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2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon - Four Wheeler Of The Year - 2007

Posted in Vehicle Reviews on February 1, 2007 Comment (0)
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Photographers: Ken Brubaker

And once again everything is right with the worldAs each of our vehicles were delivered for this year's test, we marveled at how well the manufacturers are beginning to understand our market. If this isn't the modern golden era of four-wheel-drive vehicles, then tell us what is. Sure, we have electronic nannies and suspensions that are more independent than the original 13 colonies, but more and more vehicles are being equipped with real off-road packages these days than ever before. Everything from the Jeep to the Suburban offers extra equipment; better tires, better suspensions, better traction devices, all for the enthusiast or backcountry explorer in you.

As always, Four Wheeler of the Year includes those vehicles which are new or substantially revised for the upcoming model year. In order to be eligible for an invite to Four Wheeler of the Year, vehicles must meet certain criteria, including-but not limited to-having a two-speed transfer case, having at least 500 production vehicles available in the U.S., being all-new from the ground up, being substantially revised or offering a significant upgrade in suspension or drivetrain, and available by January 15, 2007. This year, our seven-competitor field included the Chevrolet Tahoe Z71, Chevrolet Suburban Z71, Hummer H3, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, Toyota FJ Cruiser, and Kia Sorento. Declining our invites for this test were Chrysler with its new Aspen, Ford with its new Expedition, Lincoln with its new Navigator, and Mercedes-Benz with its new GL-class.

We score each of the vehicles based on five weighted categories that include Trail Performance (30%), Empirical (25%), On-Pavement (20%), Interior (15%), and Exterior (10%).

The Players
The Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe are completely new for 2007, being built on the very impressive GMT900 platform, which does away with torsion bars and questionable brakes of the previous generation and gives the General's customers a truly modern platform for these perennial favorites. Both our rigs came equipped with the 320hp and 340-lb-ft of torque 5.3L OHV V-8 with flex-fuel capability and Active Fuel Management, backed by the Hydramatic 4L60 four-speed automatic transmission and equipped with the Z71 off-road package that included a high-capacity air cleaner, locking rear differential, tubular assist steps (which we could have done without), P265/65R18 (31.6x10.4 inches) Bridgestone tires, 18-inch aluminum wheels, skidplate package, and unique styling treatments.

The Hummer H3 is identical to last year's model, with one important exception-a new 3.7L SOHC I-5 replaces the 3.5L from 2006. This change results in an output jump from 220 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque to 242 hp and 242 lb-ft of torque. Ours also came equipped with the five-speed manual and the Adventure package that includes P285/75R16 (32.8x11.2 inches) Bridgestone tires, a 4.03:1 transfer case, 4.56:1 gears, full skidplating, rear locker, rock rails, and specially tuned suspension.

The Jeep Wrangler JK line is completely new for 2007, with virtually no carry-over parts from the TJ. We invited both the two-door (95.4-inch wheelbase) and Unlimited (four-door, 116-inch wheelbase) for our test and both arrived with the 202hp and 237-lb-ft of torque 3.8L OHV V-6 with automatic transmissions and the awesome Rubicon package that now includes front and rear lockers, an electronic disconnecting sway bar, 4:1 transfer case, P255/75R17 (32x10 inches) BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A tires, rocker protection, 4.10:1 gears, and monotube shocks. The only difference between the Wrangler Rubicon and Rubicon Unlimited were the number of doors, a 20.6-inch stretch in wheelbase, and different tops.

Also similar to last year's model, but sporting a major engine revision is the Kia Sorento. The exterior gets some mild freshening, but the real improvement is the new 3.8L DOHC V-6 under the hood sporting 262 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque backed by a five-speed automatic transmission. There isn't an off-road package per se, but the good news is that the Kia retains body-on-frame construction and a real two-speed transfer case, with an Auto setting when in 4-Hi for use on the street. Rolling stock consists of P245/70R16 (29.5x9.6 inches) Michelin tires.

Not available in time for last year's FWOTY competition, the FJ Cruiser comes to this year's competition fighting to retain the crown won by its fullsize brother for 2006. Our FJ Cruiser test vehicle came equipped with the 239hp and 278-lb-ft of torque 4.0L DOHC V-6 and five-speed automatic. Ours also arrived with the rear locking differential, and P265/75R16 (31.6x10.4-inch) Dunlop tires, but curiously had running boards installed, instead of the readily available and functional factory rocker protection.

Testing Begins
Day One of our weeklong marathon of testing began at our L.A. office where the gear was loaded up and the logbooks passed out to the team. After a brief meeting with the judges, we caravanned out to Los Angeles County Raceway in Palmdale, to perform our battery of acceleration and braking tests.

There were no records set in this year's testing, but the FJ Cruiser earned the acceleration honors, easily walking away from the field with a 0-60 time of only 8.86 seconds and a quarter-mile time of just 16.92 seconds @ 83.03 mph. Following close behind was the Kia Sorento with a time of 8.99 seconds to 60 mph and 17.11 seconds @ 83.49 mph in the quarter. Rounding out the test was the Wrangler Unlimited with a time of 13.08 seconds to 60 mph and the Hummer H3, eventually covering the quarter mile in 19.31 seconds @ 75.14 mph. Of interest, our improved 2007 H3 was slower to 60 mph and through the quarter (but with a higher trap speed) than our nearly identical 2006 model. We attributed this to a relatively green engine and gusty winds throughout our test.

During the braking test, the FJ once again surprised the judges with near sportscar-like stopping power, managing to haul itself down from 60 mph in only 123.67 feet, once again closely followed by the Kia, which did it in 129.68. Not surprisingly, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and Chevy Suburban used up the longest amount of real estate at 152.43 and 157.48 feet, respectively. Of note is the remarkable change in emergency braking from the TJ to the JK. Panic stops are now drama-free and no longer scarier than running into what you were trying to avoid in the first place.

Overall ImpressionsWith the dragstrip behind us, we headed out to the open road where we could get a feel for these vehicles, constantly swapping drivers for good back-to-back comparisons. Over the course of a week we covered more than 6,000 collective miles on just about every type of road we could find, ranging from arrow-straight blacktop to tight and twisty desert trails.

A common thread throughout the logbooks seemed to be the judges' surprise at the level of quality and refinement that has gone into the Jeeps. While the two-door still possesses a bit of the on-road dartiness that is inherent to past Wranglers, it is much improved. And while the extra wheelbase of the Unlimited eliminates it entirely, it is at the expense of steering precision and fun. The Unlimited just isn't as entertaining to drive as the two-door, as the 3.8L V-6 has its work cut out, especially in the heavy Rubicon hardtop/automatic configuration, but ride quality does improve and the Unlimited is worlds more functional in daily life than the two-door. Cargo volume is greatly improved in the Unlimited, but the two-door's flip-and-tumble rear seat works great and opens up a very nice-sized cargo area.

Another strong point was the well-made soft top of the two-door that only allowed muted levels of wind and road noise to reach the occupants, but exhibited no flapping or whistling whatsoever, surprisingly allowing a cell-phone conversation at 75 mph. Irritating levels of noise didn't begin to leak through the soft top until we found ourselves approaching triple-digit speeds. One way to drown out the mild hum of the BFGoodrich M/T tires and wind was the optional Sirius satellite radio and great stereo, which benefits from good speaker placement.

Other favorites on the highway were the Chevy Suburban and Tahoe, which were likened to piloting Lazy Boy chairs, due to their extremely comfortable, luxurious, and relaxed cabins. The quality and fit and finish of the interiors are some of the best in the industry, let alone this test. Thanks to good visibility and powertrain, out on the highway both of the big Chevy SUVs are at home. The Suburban also put in some extra highway miles during the test, revealing a 19.4mpg tank, just short of the 20 mpg hyped by GM-a number we feel the Tahoe could also attain.

However, some testers did complain about copious amounts of wind noise emanating from the Chevys' mirrors and A-pillar at highway speeds, as well as steering that contributed to vague road manners. If covering large amounts of asphalt in relative isolation is your thing, you'll love the Chevy offerings, but they lack the driving involvement expected from more demanding drivers.

One vehicle that more demanding drivers will appreciate is the point-and-shoot Kia Sorento, which provided lots of grins on the street (especially when passing was required), thanks to its relative light weight and powerful rev-happy engine. The Sorento exhibits a taut, but not harsh, ride and the Auto 4WD setting works well on the street. Although one area we wished was as improved as the engine was the stereo, which looked down-market and lacked the rich tones offered by just about every other vehicle in this test.

Once again, it was the H3 that took the brunt of the highway criticism, as the testers complained about the ability of the H3 to keep pace with the rest of the group. At cruising speed, the H3 can hold its own on the open road, with a nice ride, good directional stability, and quality interior. However, wind and hills are its enemy and there is just not enough power left in reserve to pass or maintain speed when the percentage of grade increases or the Santa Ana winds blow. Testers felt that a six-speed could have helped, as it would allow for better gear spacing to keep the Hummer's mill in its powerband. Visibility isn't as bad as you might think, thanks to big mirrors and with a clearer path rearward than the FJ Cruiser, but a back-up warning system would be greatly appreciated.

Some testers liked that the interior is toned down when compared to an H2, but others felt it was toned down just a little too much, losing some Hummer character in the process. Fortunately, the aesthetic arguments were forgotten as we enjoyed the Monsoon sound system and XM satellite radio.

The FJ Cruiser has an excellent drivetrain and on-road dynamics, adding to its on-pavement score, but the odd seating position and difficult outward visibility hurt it with the judges. The mirrors are tall and skinny, the opposite of what you want for a vehicle with such massive blindspots. Also, the dash can be best described as Japanese Techno, as there is a lot going on and it almost feels as if the styling is forced on you. Our testers also voted the FJ as the "most likely to be confused for a mini-sub," with only the paint job keeping us from calling it Alvin (two-toned Alvin is white on the bottom, not the top) all week. We did score the FJ Cruiser highly for ample amounts of useable storage, good highway manners, spot-on suspension tuning, and comfortable seats. However, the rear accommodations are tighter than the vehicle proportions might suggest, while the cargo area is pretty large with a rear seat that actually folds down flat. Overall fuel economy was the best in test.

Trail Testing
After visiting our top secret hillclimb and dry lake facility, we headed north on Highway 395 and based this year's test out of Ridgecrest, California. From our base camp, we were able to do our sand testing at Olancha Dunes before hitting the Cactus Flats trail just south of Olancha. The rest of the test took us wheeling in and around Randsburg and Red Mountain, California, where we explored Grass Valley, sections of Last Chance Canyon, the Burro Schmidt Tunnel, and Trona Pinnacles.

What felt impressive on the pavement faded a bit on the trail as the Kia started to show some weaknesses. Only mild skidplating and low ground clearance made the Kia more vulnerable to trail damage. Through a section of whoops lasting many miles, the lack of suspension travel caused the Kia to bound and crash over the terrain, relegating it to the back of the pack. We also triggered its inertia-activated fuel cut-off switch not once, but twice on the trail. This caused the Kia to cut fuel to the engine because it thought it had sensed an accident. Fortunately, once we found it, the reset switch was easily reached under the hood, but the owner's manual fails to mention anything about it. We also managed to cause a leak in the front differential housing, but it didn't keep the Kia from continuing on the test. One area the Kia did shine was on the dunes where its high-revving engine and Auto 4WD kept the Sorento running around like a big sand rail.

The Chevrolet twins handle the trail remarkably well, considering their size. The Z71 package offers more underside protection and better suspension tuning than expected, as the big guys did a good job keeping up with the smaller vehicles. It is amazing how fast you can hustle these big guys down choppy dirt roads-just be prepared to slow down when the chop become whoops or you'll quickly find yourself on the bumpstops. The main drawback is overall size and poor ground clearance, although the slightly better approach angles offered with the Z71 package do help a little bit. We were a bit disappointed to hear some squeaks coming from the Tahoe's suspension toward the end of our test, and a loose negative battery connection on the Suburban sent it into limp mode on the trail at night, only resetting after completely disconnecting the battery, which took us nearly an hour to figure out.

In this test, the FJ Cruiser seemed to be the real jack-of-all-trades, doing well in every category. Toyota really has the magic touch when it comes to chassis tuning and the FJ's platform is no exception. The FJ really handled itself well on the trail with a supple ride and excellent handling, although some felt the electronics were too quick to end the fun and the IFS could be bottomed out if the trail deteriorated quicker than the driver could slow down. The rear locker operates as advertised, but we kept dreaming of how much better the FJ would be with a set of 33s on it, like the H3. In addition to the aforementioned visibility issues, the clamshell doors rattled a tune of defiance over rippled two-tracks and soft sand dunes, which is a shame in an otherwise solid structure. Testers also commented that they wish the FJ Cruiser was born more in the likeness of the original FJ and Wrangler and less like a two-door 4Runner.

Still a favorite on the trail, the Hummer H3 won over many of the testers with its long list of wheeling credentials. Look no further than the beefy recovery shackles to realize the H3 is serious about wheeling. Helped by a solid chassis with super-flexy suspension and a rear locker, the H3 got through obstacles with ease, although it is not without fault on the trail. We would prefer a front locker to the brake traction control on the front axle. It works fine, it just isn't glamorous when it goes about doing its job. The H3 is also harder to see out of than just about everything but the FJ Cruiser, and some of the testers complained about the whizzing and whines coming from the 4:1 transfer case, but we took it with a grain of salt because these are the same guys who immediately look for the heated-seat switches when they get into a new rig (yes, the H3 has them). At the end of the test most of us agreed that the Hummer H3 is a great vehicle looking for a great engine.

After miles of trails, there was no disputing the champions of the dirt, as the Wrangler twins dominated with their solid axles and class-leading Rubicon package. The Wranglers were unstoppable on every terrain and eagerly attacked everything we threw at them. The only off-road section that felt sketchy in the two-door was at our hillclimb location, where the driver of the Wrangler had to take care with throttle application because of the short wheelbase and steep rocky terrain. Here, the Unlimited surpassed the two-door, showing off the increased stability that comes from a longer wheelbase-although, at 116 inches, we feel the Unlimited is about 6 inches too long and it shows in the lack of maneuverability versus the Wrangler two-door. We also felt that the Unlimited could benefit from better suspension tuning. On high-speed whoops, the two-door was hard to bottom out and felt right at home conforming to the terrain, where the heavier body of the Unlimited caused it to find the bumpstops with regularity. We also had issues with the stubborn transfer-case shift lever in both vehicles, requiring a Wheaties-induced burst of strength to operate, no doubt putting the "Man" in manual.

With a week of testing and many hours of seat time logged in each vehicle, we added up the score sheets, read through the log books, and chose our winner of the prestigious 2007 Four Wheeler of the Year ...

Oops, We Did It AgainIn order to bring you the best photography, we sometimes push the limits of the vehicles to get you the most extreme angles and most exciting shots. Then sometimes we do something like go 2 inches too far and flop a brand-new vehicle on its side (apparently we can't defy physics, either), like we did to the Wrangler Unlimited during this year's test. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and five staffers easily righted the Unlimited with only a bruise from a rock in the top of the door and a crack in the rear of the hardtop. Amazingly enough, the mirrors never even touched terra firma and as one tester put it, "These Jeeps are possibly the only vehicles that can be pushed back over after a roll and continue on as if nothing happened." The Jeep started right up and continued on the rest of the test unfazed.

We also find it suspect that Tech Editor Holman was standing next to the Jeep when this happened, possibly making him the first and only person so far to witness both a two-door (Africa, Dec. 2006) and four-door go over. Someone should keep an eye on that guy.

Staff Picks
Editor Douglas McColloch: Gotta be the Unlimited. Yeah, it's slightly down on power, but I'll live with that given the ample payoff: simply put, this is the most quiet, comfortable, stable, and streetable bobtail that Jeep has ever built. And as a special added bonus, on the trail it'll go anywhere, and conquer any kind of terrain that its little brother JK can, without breaking a sweat. I'll order mine with the Rubicon package and Sirius stereo, and pick up a Kia Sorento for the wife's daily driver.

Senior Editor Ken Brubaker: With the Chevy Suburban Z71 is how I roll. I was in my Happy Place behind the wheel. In my five-member-family world, it's mandatory that one vehicle must "do it all" and the new Suburban Z71 is the Swiss Army Knife of SUVs. The Z71 package enhances the vehicle by including an improved approach angle, more aggressive tires, a genuine rear mechanical diff locker, high-capacity air cleaner, and tow hooks-welcome essentials for family backcountry adventure. And it has room for the family. Super bonus points: a righteous 20 mpg on the highway.

Tech Editor Sean P. Holman: On this one, I am torn between the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (two-door) and the Hummer H3. If I can only have one and it has to fit all of my needs, I have to go with the Hummer H3. From the factory, it is nearly as well equipped as the Rubicon, but with a nicer ride on highway and better, more luxurious accommodations for five, making it more daily-driver friendly. However, the Jeep's fun-to-drive factor is an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10, and it just attacks the trails with reckless abandon. Heck, it even flies over whooped-out roads and is pretty darn comfortable on the road to boot. Anyone out there have a quarter I can toss?

Feature Editor Robin Stover: For 2007, I feel Jeep really went the extra mile with the new JK platform. If budget were no concern, I'd purchase a fully loaded Rubicon Unlimited next week. The vehicle simply abolishes all those little annoyances I found with the previous-generation Wrangler TJs. The ride quality is way better. The interior offers a distinct enhancement over TJs, and the wider stance greatly improves stability on mountain roads as well as side hills. It was the only vehicle of the group that I really wanted to take home with me (and did), after our weeklong test session.

Art Director Greg Smith: As part of the guilty party that put the Unlimited on its side during the trail portion of the test, I have to say I'm convinced the new four-door is one tough rig and earns my respect as the do-it-all vehicle. The newfound roominess, along with the much-improved highway manners, has won me over. Match those features with awesome trail performance and you can't lose.

Publisher Steve VonSeggern: The two-door Jeep is the rightful winner, but only because the minivan V-6 just doesn't have nearly enough huevos for the four-door. If you gave the Unlimited a Hemi, or a 3.0 CRD, or Jeep's own 4.7 V-8, or even DCX's new 4.0 OHC V-6, you'd have my winner of this smackdown in a heartbeat. That's sad because the Unlimited is the most significant new vehicle to come along for us in a very long time and will have implications for us for years to come; just imagine a rig as capable as the Rubicon Unlimited on 37s and still quite comfortable as a daily-driven family car. Let the aftermarketing begin.

Winner! Jeep Wrangler RubiconWhen the Wrangler JK was first announced, the Jeep community was ablaze with rumor and speculation about what it was, and what it wasn't going to be and whether or not the new changes diluted what this iconic off-roader was all about.

What we can tell you for sure is that Jeep is 100 percent on the money with the JK. From the first time you sit in the new Wrangler and realize the seating position and view over the hood is the same as it always has been to the first time you tackle a new trail with the top down, you realize that the classic Jeep has only been improved upon, not changed. It still exudes character, as the shape is pure Jeep, the windshield still folds down, there are still solid axles underneath, and you'll still need to have the top down to get someone in to the back seat.

Refinements can be found everywhere you look, from an upgraded dash to an incredibly improved highway ride and enhanced cargo and storage room. For the first time a navigation system and satellite radio is offered, along with power windows and door locks. All this without affecting its off-pavement capability, which is improved over the TJ in almost every way.

It may be bigger, but trust us, the size only makes it more comfortable and more stable. With its 4:1 transfer case, lockers, disconnecting sway bar, 32-inch BFG Mud-Terrain tires, rocker guards, and 4.10 gears, the mighty Wrangler Rubicon-the 10th Jeep vehicle to win Four Wheeler of the Year-sets a new standard in the industry for what is possible from the factory and makes for one helluva foundation for building up the trail rig of your dreams.

Specifications As Tested

GENERAL
Vehicle/model Chevrolet Suburban 1500 Z71 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 LT Hummer H3 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Kia Sorento EX Toyota FJ Cruiser
Base price $39,665 $37,665 $29,355 $26,090 $28,235 $26,195 $23,300
Price as tested $52,710 $50,475 $40,010 $31,010 $33,380 $30,065 $29,883
Options as tested LT3 Equipment Group ($4,050); second-row seat power release ($425); third-row seat ($100);rain-sensing wipers ($95); electric sliding sunroof ($995); power liftgate with liftglass ($350); second-row heated seats ($200);premium paint ($395); rear-seat entertainment system ($1,295); navigation radio with CD/DVD/MP3 ($2,145); rearview camera system ($195);luggage rack ($45); heated washer-fluid system ($85);Z71 Off-Road Suspension Package ($1,795);destination ($875) Tahoe LT3 Equipment Group ($3,650); second-row seatpower release ($425); third-row seat ($860); rain-sensing wipers ($95); electric sliding sunroof ($995); power liftgate with liftglass ($350); rear-seat entertainment system ($1,295); navigation radio with CD/DVD/MP3 ($2,145); rearview camera system ($195); luggage rack ($45); heated washer-fluid system ($85);Z71 Off-Road Suspension Package ($1,795);destination ($875) Luxury Package ($3,230); power sunroof ($950);chromed-aluminum 16-inch wheels ($900);chrome apprearance package ($400); XM satellite radio ($325); Home Link universal transmitter ($175);navigation radio ($1,720); black wrap-aroundbrushguard ($600); trailer hitch and wiring ($390);Off-Road Suspension Package ($1,375);destination ($590) Customer Preferred Package 24R ($1,585);Power Convenience Group ($800);supplemental front-seat side airbags ($490);four-speed automatic transmission ($825);AM/FM stereo radio with in-dash six-disc DVD/MP3 player ($350); Sirius satellite radio ($195);locking fuel filler cap ($15);destination ($660) Red Rock Crystal Pearl Coat exterior paint ($225);Dual Top Group ($1,585);Power Convenience Group ($800);supplemental front-seat side airbags ($490);four-speed automatic transmission ($825);AM/FM stereo radio with in-dash six-disc DVD/MP3 player ($350); Sirius satellite radio ($195); locking fuel filler cap ($15);destination ($660) Appearance Package ($3,000);rear spoiler ($200);destination ($670) Convenience Package ($1,840);curtain shield airbags with front-seat side bolsterairbags ($650); running boards ($345);Upgrade Package No. 2 ($2,620);carpet floor mats and cargo mat ($199);towing hitch and wiring harness ($349);destination ($580)

ENGINE
Type OHV V-8 OHV V-8 DOHC OHV V-6 OHV V-6 DOHC V-6 DOHC V-6
Displacement (ci/liter) 325/5.3 325/5.3 223/3.7 230.5/3.8 230.5/3.8 230.56/3.8 241.{{{4/4}}}.0
Bore x stroke (in) 3.78 x 3.{{{62}}} 3.78 x 3.62 3.76 x 4.00 3.78 x 3.43 3.78 x 3.43 3.779x3.425 3.70x3.74
Compression ratio 9.9:1 9.9:1 10.0:1 9.6:1 9.6:1 10.4:1 10.0:1
Induction SFI with Active Fuel Management SFI with Active Fuel Management SMPI SMPI SMPI MPFI SFI
Mfg.'s power rating @ rpm (hp) 320 @ 5,300 320 @ 5,300 242 @ 5,600 202 @ 5,000 202 @ 5,000 262 @ 6,000 239 @ 5,200
Mfg.'s torque rating @ rpm (lb-ft) 340 @ 4,200 340 @ 4,200 242 @ 4,600 237 @ 4,000 237 @ 4,000 260 @ 4,500 278 @ 3,700
Mfg.'s suggested fuel type Regular unleaded or E85 Regular unleaded or E85 Regular Unleaded Regular unleaded Regular unleaded Regular unleaded Premium unleaded
DRIVETRAIN
Transmission 4L60-E four-speed automatic 4L60-E four-speed automatic MA5 five-speed manual 42RLE four-speed automatic 42RLE four-speed automatic {{{Hyundai}}} Powertech A5SR2
five-speed automatic
750F five-speed ECT automatic
Ratios:
First 3.06:1 3.06:1 3.75:1 2.84:1 2.84:1 3.83:1 3.52:1
Second 1.63:1 1.63:1 2.20:1 1.{{{57}}}:1 1.57:1 2.37:1 2.04:1
Third 1.00:1 1.00:1 1.37:1 1.00:1 1.00:1 1.52:1 1.40:1
Fourth 0.70:1 0.70:1 1.00:1 0.69:1 0.69:1 1.00:1 1.00:1
Fifth N/A N/A 0.73:1 N/A N/A 0.83:1 0.72:1
Sixth N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Reverse 2.29:1 2.29:1 3.67 2.21:1 2.21:1 2.61:1 3.22:1
Axle ratio 3.73:1 3.73:1 4.56:1 4.10:1 4.10:1 3.33:1 3.73:1
Transfer case NV246 part-time two-speed NV246 part-time two-speed B-W 44-94 full-time two-speed NV241 Rock-Trac part-time two-speed NV241 Rock-Trac part-time two-speed Borg-Warner 4424 full-time two-speed VF2A part-time two-speed
Low-range ratio 2.72:1 2.72:1 4.03:1 4.00:1 4.00:1 2.48:1 2.57:1
Crawl ratio 31.0:1 31.0:1 68.9:1 46.6:1 46.6:1 31.6:1 33.7:1
FRAME/BODY
Frame Ladder-type Ladder-type Ladder-type Ladder-type Ladder-type Ladder-type Ladder-type
Body Steel Steel Steel Steel Steel Steel Steel
SUSPENSION/AXLES
Front Independent, coilover shock/AAM,8.25-inch ring gear Independent, coilover shock/AAM,8.25-inch ring gear Independent, torsion bars, 46mm monotubegas shocks, 36mm tubular stabilizerbar/AAM, 7.6-inch ring gear Leading arms, track bar, coil springs, stabilizer bar, low-pressure gas shocks, Electronic Sway Bar Disconnect/Dana 44,Tru-Lok electronic locker Leading arms, track bar, coil springs, stabilizer bar,low-pressure gas shock absorbers,Electronic Sway Bar Disconnect System/Dana 44,Tru-Lok electronic locker Independent, double-wishbone coil spring,shock absorbers, stabilizer bar/HyundaiDymos Inc. Built-Up Type,7.8-inch ring gear Independent, high-mounted double-wishbone,shocks, 1.14-inch-diameter stabilizer bar/S20DNF, 8-inch ring gear
Rear Five-link with coil springs, shocks/AAM 8.6-inch ring gear,G80 mechanical locker Five-link with coil springs,shocks/AAM, 8.6-inch ring gear,G80 mechanical locker "Hotchkiss" design multileaf, dual-rate 34/47 leaf springs,46mm monotube gas shocks, 25mm-diametersolid stabilizer bar/AAM, 8.6-inch ring gear, Eaton E-Locker Trailing arms, track bar, coil springs, stabilizer bar,low-pressure gas-charged shocks/Dana 44,Tru-Lok electronic locker Trailing arms, track bar, coil springs, stabilizer bar,low-pressure gas-charged shock absorbers/Dana 44,Tru-Lok electronic locker Five-link, coil springs, shock absorbers, stabilizer bar/Hyundai Dymos Inc. solid axle, 9.0-inch ring gear Four-link with lateral rod, coil springs, shocks, and 0.67-inch-diameter stabilizer bar/B20N, 8-inch ring gear
STEERING
Type Power rack-and-pinion Power rack-and-pinion Power rack-and-pinion with tri-bushing mount Power recirculating ball with damper Power recirculating ball with damper Engine-speed sensitive, power rack-and-pinion Power-assisted variable gear rack-and-pinion
Turns (lock-to-lock) 3.0 3.0 3.25 3.5 3.5 3.68 3.0
Ratio 17.75:1 17.75:1 17:1 16.7:1 14.7:1 18.9:1 17.1:1
BRAKES
Front 13 x 1.18 vented disc, dual-piston calipers 13 x 1.18 vented disc, dual-piston calipers 12.4x1.1-inch disc, four-piston calipers 11.9 x 1.1 vented disc, single-piston floating calipers 11.9 x 1.1 vented disc, single-piston floating calipers 11.8-inch ventilated disc, two-piston calipers 12.6-inch ventilated disc, four-piston calipers
Rear 13.5 x 0.787 vented disc, single-piston calipers 13.5 x 0.787 vented disc, single-piston calipers 12.28x0.47-inch disc, single-piston sliding calipers 12.44 x 0.47 solid disc, single-piston floating calipers 12.44x 0.47 solid disc, single-piston floating calipers 12.4-inch ventilated disc, single-piston calipers 12.3-inch ventilated disc, single-piston calipers
ABS Four-wheel Four-wheel Four-wheel Four-wheel with on-and off-road calibrations Four-wheel with on- and off-road calibrations Four-wheel Four-wheel
WHEELS/TIRES
Wheels (in) 18x7.5 machined cast-aluminum 18x7.5 machined cast-aluminum 16x7.5 chromed cast-aluminum 17 x 7.5 machined cast-aluminum 17 x 7.5 machined cast-aluminum 16x7 machined cast-aluminum 17x7.5 machined cast-alloy
Tires P265/65R18 Bridgestone Dueler A/T P265/65R18 Bridgestone Dueler A/T LT285/75R16 Bridgestone Dueler A/T LT255/75R17 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain LT255/75R17 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain P245/70R16 Michelin Latitude Tour P265/70R17 Dunlop AT20 Grandtrek
FUEL ECONOMY
EPA city/highway 15/20 15/21 15/20 16/19 16/19 17/22 17/21
Observed city/highway/trail 16.1 14.0 14.77 14.5 14.3 16.35 17.3
DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES
Weight (lb) 5,745 5,537 4,700 4,129 4,340 4,462 (tested) 4,295
Wheelbase (in) 130.0 116.0 111.9 95.4 116.0 106.7 105.9
Overall length (in) 222.4 202.0 186.7 152.8 173.4 180.7 183.9
Overall width (in) 79.1 79.0 85.5 73.7 (without mirrors) 73.9 (without mirrors) 74.2 (EX with cladding) 74.6
Height (in) 76.8 77.0 74.5 72.3 (with hardtop) 70.9 71.3 71.6
Track f/r (in) 68.2/67.0 68.2/67.0 65.0/65.5 61.9/61.9 61.9/61.9 {{{62}}}.2/62.2 63.2/63.2
Minimum ground clearance (in) 9.2 9.0 9.1 10.2 10.1 8.2 9.6
Turning diameter, curb-to-curb (ft) 43.0 39.04 37.0 34.9 41.2 (with 225/75R16 tires) 35.39 41.8
Approach/departure angles (deg) 24.0/20.9 24.0/21.7 40.4/36.5 44.3/40.4 44.4/40.5 28.4/25.8 34/30
Breakover angle (deg.) 21.8 23.8 25 25.4 20.8 n/a 27.4
GVWR (lb) 7,400 7,{{{300}}} 5,{{{850}}} 5,000 5,500 5,644 5,570
Payload (lb) 1,655 (with third-row seat) 1,763 1,150 1,000 1,150 1,182-1,354 1,325
Maximum towing capacity (lb) 8,000 7,700 4,500 2,000 3,500 5,000 5,000
Seating 9 9 (with third-row seat) 5 21.0 5 5 5
Fuel capacity (gal) 31.5 26.0 23.0   21.0 21.1 19.0
PERFORMANCE
0-60 mph (sec) 10.74 10.59 12.52 12.0 13.08 8.99 8.86
Quarter-mile (sec @ mph) 17.97 @ 81.9 17.89 @ 82.30 19.31 @ 75.14 18.67 @ 74.01 19.26 @ 72.35 17.11 @ 83.49 16.92 @ 83.08
Braking 60-0 mph (ft) 152.43 142.83 147.27 142.60 157.48 129.68 123.67

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