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2019 Jeep JL Wrangler Rubicon long-term review: 4x4 shed

By Tristan Tancredi | Photos: Ellen Dewar, 27 Aug 2019 Reviews

2019 Jeep JL Wrangler Rubicon long-term review 4x4 shed feature

Not the best of starts for our new long-term Wrangler Rubicon.

THE JEEP JL Wrangler is one of the most fit-for-purpose off-roaders currently in showrooms. You can pick one up and be carving off-road tracks on the same day, thanks to its rugged design, Rock-Trac 4x4 system, disconnecting front sway bar, locking diffs (front and rear), heavy-duty axles (front and rear), and 32-inch BFGoodrich rubber as standard.

4x4 comparison: JL Wrangler v Jimny v G-Wagen 

We’ve snaffled a diesel-powered 2019 JL Wrangler Rubicon; the one with the all-new (for Wrangler) 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine that’s good for 147kW (at 3500rpm) and 450Nm (at 2000rpm). The oil-burner is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, with a two-speed transfer case there for off-road pursuits.

The long-termer comes with the Rubicon Luxury Package ($1950) fitted, which comprises leather seats; leather-wrapped shift knob and parking brake handle; heated front seats; and a heated steering wheel

It also has the Trail-Rail Management System ($540) option fitted, as well as 17-inch black wheels ($950). The Mojito green hue lifts the Wrangler’s price tag a further $975, to give the Jeep $4325 worth of extra kit. The diesel-powered Wrangler Rubicon retails for $68,950, but this one fitted with options asks for $73,275 of your hard-earned.

4x4 review: JL Wrangler Rubicon takes on the Rubicon Trail

Our time with the Wrangler was cut short, as after only a few weeks of ownership, resident photographer Ellen Dewar snatched the keys for a weekend foray to the south coast. Come Monday morning, however, and electrical gremlins stifled her return journey to the office at 4X4 Australia HQ … the battery was dead.

A call out by Jeep Roadside Assistance had them seeing zero amps despite multiple resuscitation methods – connecting the battery to a boot-load bank of batteries didn’t help, with the battery giving no indication there was life lurking somewhere within. A tow truck was required, with Jeep HQ the destination for some much-needed R&R.

4x4 advice: Battery basics guide

A week or so later, we picked up the as-good-as-new Wrangler, with Jeep notifying us it was the auxiliary battery that died, which then drained the main battery. Jeep recharged the auxiliary battery and it tested with a slightly reduced charge life (85 per cent), so both the main and auxiliary batteries were replaced as a precaution. Jeep explained this would be covered under warranty if it were to happen to a customer.

We’ll be hoping to put plenty of hours into the Wrangler in future issues, and if we notice any amp glitches, you’ll be the first to know. Keep an eye on these pages as we have some epic adventures planned, but let’s keep our collective fingers crossed that the battery doesn’t decide to abandon us when we’re off chasing remote campsites.

4x4 Shed Log: 2019 Jeep JL Wrangler Rubicon
Current mileage: 4302km
Date acquired: July 2019
Price: $73,275
Mileage this month: N/A
Average fuel consumption: N/A

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