Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392
Everyone knows the Jeep as the brand that can climb mountains, and it's been proven countless. However, they've never been the fastest vehicles. Stellantis decided to shake things up and add a V8 in the Jeep Wrangler for the first time in forty years! The result is the Jeep Wrangler 392 for the ultimate fan who wants the best. Our test version had an MSRP of $129,430 and was built at the Toledo, OH, plant.
On the outside, the Jeep Wrangler 392 is similar to the rest of the family, yet there are a couple of touches only present on the high-performance model. You will find exclusive wheels, off-road 33-inch tires, a hood scoop to bring more air to the engine and a dual-mode exhaust in the back. The bronze accents are also limited to specific design elements of the 392 performance, like decals, tow hooks and even the Trail-Rated badge. Subtle details that enthusiasts will notice. Otherwise, it still resembles a Jeep with a boxy appearance, rear-mounted spare tire, timeless seven-spoke grille, and round headlights. The Sky one-touch power top is also available, combining the benefit of an opening sunroof and a removable hard top; with the touch of a button, you can access the open air quickly. Ultimately, you don't want to change an iconic shape like this one too much.
The Wrangler Rubicon 392's interior will feel familiar to Jeep fans: the steering wheel, the gauge cluster, and the center console are identical to other Wranglers. The only difference is the addition of the exhaust button close to the volume knob to unleash all the sound from the big V8. As with other products of the Auburn Hills, MI automaker, building a powerful and more expensive vehicle doesn't call for making the interior much nicer to bring the cost down for the customer. The interior in all Jeep Wranglers is simple, durable and easy to clean; the performance trim is no different than the others. Having Rubicon 392 embroidered on the front seats is an excellent way to make it stand out alongside other versions of this iconic off-roader.
The interior is roomy enough for four adults or two adults and three kids. Installing car seats isn't as effortless with the ISOFIX ports that aren't identified; the rear anchors, on the other hand, are easier to locate. The presence of two USB ports and a household-style outlet accessible to the second row was something that we appreciated. When you fold down the seats, you get a surprising amount of cargo space, 2 050 L to be precise, which is quite roomy for the segment. You get enough space to store your doors and windows whenever you explore. Before we talk about performance, something that you're dying to read at this point, the infotainment system is still working great even though it isn't the latest iteration of the Uconnect system. The offroad pages will be mainly for the most hardcore fans to monitor all kinds of readings such as suspension travel, tilt and pitch, wheel turn, articulation and transmission temperature. Also, thumbs up on the Alpine sound system; we especially love listening to good tunes when we travel to and from the trail!
Now for the piece de resistance, what is the experience of driving the most powerful Jeep Wrangler ever? First, you can get this vehicle in many sizes and forms. Two doors, four doors, four cylinders, six cylinders, eight cylinders, hybrid, manual transmission, automatic transmission; it can be overwhelming if you need to figure out which Wrangler is best suited. Our test version was the four doors with the eight-speed automatic transmission (all Rubicon 392 come from the factory like this). Stellantis fitted it with the largest HEMI engine, the 6.4L V8 naturally-aspirated engine. The numbers for such a vehicle: 470hp, 470 lb-ft of torque and a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds. While those are impressive, we especially dig the engine sound when you step on the gas pedal with the exhaust mode on. Accommodating all this power was challenging; Jeep engineers also added an electronic sway bar disconnect to let the suspension travel, and Fox shocks for more intense outings. We can't forget the 33-inch tires mounted on the 392; the bar is pushed very high. With Rubicon, you also get skid plates and steel bumpers to protect your vehicle, and the Selec-Speed control lets you handle just the steering, and the Jeep takes care of the accelerator.
All these goodies translate to a rough everyday ride, as one might expect just by looking at the wheels. On the road, it is rugged and bounces a lot at highway speeds. You can feel that the beast needs to be off the pavement. The brakes lack strength, but they can bring this Wrangler to a halt quickly. When you accelerate vividly, the chassis will wiggle; it may feel unsettling initially, but you'll get used to it. We had the possibility to bring it to a sand patch in the area, and we got closer to the limits and boy, we were all smiles. It's far from perfect; the unsettled feeling can quickly become frightening if you push the Jeep too hard. There are so many features, especially with the modified suspensions and all-wheel drive components, that allow you to reach your full potential, and that's why you would want to spend the big bucks.
Ultimately, spending close to $130,000 on a Jeep Wrangler makes you want the best of the best. While not perfect, it has substantial upgrades over the regular Wrangler Rubicon, but we still find the bill to be quite high compared to the V6 version, which is almost half the price. If you are looking for exclusivity and the absolute ultimate off-roader, then the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is suited for you.
Jeep has lent us this vehicle as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Jeep Canada. The above reflects our personal opinion.