I have been looking at the 4dr Jeep for a while, and I have test driven an Unlimited Sport, but I have yet to be able to take the Rubicon model out for a test drive. I know the setup of the Rubicon is more for the technical trails/roads, and fairly stock does not need much to be up to par with some overland vehicles w/mods. I have two friends who have purchase the 4dr, and they seemed pleased with what they have, but one is not into anything off the paved roads, and the other just purchased the vehicle and is just getting into overlanding so he is unable to give me any firsthand accounts of issues/likes at this point.
Currently I have a Sportsmobile, but I have been considering going to a "SUV/truck" w/a light trailer as a base camp. One of the downsides to the SMB is your "camp" is also your exploration vehicle, but it can also be a positive in some respects.
I have been looking at the Habitat "shell/tent" as a pseudo SMB "take off from work and go directly out" option, but with the trailer option (ultra light/pop up - my favorite so far is the Cricket ultralight) for the extended stays. My better half is adventurous, but she also likes the comfort of an actual enclosed abode when we go for a week+. If traveling by myself I would be more inclined to travel with the Jeep/Habitat combo for any length of trip.
I guess the main question is are the Rubicon models worth the extra $$, or is the Sport with a midrange suspension upgrade acceptable for traveling off the beaten path.
First off, I am no rock crawler. I enjoy the backroads of Nevada, Utah, Colorado, which include the creek crossings, and some "technical" driving, but I think riding my mountain bike on the more big rocks/technical aspects of the Rubicon Trail is more appealing than trying to get through it with a vehicle. We enjoy Moab - White Rim Trail specifically - and the vastness of Grand Escalante; however, it seems as though our travels to these places always include a base camp and daily excursions on the dirt roads and double tracks.
Any experiences with the Rubicon and Sport models are much appreciated.