was out of pocket...Army field training = not fun
Hey guys, so like any good grown man would do, I play with my new toys and forsake all others until that new toy becomes familiar. I think now I have a better feel for the AEV vs Rover. Honestly, and I think someone above mentioned it already (soccer mom comment), the AEV is the evil twisted version of a normal Rubicon. As stated above, it IS NOT STOCK, however all of their components were created in harmony with Chrysler in order to insure you don't end up with an "out of the box bolt-on conversion", and so the overall handling is better than a normal Rubi, both on and off road. This is the off road version of an AMG essentially (yes you can get it with the Hemi...no I did not...not for $90k).
That said, there's no way I would choose a stock Rubi over a Rover...not a chance, not even over a Disco...definitely not since the two are probably closer build-wise with solid axles.
That said, I would choose an AEV over a Rover only because this is pretty much the dream build many of us have been after with our Discos. Try as I might with LR3, it won't attain the suspension flex or crawl (without tire spin) like a well built locked vehicle.
No offense Disco Biscuit, but a stock Disco II does not have the flex of the AEV...or my modded Disco for the matter. I'm not sure you realize how big that vehicle is (lift wise), but even I was surprised how large it is with this build, hence it's difficult to look at the pic and fully grasp the droop.
Here's my Disco (R.I.P) after the Rovertym lift and Fox 14" shock install. If you scroll to the top of the thread, you can see that the flex is close in comparison. If my stock Disco performed like this, I sure as heck would not have put a 4" lift on it and longer shocks. Regardless, the Disco is great either way and we mod for our intended purpose:
I am definitely not knocking a stock Disco, as these are probably some of the most versatile stock 4x4s out there that offer great comfort, cargo capacity, and overall capability. In my mind, the Disco was the last great Rover, beside early Ranges and Defenders.
After I modded my Disco I would say it came close to the AEV flex. On that note, I would offer that anyone with a Disco I/II w/CDL and locked front and rear...and decent articulation would have essentially an AEV equivalent in "aggressive" off road capability. Here's the kicker! While AEV could increase drivability, the Rubi's lack of cargo space is a bummer.
In the LR3 I can lay the rear seats down and sleep fully extended in the back (I'm 5'9"). In the Rubi I have to bend my knees slightly. While I don't make a habit of sleeping in my vehicle, I had to during my last field problem. I started off in the Rover but ended up having to take it back home because the sun roof got stuck in the open position (Rover quirks) and we were expecting snow...which we got here in Colorado last week.
So now I'm planning a Utah trip in the next 3 weeks and I'm wishing I had the room of my LR3 but the capability of my AEV. I guess I'm missing my Disco. Unfortunately I couldn't justify maintenance on her anymore. The last year I owned her I spent well over $5k just keeping her running in perfect condition. When I got back from Afghanistan I just couldn't see doing that anymore.
More about the LR3. Definitely far more comfortable!!!! After driving the Jeep for almost 2 weeks straight, I jumped in my Rover to grab some things this last weekend and was pleasantly reminded of why I've owned Rovers for so long. While the Jeep has all the goodies my Rover has inside, it doesn't have air suspension, and you don't realize how much abuse those things hide until you switch back and forth from springs to air shocks.
Here's where I'm at with everything. I love my Rovers and will not part with my LR3, she's elegant and calm under pressure. The Rover can handle trails rated 1-6 (could probably go 7...but I like my paint), and carry plenty of gear...plus it just looks cool as hell. Unfortunately reliability is not at the top of the list. While not the most unreliable, if I had to choose a vehicle to take on the remote regions of Utah (Smokey Mt. Road...etc), I'm going with something that has fewer things that when they fail it's game over (shocks).
The AEV has its place in Overlanding, and perhaps better suited for the "extreme Overlander" who intends to take on some very serious terrain vs. just serious terrain. While the two have overlapping roles, I don't feel there's a real comparison and the Rover excels at many things the Jeep (AEV or not) just cannot be. I would caveat this by stating that a heavily modded Disco would also fall into the same dilemma as the AEV. Once you cross a certain threshold you gain something and you lose something. I think AEV does this a little better only because they've worked so closely with the manufacturer.
At the end of the day, the Rover is by far the best stock 4x4 out there. I would say that any modded solid axel Rover is easily a competitor with an AEV, but the only real question is...do you want all the bells and whistles (bluetooth music and phone, SAT radio, etc) or is strictly about the added performance. This is where AEV moves slightly in front of the modded older Rovers.
If Rover would retain a solid axel model that we could easily mod and it had many of the interior features of a modern SUV, I would say Rover would once again reclaim that part of the market (not even sure they care anymore).
Anyway folks...I'm done bringing this Jeep filth into our forum (I same the same in Jeep forums about Rovers
) but couldn't pass up giving some sort of review of what's out there and how it compares.
Thanks for keeping an open mind.