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2007 Jeep JK Wrangler Rubicon - 2007 4x4 Of The Year

Posted in Project Vehicles on February 1, 2007 Comment (0)
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Contributors: Rick Péwé
Photographers: David KennedyDrew HardinFrank KaislerTrevor ReedThe 4-Wheel & Off-Road Staff

The Jeep Rubicon is probably the most fun 4x4 ever made, and definitely for 2007. Its drives, it wheels, it's cheap, and if it sliced tomatoes it would be absolutely perfect. But first let's find the bad bits. The seats feel cheap like the foam will wear out early, the sun visors barely cover anything, finding reverse in the manual trans ain't fun, and we want more power under the hood. And that's about it. The coil sprung solid axle suspension with not just one, but two (gasp!) locking differentials works great off road.

Is it the softest ride? No, but it's the best riding open-topped Jeep yet, and if you're the type of person that likes to drive and enjoy your vehicle rather than being strapped in a giant cocoon where your driving experience is like having sex while wearing a snowsuit, mittens, and a scarf, then this is the vehicle for you. The Jeep is fun, it bounces over stuff, it crawls like a goat, it's zippy in traffic, and even with the lowest horsepower in the test it still bounds down desert tracks and through sand dunes with ease. Plus with a starting price cheaper-yes, cheaper-than the previous TJ model Wrangler, how can you go wrong? Is the engine perfect? No, but neither was the one in the original civilian flatfender in 1945, but it gets the job done. Though, like the flatfender, be sure to get the manual transmission to really get all the juice out of a minivan V-6. Will codgy old guys whine that the body is too wide, windshield too curved, and fenders too plastic? Yes, but that more likely due to the hemorrhoids they got from 60 years of driving a flatfender, because it's not really that bad. The 4:1 low range offers all types of slow-as-snails ratios for controlled driving through the thickest of boulder fields. Even the Rescue Green paint is a salute to the only proper color a Jeep should be, but with a little sparkle in it for the kids these days.

Likes
* Two locking differentials
* Perfect gearing
* Unbeatable bang for the bills
Dislikes
* Cheap seats
* Engine 0.2 liter shy of 06's
* Engine 1.0 liter shy of what we want

Verdict
You'd have to be brain dead not to appreciate this vehicle

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General
Manufacturer Jeep
Model Wrangler Rubicon 4x4
Base Price $26,090
Price as Tested $29,385
Options as Tested

Multistage front airbags, transfer-case skidplate, fuel-tank skidplate, Sentry key theft-deterrent system, front and rear tow hooks, locking glovebox, air conditioning, reclining front seats, height adjustable driver seat, rear folding seat, stain/odor-resistant seat fabric, AM/FM/CD/MP3/ Sirius satellite radio with 358-watt seven-speaker infinity sound system, premium instrument cluster with tachometer, temperature and compass gauge, tilt steering column, sport bar with full padding, full metal doors with roll up windows, auxiliary 12-volt power outlet, rear compartment covered storage, easy folding soft top, black rock rails, foglamps, halogen headlamps, swing-away mirrors, 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels, 32-inch BFGoodrich MTR tires, matching fullsize spare and wheel, freedom top three-piece modular hardtop, with rear window wiper/washer/defroster/tint, locking fuel filler cap

Engine
Type 60-degree V-6
Displacement (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/230.5
Bore & Stroke (inches) 3.78x3.43
Compression Ratio 9.6:1
Induction Type Sequential, multiport fuel injection
Fuel Req. (octane)/Capacity (gal.) 87/18.6
SAE Peak Horsepower 202 @ 5,000 rpm
SAE Peak Torque (lb-ft) 237 @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission
Type Six-speed manual overdrive
Model NSG 3700
Ratios First: 4.46:1; Second: 2.26:1 Third: 1.72:1; Fourth: 1.25:1; Fifth: 1.00:1; Sixth: 0.34:1; Reverse: 4.06:1
Transfer Case
Type Two-speed, full-time
Model NV241 OR Rock-Trac
Low-range Ratio 4.0:1
Axles
Front Type Dana 44 with electronic locking differential
Rear Type Dana 44 with electronic locking differential
Hubs N/A
Ratio 4.10:1
Suspension
Front Live axle, leading arms, track bar, coil springs, stabilizer bar, monotube high-pressure gas-charged shock absorbers Electronic Sway Bar Disconnect System
Rear Live axle, trailing arms, track bar, coil springs, stabilizer bar, Monotube high-pressure gas-charged shock absorbers
Steering
Type Power recirculating ball with damper
Turns Lock-to-Lock/Ratio 3.5/16.7:1
Turning Radius (feet) 34.9
Wheels
Size (inches) 17x7.5
Material Cast-aluminum
Tires
Size LT255/75R17
Brand BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain
Brakes
Front 11.9-inch vented rotor with single-piston floating caliper
Rear 12.44-inch solid rotor with single-piston floating caliper
60-0 (feet) 155.81
Acceleration
Standing 1/4-mile(seconds @ mph) 19.05 @ 72.09
Weight (pounds)
Curb Weight 4,104
Advertised GVWR 5,104
Mileage
EPA Estimate (city/hwy. mpg) 17/19
As Tested (mpg) 13.2
Dimensions (inches)
Wheelbase 96
Overall Length 165.5
Overall Width 76.75
Overall Height 72.5
Front/Rear Track 61.25/{{{62}}}
Front/Rear Overhang 29.5/38.75
Min. Front Ground Clearance 9.75

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