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Saturday 23 September 2017
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2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon Test Drive

2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon Test Drive

Today I bring you the 2017 Wrangler Rubicon Recon.  This is the 2-door version, but you can get a 4-door version also.  This is a special edition model that Jeep says is the most capable production vehicle it has ever made.

Jeeps started being produced back in 1941 strictly for military use, and this particular model was inspired by the military versions from 76 years ago. 

The Wrangler comes in 14 different versions, with the Rubicon being the top-of-the-line and the new Recon package a notch up from that.

No matter which Wrangler you choose, they all have the same engine and they are all full-time 4-wheel drive.   

I am a big fan of this 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine.  It puts out 285-horses and since it came out, it has a great reputation for overall quality and long-term durability.

You have a choice of transmissions, the 6-speed manual, or a 5-speed automatic like my review vehicle has.

I am a big fan of this 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine. 

The evolution of the Wrangler has gone from very basic to SUVs that have a lot of amenities.  This model has very comfortable leather seating with red stitching and red seat belts, and like all Wranglers, everything inside is clean and well laid out. 

Unlike days past, you now get power windows and door locks, keyless entry, automatic headlights, tilt wheel with finger controls, and much more, all as standard equipment. The gauge cluster is simple and easy to read and it has a nice center console with a USB connection inside.  You also get a 115-volt electrical outlet.

As part of the Recon package, you get the power dome hood, steel front and rear bumpers that are wench ready, red tow hooks in front and back, 32” tires, and a cool Rubicon sticker on the hood that give the specs of the Jeep.  There is also a dash plaque that gives some of the specs.

One big thing for off-roaders is the Rubicon Recon comes with a Dana heavy-duty front axle for even more capability once you leave the pavement.

Options on this one include heated front seats, the hardtop, side airbags, automatic temperature controlled air conditioning, remote start, and Chrysler’s terrific U-Connect system complete with navigation system.

The Jeep Command Trac 4-wheel drive system is one of the best in the industry.

With U-connect, you get a 40-gig hard drive, Sirius XM radio, Bluetooth, and Travelink which gives you real-time gas prices, sport scores, movie information, stock prices, and weather.  Everything is operated from a vivid, easy to operate color screen.

On the safety front, you get some standard features that are needed on a vehicle with a high center of gravity, such as traction control, electronic rollover mitigation, hill start assist, and electronic stability control.

The Jeep Command Trac 4-wheel drive system is one of the best in the industry and features shift-on-the-fly, which is engaged by using a shifter next to the automatic transmission.

Let’s talk about tops on the Wrangler since that seems to be one of the big decisions that Wrangler owners have trouble deciding on. 

Wrangler can be bought with no top, a hardtop like this one, a hardtop painted to match the exterior or a Sunrider soft top.  The entire hardtop is easily removable, or you can just remove the front part.

I think what is fun about Wranglers, and the thing that makes people enjoy them, is that, in short order, you can take this vehicle, remove the top, take both doors off, and even fold the windshield down against the hood to transform this vehicle into something totally different.

A Wrangler is not for everyone, but the people who buy them really love them.  

As I say on the Car Pro Show often, a Wrangler is not for everyone, but the people who buy them really love them.  You have to accept a bit of a rough ride, some outside noise and road noise, but the hardtop does give the Wrangler more interior quietness and stability than the ones with just the soft top.   

The biggest problem for people who want a Wrangler is deciding which one.  There are 57 variations of the Wrangler today.  For 2018, the Wrangler completely changes and will look very different from this version.  We should see those in January 2018.

I’m getting right at 19 miles per gallon in mixed driving, which is OK considering this is one of the most capable off-road vehicles you can buy.  The suggested retail price on this Rubicon Recon package is $45,070 nicely equipped.

2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon
  • What I liked most:  The capability off-road, and the wonderful 4-wheel technology. 
  • What I would change:  Somehow make it quieter inside.
  • MSRP: Base price $33,645. As equipped $45,070.
  • Fuel Economy:  17 city/21 highway, 18 combined.   
  • Odometer reading when tested: 600 miles.
  • Official Color:  Gobi Clearcoat.
  • Weight:  4129 Pounds.
  • Length-Width-Height:  164.3” long/73.7” wide/72.6” high.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity:  18.6 gallons with filler on the driver’s side.
  • Towing Capacity: 2000-pounds.
  • Spare Tire:  Full-sized matching spare mounted on the tailgate.
  • Final Assembly Point:  Toledo, Ohio.  
  • 2017 Wrangler in a few words:  Not for everyone, but for those who want to go off-road, there is nothing better or tougher.   
  • Warranty:  3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty.
  • Manufacturer’s website:  Jeep
Photo Credit: Jeep