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Review update: 2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon goes on offensive

Guess what can’t be optioned on a street-legal Ford Bronco but can on a Jeep Wrangler: A V-8 engine. Other than that, Jeep has been playing catchup with the long-awaited return of the Ford Bronco, which may explain why the 2022 Wrangler can be optioned with 35-inch tires from the factory.

With the introduction of the Xtreme Recon package’s 35-inch tires, axle upgrades, and suspension lift, the latest Wrangler seemingly aims to topple the Bronco at any cost. And I mean any cost, because the 2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon I tested cost $83,400.

Here’s what I learned after spending some time tackling frozen and broken Midwest pavement in the 2022 Wrangler with a V-8 and Xtreme Recon package.

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

Hit: Best-riding Wrangler

Nobody should be buying a Wrangler for how it rides on the road unless they wish to shake their kidneys and listen to the wind howl. But the Xtreme Recon and 392’s packaging of large 35-inch BFGoodrich K02 All-Terrain tires with 17-inch wheels, a 1.5-inch suspension lift providing more travel, and a Xtreme Recon-specific tune do a commendable job soaking up heaving frozen pavement. The ride is firmer than that of the Ford Bronco Wildtrak’s suspension tune and its 35-inch Goodyear Territory Mud-Terrain tires, but is more comfortable than Wranglers on smaller tires.

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

Miss: Riding high

The 35s and suspension lift give the Xtreme Recon Wrangler 12.9 inches of ground clearance and make the brick of an SUV 75.5 inches tall. My 5- and 8-year olds will tell you, without complaining, that it’s a struggle to get in and out of this Wrangler while noting it was much easier to get into the Sahara 4xe. For young and limber people it’s not a big deal, but take note, it’s a step up into this Wrangler.

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

Hit: Rips harder than a Bronco

The Ford Bronco with the 2.7-liter turbo-6 rips, but the Wrangler 392 and its 6.4-liter V-8 with 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque rips even harder to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Jeep found a way to make the Bronco feel slow. No Wrangler needs to be this quick, and the limits can be reached around a clover leaf as the tires begin to howl in protest. This is borderline childish, but in a hilarious “why does this exist” kind of way.

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

Miss: Drinks gas quickly

The Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 is no friend of the environment with EPA fuel economy ratings of 13 mpg city, 17 highway, and 14 combined. The Xtreme Recon package doesn’t carry its own EPA ratings, but rest assured the heavier 35-inch rubber doesn’t make this SUV more efficient. Over the course of 216 miles the V-8-powered Wrangler on 35s averaged 12.9 mpg, according to the trip computer.

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

Hit: A Wrangler with dumps

The 6.4-liter V-8 isn’t quiet, and Jeep’s made sure of it with electronic dumps. A fun button that simply has an image of two exhaust pipes on the dashboard opens the dumps. With the dumps open it shook my house when in the garage. My wife heard it from upstairs and she made it known. Hit the button and the dumps close, but they’ll open again automatically if the accelerator is pushed all the way to the floor. They don’t close automatically, even on restart, however. My 5-year-old son loved it, and my 8-year-old daughter hated it. Your mileage may vary.

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

Miss: Crazy town expensive

The Wrangler 392 with the Xtreme Recon package can nearly touch $90,000. That can buy a Ram 1500 TRX, a Ford F-150 Raptor, or a loaded Rivian R1T with the max 400-mile battery pack. It’s hard to put a price on a V-8-powered factory-built Wrangler with a warranty, but Jeep found a way, and it’s a big number.

Between the upgraded axles, suspension lift, big V-8, and 35s the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon is the most comfortable, thirsty, expensive, and ridiculous factory-built Wrangler you can buy, for now. It’s faster, louder, and thirstier than any Bronco. But for sure the environment, and possibly some loved ones won’t be a fan. The question is whether you or your budget care.

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2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Xtreme Recon

Base price: $76,395, including destination
Price as tested: $83,400
Powertrain: 475-hp 6.4-liter V-8, 8-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
EPA fuel economy: 13/17/14 mpg
The hits: Most comfortable Wrangler, silly quick, absurdly loud
The misses: Drinks gas, obnoxious, hilariously expensive, pretty tall for kids

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