Dec 15, 2020

19 Jeep Wrangler External Towing BoatOver the years I have had a real soft spot for the Jeep Wrangler line of models. Recently I had the opportunity to spend some time with the go anywhere Rubicon and test its off-road and on-road capabilities plus how it could tow.

The Rubicon comes in two and four door models both available with a hard or soft tops. The big plus of the four door is, as you know, that the four door offers much more space to carry your boating gear.

If you have not been in a Jeep in a while you will be pleasantly surprised at the comfort level. Cloth seating is standard and you can go all the way up to a few different types of leather. My test Jeep had the leather with nice accented stitching, included was a leather steering wheel as well as leather e-brake grip. Now, I did find the seating very comfortable in the front. They are padded well is you are bouncing around on a trail to find a good launch for you boat. Rear seats are OK for adults and good for children and can be folded up or removed to store even more gear. My daughter tended to take her rear seat out and only put it back in when traveling with passengers. With the back seat in, storage in the two-door is minimal.

The main dash cluster is nicely layed out with an easy to read tachometer and speedometer. The other vital gauges between the tach and speedo can be selected with buttons on the steering wheel. Like many newer vehicles, the centre dash area has a flat screen to houses all the rest of your vital and sound system controls. You might be wondering where they put speakers in a Jeep? Well, they mount them to the centre roll bar, which works out pretty well.

Power for my test Jeep is from the Chrysler Pentastar 3.6L V6 used in many vehicles in the Jeep/Chrysler line. Power output for the V6 in the Jeep is 285hp and 260ft. lb. torque which is more than adequate for the 2-dr. and great with the 4-dr. New for 2021 is a diesel.

The test vehicle was equipped with the optional 8-speed automatic with I found powerful on or off road. Now, the hard core types can still get a 6-speed manual which I have driven and can attest to its smooth shifting capabilities. One other off-road feature that sets the Rubicon apart is the front and rear locking differentials. How this works is that like a normal rear drive vehicle the rear differential switches power to the wheel in need. With the locking option, you just hit the switch and both rear wheels grip and in 4-wheel-drive you can lock the front wheels as well. This allows you to really go just about anywhere within reason.

2021 Jeep Wrangler RubiconAll Wranger based Jeeps (like the Rubicon) come with soft-top and or hardtop; the tester had the insulated hardtop, which is nice in the summer and fine in the winter.

The test Jeep Rubicon came with an optional trailer towing alternator upgrade package. This is a class 2 hitch which allows the Rubicon to tow 3500lbs. with a 200lb. tongue limit. The package also gives you a larger output alternator and both 4 and 7 pins trailer electrical hookups. Thanks to the short wheelbase the Jeep can back a boat trailer into the tightest of launches. Having this big alternator also allows you to add extra off road or driving lights, which can consume power or even high end backup lights.

Keep in mind that as the Jeep is a very popular vehicle around the world so if there is some accessory you can’t find in the factory listings, someone in the aftermarket will have it. This is especially good with things like floor mats like Weather Tech.

The Rubicon $48,850 and with a bunch of options are well equipped test vehicle came in at $65,600. For this price you get a Jeep that can get into any remote area and launch a boat on any kind of ramp.

Glen KonorowskiGlen Konorowski is a life long automotive enthusiast and automotive journalist for 35-years. He also claims to be former Commodore of the Monty Carlo Yacht Club!

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