Back before Mother Nature decided to give us our winter’s worth of snow in the first few weeks of spring, I was handed the keys to a 2016 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock. It was the original two-door version, rather than the four-door Unlimited variety. That made it a little bit more maneuverable than its bigger brother, and a whole lot more fun to drive.
The Rubicon I drove also had locking front and rear differentials, as well as a sway bar disconnect to give the wheels a little more vertical travel. That gave it more capability in nastier terrain.
It came straight from the factory with true off-road tires, too, which would have been fantastic on the mud/snow/ice/water slurry that our driveway has become. When I was driving the Rubicon, there was a fair bit of snow on our road, but it was nothing compared to what we’re dealing with now, after two back-to-back storms dumped more than two and a half feet of snow on our area. Granted, most of that snow didn’t stick around – the 50-mile-per-hour winds either blew a good bit of it to Nebraska or piled it in the 30 or 40 four-foot-tall and 12-foot-wide drifts criss-crossing our driveway.
I’d have loved to see how the 285 horses in that Rubicon’s power train would do to get the 4,126-pound vehicle through those drifts. When I tested it, I had to bust a few smaller drifts, and it went through them like a hot knife through warm butter. The piles of snow we have now would have been a bit more challenging, but I think the power-to-weight ratio of the Rubicon would have made quick work of the drifts.
I also would have liked the opportunity to get the Rubicon dirty. The snow didn’t really melt while I had it, so I didn’t have much mud to rip through. And as good looking as that bright blue Rubicon was, it would have been a whole lot prettier with a nice coating of cake-batter mud all over it. Maybe if I ask nicely, the vehicle fairies will send it up again before my driveway dries out. Until then, I’ll settle for dirtying up my old ’94 F-250.