Before purchasing the 2003 Rubicon, I test drove 3 different new 2004 models; a SE 4-cylinder, a Sport with the automatic & manual transmission, both with 6-cylinder engines. This led me to choose a 6-cylinder.
When comparing the options of the Sport model and what aftermarket improvements I intended or dreamed of adding, the Rubicon seemed to be the best choice to purchase.
Handles incredibly well in corners for a SUV.
The Rubicon does run out of gears before it runs out of power. I noticed that at freeway speeds the RPM's are high and negatively affect mileage at speeds greater than 65 mph.
The instrument cluster, console, and dashboard offer great ergonomics, although all took some getting used to after having the immense interior space of a full-size bronco.
Looking forward to trying to get stuck off-road, as long as I don't do any damage.