Jeep Trails: Weekend Date With The Wrangler Rubicon

We spent a couple of days with Jeep India and got a taste of the Jeep Life at the Jeep Trails – Goa Quest!

By Preetam Bora


7 mins read


Published on March 23, 2024

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  • The Jeep Trails is an experiential event for Jeep owners
  • A weekend of adventure, off-road driving & fun
  • The author was invited by Jeep India to experience the Jeep Trails event

It was 1971 when my father bought his first car. It was a used 1958 Willys Jeep CJ3B, I think, known simply as the Willys Jeep back in the day. My father purchased his Jeep for a princely sum of six thousand rupees from the previous owner. But there was a problem. When he’d bought the car in North Lakhimpur in Assam, my father didn’t know how to drive. So, a driver was hired for a salary of hundred rupees a month.  His first assignment was to drive the newly acquired Jeep to the tea estate my father was employed by at that time, some 18-20 odd kilometres from town. 


A post-war “Willys” Jeep was on display at the off-road course. 


On the way back to the tea garden, my father asked questions on the basics of how to drive, and once out of public roads and inside the estate, he took over the wheel. Back at the bungalow, the driver was told his job was done, and he was given his salary and relieved of his duties. And so began my father’s tryst with driving, on a left-hand drive Jeep. 


The Willys Jeep CJ3B is one of the most popular post-World War II Jeep models. The CJ stands for “Civilian Jeep.”


For many of us growing up in the late ‘70s and ‘80s, the term ‘jeep’ was almost always used for any SUV, with or without 4x4 capability. So, when Jeep India invited car&bike to participate in the Jeep Trails event in Goa in March this year, it was an opportunity for me to experience the “Jeep Life” along with some owners of Jeep SUVs. 


The plan was to not just get some first-hand experience of the legendary off-road capability of Jeep, but also to understand the brand’s focus on experiential adventure events for its fans and followers. In essence, the idea behind a “Jeep Trail” is just that, to take customers on roads less travelled, and let them experience the off-road capability of their SUVs. So began my working weekend!


Jeepers Keepers!


A row of Jeeps lined up at our lodgings in Goa, during the Jeep Trails event.


The Jeep Trails Twilight Quest: Goa, as it’s called, was a relaxed affair on the first day after our arrival, going with the chilled-out vibe Goa is known for. The actual drive was to begin early the next morning, while we were given a briefing on the route, what to expect, some do’s and don’ts as well as some personal anecdotes and experiences shared by Jeep owners. One thing was clear – there’s a strong sense of pride of owning a Jeep and a shared love of adventure and camaraderie among Jeep owners. Such is the love of a Jeep that several customers have owned more than one Jeep, and some are already planning for their next Jeep!


The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon was to be my companion during the Jeep Trails event.


Now, I have had some off-road experience with a Jeep Wrangler in the past, and this time around, my companion on the Jeep Trails was to be a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Nice! The next morning, we started out in a disciplined convoy of more than 20 Jeeps, neatly lined up one after the other, our Wrangler towards the tail end of the formation. I was looking forward to hitting the off-road trail more than driving on tarmac. But the specially curated route took us through some beautiful forests and along winding hilly roads which were a delight to drive on. 


Jeep Wrangler Rubicon - Game On!

The Jeep Wrangler is tailor-made for any off-road excursion!


It was soon time to hit the off-road section, and the Wrangler once again proved why it’s the boss of SUVs when it comes to any off-road 4x4 experience. The trail was challenging enough for newbie off-road drivers, and for owners of the Jeep Compass and Meridien, it was enough and more to get a taste of what these Jeeps are capable of. For most of the Jeep owners, the off-road trail outing under the guidance of experienced trail managers and experts proved to be one of the highlights of the Jeep Trail. Beaming faces, exchanging high-fives and having been part of something special – it was evidently written on everyone’s faces.


The off-road trail proved to be a walk in the park for the Jeep Wrangler.  


For me and my co-driver (a much younger journalist from another publication), the off-road outing on the Wrangler Rubicon was just what we needed for a true-blue Jeep experience. For the Wrangler though, the trail proved to be a walk in the park, and I just couldn’t help wondering what it would be like to have a longer adventure with the Jeep Wrangler, or maybe even live with one. It’s got the presence, it’s got the off-road cred, and it’s right up there with the very best 4x4 SUVs if you’re into that kind of thing! On capability alone, the Wrangler’s shortcomings can be ignored and forgotten, and with good reason too!


Jeep Trails Tale: The Final Word

For me, the Jeep Trails experience was a nice way to unwind – relaxed, chilled-out and in a way scratch the surface of what the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is capable of. And then, interacting with many other Jeep owners who felt like one big, happy and adventurous family, was a peek into just how customers perceive the brand. The overwhelming common thread of any Jeeper seems to be the sense of pride of owing a Jeep. For many SUV owners, heading out to experience an off-road experience alone may not be ideal, but experiencing the capability of their Jeeps in a larger group with people who share a common love for adventure seems to be the perfect getaway on four wheels.


The “Jeep Trail” event offered customers the opportunity to explore the off-road capability of their vehicles. The Jeep Compass 4x4 may be a crossover, but has great off-road capability.


No wonder every Jeep Trail announced by Jeep India get sold out within a few hours of being announced! And many of the participants keep coming for more and are regulars at every Jeep Trail. After spending a couple of days with Jeep owners, it’s a no-brainer that any Jeep owner should at least experience and understand how capable their SUVs are, and the Jeep Trails is a great way to start that journey, maybe graduating to bigger and longer adventures subsequently. As for me, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon has certainly made a strong impression. I called up my father and said, “Papa, it may be time to get a new Jeep for your next generation!” Now, if only that Wrangler was more affordable! Sigh!


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