BEHIND THE WHEEL: 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary still rugged, still extreme and still my favorite ride
The 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary is the rugged beast it always has been with bells and whistles that are out of this world. This rugged icon is truly the symbol of off-roading even now moving into its 20th year. Indeed, in the world of all-terrain vehicles, the 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary is the prime example of unrestrained adventure. Even when I am driving the Jeep Wrangler on the highway or on the busy streets of the city, I know I am most certainly standing out among the crowd.
When I drove this one, there were definitely heads turning, after all this iconic SUV by now has legendary status.
The competition for the 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary is the Toyota 4Runner and the Ford Bronco. However, the unmatched legacy of the Wrangler is one that is hard to beat with its open-air vibe and need-to-go rock-crawling appeal. It is always going to be a favorite among off-road enthusiasts and rightly as it should be.
The 2023 Jeep Wrangler SUV overall comes in a two-door or four-door model, the latter called the Unlimited. The two-door Wrangler trims are the Sport and the Rubicon. For an overall view of the Jeep Wrangler options, if you choose a two-door you can consider the subtrims that include Willys Sport, Sport S, Willys and Altitude. The four-door Wrangler Unlimited is offered in a Sahara, High Tide or the Rubicon 392. There is also a Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid, which has its own pluses in the hybrid world.
On all the Wrangler models the trim level options vary, but you won’t even go wrong if you choose the basic package. Most Jeep Wranglers these days come equipped standard with part-time four-wheel-drive and low-range gearing, however you can opt for a full-time 4WD system too.
Specific Rubicon trim option packages are the 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, heavy-duty front and rear axles with shorter 4.10 gear ratio, extra traction when off-roading, electronic locking front and rear differentials, an electronic disconnecting front stabilizer bar, rock rails and an Off-Road Plus drive mode.
UNDER THE HOOD
Under the hood the 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary has a healthy powertrain that is always ready for action. There are a variety of engines to choose from on the Wrangler from the 3.6-liter V6 with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-ft of torque and either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission, the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 270 horsepower and 295 pound-ft of torque, a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 with 260 horsepower and 442 pound-ft of torque (comes in the Rubicon Far Out only), a 6.4-liter V8 engine and that is the “392” with 470 horsepower and 470 pound-ft of torque and that comes in the automatic, four-door Rubicon inclusively or the plug-in hybrid powertrain called the 4xe with 375 horsepower and 470 pound-ft of torque.
The Jeep Wrangler is definitely a trailblazer and the 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary leaves nothing to chance when it comes to safety. You get all the advanced safety features that include blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning, and the Rubicon prioritizes protection while exploring both on and off the beaten path. There is also a strong roll cage to keep you safe therefore allowing for an off-road adventure that comes with safety first as you embrace the great outdoors.
Overall, expect the 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary to give you every reason for a strong spirit of adventure. My favorite part is the removable doors and roof, which to me that is what makes the Jeep Wrangler my happy place. I know that I am not only drawing a crowd due to the Rubicon’s great look, but also because the four-wheel-drive system with its locking differentials and sway-bar disconnect, keeps me safe.
And the interior awaits too with a comfortable cabin offering the necessary bells and whistles. Combined with modern technology and a classic design you can’t ask for more. Take note too, the 20th Anniversary edition pays homage to its heritage and for collectors that is a “don’t miss out on this one.”
No matter if you want to hit the backroads or keep it simple in the city this is my favorite vehicle to drive and it’s an icon. In my opinion the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon does reign supreme in the world of all-terrain vehicles and the 20th anniversary edition stands out with that special nostalgic collectors feel.
Should You Need to Know: The allure of this special edition is all about commemorating 20 years of trailblazing excellence, it’s worth ownership.
Miles: The 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary will give you 13 miles per gallon in the city and 17 miles per gallon on the highway with a combined of 14 miles per gallon overall.
Cost: The 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary costs upwards of $90,000, but it is worth it to play with the big boys.
Rita Cook is a member of Women’s World Car of the Year and Texas Motor Press Association. She is the co-host of ECP-TV and has published 10 books while covering a lifestyle, auto, travel, crime, and political beat for various newspapers and magazines. You can follow her at @ritatheroguewarrior on instagram and @ritacook13 on twitter.