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Old 07-19-2013, 09:16 PM   #1
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Rubicon Vs. Sport? Is it worth the price difference?

Hey guys, so I'm getting ready for my next rig and I have to say with the D44 axles out back of the Sport and same engine in all JKs and the differences in price between Rubi vs Sport I'm having a hard time justifying the price difference.

What do the new Rubi's have that differ from the Sport other than:

4:1 trans case
d44 up front
4:11 gears (not a biggie, I will be ordering with 3.73)
electronic sway bar disconnects
front/rear e-locker
Pretty hood sticker


Am I missing anything to justify the huge difference in price?

I'm looking for a rig for running fire roads and some rough trails at the cottage maybe twice a month, otherwise it'll be on the road.

I'm leaning towards a Sport with connectivity package, 3.73s, hardtop (no soft top, I'll buy a trek NX) tube rails and that's about it.

First thing I will be doing is leveling kit and 33x12.5x16 on DC2's or the Moabs from Quadratec.


I think the above mentioned rig will suit my needs.. but I don't want to make a decision I may regret, so I'd like to hear some opinions on why a Rubi is much better rig over a Sport other than the lockers..

Out of curiosity if I wanted to throw a locker in the sport, anyone know what it would cost? I'm thinking 2Kish?

Is there a big difference between a Rubi D44 and a Sport D44 in terms of gusseting, spline count, etc?

For the difference in price, I'm thinking I could out fit a Sport with more goodies than a Rubi comes factory with if I wanted..

Thanks

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Old 07-19-2013, 09:30 PM   #2
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If you're in the opinion that the differences are "not much", then that tells me that you see no need for those features and hence, no need for a Rubi. Based on that, you're better off saving the money and go with the Sport.

To those who do benefit from the lockers, the 44 up front, the disconnects, etc, that price difference is actually a good deal (unless you want specific lockers or Dana 44, etc).

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Old 07-19-2013, 09:35 PM   #3
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I hate to be the guy that points to the search button instead of answering, but there have been countless threads on numerous forums all arguing and working out the math on this.

The general consensus seems to be you would be hard pressed to buy a sport and then replace all the parts to rubi-equivalents and come out ahead (you're looking at $1500-$2000 for the two lockers alone). If you factor in install and labor costs, it becomes even more lopsided towards the rubi.

Conversely, it makes more sense to purchase a sport if you're planning on doing a major build as you're replacing less expensive parts.

Of course, it also comes down to what you think you want and/or need. That's something you have to decide on
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:35 PM   #4
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Rubicons hold resale value better, if that's a concern.

Also, don't forget the rubi rails and better rims with 32" MT tires vs. straight sport.

If you plan on doing a lot of mods, sport is the way to go. If you want the most capable factory Wrangler, Rubicon is it.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:43 PM   #5
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I'm looking for a rig for running fire roads and some rough trails at the cottage maybe twice a month, otherwise it'll be on the road.
Doesn't sound like this type of driving would be any problem at all for a base model - The lockers / sway disconnects probably won't be worth it in my opinion.

I have a sport - and I've found ground clearance and lack of armor to be the largest limiting factor so far. If I got into a situation where I actually needed the lockers / sway disconnects - I'd probably also need a big lift kit.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:04 PM   #6
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I had the same reservations regarding sport vs rubicon

I ended up getting a sport and could not be happier

I have been off roading about 8 times, and on some fairly tough terrain, and will say there hasn't been a moment when I said "hmm, I should have gotten a rubicon." I wheel with several others who have rubicons and have been to the same places.

In fact, the rubicons break more than the sport, it may give wheelers a false sense of security.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:06 PM   #7
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I'm looking for a rig for running fire roads and some rough trails at the cottage maybe twice a month, otherwise it'll be on the road.
It sounds like for your needs the Sport would be your best bang for the buck. You could use the saved money for your upgrades (seat covers, underseat locking storage, bumper, winch, new headunit, etc.....).
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:11 PM   #8
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Buy the sport, enjoy lower monthly payments and cheaper sticker, and upgrade to your liking.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:23 PM   #9
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I hate to be the guy that points to the search button instead of answering, but there have been countless threads on numerous forums all arguing and working out the math on this.

The general consensus seems to be you would be hard pressed to buy a sport and then replace all the parts to rubi-equivalents and come out ahead (you're looking at $1500-$2000 for the two lockers alone). If you factor in install and labor costs, it becomes even more lopsided towards the rubi.

Conversely, it makes more sense to purchase a sport if you're planning on doing a major build as you're replacing less expensive parts.

Of course, it also comes down to what you think you want and/or need. That's something you have to decide on

Jag, thanks for pointing out the "search" button. I'm on enough forums, I should have thought of that


The difference between a base sport and rubi here in Canada (on Jeep.ca) is $19,945 vs. $31,045.

$11K price difference I think would cover quite a bit of mods. Rims/tires (33s or 35s), lift,LSD for the front, sway bar disconnects and I think maybe still have funds left over.. however I will admit I haven't done the math yet.

Off to study one of the many other threads...
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:27 PM   #10
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Buy the sport, enjoy lower monthly payments and cheaper sticker, and upgrade to your liking.
There shouldn't be any monthly payments.. Just trying to decide which will have a greater impact on my piggy bank... a stock Rubi or modded Sport..
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:33 PM   #11
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The difference between a base sport and rubi here in Canada (on Jeep.ca) is $19,945 vs. $31,045.
yeah but that's not "real" money, it's all loonies.

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Old 07-19-2013, 10:34 PM   #12
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If you want one with all the fancy bells and whistles jump on a rubicon. if you plan on modding to a certain degree then save the extra duckets and get a sport or sport S.

i originally wanted a 10a unlimited rubicon but decided a 2014 copperhead sport would be more to my liking plus i order it the way i want instead of paying for something off a dealership lot with crap i dont need....

anywhoo good luck do keep us updated on what you decide
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:35 PM   #13
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There shouldn't be any monthly payments.. Just trying to decide which will have a greater impact on my piggy bank... a stock Rubi or modded Sport..
Even so, go with the sport. Maybe eventually you want to upgrade axles or lockers but want something more expensive than the stock rubi stuff (which isn't anything extraordinary). Even though you are spending a little more on paper, you will at least be putting more of your money towards something you really want. For me, I knew dynatrac axles were in my future so I didn't want to put money towards rubi axles. Same with lockers, I knew I would want to run something different.

With a vehicle as easily customized as the wrangler, it doesn't make a lot of sense to fork out the big bucks for a package that isn't even exactly what you want. But, again, it all depends on what you really want.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:41 PM   #14
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Read this thread I made a wile back it will clear up what jk to buy.


How and what JK to buy
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:04 PM   #15
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Rubicons hold resale value better, if that's a concern.

.
No they don't. You pay more for them from the get go therefore you may get a little more when selling it or trading it in, but that by far does not mean that they hold their value better. Actually a lot of times I heard the opposite is true. Generally the more expensive a vehicle is the more they loose of their value.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:20 PM   #16
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No they don't. You pay more for them from the get go therefore you may get a little more when selling it or trading it in, but that by far does not mean that they hold their value better. Actually a lot of times I heard the opposite is true. Generally the more expensive a vehicle is the more they loose of their value.
Yeah, I would agree the 10k price difference today will not = a 10k price difference in 2020.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:19 AM   #17
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less then a year ago I was having the same dilemma and foolishly ended up getting a sport. 9 or 10 months and 14000 miles later I am dealing on a Rubicon and I should have done it from the get go as I would have been further ahead. I thought when I got it I don't need lockers and a 44 front or 4.10 gears and 4.1 transfercase or electric disconnect but one day spent off-roading with 2 rubicons changed all that lol. I did Moab and was happy as a lark in my sport doing the moderate rated trails, but 8 hours of harder core wheeling and seeing how much easier those rubis handled rough rocky steep trails has me rethinking every think lol.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:26 AM   #18
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In fact, the rubicons break more than the sport, it may give wheelers a false sense of security.
this is news to me. Since when do stronger parts break more?
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:28 AM   #19
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I'm in this same boat right now. When I build on USAA the price difference is about 5000 difference. I currently live in flat part of TX where the only hills are called over passes or high five interchanges. But I have an interview in Denver and hopes of moving there in the near future. I don't plan on doing any intentional rock crawling and that's what I heard is where the Rubicon parts are crucial. I do have plans of going off road in the mountains and I plan on modest mods like a 2-3" lift with larger tires so I'm leaning towards the sport. But then part of me will probably wish I would have got the JKUR.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:53 AM   #20
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Rubicon vs. Sport

I would go for the Rubicon, it is nearing the end of the 2013 model year so check out as many dealers as you can and make the best deal on close outs. Is it worth the price? Probably not but "always buy the very best and you will never be dissatisified" I have a 2012 Rubicon and would not change.
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:03 AM   #21
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this is news to me. Since when do stronger parts break more?
Rubicons likely do break more...statistically I think the number of Rubicon owners vs Sport owners that take their rigs off road is probably a good amount higher.

Under the same circumstances I think the Rubicon would break less often if anything but depending on how stats get presented it makes a difference.


I paid the extra and bought a Rubicon...no regrets about the extra money so far.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:50 AM   #22
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less then a year ago I was having the same dilemma and foolishly ended up getting a sport. 9 or 10 months and 14000 miles later I am dealing on a Rubicon and I should have done it from the get go as I would have been further ahead. I thought when I got it I don't need lockers and a 44 front or 4.10 gears and 4.1 transfercase or electric disconnect but one day spent off-roading with 2 rubicons changed all that lol. I did Moab and was happy as a lark in my sport doing the moderate rated trails, but 8 hours of harder core wheeling and seeing how much easier those rubis handled rough rocky steep trails has me rethinking every think lol.
Just because you tried trails without upgrading the jeep first doesn't mean it was a mistake to buy the sport. I go lots of places that stock rubicons don't (and my jeep isn't extreme by any means though I have put some money in it). Buying the sport was only a bad idea for you if you believed you never had to put money in it to gain performance.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:51 AM   #23
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All good advice/opinions! Thanks for the feedback..
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:45 AM   #24
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IMO...It's only worth the price if you're willing to pay for it.

From a logistical standpoint, lockers and disconnects aren't going to do you a whole lot of good in snow/ice or on everyday novice off road trail running (ie, running up to the cottage, driving down an old trail to a trout stream, etc), and the added strength of the D44 up front is going to be wasted if you aren't going to be rock crawling or doing any serious wheeling adventures.

It sounds to me like a Sport is exactly what you want. If you're ordering, just make sure you get the Limited Slip Differential and you shouldn't have any issues getting to where you want to go. Save that extra 10k for Timbits and poutine.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:50 AM   #25
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Just because you tried trails without upgrading the jeep first doesn't mean it was a mistake to buy the sport. I go lots of places that stock rubicons don't (and my jeep isn't extreme by any means though I have put some money in it). Buying the sport was only a bad idea for you if you believed you never had to put money in it to gain performance.
It might not be a mistake for everybody, it was a mistake for me. I start doing the math on adding lockers and 4.10 gears and adding a 44 up front it starts making getting the rubi up front much more appealing. I do 99% of my own work but I won't do the gears. Swapping axles is no issue and I have looked into the teraflex D30 replacement but that is close to $2500-3000 by the time you add 4.10 or higher and lockers.

I realize there are a lot of rubicon owners that won't go many places but that is probably determined by the driver not the vehicle just as a stock sport on 16" steelies can go many places it has no business going again much of it based on the driver not the vehicle.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:55 AM   #26
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IMO...It's only worth the price if you're willing to pay for it.

From a logistical standpoint, lockers and disconnects aren't going to do you a whole lot of good in snow/ice or on everyday novice off road trail running (ie, running up to the cottage, driving down an old trail to a trout stream, etc), and the added strength of the D44 up front is going to be wasted if you aren't going to be rock crawling or doing any serious wheeling adventures.

It sounds to me like a Sport is exactly what you want. If you're ordering, just make sure you get the Limited Slip Differential and you shouldn't have any issues getting to where you want to go. Save that extra 10k for Timbits and poutine.

This is probably some of the rougher stuff I've encountered.. Nothing too crazy..



I think I had the sway bar disconnected, but probably not the axles locked.

Timbits and poutine? More likely will be spent on some good beer unlike that watered down stuff they call beer in the US...

I'm thinking a Sport it will be.. now to decide between 4dr and 2dr..
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:58 AM   #27
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Another one of these?
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:02 AM   #28
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Another one of these?

That was a JKUR.. My last '08. Nice, but I hated the engine. If it had the pentastar I'd probably still have it.

Also, I was never really sure how I felt about 4 doors but with having a small child needing a car seat, it was nice. Now that he's older, I think a 2 dr will do..
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:38 AM   #29
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Timbits and poutine? More likely will be spent on some good beer unlike that watered down stuff they call beer in the US...
Them's fighting words, eh!

(Unless you're talking about the fizzy yellow piss-water stuff, and then yes, I'd agree that Rickards and Keiths are better than the same type of mass produced US crap...I much prefer Muskoka brewery's Mad Tom IPA though when I can find it.)
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:05 PM   #30
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I say go sport, with stock LSD and upgrade from there..

You can most likely regear and add lockers cheaper than the price of the Rubi. And my sport transfer case takes me where the Rubicons go no problem.

To do it over again I would not have got the Rubicon. The D44 is not really any stronger just has better axle shafts. The ARB lockers will be much better than the stock lockers.

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