Jeep is a popular SUV brand that has historically been a generic name for compact 4×4 vehicles. Today, most people identify Jeeps as sporty SUVs and off-road 4x4s with a signature seven-slot grille. Jeep is a popular lifestyle brand with many Jeep enthusiasts who love the excellent off-road capability and endless aftermarket modification options.
This article will compare the different types of Jeeps that are available and their main characteristics and differences.
1. Jeep Renegade
The Jeep Renegade is a rugged subcompact SUV and the least expensive Jeep model available. The smaller size and engine make it the most fuel-efficient Jeep with as high as 24 city MPGs and 32 highway MPGs. However, it is also the slowest Jeep with a small 4-cylinder 1.3L engine and sluggish 9.0 second 0-60 time.
The Jeep Renegade Trailhawk has a 4×4 drive system and is the best-suited Renegade for off-roading adventures. Renegade fans love how much they can do off-road with such a small package. Despite its relatively small size, a tow package can be added that allows it to tow up to 2,000 pounds.
2. Jeep Compass
The Jeep Compass is a sporty compact crossover SUV with a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine and an optional four wheel drive system on some trim packages. The Jeep Compass Trailhawk is off-road capable straight from the dealership with off-road features like Hill Descent Control to assist going down steep declines and Selec-Terrain Traction Management System to allow the driver to switch between rock, sand/mud, snow, or auto traction modes. The Compass Trailhawk also has 4WD low mode that provides additional power at slow speeds for getting over boulders and water obstacles.
The Jeep Compass seats four adults with limited cargo space and provides great outdoor views with a large dual-pane panoramic sunroof. It can also tow up to 2,000 pounds, which is great for hauling smaller recreational vehicles like an ATV, small fishing boat, and some small campers.
3. Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler is the most iconic and well-known Jeep model that has developed a passionate fan base since its debut in 1986. It is a rugged compact SUV built for off-roading on tough terrain with many special features for off-road driving.
Starting at 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque with a 3.6L V6 engine, the Wrangler is ideal for drivers with an inclination for adventures off the beaten path. They come with standard 6-speed manual transmission for optimal control and driving enjoyment. A unique feature of Wranglers is the ability to remove the doors, top, and lower the windshield to experience an open-air ride you can’t get with most cars.
Wrangler models are available in the traditional 2-door format or with 4 doors for additional passenger space. Other options include a removable hard body top or a soft top. An optional Gorilla Glass windshield provides added protection from flying rocks and debris.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is the most powerful Wrangler and comes with an impressive 6.4L Hemi V8 engine that is capable of 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque.
4. Jeep Wrangler 4xe (Plug-in Hybrid-Electric)
Jeep now offers a new plug-in hybrid Wrangler that can run on only electricity for about 21 miles. With both electric and gas-powered engines, it is one of the fastest Jeeps with a 0-60 time as low as 5.5 seconds with the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4xe. On the outside, it looks almost identical to a gas engine Jeep Wrangler with subtle clues like the electric blue-colored tow hooks.
Officially pronounced “four by E”, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe is Jeep’s first plug-in hybrid and the technology will also be available in other Jeep models. As an electric vehicle, the 4xe qualifies for federal tax credits up to $7,500. Instead of batteries in the floor like other electric vehicles, the 4xe has electric batteries under the rear passenger seats.
The E-Selec control allows drivers to choose to use only electric power, only gas power, or a combination (hybrid). Like many electric vehicles, it can charge the battery when braking or decelerating. A standard Level 1 charger will fully recharge the battery in about 12 hours while installing a Level 2 charger reduces the charge time to about 2.5 hours.
5. Jeep Gladiator
Can’t decide between a Jeep or a truck? The Jeep Gladiator is both.
With the body of a Wrangler and the bed of a pickup truck, the Gladiator offers maximum versatility. It can tow a maximum of 7,650 pounds with the max tow package or carry a payload of 1,700 pounds in the 60 by 57-inch truck bed. It is the most off-road capable mid-size pickup truck available with front and rear electronic-locking differentials and a front sway bar disconnect system.
6. Jeep Cherokee
The Jeep Cherokee is a compact SUV that looks similar to other SUVs on the outside but with a sporty Jeep personality on the inside. The Jeep Cherokee has been around since the 1970s, with the term “sports utility vehicle” appearing in a 1974 Jeep Cherokee sales brochure.
Today, the Jeep Cherokee offers a modern SUV experience with more off-road and towing capability than other SUVs in its class with a powerful 3.2L V6 engine and available 4×4 drive system. With the Trailer Tow package, the Cherokee can tow a maximum weight of 4,500 pounds (at least 1,000 pounds more than its competitors).
7. Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a large SUV that combines luxury with great off-road capability. It has up to three rows of seating with the Grand Cherokee L model, a powerful 6.2L V8 engine, and an impressive towing capacity of 7,200 pounds.
True to its off-road roots, the Grand Cherokee is the only vehicle in its class with a sway bar disconnect that improves articulation and traction for trails with obstacles like large rocks.
A plugin hybrid electric version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee will travel up to 25 miles on battery power alone before switching to gas power for additional range.
Trail Rated Jeeps
Jeeps with the Trail Rated badge are certified by Jeep to have passed a set of specific off-road tests in places like the Rubicon trail in California and Moab, Utah. These vehicles are designed to take on challenging natural obstacles.
These tests include:
- Water fording
- Ground clearance
Discontinued Jeep Models
There are several types of Jeeps that are no longer manufactured by Jeep. These include:
- Jeep Commander
- Jeep Liberty
- Jeep Patriot