, i'm in the Colorado Mountain Club so I'm over in Golden quite a bit

Woodys Pizza FTW
Back in the day I use to live in Littleton. Sweet! Ahhh I miss Woody's... have you been to the Pizza place on old Golden road... uh Mannie and Bo's is the name I think?
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:56 PM   #30
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I would say go Rubicon if you can factor it into the budget.
Just take a look at the cost of adding a Dana 44 axle up front.
Take a look at the cost of installing lockers on the front and rear axles, and regearing, the 4:1 transfer case, rock rails, skids... man, that stuff gets ridiculously expensive and if its aftermarket, there is no warranty on it.
A Rubicon with the D44's and E-Lockers with 4.10 gears can get you onto 33's and 35's with no additional work needed. It will come with 32's that are great, and you can use them till they're gone and never really have the need for anything larger. You'll get larger when you WANT larger, not cause you need it. The clearance is great, and for your intended use, you should be just fine with the Rubicon and no other mods.

I think you are the perfect candidate for the Rubicon. You have an inclination that you may just get yourself into something difficult, but you may not. This is Rubicon idealness... see, if you have the Rubicon, you will be ready for when that maybe comes true. If you don't, you'll wish you had the Rubicon. The Sahara is best to get when you want to build up something that will handle the hard core trails and need more than the Rubicon can offer. This means, a full on long travel suspension and D60's or built up D44's, and such mods. In that case, it makes sense not to spend the money on all the Rubicon mods that will end up getting tossed out and upgraded.

So, if you know you want to do really hard core trails, Sahara or Sport is for you.
If you want mild to difficult trails, and know you won't be into rock crawling and such, I think Rubicon fits.
If you want to do some light to medium trails, and know you'll definitely keep it simple, then the Sport is a good choice.

Disclaimer: Just my opinion, I'm relatively new to Jeep, and have only owned a Rubicon, but did tons of research on the topic, and have been glad that I went with the Rubicon myself after facing the same decision.

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