2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4X4

March 19, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. (Courtesy of Chrysler/Jeep Newsroom)

For one week I drove a vehicle that I dreamed about as a young man. My dream car was handsome in style, had numerous conveniences, was easily adaptive, could cross through or up over any terrain, and attract women.

Finally, at age 64 my dream came through with the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

The week of my Jeep drive, I found it heavy on style, splendidly adorned, and with the terrain crossing skills of a goat. But light on that attracting women feature—at least for me.

Rubicon was voted “Best 4×4 Vehicle of the Decade” by Four Wheeler Magazine. “Rubicon is a road warrior with Tru-Lok electronically locking differentials, and mud tires and Rock Trac Transfer Case,” the magazine concluded.

Rubicon is tough-looking outside with BF Goodrich Mud Terrain Tires mounted on 17-inch Moab Wheels. Fender flares are matched to the body color. My Rubicon was painted flame red with black fender flares and bumpers.

The Rubicon has two tow hooks on the front and one on the rear, which would no doubt come in handy when extricating itself or another vehicle from rough terrain.

Fog lamps, automatic head lamps, deep tint sunscreen windows, and power-heated mirrors are all standard items and part of the base price of $33,570.

Rubicon’s cabin is clad in durable cloth seats. Leather-trimmed bucket seats and heated front seats could add about $900 more to the price. However, a four-way position adjuster is standard on the driver’s seat.

The media center 130 CD/MP3 delivers premium sound by seven Infinity speakers and an 8-inch subwoofer with 318-watt amplifiers. Sirius XM satellite radio is also part of the package.

Power windows with front one-touch-down features are accompanied by power locks, remote key entry, temperature and compass gauge. Also included is my favorite feature, reclining bucket seats.

Wrangler has standard removable full-frame doors and a fold down windshield. You can select your available canopy with the Sunrider soft top.

The doors are easy to remove, but the leather hinges are not strong enough to keep the doors open on their own—they actually have to be held open. While the doors are easy to open and close, they can close unexpectedly because there is nothing in place like a stronger hinge to keep them open.

I am told by Jeep engineers that this is the way the vehicle was made and that having removable doors is more important than keeping the door open without effort, although there has been some discussion on the matter.

This was fine with me, but the wife wasn’t that easily persuaded when the door closed on her long evening dress.

The Pentastar 3.6 L V-6 24-valve VVT engine boosts a 40 percent increase in hp while delivering 285 hp and 260 lb-ft torque. A 5-speed automatic transmission completes the ensemble.

The 22.5 gallon fuel tank carries you for what seems like forever, as you get an estimated city mpg of 16 and highway mpg of 20.

If you drive off road for fun or have road challenges as a daily routine, Rubicon may be just the vehicle for you.

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or dcaussey@sbcglobal.net.