We expected much better than this. Fifty years ago these miles-per-gallon numbers would have been typical. But it’s 2021, not 1971. The new Jeep Wrangler 392 Rubicon edition gets a very crappy 13 MPG City, and 17 MPG Highway, for a grand total of 14 MPG combined. For a Jeep?
Anybody buying a Wrangler Rubicon 392 shouldn’t care about the price of gas
We suppose that anybody stepping up to buy a Wrangler Rubicon 392 shouldn’t care about the price of gas. Still, this should make many gag, the numbers are so poor. Let’s compare those numbers with a new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel.
Some like diesel, some hate them. But for comparison, the numbers tell the story. With a combined 23 MPG, the mileage numbers are a lot better. On the highway, the EcoDiesel gets 26 MPG. That’s almost 10 MPG better than the Rubicon 392. Even the 2.0-liter Wrangler does about the same with 22 MPG combined.
The idea of a V8 Wrangler has always been compelling
The idea of a V8 Wrangler has always been compelling. But saddling them with lousy mileage stinks. It’s hard to understand how Jeep could develop the Wrangler Rubicon without improving the numbers. It is probably the swan song for the Hemi V8 as these numbers can’t sustain corporate fuel economy minimums.
Since we’re comparing numbers let’s look at vehicles that have comparable fuel economy numbers. Both the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat and Ram TRX both have similar MPG numbers. But both offer over 700 hp in exchange. And Dodge has already said 2021 is the only year the Durango Hellcat will be available.
Once in supercar territory, we see similar economy numbers to the Lamborghini Aventador and Bugatti Chiron. But supercar territory is where you mostly need to go to find numbers as bad as the Wrangler Rubicon 392. So that gives you an idea of just how bad these economy numbers are. We expect that cars in the rare air of a Bugatti Chiron don’t need to contend with bad economy numbers to snag buyers. Nobody is checking that box before buying an Aventador.
“Tread lightly” and leave no trace “take out what you take in” rings hollow
It’s just that the whole “tread lightly” screed and the leave no trace “take out what you take in” mantra rings hollow with the Rubicon 392. And if you argue it’s not for off-roading adventure, then what is it for? That makes it a bad off-roader and a bad performance vehicle. Especially for the expected $80,000 buy-in.
So, while we have always wanted a Wrangler with some V8 grunt, the folks at Jeep phoned this one in. Maybe they were all biding their time before the big Stellantis merger took place? We’ll probably never know. But for as anticipated as the Hemi-powered Wrangler has been, it really is a shame it can’t act more like it’s 2021 instead of 1971.