The wait and ambiguity is over! The new steed in the DirtRoadTrip garage is a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon! I took delivery late last week after handing the keys to the Land Cruiser over to a new local owner.
Letting go of the Land Cruiser was a pretty difficult decision for me, it was my first true “Overlanding” truck and I spent over 60,000 miles behind her wheel and a ton of time and money building it into a better version of itself. She’d taken me from the rainy hill tops of Vermont all the way to the white sand beaches of the Florida Keys.
So why the change? The 200 series Land Cruiser has definite strengths in luxury, space, power, and reliability, and definite weaknesses in terms of dimensions, parts availability/cost, weight, and clearance.
As my off road driving skills have continued to improve, I’ve found myself searching for more and more challenging terrain and the size/weight of the Land Cruiser became a limiting factor. And I was swayed by seeing firsthand the capability of the Jeep JK Rubicon in tackling terrain that bested the Cruiser…
I’m definitely making some tradeoffs. The Jeep is a serious downgrade in comfort and power, but it makes up for it with it’s smaller footprint, lighter weight, aftermarket options, and excellent capability off road – even when stock. The last point has already made itself evident in the first weekend of ownership – The new stock Rubicon is already more capable off road on than the dearly departed and highly built 200.
Over the next few months we’ll be doing a serious no-holds-barred build on this JK. I hope you guys are not too disappointed about the switch to a Jeep – I promise it’ll be an exciting build to follow.
Adam Snyder says
Good Choice. The aftermarket for the JK is unbelievable. I would love to hear a comparison between the JK and 4runner TE at some point.
Ben and I are definitely going to do a comparison down the line, I just need to get more seat time in the Jeep once it’s modded before I start taking notes.
Right on – definitely more customizable and cheaper to build than a yota. Looking forward to your build.
Thanks Cody, I completely agree on the cost standpoint. While the 200 Series was more of a “world platform” I would usually have to wait a week to get simple parts from my local dealership.
Well I must admit to being a bit disappointed! I was hoping for something a bit more exotic and unique! That said, certainly understand the allure of the out of the box capability of the JKU and will be interested to follow the build. Curious to see what you have planned and why you chose not to go with a partial AEV build.
Oh it’s going to be a unique build, you’ll just have to wait for more details to come out.
We decided not to go with a pre-built AEV truck mainly because we wanted a blank canvas to start the build. Don’t get me wrong AEV makes some great parts, but their suspension system leaves a lot to be desired.
Hope you enjoy it! I know I love my jeep!!!