Which Used Jeep Makes the Best Rock-Crawler?

January 8th, 2016 by

Out of the plethora of used Jeeps on the market, it’s no surprise the Wrangler stands out as the best used off-roader. But which specific Wrangler makes the best used off-roader? According to consumer reviews, there seems to be no contest. By popular review, the 03-07 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon seems to be the best rock-crawler out there. Why? Here are some reasons based on avid jeep owner reviews to show you why.


As far as customization goes, lift-kits are the main one for Jeeps. The 03-07 Rubicons were voted to be one of the easiest ones to customize, and have one of the best lift-packages around. It not only makes these Jeeps look good, but it enhances off-roading performance as well. Thanks to the new height of the Jeep, the Wrangler is better at going through mud, water, and climbing over rocks. The lift-kit also allows for the Rubicon to get bigger tires put on it, which also increases it’s wheel base. An important factor that determines off-roading capability.

On top of a larger wheel-base and lifted body, the kit also improves shocks for off-roading, allowing the whole system to ride more smoothly over harsh terrain.

Crawl Ratio

The transfer case is one of the most important parts of the vehicle when it comes to off-road performance. The standard Jeeps from those years provide a decent enough transfer case, but the Rubicon model provides an even stronger one for off-roading. The transfer case, in a nutshell, determines how much power is applied to the wheels in a 4×4 vehicle, therefore determining the crawl ratio. Thanks to the upgraded transfer case, the crawl ratio of the Rubicon is 4:1, which is still a good performing crawl ratio; even by modern standards.

Dana 44 Axle

The Dana 44 axle is an iconic off-roading legacy for Jeeps, and a long-time partner of the Wrangler line. The 03-07 Rubicons are well-known for having one of the best Dana 44 axles out there, and many consumers worship this axle because of its dependable and rugged performance capability on and off the road. Also, it’s a well-known and simpler design. Making it easier to work on or replace if a new one is needed.

Engine Performance

The Rubicon from the aforementioned years is also noted to have a really good engine compared to the other used Jeeps circulating the market. The 4.0-liter engine that comes equipped with the Rubicon is not only good for off-roading, but it’s also required to power the Jeep on the regular roads.

The 2.5-liter is weaker in general, and many consumers agree that it doesn’t have the oomph required to push it down the highway or over rocks, just something to keep in mind.

There are plenty of other reasons consumers agree that the Rubicon is the best rock-crawler, but the ones mentioned are recurring commonly throughout Wrangler and Jeep forums. There was no specific year for it, as long as the Rubicon is between 2003 and 2007, it’s undisputedly the one to get.

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