When it comes to shifting a driving adventure from the pavement to the dirt, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon does it best, according to editors at Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine. After putting the utility vehicle through a series of performance tests, the off-roading enthusiast magazine named the new Wrangler Rubicon its 4x4 of the Year, declaring it “the most competent 4x4 ever produced.”
Petersen’s set up a final face-off between the Wrangler and the Ram Power Wagon across a thousand plus miles of trails to evaluate their performance on various terrain types ranging from rocky inclines to flatlands. Both vehicles were tested on sand, mud, dirt and rock, challenging their suspensions, drivetrains and transfer cases. Judges also considered the utility vehicles’ styling and value before declaring the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon the 4x4 of the Year.
“The Wrangler has long been the go-to off-roading vehicle for Jeep fans,” said Richard Gill, owner of Brigham-Gill Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, a Natick, Massachusetts Jeep dealer. “Each feature, from the drivetrain to the body styling to the unique tire tread, is designed to help drivers tackle the elements, and Jeep has only improved upon that formula with the latest model.”
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon features a five-speed automatic transmission and 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, both new for the 2012 model year. Delivering 40 percent more horsepower and better fuel economy than its predecessor, the Pentastar V6 allows Rubicon owners to maximize their weekend fun while cutting down on weekday commuting costs. Meanwhile, the Jeep’s standard 32-inch BFGoodrich off-road tires with custom tread help Massachusetts Jeep drivers tackle snowy trails or ice storms on the Mass Pike.
In addition to the nod from Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road, the Jeep Wrangler recently received two other awards. The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited was voted Best Off-Road Value by a panel of automotive journalists and athletes in the 2012 Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year competition, while the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) named it the Mid-Size SUV of Texas.
Soon after the production Wrangler was praised with a trio of accolades, a Wrangler-based pickup made noise at the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show that took place November 1 - 4 in Las Vegas. Designed by American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), the Brute Double Cab featured extra doors and a nearly square truck bed, helping the Wrangler combine its off-roading capability with plenty of additional cargo space. Massachusetts Jeep fans will be able to reach even the most remote locations with their camping equipment in tow when AEV starts production of the Brute Double Cab for the general public in mid-2012.
“We encourage our customers to get creative with their vehicles, especially if it’s a Wrangler, and Jeep fans probably got a bunch of new aftermarket ideas from the SEMA Show,” added Gill. “The Brute Double Cab won’t be a large-scale replacement for pickups, but it’s guaranteed to be a lot more fun to drive than traditional trucks.”