Published on May 6th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Jeep Rubicon Test Drive Review
Mention the name ‘Jeep’ to any Malaysian above the age of 40 years and they will definitely know what you are talking about and will have a rough idea of what it will look like. The Jeep range has been seen in most American movies and TV series as it is as common as a Proton in Malaysia. For the typical American car consumer, Jeep represents good honest motoring with the ability to go cross country without any issue.
Now back in Malaysia after a long absence, Jeep has a flagship showroom and after sales building in Glenmarie, Shah Alam. We take the Jeep Renegade Rubicon out for a test drive.
The Renegade Rubicon maintains the traditional Jeep bold design statement with a square profile with strong solid lines, lots of glass, a bold large bumper up front and prominent grille. The large, front and rear light arrays make for a distinctive look. The side mirrors are large and provide an excellent view of rear approaching traffic and obstacles when reversing.
In rear profile, it’s more recognisable feature is its large mounted spare wheel. Rear lights are bold, and provide a clear bright light when braking or reversing. The large door open wide and give an easy and reasonably unobstructed access to the cabin including the rear seating area.
In front profile, the re-designed front grill is distinctive, bold and solid looking with a large high positioned front bumper. The large headlights looked great. They have an unusual, yet distinctive, shape and give off a wide clear light at night.
Jeep Rubicon Cabin
The first thing we noticed about the Rubicon, after we climbed up into the cabin, was how it is has stayed to its true heritage with a hard wearing very solid feel all around the cabin. The front seats are comfortable and even in the back row the seat were comfortable and offered sufficient support for our aging bodies. The driver sits high off the ground and has a clear and, almost, uninterrupted view in all directions. In this Rubicon the driver and passenger seats were adjusted manually and easy to get comfortable.
The rear row seats can be folded away which increased the storage area behind the driver’s seats.
Parking was tight with the wheel arch overhangs adjustments a little confusing in the first day of our test drive. After a few days it was easy. The bonnet has a large surface area, it angles down sufficiently to appear unobtrusive to the driver, unfortunately, though, given the height of the bonnet edge front off the ground and the distance from the front of the vehicle to the driver, judging the closeness to an object while parking was a little difficult in the first day of our test drive but after that it was easy.
Instrumentation and controls, layout, audio range and quality and air conditioning controls are all in easy reach. A decent sound system is provided and with the ‘Roof’ panel removed, you have a mobile disco.
Jeep Rubicon Drive Experience
The Rubicon comes only as a 2-door 4 seater and it is a comfortable 4×4 for its size, an easy 4×4 to drive and manage and a true 4×4 vehicle. Although it is easy to maneuver, because of its height and large dimensions, moving around in compact situations, e.g. congested traffic, and parking, e.g. in tight suburban shopping centres, can be a challenge. In these situations the rear parking sensors can play a welcome part (although front parking sensors are not available and would be necessary for the fairer sex).
There is very little cabin noise at any speed and a conversation or listening to soft music or talk back radio can be accomplished without straining to hear.
We took it along the city highways, suburban roads and up and down winding country roads. We pushed it onto corners and accelerated out of bends and drove over sealed and unsealed roads. Braking, cornering, and acceleration under a range of speeds were good for a 4×4. Body roll was noticeable when going into and out of turns or curves quickly on sealed roads. Off-road though, it was less noticeable, but we did not venture into rough terrain to be honest.
Our 3.6L automatic was a solid performer. We did not test this vehicle in the rough terrain as we felt that this 4×4 will have Malaysian owners that will never take a RM328,000 vehicle into the rough.
Yes, this Jeep retails at a rather high price, but when you look at what it brings to the ‘table’ and plus its ability off road, then the asking price does not seem so lofty anymore.
JEEP Rubicon V6 Specifications:
Engine: Pentastar V6
Transmission: 5-speed auto
Max power: 285bhp @ 6350rpm
Max torque: 260lb-ft @ 4200rpm
Top Speed: NA