Our man Jonathon Ramsey is driving a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon on a 14-week, 14,000 mile journey across North America. Check out his first and second installments. DOVE CREEK, Colo. – Last week I hopped off the Oklahoma panhandle into Grenville, New Mexico. After a tight right-left on Grenville's Lake Road, the tarmac fell away into immense, scrub-filled valleys rimmed by rock spires and elevated mesas. Pushing into Colorado from the southeast, elevation and high-plains beauty come quickly. It's like driving through the imaginary Arcadias on bottled water labels, or one of those 5,000-piece puzzle sets that grandparents and aunts devote months and bottles of gin to. I'm shacked up in Dove Creek's surprisingly quaint Country Inn because rain. Here are some notes from the road. For lack of time and space, I only mentioned the Jeep Collection in Suwanee, Georgia in passing last week. Once more: if you're a fan of Jeeps and you get to the Atlanta metro area, I highly recommend a visit — and look at the pictures at the bottom of this article. The 2018 Wrangler Rubicon I'm driving now sports Willys icons on the gear shift lever, windshield, and wheels, and when you turn the rig on, a graphic in the dash cluster morphs from a Willys into a JL Wrangler. Jeep insists on carrying the torch of its origins, so I found it edifying to sit in all four of those origins at the Jeep Collection. I can tell you this: the Americans who fought WWII were a lot smaller than we are. What am I driving? The Monroney titles it a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4X4, with a base price of $40,495. It's been plumped with these options: Leather ($1,495), Customer Preferred Package 24R (Cold Weather Group, $895), Trailer Tow HD Electrical Group ($795), LED Lighting ($895), Electronic Infotainment System Group with 8.4-inch Uconnect and Alpine Premium Audio ($1,295), Steel Bumper Group ($1,295), Trail Rail Management System ($195), All-Weather Floor Mats ($130), 8-Speed Automatic Transmission ($2,000), Premium Black Sunrider Soft Top ($595), and 17-inch black wheels with polished lips ($895). Add the $1,195 destination charge, and a customer paying MSRP would need to pony up $52,175 to take it home. Regarding my previous list of aftermarket bits, the Mopar rock rails are so well integrated that I forgot to mention them. They have come in handy. The Mopar grab handles, however, aren't so handy. The hard rubber grips hang from the roof by nylon straps, next to the front windows. When the Jeep gets rocking on ragged trails, the grab handles start knocking on the windows. If I need to hold on with my free hand, I'm using the steering wheel. Perhaps the grab handles should retract. Or go away entirely. The rig weighed 5,060 pounds before I departed SoCal, hauling nothing more than myself and a full tank of gas. I haven't weighed again because I'm still sorting out final fitment. Will do in Seattle before launch to Alaska. Two-door Wranglers …
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|MPG||17 City / 25 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd man w/OD|
|Power||285 @ 6400 rpm|
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