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Old 10-15-2012, 02:37 PM   #1
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Rubicon or Sport ???

Hi All,

I am about to order a new 2013 JK Wrangler Unlimited. The question is do I go with the Rubicon or the Sport? Obviously the Rubicon is preferable but I will only do moderate off roading (live in Florida) and everyday driving. I plan to put in a 2.5inch of 3.5inch AEV lift and 35inch tires initally. I dont want to spend the extra money if there is not a compelling reason to do so... I would appreciate any advice.

Thanks.

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Old 10-15-2012, 02:40 PM   #2
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Honestly . . . if you don't know what makes a Rubicon different than a Sport, what those differences cost, and whether you'll need those differences, then you don't need a Rubicon.

A Sport is highly capable. A Rubicon is more so. Is the Rubicon "worth it"? Yes, for the right buyer--somebody who either will take advantage of the features, or somebody for whom money is no object and simply wants the best.

If you have no idea whether you'll be into offroading or not, have no idea why a Rubicon is so expensive, have no idea whether you'll "need" a Rubicon or not, then no, you don't need a Rubicon. Get one if you've got the spare cash, but otherwise I'd say pass. A Sport will take you places offroad you won't think possible given your experience level. If you end up really getting into offroading and want to put your Sport on par (or beyond) with a Rubicon, you can do it fairly easily with a few grand worth of aftermarket components.

Threads like this come up all the time. In my view, the best answer is always that if you have to ask, then you don't "need" a Rubicon. Go ahead and get one if money is no object, but otherwise I'd save the cash.

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Old 10-15-2012, 02:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MTH View Post
Honestly . . . if you don't know what makes a Rubicon different than a Sport, what those differences cost, and whether you'll need those differences, then you don't need a Rubicon.

A Sport is highly capable. A Rubicon is more so. Is the Rubicon "worth it"? Yes, for the right buyer--somebody who either will take advantage of the features, or somebody for whom money is no object and simply wants the best.
^^ This.

Another consideration...don't know what you have planned, in terms of mods, but if you're thinking of modding it a lot, might be best off with something like the Sport. No sense paying extra for the Rubi if you're gonna ditch the extra features (which a number of mods would do).

Something to consider.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:55 PM   #4
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I was in the same predicament and went with the Sport. I've done a few mods and have had a couple of people in Rubis tell me they wish they would have saved the cash and built up the Sport rather than remove the extra Rubi stuff they aren't using.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:58 PM   #5
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I was in the same predicament and went with the Sport. I've done a few mods and have had a couple of people in Rubis tell me they wish they would have saved the cash and built up the Sport rather than remove the extra Rubi stuff they aren't using.
Here is a good review that influenced me to by my Sport. One reporters opinion.
2012 Jeep Wrangler: Rubicon or Sport?
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:00 PM   #6
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Rubicon. If you are going to Mall Crawl, do it right!
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MTH View Post
Honestly . . . if you don't know what makes a Rubicon different than a Sport, what those differences cost, and whether you'll need those differences, then you don't need a Rubicon.

A Sport is highly capable. A Rubicon is more so. Is the Rubicon "worth it"? Yes, for the right buyer--somebody who either will take advantage of the features, or somebody for whom money is no object and simply wants the best.

If you have no idea whether you'll be into offroading or not, have no idea why a Rubicon is so expensive, have no idea whether you'll "need" a Rubicon or not, then no, you don't need a Rubicon. Get one if you've got the spare cash, but otherwise I'd say pass. A Sport will take you places offroad you won't think possible given your experience level. If you end up really getting into offroading and want to put your Sport on par (or beyond) with a Rubicon, you can do it fairly easily with a few grand worth of aftermarket components.

Threads like this come up all the time. In my view, the best answer is always that if you have to ask, then you don't "need" a Rubicon. Go ahead and get one if money is no object, but otherwise I'd save the cash.
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^^ This.

Another consideration...don't know what you have planned, in terms of mods, but if you're thinking of modding it a lot, might be best off with something like the Sport. No sense paying extra for the Rubi if you're gonna ditch the extra features (which a number of mods would do).

Something to consider.
Good advice.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:17 PM   #8
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Rubicon. If you are going to Mall Crawl, do it right!


You know what? If you're gonna mall crawl, the Rubi is the way to go, IMO. Some will say, "Why spend the $$ on a Rubi if it's gonna be a curb queen?" My response is, "Why not?" Especially if you got the coin to spend.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you by a Rubi for almost exclusive road use, you're gonna get a lift, tires, wheels, and be done with it. Am I wrong? If that was my plan, none of those mods would preclude me from buying a Rubi.

Plus, you end up with the stickers.

Win-win.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:32 PM   #9
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Did u test drive any yet? I would go to a dealer and take them both for a ride.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RICHINBOCA View Post
Hi All,

I am about to order a new 2013 JK Wrangler Unlimited. The question is do I go with the Rubicon or the Sport? Obviously the Rubicon is preferable but I will only do moderate off roading (live in Florida) and everyday driving. I plan to put in a 2.5inch of 3.5inch AEV lift and 35inch tires initally. I dont want to spend the extra money if there is not a compelling reason to do so... I would appreciate any advice.

Thanks.
No one can really answer this question because no one except you knows your finacial situation....or what "only moderate off roading" actually implies.

Do you need a 3" lift and 35's to do the moderate off-roading you are talking about or is it just for looks?

Maybe you will you be fine with a Sport + LSD, some Ace side rails and a set of Rubi take-offs?
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:43 PM   #11
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If you can get everything you want in options on the sport I would go with it. When I bought mine there were comfort features that you couldn't get on a sport that I was used to and not willing to do without. Sahara was out of the question for me as I did not want painted fenders. Having said that other than to try them out I have not used the Rubi specific features like sway bar disco, locking diffs, etc. much at all
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:47 PM   #12
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Lower geared transfer case, D44 front axle. If either of those are of benifet to you then go Rubicon. If not then sport/sport s. Florida means mud so if you don't go Rubicon plan on getting new tires for the purposes of florida's terrain with the sport.

My opionion. Since florida's terrain doesn't suit to the Rubicon's 4:1 I go sport with the NP241 that has 2:72 low range as that is a better low range for muck. The Rubicon was made for the purpose of crawling. Wheel spin is what will benifet you.

Front axle wise. Even at 35's if you ever get there, they're ways to improve the next gen D30's strenth. That is something to consider once you reach 33's as well

Lockers: ARB's are selectable and work in HI range and LOW range which is nice, where as the Rubicons lockers only work in LOW range. Being in florida and not having to deal with ice/snow a auto locker becomes a option for your rear axle which would save some pennies.

I could go on and on.. In the end just depends on what terrain you plan to run the wrangler through
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:01 AM   #13
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Hey All, thanks for the responses!!! I am probably going to order my JKU from the factory so I can get everything I want.
I'll let you know which way I go. BTW... Re; offroading Mudding... Mudfest......Tennessee trails...some rocks.
I suppose my wife will want to drive it to the mall as well. 😎
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:15 AM   #14
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I chose the Sport because the Rubicon has a lot of features that I am not interested in or that I don't need. Especially I don't like the colored fenders. I picked the Sport, included the communication package (bluetooth) and the power mirrors and doors (I think they call that convenience package???). The dealership included the Rubicon tires (not including the rims) as well. I love my Jeep. I bought a couple of running boards and installed them myself. Since I won't be doing extreme off-roading I also don't need any special gear ratio.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:22 AM   #15
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Tennessee trails? mudfest? Rubicon.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:08 AM   #16
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I think for light-moderate offroading and daily driving the Sport with 3.73 and LSD is the best set up.

If dedicated for off-roading with only recreational on-road driving the Rubi is probably a better option

On-road I think 3.73 w/ LSD really wins out over the Rubicon especially for ice and snow situations. Off road those Rubi lockers would sure be nice - but again that is something you could alway add later if you find the need for it.

Good luck, you can't go wrong either way. Just get the one that suits YOUR needs best
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:08 AM   #17
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You know what? If you're gonna mall crawl, the Rubi is the way to go, IMO. Some will say, "Why spend the $$ on a Rubi if it's gonna be a curb queen?" My response is, "Why not?" Especially if you got the coin to spend.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you by a Rubi for almost exclusive road use, you're gonna get a lift, tires, wheels, and be done with it. Am I wrong? If that was my plan, none of those mods would preclude me from buying a Rubi.

Plus, you end up with the stickers.

Win-win.
I support this message, as a Rubicon driving mall queen. I have to spend a lot less money to get the stance I want.

Also, I couldn't get all the interior features I wanted with the Sport... and I did not want painted fenders.

Sometimes Rubicon purchases aren't for utility. If I was going to buy the vehicle I wanted for my 30th birthday, I was going to go big or GTFO!

Quote:
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I chose the Sport because the Rubicon has a lot of features that I am not interested in or that I don't need. Especially I don't like the colored fenders. I picked the Sport, included the communication package (bluetooth) and the power mirrors and doors (I think they call that convenience package???). The dealership included the Rubicon tires (not including the rims) as well. I love my Jeep. I bought a couple of running boards and installed them myself. Since I won't be doing extreme off-roading I also don't need any special gear ratio.
Rubicon doesn't come standard with painted fenders. That's the Sahara.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:26 AM   #18
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Front axle wise. Even at 35's if you ever get there, they're ways to improve the next gen D30's strenth. That is something to consider once you reach 33's as well
Anything he has to do to strengthen the D30 for larger tires he will also have to do to the D44. Everything is the same except the center section.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:14 AM   #19
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The inner components including the inner axles are not the same on the D30 so additional work should be done internally if you are running 35's or 37's.

I don't think a Rubicon is for everyone but I don't think someone would ever regret buying one if they can afford it.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:45 PM   #20
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This was the article I was looking for.

Stock Wrangler takes on Moab
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:50 PM   #21
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Here is part 2

One thing to realize... These aren't Dodge Rams, F150s, Z71s or H2/3s. These are Jeeps and are made at the factory to take you off-road more-so than others.

Bottom line is, have fun in whatever model you get!
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:44 PM   #22
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:03 PM   #23
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I faced the same decision and went with the Rubicon. I figured I would only go offroad occasionally and if I didn't get the extra capabilities out of the box, I would be hard pressed to justify a lot of money on upgrades. I have been very happy with the decision so far.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:02 PM   #24
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Doubt you will ever need the benefits of a Rubicon in Florida. The biggest expense in the Rubi is towards rocks crawling. Lockers are easily done later if you get more serious in off roading but the transfer case is really for tough rocky terrain alone with other add ons. It was made for the Rubicon Trail. The Sport has better residual value of all models too. More isn't always better if it isn't what you need for the environment you are driving in. Also the savings can go to mods you actually want or need. The Rubicon is a great vehicle but that doesn't mean the other models aren't. It all is about what you need and what you want to do with the Jeep. If you live in the Rocky Mountain area, then the Rubicon is a great choice, in the North East a Sport with LSD is a better fit for snow so each can have benefits according to how you plan to use it.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:50 PM   #25
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I have been wheeling for years and go every chance I get. I always push my limits and almost never back down. I very pointedly went with a Sport because by the time I'd have tires large enough to need the added strength of the D44 ring gear I'll be better off building a set of one ton axles… which I'm now doing.

I would not get a Rubicon unless you specifically know the advantages and know you need them. I wheel the PISS out of my Sport and have been winched twice in the year I've had it… both times were very early on and one was a situation where all eight of us had to winch out of a ravine. The other was following a buggy and a heavily built/locked TJ.

In July I laid mine on the driver side and drove out unassisted. The factory traction controls are incredible and can get you out of MOST situations that cause previous Jeep model owners jump to buy lockers.

I'd recommend:

Sport S (with the girly man package [power everything]) with 3.73s
Teraflex level lift
Bushwacker fender flares
35s
Rock out.

Here's mine early on with the TF level lift, 2" lift shocks, BWs, and 35s:





Then back in July when I flopped it and drove it out:





Current picture on RK 3.5" and 35s:

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Old 10-17-2012, 12:40 AM   #26
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I bought my first Wrangler in 1994. Base model. I quickly learned the down side of an open diff on a "4x4". Nothing worse than sitting at the bottom of a hill that your Jeep can't get up. Still drove that thing all over the place.

Got my second Wrangler in 1997. Sport with LSD. Took that one to the places my 94 couldn't go.

Life got busy and with kids, I needed 4 doors. Only one seat flipped forward in the 97 and was a PITA to get kids in the back. In 2001 I got a Cherokee. Would have gone with a Wrangler Unlimited if it existed back then. Got the Cherokee with the Upcountry package. It has served me well for the past 12 years. Hasn't seen much dirt and never let me down when it did.

I've never modded any of my Jeeps. Just put the biggest tires on that would fit. I like them stock and unmolested, but I like to get the most capable Jeep I can get.

I've been wanting to get a Wrangler again and finally ordered a 2013 Wrangler Unlimited... Rubicon. I don't know what the future will bring, but I'd rather have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. I know this one will see alot more dirt than my Cherokee did. I may throw a leveling kit on it... but may not. Will I use everything the Rubicon comes with? Heck yeah I will... but that's me. You need to figure out what you want.

Oh yeah, I'm keeping my Cherokee too.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:15 AM   #27
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I bought my first Wrangler in 1994. Base model. I quickly learned the down side of an open diff on a "4x4". Nothing worse than sitting at the bottom of a hill that your Jeep can't get up. Still drove that thing all over the place.

Got my second Wrangler in 1997. Sport with LSD. Took that one to the places my 94 couldn't go.

Life got busy and with kids, I needed 4 doors. Only one seat flipped forward in the 97 and was a PITA to get kids in the back. In 2001 I got a Cherokee. Would have gone with a Wrangler Unlimited if it existed back then. Got the Cherokee with the Upcountry package. It has served me well for the past 12 years. Hasn't seen much dirt and never let me down when it did.

I've never modded any of my Jeeps. Just put the biggest tires on that would fit. I like them stock and unmolested, but I like to get the most capable Jeep I can get.

I've been wanting to get a Wrangler again and finally ordered a 2013 Wrangler Unlimited... Rubicon. I don't know what the future will bring, but I'd rather have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. I know this one will see alot more dirt than my Cherokee did. I may throw a leveling kit on it... but may not. Will I use everything the Rubicon comes with? Heck yeah I will... but that's me. You need to figure out what you want.

Oh yeah, I'm keeping my Cherokee too.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:05 AM   #28
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To clarify for the OP, the "open diffs" of '06 and older Wranglers sucked. "Open diffs" on a JK can't even be put in the same category. The factory traction control on JKs applies braking force to the spinning tire, momentarily forcing the tire with traction to spin.

In the pictures I posted an older open diff Wrangler would have been dead in the water as soon as I hung those passenger tires in the air, but the JK was able to drive out because of the traction controls.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:50 PM   #29
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Build your own Sporticon. I'll bet you can do everything you plan to with a Sport. And if not you can modify- but why spend the extra on a Rubi upfront for features you don't need or don't know that you'll want? (as others have suggested). If you catch the mod bug you can cherry pick what you want and get better equipment based on your needs.
Plus if the dealers there are like here you can get a much better deal on a Sport- leaving you more room for (wait for it) MODS.
(You're already on the forum; trust me; you'll mod).
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:57 PM   #30
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I bought the Rubicon for these things that you cannot get on a Sport

4:10 gears
D44 Front axle
Leather
430N
Auto Climate Control
Resale Value

Plus I wanted it all factory Installed and warrantied.

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