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Jeep Overview

Jeep has its roots in rugged and crude military equipment of the 1940s, when the word was used as slang for some of the vehicles pressed into combat duty. After the cessation of hostilities, Jeep-branded off-roaders began to appear, forging the personality for which the brand is known today. It has had a succession of owners and is currently part of the Stellantis group.

Assembly plants for Jeep products include two in the Detroit area (known by locals as Mack and Jefferson), one in Ohio, and a spot in Illinois – though the latter may be repurposed for other models very soon. The factory at Warren in Michigan shares space with the Ram 1500 pickup, while some small models are built in Mexico or overseas.


Most brands with one eye on the bottom line offer an array of crossovers, generally described as high-riding rigs with their roots in front-wheel drive architecture. Jeep is no different, though they take care to add enough off-road gear in order to maintain their carefully cultivated image. The little Renegade and Compass serve as entry points to the brand, equipped with small-displacement engines and affordable price tags.

Meanwhile, the familiar Cherokee name is now appended to this type of platform, though it is offered with stout dirt road equipment like low range gearing and an electronic rear locker (yes, on a FWD-based vehicle). However, this model year sees Jeep paring the Cherokee back to just two trim levels and binning the V6 engine, suggesting the nameplate as we know it may not be long for this world. It may be making way for an electrified rig called the Recon, similar in size and expected next year.

Two-Row SUVs

When most people hear the word ‘Jeep’, it is an image of the venerable Wrangler which springs to mind. Removable tops, detachable doors, a folding windshield – all these items comprise the typical Wrangler experience. It is available as a two- or four-door model, in trims ranging from bare-bones S through Sahara to brutish Rubicon 392, plus a newly introduced electrified 4xe delivers up to 35 kilometres of all electric range.

Grand Cherokee remains a mainstay of the brand, now available with a choice of V6 or V8 powerplants plus a 4xe drivetrain which offers plug-in hybrid versatility. State-of-the-art available McIntosh stereo systems sound incredible, while a segment-first front passenger display will impress your Tinder date. Burly Trailhawk trim is now only available as a 4xe.

Three-Row SUVs

Customers seeking three-rows of seating in their Jeep without bumping up to the costly Wagoneer family may enjoy the Grand Cherokee L, a model quickly becoming one of the brand’s best sellers. Engine choices are a 3.6L V6 or 5.7L V8, four-wheel drive takes care of the tough stuff, and 10.9 inches of ground clearance ensure you won’t get stuck on the way to hockey practice. The Grand Cherokee L is 11.4 inches longer than its two-row brother, if you’re wondering, and there are more available screens in the interior than at an IMAX theatre. Towing tops out at a serious 7,200 pounds.

Luxury Models

Seeking to steal lunch money from vehicles like the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator, the duo of Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are styled like a luxury downtown office building – and priced like one, too. Wagoneer comes with either an electrified 5.7L V8 making 392 horsepower or a new 3.0L twin-turbo inline-six good for 420 ponies. Grand Wagoneer is offered with a high-output variant of the latter engine (510 horses) or a rumbly 6.4L V8 with 471hp for traditionalist buyers. Scads of luxury accoutrements and high-quality interior trappings are all part of the experience.

Note the ‘Grand’ prefix means better engine choices – not extra space. That feature is denoted by an ‘L’ suffix, meaning there are Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L models strutting an extra 17.7 centimetres of wheelbase and 30.5 centimetres in overall length to deliver more cargo volume behind the third row and a passenger compartment best measured in acres. Up to 75 inches of screen area is available across the first and second rows, meaning no one should be bored on road trips – a task for which any member of the Wagoneer family is uniquely suited.

Pickup Trucks

Answering the whining repeated requests of the Jeep faithful, brand engineers created the Gladiator, an honest-to-real pickup truck with decent towing and payload numbers. While it looks like a Wrangler from the B-pillar forward, this is much more than a Wrangler with a bed attached. The truck sits on its own frame, explaining the 7,700-lbs towing prowess, and is offered with either the corporate 3.6L V6 (285hp/260tq) or a 3.0L diesel (260hp/442tq). A manual transmission is available on the gasser, thank goodness.

Entry-level Sport trims get newbies into the game but people trading out of a traditional crossover and all its attendant features should check out the well-equipped Overland. Rubicon and Mojave trims offer extra off-road guts, with the latter showing up for duty packing trick FOX-branded aluminum internal bypass shocks with external reservoirs. Mojave also man-spreads over the ground with 11.6 inches of ground clearance.

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All Jeep Models

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