Let’s say you regularly pine for some rock climbin’, mud-slingin’, feel-good four-wheelin’. It’s not because you’re a country boy — you just love off-the-beaten-path driving and no-holds-barred adventure where others fear to tread. There are several options to choose from, none of which should involve heavily modifying your unfortunate buddy’s Suzuki X-90. Better wheels can be found at opposite ends of the cost spectrum: the custom-built and bad-to-the-bone ICON 4×4 CJ3B or the special edition Jeep Wrangler Moab, both of which will conquer rocks, mud, streams and snow with aplomb. One will make you look like a rich adventurer; the other will just make you look cool. You decide. Errr… perhaps your wallet will.
ICON 4×4 CJ3B
Custom-built in just about every way, the CJ3B is a high-end homage to the original Jeep Willys. This elite package includes Fox shocks/Eibach coil springs that are upgradeable to nitrogen-charged shocks, a 200 hp 2.4-liter ECOTEC engine and a two-speed transfer case. Since you’re worried no one will notice how special your ride is, the CJ3B has been littered with fancy bits like full LED head and taillights, a power winch, a CO2 powertank for airing up power tools or tires, and controls and gauges that are made with hand-crafted CNC alloy.
And if you’re wondering how to make a style statement while hardcore off-roading, this rock crawler is your answer. The seats are modeled after the ones found in the original Willy, but are significantly more comfortable. This is a Jeep built to last, and all of the parts have been carefully chosen to create a classic yet modernized icon. More importantly, it’s simply pure off-roading awesomeness.
Jeep Wrangler Moab
For less than half the price of the CJ3B you can get a Jeep that’s just as capable, albeit less exclusive. Winner of the Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine 4×4 of the Year award, the Moab isn’t afraid of a little dirt. The potent 3.6-liter V6 engine is actually beefier than the one in the CJ3B and spits out 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque; heavy duty rock rails ensure your body is protected during the rough stuff; limited slip diff and available rear locking diff make off-road that much easier. The decor of the Moab is all modern, with black stitched leather seats and subtle black and gray accents from head to tail on bumpers, fenders, tasty wheels, the fuel filler door and even taillight protectors. But the only thing that’ll matter when you’re throwin’ down off-road prowess is the exhilaration you feel when everyone else gets stuck.