Jeep Wrangler Rubicon vs. Sahara: A Brief Comparison

by SpeedLux

Wrangler enthusiasts have a long history of seeking new and innovative ways of traveling over some of the roughest countryside available. From sand dunes in the southwest to bogs in the northeast, Wranglers challenge their environment. For years, Jeep Wrangler owners scoured magazines and the internet for accessories that enhance their vehicle’s performance. Now, two options direct from the factory include capabilities past generations of Wranglers would have trouble matching: the Rubicon and the Sahara. 

Choosing One Isn’t Always Easy

Jeep shoppers have some tough decisions to make. When you’re comparing the Rubicon and the Sahara, the differences may not appear to be significant, but those seemingly minor differences can determine whether you get home on time or have to wait to be pulled out. The options for each model are a little different, so evaluating your needs before making a purchase is strongly recommended. At the same time, consider what modifications you’ll be tempted to make in the future. For example, knowing upfront if you’re going to consider a jeep wrangler truck conversion will always be important.

Is the Sahara Right for You?

If you’re looking for comfort, the Sahara might be the best option. The Sahara continues to offer the plushest interior, with everything from all those Sahara labels to a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Of course, you’ll want all the power toys so you don’t have to reach over and wind a window down by hand. 

The Sahara is only offered as a four-door, so if you’re longing for the advantages of a short wheelbase, the Sahara won’t work. Today, the vast majority of Wranglers sold have four doors, so you won’t have to feel like you’ll be an outsider at Jeep events if you cruise up in a Sahara.

Where the Rubicon Excels

The Rubicon can be ordered with many of the same comfort and safety features as the Sahara, but the interior won’t be as luxurious. If you’re planning to take on Moab or similar challenges, that might not matter to you. The Rubicon is designed to provide maximum performance right out of the box. For off-road adventures, the advanced Rock-Trac system provides rock-crawling abilities the Sahara can’t match. The system includes a 4:1 low-gear ratio that delivers tremendous torque when you need it most. 

At the same time, the Rubicon is available in a two-door version that many enthusiasts feel is far superior in severe off-roading conditions. Many purists still prefer the rock-crawling advantages of the shorter Wrangler.

Consider the Engine Choices

Both models have the same engine options, with most buyers choosing the 3.6-liter V6 engine, but serious rock crawlers might want to step up their game and spec the 3.0-liter turbo diesel. That engine pushes the price up $4,000, but the price isn’t that important to some serious off-road warriors. The last engine option is a 2.0-liter I4. The turbo performance might be worth considering, so don’t ignore it. If you’re unsure which engine to choose, feel free to ask for advice from a dealer. 

Take that First Important Step Now

If you’re seriously considering either the Sahara or the Rubicon, the first step is to see and drive both models. Once you’ve experienced the feel and spirit of each one, you’ll be in a better position to make a decision. Regardless of the model chosen, you’ll be ready to go places most people only dream about.

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SpeedLux is a high-authority automotive blog providing the latest automotive news and reviews. SpeedLux covers everything related to cars, bikes, and motorcycles, from news and reviews, to troubleshooting guides, tips and tricks, and more. SpeedLux was born in 2009 and we have over 20,000 articles published on our blog. We thank all our readers, as well as our partners, without whom we could not have reached this level.


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