June 07, 2010
I scouted the websites a little bit, configuring an off-road platform that would be livable on the street, and found something curious: they all cost about the same, a shade above $30k (not considering incentives, because I hate them).
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is the only Wrangler with lockers (front and rear). It's kind of amazing that Chrysler would even build Jeeps without them, but there you have it. Since Wrangler does not take a roof rack, and is short, I added a hitch. MSRP: $31,355.
Toyota FJ Cruiser only gets "off road" (OF) package if "convenience" (CQ) package is selected. There go $3600 for the shit like backup camera (I test-drove it and the camera is not needed. Also, it's mounted on the spare wheel.) With roof rack, MSRP: $30,779.
Nissan Xterra Off Road MSRP: $30,700. BTW, a Pathfinder 4x4 is $30,340 - you trade a rear axle and a locker for bling to end with the same price.
Jeep is surprisingly expensive in Rubicon trim, I have to say. It's possible to knock some dough off by speccing a manual tranny and a softtop, but it does not change the bigger picture. And if it's not Rubicon, it is not that much better than RAV4 (it climbs better thanks to the low gear, but that's about it).
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