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2003 Jeep Wrangler X - 4x Forum

In Mud
Christian Lee | Writer
Posted December 1, 2007

Send questions, comments, and suggestions to: 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility MAGAZINE, Attn: Christian Lee, 2400 E. Katella Ave., Ste. 700, Anaheim, CA 92806, or

Dual-Purpose GPS
Q: I would like to know what you guys think of the new Magellan CrossoverGPS? I am in the process of buying a GPS unit and can't decide on this one or a handheld version for both the road and back roads. I live in France now but have read your magazine for about the last 15 years. I look forward to reading it every chance I get. Thanks for all the hard work you put into it.Fred MorleyLyon, France

A: Fred, though we haven't tested one yet, the Magellan CrossoverGPS looks very cool. Weighing in at just 8.5 ounces and with a 3.5-inch screen, it's a pocket-size unit that can be used in your vehicle or while hiking a trail. It has a rechargeable battery with an 8-hour duration, it's waterproof to IPX-4, and it also features an MP3 player and photo-viewer and can be upgraded to receive real-time traffic updates. Those of us who explore back roads as well as navigate the highways will enjoy both topographical and street-level mapping. The CrossoverGPS will also accept a regional SD card that provides topo and street maps for specific regions such as France, Mexico, Canada, Norway, and others. SD cards with North American and European marine charts are also available. As far as handheld GPS units go, the Magellan CrossoverGPS seems to offer most of the features you'd need for all types of adventure. Thanks for reading.

Which Wrangler?
Q: I'm about to buy an '03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara and was wondering about the difference between it and the X and Rubicon models. Also, what size tires can go on it without a lift? What would be the price range for it in stock form? Earl Utah BartleyPerry, LA

A: Earl, aside from the Rubicon model, which was introduced in 2003, most Wrangler models such the X and Sahara are nearly identical. All come with the same transmission (for that model year) and engine and use the NP231J transfer case with a 2.72:1 Low-gear ratio. The standard axles were a Dana 30 front and a Dana 35 rear. Only special-edition Wrangler X models came with a Dana 44 rear axle, but the Sahara and Sport were offered with an optional Dana 44 that included rear disc brakes. The Rubicon has front and rear Dana 44 axles that include air-actuated lockers and lower 4.11 gearing and an NVG241OR Rock-Trac transfer case with a shorter rear output and a 4:1 Low-gear ratio. The Rubicon model also features extra skidplates and 31-inch tires.

The Rubicon model will be more expensive than the others, and the price will fall proportionally as you look at the Sahara, Sport, and X models. Saharas are often marked a bit higher since they feature more interior amenities than the others and often see less trail adventure than other models. Kelley Blue Book value for an '03 Rubicon in your area is around $15,000; however, I have seen Rubicons up for sale for much less.

The best buy for your buck would be the Rubicon, since you'll be able to take it farther along a trail without spending more money on upgrades such as lockers or lower gearing. All models can be modified in the same manner at an extra cost, but it's a nice bonus to be ready to wheel right out of the box. Good luck.

Old, Familiar Stuff
Comment: Nice job on the "Old, Familiar Stuff" 4Word (Sept. '07). My wife Stacie and I really enjoyed it as we also have a VW sitting under a cover here in the yard - a '72 Super Beetle that she has had for years. Further, that "smell" you talked about of a real car fits exactly her '66 classic Chevy Chevelle Malibu with a hot 350 in it. We KNOW what you mean. Awesome. Thanks for the smiles.Raised TJ FendersDel AlbrightBlueRibbon Coalition AmbassadorTrail Boss, Friends of the RubiconEnvironmental Affairs Coordinator, CA4WDC

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