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2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Review, First Drive

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The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon needs no introduction. The iconic SUV has been doing rounds even before most of us reading this were born! The SUV is known for its off-roading that can take all the beating in the world and still climb, go through and descent through everything possible. Jeep had to modernize it and it did with bringing out a Wrangler in 2018 and it continues to be on sale in the same avatar ever since with multiple powertrain and variants which include the Rubicon, Limited and others.

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Jeep India has an aggressive strategy ahead and bringing out new models to make sure they stand out and grab sales numbers. Jeep has a very solid foundation in India which it needs to capitalize and gain that market share. This iconic SUV is going to do so for them along with other mass-market models such as the Compass and its variants. The Jeep Wrangler is now assembled in India and the kits come from the USA, one of few markets where this is done now including India. Be it on the inside and outside, it has what it takes to impress a set of consumers. Like always there are core strengths and weaknesses of any product that comes from the Jeep stable. We find out what the 2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon offers.

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On the outside, the SUV has a proportionate stance and a very good design grabs attention despite its simple Jeep elements as always. The instant recognition of the iconic brand just brings cheer to the people spotting it, trust us, we saw a lot of those. The elements such as the front grille, boxy side profile with square windows lend it a very macho look. The round headlamp and the rectangular tail lamps at the back remain similar as a tribute to the original Jeep, but heavily modernized with LED lending it a lot of illumination and spread. The large 17-inch wheels with 75 profile tyres, boxy design, butch SUV stance thanks to spare wheel mounted on the tail-gate makes it look macho.

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On the inside, the build and quality are good but could be better. The red and black interior is a welcome touch. The Jeep cabin is full of buttons and knobs and takes a little longer than we expected to get used to as we had to take our eyes off the road to use it. The interior can be washed how the exterior is washed which signifies is off-roading prowess because the doors and roof are removable a lot of dirt can enter.

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The stowage is good, charging points are in plenty, and overall a very practical cabin. The feature list is long as it gets reversing camera which could have better quality, front and rear parking sensors, LED projector lamps and much more which we have told you about in our launch reports. The lack of Ventilated seats, wireless Android Auto and Apple Car Play is something that needs to be updated quickly.

The infotainment system needs polishing. The screen is small at 8 inches and it looks dated. There are all the features you need, it just needs to feel up to date with many modern rivals offering world-class systems. This is Jeep’s U-Connect in its latest avatar. The roof-mounted speakers and the sound system is very good.

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Space is quite good too. The shoulder, head, leg, and knee rooms are segment standard but could have been better despite a massive 3000mm wheelbase. The boot space is quite high, as it has over 500 litres. Road and wind noise inside the cabin can be better controlled as it can get intrusive. Wind noise creeps in, but after 140 km/hr. The safety kit includes ABS and EBD with six airbags that come as standard. Electric rollover mitigation along with ESC comes standard on the Wrangler. Overall, cabin experience is busy but all of this for a Jeep which now meets most modern requirements while being an epic all-rounder and an SUV that has removable doors and roof, quite definitely deserves applause for everything that it can do so effortlessly and yet feel rugged.

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We drove the petrol 2.0-litre engines making 280 PS and 400 Nm of torque. The motor is a free-revving and low on NVH unit by a big margin but some intrusion does happen when you start pushing the car in the rev range. What we have driven is the 8-speed automatic version with the torque convertor unit which are the best in the segment. Seamless, almost quick and smooth shifting gearbox that should not be a problem even when driving spiritedly.

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The fuel economy on the highway and city is a bit of a bother. 9 km/l on the highway and 6 km/l in the city is a number that makes it more of a lifestyle vehicle. Low and mid-range are good and the top-end is adequate as it runs out of steam after 4500 RPM. However, it ends up cruising at speeds, legal and above it, quite speeds easily. This makes good enough for city and highway duties. 0-100 km/hr run under 9 seconds and top speed of 180 km/hr is a good number for car that sits quite high and has tyres that can plough rice paddies.

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The low to medium ride quality has underlying stiffness means it takes bad roads well enough at all speeds. The high-speed ride is stable and well-judged too. Clearly, the heavy-duty suspension on both ends makes things so much better. Body roll increases as speeds get higher while taking a corner or changing lanes at high speeds. Steering is light, precise, and has good feedback on offer.

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All of this makes it the best and most confidence-inspiring off-roader we have driven in a long time over normal roads. Clearly, the best ladder on frame SUV’s that can do on and off-road both quite well The steering kickback is bare minimum, which is usually a trait of every ladder on frame SUV. Brakes are good with a well-done pedal bite but the overall power could be better. Overall, the Wrangler can be your everyday SUV if you really want this SUV. Trust us.

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With a 4×4 Manual Shift Transfer Case with Low Ratio, a Mechanical Locking Differential, electric sway bar controller, an addition of Brake Locking Differential, a superb 36 deg approach, 31 deg and departure angle and a massive Ground clearance of 217 mm makes the Wranglers wading depth come to a quite high 760mm and making the Jeep an off-road legend. Whatever we threw, it took all really well, which included some articulations on really worst roads and deep ditches.

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2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Review, Verdict

The price of the Wrangler Limited when launched was lucrative and the Rubicon has also gotten a price reduction ever since the local assembly has begun. The Rubicon we tested here has everything you would never need in an SUV. The iconic Jeep badge, the go-anywhere capability, be it ditches or wading water through poorly planned cities. The SUV is trail-rated and also feels ready for the apocalypse.

The sheer capability, good performance and ease of use make the Jeep the only SUV you need if you can afford it. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon does not disappoint apart from the fact that it misses out on a diesel motor. With an array of abilities and the sheer novelty factor it has, the Jeep deserves all your attention and that cash lying in the bank account.

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