Yesterday, I test drove the Buick TourX and was disappointed. Conveniently, the Jeep dealer is part of the same dealership, so I took a JLU Rubicon out for a spin. I was not disappointed.
First things first, the price. Keeps are an eye watering amount of money. I’m considering one as a combination of fun car/DD. In no way is it the comfy cruiser that I’ve been stating is a need. The MSRP on this on is just a tick over $46k. Absent from the option list is an automatic transmission, I drove the only 6 speed Rubicon they had available.
The exterior, well, it’s a Jeep. It’s fairly similar, yet different from many other Jeeps before it. I happen to really like the looks of the JL. I’d prefer a 2 door, but for hauling family and some junk, the 4 door is a requirement. I’d have one right now if they still offered a long wheelbase 2 door like the TJ Unlimited. While I liked the color on this one, it wouldn’t be what I would buy. Hellayella is my first choice in color. Whatever the name is of the orange would be second, but Colorado, I’d fear everyone would think I bought an orange Jeep because BRONCOS.
Anyway, opening the door to check it out, I like the design of the interior. I find it an attractive setup, and everything was very easy to use. When you start the Jeep, the screen in the gauge cluster has a vintage Jeep animation, driving across the screen. Jeep really likes to put little Easter eggs everywhere.
Interior space was actually better than I expected. With the driver’s seat adjusted fully rearward, my son still had a ton of room. He liked that there were vents on the center console, and thought it was neat that the window controls are on the console as well. Cargo room is good, although eaten up a bit by the optional sound system.
I got my first Jeep wave when I was pulling out of the lot. It took me an extra minute or two to get out of the lot, I had to get used to the incredibly light, zero feedback clutch. I was expecting a slightly firmer pedal. A ‘67 Cougar 3 speed, this ain’t. Shift action was smoother than it had any right being. The throws aren’t notchy or long. If I have a complaint, it’s that there’s no dead pedal.
While the JL isn’t a comfy cruiser, it actually has a slightly smoother ride than the Tacoma. Granted, if I swapped out the slightly stiffer sport suspension for the Pro suspension I STILL haven’t installed, I’ve heard that is a little better. I’m sure throwing a cap on the back for some added weight would help immensely too. Anyway, back to the Jeep.
Acceleration was on par with what I had expected. Unlike the Buick, I really had fairly low expectations for the Jeep. Loud, bouncy, slow, wandering steering were what I was ready for. It really wasn’t any of those. Well, except for the loud bit. The hard top did not have the optional headliner. It is indeed loud, but I didn’t have to shout to maintain a conversation. It isn’t slow, it tracked just fine, even on grooved concrete with the K02s, and as mentioned previously, it had a decent ride.
My son wants one. I’m not gonna lie, I want one. I’d test drive an automatic, but to be honest, I don’t want to like it better than the manual. I could easily see this being a combination of fun car and family hauler. I told my wife I wanted one, and she simply replied “but then, we won’t have a truck.” It sounds to me like I’m being told to wait until the JT Scrambler comes out.
Of the three vehicles I’ve driven thus far, the Jeep is in the lead.
Also, the dealer experience for the test drive was great. The salesman gave me the keys, a plate, and said see ya when you get back.